Kevin Key, Contributing Writer
Between J-Term and the beginning of the spring semester at the University of Dallas, campus is largely empty, but one will find stirrings of people who actually want to spend the last days of their break outside in the Texas winter. Each year, the University of Dallas Ultimate club (UDU) calls its members back home to Irving for a few days of practice before the season starts.
Led by their captains, Walker brothers Christian and Austin, these young athletes have two practices per day for a total of four plus hours in the slightly bitter Texas winter.
“The main part of preseason is to help everyone prepare for the season and to make the team more of a community,” said senior Austin Walker.
After last year’s successful season, boasting a record of 15-7, UDU looks forward to another great season hopefully ending with a showing at Nationals in Ohio.
“Since UDU is from a small liberal arts school, it would be cool for the club to bring UD into the national spotlight for athletics and be a representative of UD’s diversity outside of just the academic bubble,” commented sophomore, Andrew Narduzzi.
Along with a number of returning stars — John Mangen, Matthew Melendez, Kat Dugyon, and Gianna Lenzen — Christian and Austin look forward to playing with returning Romers Colin MacNamara, John Stein and Mary Ryan, as well as UDU’s new coach Paul Utesch. The Walkers are bringing in Utesch as a welcome addition to make the team more structured and give it an even greater chance at making it to Nationals.
UDU will be kicking off its season here during our very own Groundhog week against the University of Texas at Dallas on Friday at 7 p.m. at the rugby field, and looks forward to a strong home crowd.
“Having fans at our [Texax Christian University] game last year helped us play our best ultimate in a while … [T]heir support for the club really increases our confidence, and the team always plays better with fans at games. I definitely attribute some of our success to their presence,” said senior, Christian Walker hopefully.