By Samuel J. Fanburg
ITHACA, NY— As the wind blows across the Cornell sports practice fields, senior Dan Cho stands still. Watching the football team practice in their 26,000 person capacity stadium, Cho slowly packs up the back of his Jeep Grand Cherokee, with red jerseys, an assortment of Frisbees, and orange practice cones.
“I’ve been playing ultimate Frisbee for about six years now,” he says. “What originally drew me to the sport was the ability to be involved with such a team dynamic. I don’t think a lot of people know how much teamwork plays into Ultimate Frisbee. It really requires a team effort to get the disc from one side of the field to the other.”
Dan Cho is the captain of the Cornell Buds, Cornell’s premier Ultimate Frisbee team. Since 2004, the club has been continually competing at a collegiate level obtaining a certain level of notoriety. Last year the team finished with an impressive 33-5 record placing first place in the Regional final until falling to ninth place in the national tournament. Yet, with all their accolades, one thing that continually plagues their team’s popularity is Cornell’s unwillingness to give out as much as funding as it gives other sports.
“It’s frustrating sometimes,” said Senior Garrett Bernstein. “Many times I feel that the sport that I play is unappreciated by my University which sometimes makes me question why I choose to play, but in the end I think it’s the passion that people have for Frisbee that makes it have such a cult following.”
The under funded club has to deal with these issues in unconventional ways. By not having a coach, the team captain simply doubles as a coach instructing the team on how to best compete. In addition, to receive funding for materials the team turns to pass alumnus for assistance.
“We are lucky we have such a close knit alumni network,” said Cho. “By having them finance our activities the team aspect of our club is that much stronger.”
With three other tournaments this season, the team prepares by having practices everyday, but they are not insomuch a hassle as a time to hangout with friends as Senior Dan Cutler observed, “Because we are so marginalized I think that we are able to find solace in each other, translating into a stronger team dynamic.