Ultimate Frisbee encourages ministry

Nestled between the tennis courts and soccer field sits a field of a different kind.

It belongs to the Ultimate Frisbee team.

The Men’s Ultimate Frisbee team, led by captains Andrew Goode, Chris Genheimer and Aric Powers works hard to learn and love a sport while still striving to bring God the glory in everything they do.

This group of energetic and committed men practices hard, and strives to win, but still finds the most value in building strong relationships with each other on and off the field.

Senior Andrew Goode has been a part of the team since his freshman year, and has seen a lot of growth and change over the past few years.

“Leadership has been an issue for the team before,” Goode said. “I was a captain by the second semester of my sophomore year, and seeing how we want the team to bond has really spurred us on to take leadership seriously.”

For junior Kyle Dyer, the team bonding and community is also a big part of why he enjoys being a part of the team.

“It’s a good outlet for me to get to run and chase a disk,” Dyer said. “But it’s also a good ministry experience. The Ultimate scene is normally pretty negative. I see it as a ministry. We pray with teams after playing them. It’s pretty neat to hear other teams say that they notice we are different.”

Along with praying with opposing teams at tournaments, Goode also noted that the team will hold a Bible study on the Saturday nights during tournament weekends, and they strive to build intentional relationships with each other for accountability and attitude.

This past May, the Men’s Ultimate Frisbee team made an appearance at Nationals for the first time in JBU history.

16 members of the team made the trek to Milwaukee, Wis. in May to participate in the National tournament, and even though they didn’t do as well as they had hoped, they continued to give the glory to the Lord.

“Nationals was a great experience,” Dyer said. “No one knew who we were there. There were no expectations for us. We were able to make a name for ourselves. We played really well. Most teams we play have close to 30 guys. You have to have seven playing at times, so sometimes it was really tiring.”

Dyer added that the team definitely earned their spot at Nationals, and that the experience at Nationals captured the entire season.

“Each team is rated on spirit at the end of games. We won the spirit award,” Dyer said. “God’s name was exalted among the top 15 teams in the country. I kind of see it as God being funny. We didn’t win, but God had a victory.”

Goode noted that Nationals brought the team together as a whole. None of the team members from last year graduated, so the team has grown quite a bit this year.

As for the next season, both Goode and Dyer want to take their positive experiences and bring energy to the new players.

About a dozen new players showed interest in playing for the team this year.

“For the first few months we will focus on building community,” Goode said. “We’ve encouraged returning players to pick a freshman and mentor him and be a friend through the sport and hopefully into their spiritual life as well.”

According to Goode, there are tournaments the team partakes in the first semester, but that the second semester is when things really start to pick up. The first tournament that the team will partake in is coming soon, called “Rookie Ride” where only players who have played for less than four semesters are allowed to participate.

The team will continue working and doing their best throughout this next year, but also giving God the glory in all they do.

“After winning the spirit award, I think this year will mark a change with attitudes,” Dyer said. “We are relationally focused. Teams look forward to playing us because they like our attitude whether we win or lose.”