Halloween will come a week late for John Brown University’s Ultimate Frisbee clubs.
Ironfist and Savage Skies will travel to Fayetteville, Ark. dressed as hobos and bugs on Friday. They will be competing in the Harvest Moon Classic, a tournament known for its comical peculiarity of each team dressing up in a themed costumes.
“It’s also focused a lot on spirit awards and competitive play,” Savage Skies captain and cutter, Greta Smith, said. “It will be a lot of fun being dressed up.”
Every time the clubs attend the tournament, the players are amused to see what kinds of costumes the opposing teams will be sporting. In the past, opposing teams have played while dressed as hillbillies, baseball players and even religious groups.
“Last year, I think we played a team of Mormons from U of A,” Ironfist handle, Jacob Hash, said. “That was really fun. They came in shirts and ties. It was great.”
On a more serious note, the teams plan to use the tournament as a time to give the less-experienced members a chance to gain experience for the official season in the spring.
Returning members of both clubs are eager to see how old and new players will work together.
“I am really excited for this tournament as it will be the first time that our whole team plays together,” Ironfist cutter, Ethan Bolthouse, said. “The first tournament we went to was mainly for our rookies to gain some experience. This will be our first look at playing as a full team.”
“We definitely want to continue to develop our rookies and develop our team chemistry,” Smith said of her team. “Just getting a lot of playing time with different people will be really important.”
As they have fun wearing costumes and improving the teams’ play, Ironfist and Savage Skies also have an opportunity to represent Christ in their actions.
Hash expressed how their positive image is sometimes a stark contrast to the teams they play.
“It’s really common for more experienced players who aren’t playing as much to come out on the field holding a beer in their left hand and throwing the Frisbee with their right,” Hash said. “The first time I saw this, I was like, ‘what is going on?’”
Hash explained that his team’s contrary conduct put them in a great position to represent their beliefs to the opposing teams.
“In a really visible way, we were entering into the reality of this community and not saying ‘we disapprove of you’ or ‘what you’re doing is wrong,’” Hash said. “We were just saying, ‘hey, we look differently and we’d love to tell you about it.’”
Amid these goals, both teams would also like to see themselves come away with a victory.
“I’d like to see us in the winner’s bracket on Sunday and maybe even come away with the number one spot,” Bolthouse said. “I’m not sure how attainable that is but I can definitely see us putting up a tough fight against any team we play.”
“We have seen an increase in competitiveness and skill from last year, so we do want to be competitive and do well at all the games,” Smith said.