Biohazard hosts the ultimate tournament

Lined up with the other six players, I get into running stance, looking across the field for the signal. From the other side the disc soars toward us and up into the night sky and we are off.

From the sidelines, cheers from teammates and friends along with blasting music from someone’s speakers follow us as the two teams merge on the field. The defenders find the people they are marking, and we begin cutting back and forth on the field trying to get the disc to the end zone.

While waiting for a turn to run for the disc, the occasional player will break out in a dance to keep the excitement going, all the while shouting encouragements to teammates. The colorful Hawaiian shirts of our team swoop past the bright white jerseys of the opposing team.

After a long point of playing our hardest using complex strategies and formations, the final play happens. A handler chucks the disc across the field and a player appears out of nowhere to catch it in the end zone.

We score.

The evening of Nov. 7 was the beginning of the Mixed Ultimate Home Tournament. Ultimate, more commonly known as Biohazard Ultimate Frisbee, is a student-run club sport at Guilford.

The seven invited teams joined team Biohazard on the Armfield Athletic field at 5 p.m. Ultimate tournaments usually occur during the heat of the day, but that weekend the grass fields were closed due to recent rains.

Soon after the football game ended, the ultimate teams took over. It was Guilford’s first ever night tournament, and play lasted until almost midnight.

Nine hours after the first day ended, games resumed on the ultimate fields until players were truly exhausted.

I have been a Biohazard team member for more than a year, and like my teammates I could not wait for the home tournament.

We arrived at the stadium before the tournament began and started warming up with drills, getting energized to start playing. We expected a competitive tournament against teams like College of William and Mary, Wingate University and the Guilford alumni team, Hazmat.

Like any ultimate tournament, we would run hard, get in good plays and also have fun and get to know other teams in the spirit of the game.

What we did not expect was the showing of Guilford students to support our team.

Propelled by cheers from fans and the love of the game, Biohazard radiated levels of excitement and energy I had never seen before from the team. Before games, we huddled up to strategize and shout our team cheers at unreasonable volumes, from the simple “One, two, three, Bio love,” to the longer Quaker-themed chant starting with “Fight, fight, inner light.”

The tournament went well for our team. Due to more equal gender representation on the team this year, women players enjoyed more play time at this tournament. The team featured a ratio of three women out of seven players on the field during most points played.

One of the most lasting results of the tournament, though, were the experiences of people there. Students who stopped by to watch found entertainment and school spirit at the games. Teams who came from other places saw the best sides of Guilford, with enjoyable games and good camaraderie.

The Guilford home team thrived on representing the school.

There are those who say that ultimate is not a real sport like the varsity teams at Guilford. The home tournament this month proved that ultimate brings all of the excitement, competition and talent to the school that any other sport brings.