(May 1, 2015) In early October 2014, USA Ultimate, the national governing body of organized Ultimate Frisbee, announced the inaugural beach championship to be held in Virginia Beach, May 2-3, 2015.
Local pro Alex Jacoski, fresh from organizing the first season of Ocean City Beach Ultimate, and its signature tournament, the Ocean City Beach Classic, knew he needed to pull together his Humiliswag club team to make a run at the tournament title.
Jacoski put a squad together featuring Ultimate Frisbee training guru, Tim Morrill, soon-to-be teammate on the DC Breeze team, Bryant Dean, pickup player, Dan Dypsky, and recent transplant, Jordan Queckboerner, who will compete in this weekend’s inaugural beach championship as well as take the next step to make Ocean City a destination for beach and pickup Ultimate Frisbee.
The Ocean City team has been seeded second in the tournament. Being on the No. 2 squad is bittersweet for Morrill, since the No. 1 team is a club from Boston that Morrill coached for two years.
The Ocean City games have come a long way since Jacoski started organizing leagues, setting schedules and enforcing game rules. His stated goals are to make the Ocean City area an incubator for talent to step up the level of play utilizing the facilities, fields and beach that aren’t available elsewhere.
This is Jacoski’s second year playing for the DC Breeze, and he was named strength and conditioning coach for the team this year owing it to his work with Humiliswag teammate, Morrill.
Morrill and Jacoski were co-captains of Salisbury University’s Buzz club team as students. Morrill formed his own business, Morrill Performance, based on developing Ultimate Frisbee specific training modules. He spent the last few years circling the globe training and coaching teams, but has landed in Ocean City once again to promote the area as a destination for the game.
“I was always told to create the product you want to use,” Morrill said, after noticing there were no specific training regimens dedicated to his sport.
An Achilles tendon injury put a damper on his play for a while, forcing him to focus on the conditioning side. Now that he’s healed, he said he could rededicate himself to the game.
“I sort of came in the back way. Usually you play high-level Ultimate and then focus on the conditioning aspect, but I’m going at it the other way around,” he said.
Dean won a spot on the DC Breeze with Jacoski earlier in the year, but has played on previous Humiliswag incarnations and in the pickup leagues. Playing professional Ultimate had been a long-term goal for Dean, who is now focused on winning the tournament and highlighting the area as a place to train for the pros.
“I’m so proud of what’s going on down here in Ocean City and with the leagues. We’re furthering the top end of the game, and players come down to play with us. It’s exciting on a lot of levels what we’ve built here,” Dean said.
For Dean, teamwork is key.
“At the end of the day the club is who you’re with, and it’s all about being good ambassadors for the game.”
Dypsky is new to the team, but not the game. His participation in the pickup league predates Jacoski’s involvement. He works at Marty’s Playland full time and is married with two children.
“[Jacoski and Morrill] called me on April Fool’s Day and told me they thought I could be an asset to the team. I’m still not convinced it’s not a joke, and if it is, it’s a long running one,” he said.
Dypsky competes in triathlons and adventure races as well as playing soccer, and said his goal is to complete an Ironman.
“The challenge for me is to catch up with the strategy in a high-level game,” he said.
Queckboerner, a recent transplant, left a job in Iowa selling Kellogg’s cereals to move to West Ocean City specifically to train in both beach and Ultimate Frisbee.
“I attended a class Tim Morrill was teaching, and he introduced me to the game. I like the athleticism, the competition the people and the atmosphere,” he said.
Queckboerner competed against Jacoski during the World Championships earlier in the year in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Team Qatar.
Pickup games are played at the Worcester Athletic Complex off Route 113 Monday nights at 6 p.m. The Beach league will begin later this year and be held on Thursday nights.
For more information, visit www.ocbeachultimate.com.