(April 10, 2015) The complexity of the game’s strategy, the quick switch from offense to defense after a turnover and the vigilance required to keep tabs on every player of the field are what drew Bryant Dean, 30, to high-level Ultimate Frisbee.
“I played basketball and tennis through high school, but I found I prefer team sports,” Dean said, “I started at Salisbury University and continued with the pickup leagues while I was lifeguarding at Assateague, but I was always hopeful for the pros.”
Dean landed at Salisbury University in 2005, where the game found him.
“It’s easy to play but there’s a lot going on. At the top end of the game it can get great and be very nuanced. When I explain that level of play in football terms, it’s like playing seven-on-seven with one quarterback and six receivers.”
This is where the beauty of the game emerges for Dean, and his passion for the sport is evident.
“I love watching teammates flow offensively, because I think it’s the prettiest part of the game. As a defensive player I like to see good offensive work,” he said.
Watching what the offense is doing, and moving to support it is one of Dean’s strengths as a player.
“You have to play all the angles to maximize your defensive advantage — that’s how you win games,” he said, “The angles are more important than the one-on-one matchups. I want to be the guy taking away the most options for the offense. I want to be the guy making sure your guy never touches the disc.”
He’s knowledgeable and passionate, which can come across as overbearing to someone without a deep understanding of the game, until his advice clicks.
“The more options you see the more you can do and more fun you can have. When you see the change in what happens to players as they begin to understand the game, I get really pumped up on that. I learn and get good at things so I can show other people. In that way I can give back to the game,” he said.
Dean said he plans to utilize his place on the D.C. Breeze to further his understanding of the game, and give back to the communities who have supported him.
“I began this quest three years ago,” he said, upon discovering that professional Ultimate Frisbee was an option. He began training, practicing and playing to improve his skills and understanding. He joined the Baltimore-area club team Medicine Men and Beach Ultimate club team Humiliswag with Breeze teammate Alex Jacoski. When open tryouts were announced this year, he knew he was ready.
“You get better by playing with better people. I’m excited for the opportunity,” he said.
The free pickup games at the Northern Worcester athletic fields in Berlin on Monday nights at 6 p.m. resumed last week and will continue until late September at least. Newcomers, or the merely curious are encouraged to drop in. Running shoes and a desire to play are all that’s required.
The Beach league starts in early June and costs $60 for a 10-week season. Free pickup games have started in advance of the season, located at Somerset Street at 6 p.m. weather permitting.
The Beach season will be capped with the second Ocean City Beach Classic August 15-16, 2015 in downtown Ocean City. The roster will expand to 24 mixed-gender teams in a five-on-five format this year.
For details, visit www.ocbeachultimate.com or search Ocean City Beach Ultimate on Facebook.