More than 70 Dogfish hopefuls were at the West Sunset Fields on Sunday, March 3, ready to put their best disc forward.
Players warmed up their throws and trash talk, and wondering aloud how the new Innova Pulsar handled. Height, age and experience varied. Passion for the game did not. ABC7 news was on hand shooting footage and doing player interviews before things got underway.
Coach Justin Safdie gave a quick overview: groups would be rotating through drills and scrimmages over the course of the four-hour tryout. As the news camera rolled and UltiPhoto’s Scott Roeder snapped away, players powered through a series of drills to test throwing and cutting skills.
Those who missed Wednesday’s combine were periodically pulled out of the action and measured. Height, wingspan, jumping, sprinting, throwing—today was their chance to show what they could do with all of those measurements and stats.
During a one-on-one defensive drill, Safdie instructed, “I want to see more chest-to-chest. You are dictating on D where the O goes.” The players took up the mantle, cheering each other on and offering advice while they jostled, laid out and thundered across the field.
As the day wore on the temperature dropped and the wind rose, but the energy and excitement was evident as the players brought their spirit of teamwork into the first round of scrimmages. “It’s just great to be out here with incredible athletes, playing hard together and seeing old friends,” said tryout Jason Seidler.
A small group of spectators had trickled in by the end of the next set of drills. They were supporting friends or teammates, or rooting for strangers who seemed to be strong contenders. One woman happily announced that she already bought her season tickets.
As the second scrimmages began, the sky lightened and you could see the ocean from the fields. The pace was as relentless as the waves, with players now under pressure to score within 60 seconds, simulating a likely scenario in the MLU’s timed quarter system.
At the end of the day players gathered to stretch and joke and thank the volunteers that pulled it all together. Although some were icing, all were smiling. “It was a great day. My hamstrings haven’t hurt like this…ever,” grinned tryout Adam Koren.
Notifications will go out by email this week as the pool of potential players is narrowed down. The next selection round will take place next Saturday before the roster of 25 is finalized.