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Friday, September 29, 2023


Ultimate frisbee club a home for many

Skyline, the ultimate frisbee club at Houston, was founded in 2011 and compete against other area universities. | Kathryn Lenihan/The Cougar

Skyline, the ultimate frisbee club at Houston, was founded in 2011 and competes against other Texas universities. | Kathryn Lenihan/The Cougar

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 to 11:30 p.m. at the fields by the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, a group of about 25 friends gather to play the sport they love — ultimate frisbee.

Skyline, the official name of the men’s ultimate frisbee club at UH, prides itself on being an inclusive organization at the University, letting anybody join no matter their background.

Some, according to players, even have no experience with the sport when signing up.

“There’s no one type of person that gets into ultimate, however, they all eventually turn into ultimate people,” said chemical engineering sophomore Piercen Hoekstra, a team captain on Skyline. “Most of the time the most experience our rookies have is just throwing a disc around or messing around with friends. Some come never having thrown a disc.”

Despite the inexperience, the rookies, a term used by Skyline to refer to newly anointed ultimate frisbee players, are welcome to sign up to join the club.

Many of those who take part, Hoekstra said, are former athletes who no longer play, but a substantial amount of people who never played sports at all also become part of the team.

“You have ex-athletes that come out but you also have a lot of people that have never played a sport before,” Hoekstra said. “Like I said before, being part of a team and part of the ultimate community is like having a second family.”

One such example is Alex Nordhal, a political science sophomore and good friend of Hoekstra on the team who discovered ultimate frisbee when he was 15 after dropping his former sport.

Now a team captain on Skyline, which competes against other in-state schools like Texas A&M, Texas and Texas State, Nordahl has enjoyed being around those passionate about the game as much as he is, and has experienced a lot since he first started playing.

“I had recently stopped playing baseball, and I was looking for something fun and active to do, and I found that with ultimate,” Nordahl said. “The community of players is always great to be around. I’ve truly learned so much over the past few years.”

Hoekstra, much like Nordahl, found his love for ultimate frisbee in high school, and he knew then it would be something he would want to continue at UH.

“I got introduced my freshman year of high school so it’s now my sixth since I got introduced to the sport,” Hoekstra said. “I knew coming in that it was one thing I definitely wanted to do in college.”

While the team is in the midst of a rebuild, according to Sam Scott, a senior double majoring in finance and accounting, Skyline’s president and team captain along with Hoekstra and Nordahl said that they stay competitive against other teams.

Still, he finds value in other aspects of the game, especially social.

For Scott, picking the best part about being in the ultimate frisbee club comes down to one choice — the relationships built.

“Definitely the friendships I’ve made with my teammates,” Scott said. “I’ve met some of my best friends from playing ultimate.”

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