The inaugural season of the DC Current will be very much a mix of old and new. The old, of course, to those familiar with the national club scene, begin with the members of Truck Stop Ultimate, which has been the dominant men’s team south of Philadelphia, PA and North of Raleigh, NC since 2006. They’ve done a steadily excellent job of reloading every single year with athletes who move to the area for any number of things. That DC is the power base of politics in the US is not least among them.

The first group of players we’re going to explore are all from Truck Stop, and are all ready to make an impact in MLU: Tom Doi, Daniel Kantor, Sean Keegan, Markham Shofner and Jeff Wodatch. This group is emblematic of what the DC Current was looking for in players this season: fast, creative, mercilessly aggressive and dedicated to improvement. The one who has set the tone from the very beginning has been Sean Keegan.

There’s something odd about the way Keegan moves on the field. It isn’t that he’s the absolute fastest player on the team (he’s actually the slowest of these five), it just all seems easier for him. On the other hand, as Assistant Coach Will Smolinski notes, “Keegan will do anything to win and is one of the toughest competitors in Ultimate.” Taken together, it provides an accurately dissonant notion of exactly what Keegan is like on the field, a player who easily competes as hard as he can every step of the way. In so doing, he’s set the bar high for every one of the tryouts for the DC Current.

One of the players who seems as physically a dominating presence on the field during tryouts as Sean has been Jeff Wodatch. While each is only 6′ and 6’1″ respectively, they both display the ability to establish a presence in an area and maintain it in order to get a clean bid on an airborne disc. So too their footwork coming in and out of cuts and throws is crisp and aggressive. This accentuates their ability to dominate a space with their strength.

The near-exact opposite of this seems to be the focus of Tom Doi’s game. As a primarily offensive cutter, Doi seems to both get open and reach over piles to get the disc without so much as a hint of fighting for position. Suddenly, there’s Tom with the disc in his hand, calmly landing and looking to press his team’s advantage with his throws.

Throws? Markham Shofner knows throws. He’s shown some of the most consistent big rips during tryouts. You’ll see him working to gain position and momentum to best exploit his throws with excellent short-cutting footwork. He’s working, in his own words, to be “the best player, on the best team, in the best league.” Now this is what DC expects: Excellence.

Which brings us to the one, the only, Danny Frisbee. I mean Kantor, Daniel Kantor. Kantor has come in and been a presence on and off the field from the jump. He’s been positive, competitive, encouraging and demanding. He started in excellent shape, and has served as an illustration of why and how, exactly, hard work pays off in Ultimate.

After touring the club scene, Truck Stop has returned home to help the Current bring a professional title to DC.

About The Author

Dusty played college ultimate for New York University from 1998-2002, captaining for his final three years. From 2003-2009 he filled various roles for New Jersey's Pike from deepest bench to O-line cutter, D-line handler, O-line handler, and captain before concluding his club career with an opportunity in 2010 to represent New York City on PoNY's D-line. While never qualifying for college regionals, Rhodes played at six Club Nationals in the Open Division (finishing from dead last to tied for third) and coached Drew University to a fifth place college regional finish in 2005. Dusty earned a degree in English and American Literature from NYU and spent all of his remaining energy playing pickup basketball and writing for NYU's Washington Square News.

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One Response

  1. Nikki Roy

    When I was a kid, my dad had a friend who had grown up on Long Island in the 1920s. This friend told me about the day, when he was a kid, that he went to a field near his house where a bunch of people had gathered to watch a plane take off. So he watched the plane take off and went home for dinner, no big deal. Turns out it was Charles Lindbergh taking off to fly across the Atlantic. My dad’s friend couldn’t have imagined that this was a moment history would one day look back to.

    I feel that way about watching last night’s game between the DC Current and the Philadelphia Spinners (April 20, 2013). No food or drink concessions. A scoreboard that wasn’t working. T-shirts thrown by hand instead of with a T-shirt cannon. A PA system with sound quality Lindbergh would’ve recognized. A boisterous and engaged crowd of friends and family, 90% of whom knew somebody on the field. A team captain who had torn his contact lenses before the game and was playing without them. Incredibly high level of play, between players out there purely for the love of the sport.

    Okay, maybe it wasn’t Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic. But history, at least the history of sport, will one day look back on this moment. I am honored to have witnessed it.

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