The ultimate frisbee team had a dominant showing at their official debut on Saturday, Sept. 14, and hope to keep the ball rolling from here on out.
Two of the star players for the Oklahoma Christian University were freshman pair Kevin van Roosmalen and Larry Crooks. In a recent interview with the Talon, Crooks and Roosmalen shared what got them involved in the sport and interested in the team.
Roosmalen had high praises for the coach and said he was the one who got him interested in the ultimate program on campus.
“The coach made me feel really welcome to the school,” Rooslmalen said. “It is a great opportunity for me to grow as a player.”
Brooks said it was the camaraderie which appealed to him the most, but also the physicality of ultimate which led him to joining the team.
“I decided to play ultimate because I wanted to stay in shape and make friends,” Crooks said. “I come from a small little town and making friends is scary, so being forced to interact with people was the best route for me.”
Both players think the team is headed in a good direction and has a nice dynamic to start the year off. Roosmalen feels they bond well and all share similar goals for their dynamic.
“I think the team chemistry is great,” Roosmalen said. “We talked about it a lot and most of us want this to be similar to a real family.”
Crooks also described the team as a family, saying the group has a lot of fun together despite only knowing each other for a short time.
“The team’s chemistry is incredible,” Crooks said. “After only four weeks of knowing each other, we already feel like a family and just mess around.”
The players also have high hopes for where the team is headed in the near future with them and once they are gone. Roosmalen shared the concerns he sees, as well as what he hopes for the team.
“The future of the team as of now is not great,” Roosmalen said. “but I hope that we can convince more players from Europe and the U.S. to join us.”
Crooks believes once people realize what ultimate is about the sport’s popularity will grow and hopes more people will come because of it.
“I 100% believe that ultimate will grow,” Crooks said. “Once people realize that it is fun and the people are not going to bite, they will come.”
When asked about how they feel about their stiff competition throughout all three collegiate divisions, both Crooks and Roosmalen describe the competition as a fun challenge to undertake.
As a former Dutch National Team player, Roosmalen said he is not wavered by the bigger schools and considers them good competition and a worthy challenge for the new team. Crooks is enthusiastic for the competition and says it is fun showing the bigger schools how the team shows up to play hard.
“Personally, for me it is not a challenge since I have played on the Dutch National Team,” Roosmalen said. “But it is great practice to play against Division I schools, and we can give some Division I schools a good fight.”
“Competition itself is amazing, but the fact that we go up against different divisions is even more fun,” Crooks said. “When we hold our own against those teams and show them we came to play, it is just a great feeling.”