The Youngstown State University ultimate Frisbee team, Aperture Ultimate, had their first game of the season on Sunday. The team was created by Alex Hunt, a former YSU student, and has been an intramural sport on campus for five years.
This season, Aperture Ultimate has the largest and most active roster in team history. The black and blue colored team represented YSU this past weekend in Niagara Falls, New York.
Josh Lyder, the team’s captain and president, said he is excited at all of the potential this year’s team has to offer.
“We’ve had a very active fall and have been really excited on how high our roster bumped up this year,” he said.
The team’s roster has over 30 active players this year — a team record. In the past, the team has had between 15-20 players on their roster. Many of the players on the team have never played ultimate Frisbee before, but learned to play it pretty quickly.
“We bring on anyone willing to play. We start off just by teaching the sport,” Lyder said.
Macayla Macklin, Lyder’s girlfriend, is one of four female players on the team.
“We make sure to tell the guys to play the way they generally would,” Macklin said.
Macklin said she believes this season will be a lot different than the past because of the numbers on the roster. It will also differ because of the commitment the players are putting into the team.
Ultimate Frisbee is a relatively new sport to the area, but Lyder said first time players can learn the sport quickly.
“Really, playing the sport is new, and that makes it something a lot of people want to pick up,” he said.
Lyder said he believes that Frisbee has gained popularity in the area — especially on campus because of people’s curiosity and willingness to learn something new.
“Being on the cutting edge, and being apart of YSU, is kind of like being the pioneer of the sport here,” Lyder said.
Cody Gillespie, a new player to the Aperture Ultimate team, has played recreational Frisbee in the past, but this will be his first competitive venture. He said he believes ultimate Frisbee is similar to other common sports.
“It’s a lot like soccer and football mixed,” Gillespie said.
The team prides themselves on being a close-knit group, with a few veterans returning. The team co-captains are Travis Kneen, Timothy Shreeve and Brandon Mirto.
“We have a core that are really close, and we become good friends off of the field,” Lyder said.