Dublin’s Ultimate team (DUT) started in 2014 under the tutelage of Eric Nemitz, then Dean of Students and a former member of the Carleton College CUT team that won a national championship. In its early days, though DUT competed from the beginning against other schools, DUT was largely a developmental sport. Most if not all of the early players had never played before and there was no culture of Ultimate at Dublin to fall back on. Nemitz and his wife Jung Yun decided to explore other horizons professionally (a decision that they have since thankfully reversed!) and Jon Phinney was charged with developing the fledgling sport at Dublin.
While the team was always enthusiastic, competitive results against established programs were somewhat indifferent.
In 2016, Denis Maguire joined the faculty and took over the DUT program with Phinney. Maguire, an accomplished player at Bowdoin had high hopes in his first year. He expected the high level techniques and strategies that he had learned at Bowdoin and in club ultimate to translate instantly to the Dublin field. While some did, most did not, and Maguire realized that the team simply wasn’t ready for what he thought would work. As the 2016 season progressed, Maguire and Phinney refocused on developing throwing fundamentals and implementing a zone defense to counteract the potent offenses that they faced. While the team made progress through 2016, competitive results lagged — games were closer than before but the overall record reflected our inexperience.
Given our history, no one should have expected the rapid emergence of DUT as an Ultimate power this year. The team finished the season with a record of 13-3 (DUT avenged two of its early season losses later in the year). An increase in athleticism coupled with rapidly developing skills and strategic understanding led to a powerful offensive presence. Maguire says that “it is amazing…. the small things that make a huge difference. Putting team goals over individual accomplishments allowed us to have patience on offense and make smart decisions. There is no ego problem on this team.”
He cites the leadership of senior Katia Dermott and junior Silas Howe as key to this. “there is no bigger advocate for Dublin Ultimate than Katia. She has been here from the beginning… Silas has been passionate about the game even when we weren’t very good.”
Offensive success has been driven by the play of some really big offensive playmakers - Silas, Alexander “AJ” Simpson, and Miles Morgan. Newcomers Harrison Atlas’s offensive and defensive athleticism and Grady Allen’s handling skills have complemented the play of others. Mainly however “there has been a huge buy-in from all of the players to the system, which has allowed for in-game adjustments. They have all developed a new level of field sense. Adjustments make more sense. Winning is pretty fun too….”
DUT used to be a soft spot on other school's schedules. No more…