The weather may still be confused, but spring is here at Indiana Wesleyan University.
For Huck Dynasty, IWU’s ultimate frisbee club, the spring symbolizes both competition and community.
Spring also means the team has a chance to surprise other competitive ultimate clubs around the nation. According to the 2014 USA Ultimate Men’s Division Season Rankings, Huck Dynasty has officially achieved the No. 27 national ranking in Division III play.
Deep-cutter Michael Overbeck (so) successfully predicted this ranking last fall, stating his belief that the club would be ranked in the top 30 for Division III ultimate.
This ranking has been well-earned for the second year club. Huck Dynasty has defeated Division I clubs like Purdue, University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky in tournament play. They have also defeated five-time regional champion North Park, Division III No. 15-ranked Xavier, Miami of Ohio, Ohio Wesleyan and Wisconsin Parkside this season.
Huck Dynasty has grown immensely since their induction under the leadership of captain and coach Travis Carpenter (so). Carpenter joined the club as a transfer last year, helping develop an intramural sport into a school-supported club.
Carpenter is proud to share the success of his club, explaining how a win last fall against Division I-ranked University of Tennessee helped build confidence for his players.
“Beating University of Tennessee was huge for our guys,” said Carpenter. “We’re not talked about as a threat on ultimate [frisbee] sites online, we’re not even mentioned because no one thought we were talented enough. Beating Tennessee got the team pumped, and got our confidence up for spring.”
Carpenter said Huck Dynasty was unranked last year because of poor commitment, as the IWU club was only in its first year. Now, he is excited to share the growth he has seen in 7 months, watching his club surge to a national ranking of 139 of 313 clubs in Division I and Division III combined.
“We have exceeded my expectations by miles this year,” stated Carpenter. “We now have 16 players, and used this past fall as a time to grow. My goal this year is to reach regional’s and become ranked top 16 in Division III.”
Carpenter certainly does not disregard how talented the division is, explaining how a regional upset against North Park University in Chicago will be his focus at the end of April.
While Carpenter believes this year’s club is talented, he expects next season to be the club’s breakout year when more newcomers join.
“We really envision ourselves going to nationals next year,” Carpenter said. “We can always use more players, so even if you think you can’t play, you will surprise yourself in what you can learn to do with a disc.”