Flames go out in blaze of glory at Chucktown Throwdown
February 17, 2013 | Charleston, S.C.
While its women's team was competing at the Commonwealth Cup in Martinsville, 10 members of Liberty University's men's ultimate frisbee team took a winter fling to Charleston, S.C., for the Chucktown Throwdown, a 16-team event open to collegiate club and alumni teams.
The Flames, who feature a young but talented squad with numerous new faces in the lineup for their third season of competition, finished fifth with a 4-3 record in the two-day tournament. Their three losses came against the first-, third-, and fourth-place teams.
"Overall, it was a really good tournament," Liberty head coach Jason Jarrett said, noting it was a college tournament but it wasn't sanctioned by USA Ultimate. "The guys did really well. They came out this weekend and showed what their ability was. It was probably the best tournament we've played in the three years we've had a program. It was a good experience."
After going 3-5 at club sectionals last semester, "the guys stepped up even more so this weekend," he added.
The highlight of the 7-on-7 weekend competition was actually a loss to N.C. State's alumni team, the eventual champion, which included five players off the Ring of Fire, which finished third in the nation last year at the club level.
"They were up 8-1 at halftime and we brought it back to 13-9 and ended up losing 15-10," Jarrett said. "Considering the level of players they had and how far back we were, the guys really stepped it up.
"That was by far the best team that we've played in the history of our program," he added. "They were really good. They play at the top level of the sport. Afterwards, they were telling us how impressed they were. They were surprised at how well our guys were in condition and how well we were running with them, forcing a lot of turnovers."
In Liberty's six games (N.C. State's alumni team forfeited to the Flames in the last round of pool play), Jarrett calculated that it forced opposing teams into 80 turnovers.
"That doesn't include unforced errors on their part," he said. "It's literally knocking the frisbee down or intercepting it, and we had an average of 13 per game. That's really good. We had one of the best defensive teams there because our guys are conditioned really well."
Luke Laubscher led the Flames with 10 defenses, which includes intercepting the disc or knocking it down before an opposing player can catch it.
Haydn Bibby was Liberty's top handler, throwing for 17 scores, or assists, and Travis Felker was the team's high scorer with 11 catches in the end zone.
Sandon Fisher, Liberty's team captain who injured his knee in practice two weeks ago, returned to the lineup on Sunday and played exceptionally well, according to Jarrett.
"He made 100 percent of his catches and was in the 90 percentile in passes," Jarrett said. "He played injured and played a key role in two of our wins today."
The Flames opened tournament play Saturday with a 13-5 victory over UNC Charlotte, before beating one of three College of Charleston alumni teams, Bum Alum Y, 10-9.
"They were up and it came down to the final two scores and we took two in a row to win that game," Jarrett said.
Liberty then defeated East Tennessee State 15-7 before picking up the forfeit win over N.C. State's alumni team, which already had the top seed going into Sunday's championship bracket.
Its other two losses came to South Carolina, the eventual third-place team, 13-5, and Bum Alum X, which finished fourth, by a 13-6 count.