DUFF: The Road to Nationals

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The year started out very rough, with DUFF (Davidson Ultimate Frisbee Folk, or Family) going 0-7 at the first tournament of the spring. After this tournament, we had a long meeting where the players came together to decide what we wanted out of this season. It was a difficult discussion, with many different ideas of where the team should go and how to get there, but at the end of the meeting we decided we were going to put in all the work necessary to make it back to nationals.

The meeting and the work we put in after the meeting paid off, at the next tournament, we went 7-0 and won our first ever regular season tournament (defeating teams like Duke, UNC Charlotte, College of Charleston and Wake Forest). The next tournament, we went 4-3 (beating eventual national champion Richmond). Our last regular season tournament of the year, we went 5-2, dropping two game-point games the first day, followed by a championship bracket where we crushed every team we faced on our way to another tournament win.

We finished the regular season ranked sixth in the Nation for DIII teams. At conferences, we had a flawless first day, going 4-0 with only one close game (against Elon). The second day got rained out, so we were declared the winner. At regionals, we came in as the second ranked team, behind 3rd in the country Richmond. We ended up making to the championship of regionals, where we fell to Richmond. However, by placing second, we clinched a trip to DIII Nationals.

At nationals, we were seeded eighth out of 16 and put in the pool with the #1 DIII team in the country, Bryant.

We came in knowing that we were one of the top teams in the country, we just had to prove it to everyone else. Our offense clicked from the get-go and never relented. It was smooth, efficient and precise. Our defense came out with fierce intensity and took advantage of every mistake that the other team made.

Through fantastic coaching, loud, weird and energetic sidelines, and a drive to prove ourselves, we willed our way past every team we played until the championship.

During the championship game, we traded the lead back and forth with Richmond. At the end of the day, a few unforced errors on our part were the difference in the game. We fought hard and gave it everything we could, and finished second in the country. I am so proud to have played on such an amazing, fun and loving team for the past four years.

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Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson ’17 graduated from Davidson in absentia, along with his fellow DUFFers.

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