Hartford Lighthouse – ME – HUD – DIII - Hartford, CT
Q.)What’s the best part of playing for Hartford?
A.) The best part about playing for Hartford is obviously all the ladies. It’s non-stop girls hitting on you, it’s pretty crazy. We walk around in our fresh subs from VC and all the girls can’t resist. Quite honestly, it’s like fishing with dynamite. Women just respect the dudes on Lighthouse. Playing at Hartford just makes you irresistible to the ladies. It’s like an aphrodisiac or something.
Q.)How is the recruiting process going so far this year?
A.) I think that the recruiting process is going incredibly swimmingly this year. The rookie class this year has a lot of talent and potential. Not to mention the numbers we managed to get out. This past weekend, we had the better part of 40-50 new players come out for the team. Are all of them going to stick with? Of course not, but I think the ones that do will be pretty special.
A.) We have 19 veterans from last year returning back this Fall, with one more who plan on coming back in the Spring semester. Our elder statesmen/grad-student Mike “Papa Bear” Luebeck unfortunately graduated and moved on to the real world. Other than Luebeck, we only lost two other people from last year. Losing Luebeck really hurt the team’s swag and sexiness. But I think that we have a number of people on our team who are going to be “bringing sexy back.”
*Editor’s note: It’s always a sad day when Luebeck graduates; I miss that handsome man
Q.) What tournaments are you planning on attending this year?
A.) One of the biggest tournaments we plan on attending is High Tide, down in Georgia. On top of that, we’d like to do around 4-5 tournaments this Fall hopefully including; Coffee Cup/Brisk Winds, Bridgewater Toilet Bowl, Conn College’s tournament and Lemony Fresh. All of this is dependant on the bids that we get and other potential tournaments that pop up. The most important though is Sectionals and Regionals, both of which we plan on attending this year. It’ll be the first year we do it and I plan on outshining the basketball teams.
Q.) Favorite tournament story from someone on your team:
This year on our way to High Tide one of the cars with our captains stopped in D.C. to check out the monuments. They did this at like 5:00-5:30 “as the city was waking up.” Of course they threw the disc around and saw all the monuments at the crack of dawn. This ended up being a very long pit stop for them. They were probably the last ones to get to the hotel in Georgia and when they got there they just raved about stopping at the monuments. They couldn’t stop talking about it. Well my car ended up stopping there on the way back at night and it was the first time that I had ever seen any of the monuments in person. It was incredibly inspiring and moving. I have a feeling that the team will be making that stop again this year.
Q.) When does your team play best, man or zone, ho or vert? trap cup, standard 3 man, 4 man? 1-3-3?
I think our offense runs ho-stack the best. Our handlers are our biggest asset and they have the ability to break anyone. We like to move the disc around and having that third handler really helps. It also spreads our cutters out so that they aren’t as stagnant. The cutters this year are going to be going incredibly hard and fighting for positioning like never before, so I imagine getting more of them cutting at once will make us tough to stop. On defense, our standard three-man cup is our favorite way to go. Our top cup line is pretty aggravating, especially when we get them stuck on the sideline. The guys we have running in it are chomping at the bit to get a zone defense going. They live for the cup.
A.) Well before we were, “Hartford Lighthouse” we were actually, “Prime Mover.” It had something to do with the Philosophical argument made by Aristotle. After about two years of this name, the guys on the team decided that the name sucked horribly and decided to change it. Hartford legend goes that our vets attended Lemony Fresh in 2008 and decided to celebrate by having a few drinks inside of some lighthouse in Rhode Island. It was there that they discussed the lameness of the current name and decided that it would be funny if they were instead called, “Lighthouse.” The idea that a team from Hartford, Connecticut, a city with zero lighthouses, would be named “Lighthouse” was just ironic enough that to work.
Q.) What is your favorite tournament in New England?
A.) My favorite tournament the Connecticut College tournament they do the last weekend of October. That was the first tournament I ever attended way back in the day, (2009.) Since it is right around Halloween, costumes are encouraged. Not many people do them, but it’s always a riot when they do. I was Quailman one year and Luigi another. I’m pretty sure I saw a watermelon playing last year. The tournament is very close to us and Conn College has such amazing fields. They do a real good job of running a tournament.
Q.) Any rivals?
A.) Some people on our team would actually think that the CCSU Blue Barracuda’s are our rivals. Those people are actually sadly mistaken. We have had the misfortune of playing them on several occasions and built a repertoire with them. We are two completely different teams. For instance, our team showers on a regular occasion. The guys at CCSU might be the smelliest people I’ve ever encountered. I think that’s part of their X-Factor. They use that to their advantage. A lot of teams don’t even want to share the same field with them, let alone be at the same tournament. A perfect example is CCSU Alum Eric Rathbun, (who we call Eric Rathbum on the account that he smells like a dirty bum.) When you hear someone say that CCSU plays dirty, they don’t mean that in a cheating type way, the literally mean the plays are covered in filth. Minus Timmer; he’s just a peach. Our real rivals though are probably Oregon or Wisconsin.
Q.)Who are your captains? And who are your strongest players (ones that should be nominated for all region)
A.) Our captains this year are Luke DiOrio and Taylor Campbell. Luke is one of the best players I’ve ever had the chance to play with and I’ve never seen anyone who works harder to get better at ultimate than him. Taylor is very good in his own right too. He came back this summer and he’s started to play angry. He runs with purpose and on top of that, he’s going to run faster than you. The scariest thing about these two though is that they are only juniors. I get chills thinking about what they are going to be like by the end of their senior year.
When nomination time comes around this year, the other people who will be nominated will probably be Ian Magor, Jon Narmontas, and David “Deebs” Bigbee. Ian is an absolute monster who is going to destroy anyone who challenges him in the air. Jon was nominated last year because he beats everyone so effortlessly. Deebs is going to be huge this year. He has all the throws and he is going to be very integral to how this team runs offense.
A.) I feel pretty fortunate that I regularly play with someone who had the opportunity to be on Rampage. On top of getting to tell everyone that my roommate/captain plays professional ultimate, he also relays a lot of the things he learns for Rampage to us. A lot of it is just the small stuff like running through the disc and going 100% on the field at all times. You see Luke do these things and you get inspired to do the same. Over the summer I adopted a mindset of “What would Luke do?” and then I would do just that. It all started with him getting on Rampage though. Some of those older guys on the team like Mike Miller, Teddy and Muff, all guys who have very successful ultimate careers are giving him all the tools for success. Everyone on our team is vying to be the guy to sky, or layout d, or work harder than the pro ultimate player. Very rarely do we succeed, but that little edge is incredibly beneficial for us.
Q.) How does a typical practice run?
This year is far more structured than ever before. This is the first year we’ve had a coach. Coach Dave Kucherlapati started our team all those years back and helped run things at Georgia for us last year. Typically we have two and a half to three hour practices, running drills for the most part and then scrimmaging towards the end. Unlike years prior, we are also ending practices with hard conditioning. It gets very intense. Dave has been kicking our asses so far. He has made it very clear that our practices are going to be tougher than any game we will play.
Q.) What is your season goal for this year?
I have several goals both on and off the field. I’d like to increase our team’s visibility. It started a lot last year with our sponsorship with VC and the videos that we did. We want people to know who Hartford Lighthouse is in the ultimate world. We are going to try to video tape tournaments and get the videos online. I’m also working on increasing our visibility on campus for good reasons. We’ve been trying to do a lot of community based ultimate projects. We get out and do our part for the school and community. Luke and I both coach a high school team. Any time the school asks us to help we do it. We want people outside of the ultimate community to know that we are good people.
The biggest goal though this year is how we play on the field. Every team says that they want to go to Nationals, but let me make this perfectly clear, I mean it. I know that it’s a bold statement coming from a team that shit the bed at Sectionals last year, but knowing what I know about this team and the progress I saw everyone made this summer, Nationals is an attainable goal. Every single veteran on this team is committed to pushing themselves to be the best. This isn’t the same Lighthouse some of our competitors have seen in the past. This is a team with focus. Unfortunately this is my final year with the team and after our finish last year; I told the team that messing around stops now. That they needed to follow the lead of people like Luke, Taylor, and I or they needed to find a new team. Luckily for us everyone stepped up.
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