Ultimate Frisbee Player Catches National Award

Passion, ethics, determination and sportsmanship are just some of the traits possessed by Nick Lance. In addition to earning him a degree in electrical engineering in May, these attributes earned Lance the Callahan Award, a national honor given to one male and female Ultimate Frisbee player in the nation each year that is equated to college football’s Heisman Trophy by the Ultimate community.

Interview with Nick Lance, Callahan Award winner and recent Georgia Tech alumnus. Video credit to Skyd Magazine.

Ultimate players from across the nation vote for Callahan recipients, each listing his or her top three players while not ranking a fellow teammate first. Lance won by a two-to-one margin, and is only the fourth ever to win the Callahan award from the southeast region.

Henry Callahan, the award’s namesake, started the popular northeast sport at the University of Oregon in the 1980s, spreading it across the northwest region and gaining funding from a young Nike corporation. Callahan is considered a legend in Ultimate, also being honored with a move and the game rules in his name.

Georgia Tech Ultimate, also called “Tribe,” has been a highly competitive team in its region among teams from Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee. USA Ultimate – the governing body for club Ultimate, college and youth – administers a series of tournaments each spring season. Though Tribe has had several close attempts at competing at the national level, 2012 marked its first national appearance.

“Our performance this year was significantly aided by our experience playing other national-caliber teams,” Lance said of the tournaments that won the team a national bid.

Tribe has a team dynamic that goes beyond the Ultimate playing field. On a road trip to Austin, Texas, this year, the team created a series of team trivia questions designed to take an hour each to complete. While testing their knowledge of one another, teammates also threw out funny, hypothetical scenarios about each other, such as, “If two of our players could have a kid together, who would have the best Ultimate player?”

“It’s a great thing to do to the pass the time, have some fun, and learn more about your teammates,” said Lance.

Tribe recruits new members each fall of all skill ranges. For more information on past seasons and upcoming tryouts, visit the team’s website.