Franciscan FATAL, the university’s men’s ultimate Frisbee club team, rose from starting two years ago to winning nationals last year, and now the women of campus have stepped up to form their own club team this semester.
They call themselves Franciscan FIRE, which stands for Fearless, Intensity, Relentless and Excellence, the four aspects that the team members want to bring to the field each time they play.
Holly Koch, president of the women’s team, saw her brother start the men’s team during his sophomore year, so after she finished ultimate in high school, she decided she wanted that, too.
During the spring semester of 2015, Koch held an informational meeting and a few throwing practices, but the team did not really form until Katie Brown, Koch’s high school teammate, came to Franciscan University as a freshman.
“Since I played with her in high school,” said Brown, “it was kind of a given that I would be helping start the team. I don’t even remember if she even asked me to help, I was just like ‘yep, let’s do it.’”
This semester, the team was approved by Student Government. The new team officers wrote their constitution and then recruiting began.
All of the girls on the team so far have also played on Franciscan’s intramural teams, although most of them are new to ultimate Frisbee. However, Koch has high hopes for the team, saying that she sees a lot of potential and notes that already the girls are starting to work together well as team members.
Regarding the team’s name, Koch said, “I had been praying about it and thinking about it through the summer,” mentioning how she was trying to come up with words that started with “F.”
Throughout the entire summer, however, the idea of fire kept reoccurring. She said that she was hesitant about the name at first, but after some research, she came across Hebrews 12:29, “For our God is a consuming fire.”
God is a part of our lives and he consumes us with his love, said Koch, which is something that she felt is important to remember, even when playing a Frisbee game.
“I think this season, it doesn’t really matter about our stats,” said Brown, “because we are improving so much.”
Right now, the only thing they are asking of the team is to have fun, play for the glory of God, and to do their best. Koch pointed out that FIRE is still a new team, still getting things together, but already there is so much chemistry even after four practices.
“I’m really pumped and excited to see where things go,” said Koch, hoping that one day FIRE will make it to nationals like FATAL.
On the weekend of Nov. 6-7, FIRE made its way to its first tournament in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Only nine members were able to attend, but it was a great learning and bonding experience for the team.
Ultimate is a lot of fun, but even more important is the community aspect, said Brown.
“When I first started my high school team, I didn’t know any of the girls, but when I graduated, they were all my best friends,” she said, “and I think that these girls on this team are going to be my really good friends.”
The official season of Franciscan FIRE starts in the spring.