Florida Polytechnic University senior Megan Morano attended her first practice of the Florida Poly Mutants on a lark.
The business analytics major knew nothing about ultimate Frisbee and expected the practice to be her one and only, but Morano was all in as soon as she discovered the group of supportive, friendly players who were focused on helping her improve.
“Everyone was cheering me on and no matter how much I messed up, they were always encouraging me,” said Morano, a native of Clearwater, Florida. “It’s so much fun.”
She is now a committed member of the Florida Poly ultimate Frisbee team named for the mutant heroes of the X-Men comics.
“It’s one of the sports where boys and girls do it together and nobody ever feels left out,” Morano said. “I absolutely will not schedule over Frisbee. You have to have your own time and I’ve made it very clear that Frisbee is my time.”
The 30-member team recently participated in the 2020 Janus XXVII tournament in Plant City, Florida, where they received the Floyd Roberts Spirit Award in the college open tournament for the third consecutive year. The award recognizes the team with the best sportsmanship and attitude.
“In ultimate Frisbee, one of the biggest things is the spirit of the game, so coming with a good attitude and having a good time is really important,” said computer science major Thomas Sawyer, the club’s president.
Sawyer, a junior from Citrus County, Florida, said the Florida Poly Mutants are so invested in their ethos of spirit that they present their own spirit awards at the tournaments they attend.
“We have a lot of interactions with other teams and always do something fun,” he said. “We like to spread the spirit by telling other teams they’re awesome to play against.”
Ryan Norden, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, said playing ultimate Frisbee helps keep him centered and motivated to excel at his coursework.
“Getting out of my dorm room and playing ultimate Frisbee is the best thing in the world for me,” said Norden, of Tampa, Florida. “My entire week is looking forward to Tuesday and Thursday night ultimate Frisbee to get together and have fun – they’re all my best friends now.”
In addition to the team members, alumni, semi-professional players, and Florida Poly employees also show up to practice.
“This started as a physical outlet, but the club turned into a lot more than that for me,” Sawyer said. “We’ve built up a strong group and are super close and tightly knit.”
He said students don’t need to have any experience in Frisbee to join the Florida Poly Mutants. Those interested in participating can show up to practice on Tuesdays or Thursdays at the intramural field or contact Sawyer via email.
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