As we near the end of our season, we can’t help but reflect on the journey. After some near misses on the field and frustration about results it’s easy to feel a bit down, but if you step back a bit, the bigger picture is still amazing. In 2012 the American Ultimate Disc League kicked off it’s inaugural season. Five years later, despite some bumps along the way, it’s bigger and better than ever. More ESPN SportsCenter highlights, more streaming and tv coverage. More competitive than ever. After two years of the Austin Sol, we’re more excited than ever to see what the future holds, for Austin and the sport of ultimate in general.
As a player and an organization, just the feeling of having an audience cheering you on is to be treasured. The Austin community has been so great to this team, win or lose, with or without beer and despite our struggles to find a consistent venue. We were able to partner with local youth directors Colleen and Libby to be part of a summer camp with over 100 kids, an amazing experience that has received so much positive feedback. It’s hard not to be jealous, as we see Austin Middle School and High School leagues, with over 600 participants this last year. Every player can wonder “How good could I have been if I had started when I was 10?” At 18 years old, #21, Elliott Moore, can probably answer that.
And passion for sports does not pause life around us. We’ve had injuries on and off the field. We’ve lost our beloved Caleb Denecour and his wife Holly to Minnesota(Go Windchill!). Weddings (Congrats Schafer!), engagements and a bout with cancer. For those that didn’t know, Jeff Loskorn, #5, went from the World Ultimate Championships in July last year to being diagnosed with cancer just as the Sol season ended. Ultimate faded to the background and surgery, tests & family became his priority. Less than a year later he’s back and has a 3 month old happy, healthy baby boy. Jeff looks back on the experience and shared with us the perspective shift that occurred.
“Life is a gift. Don’t take a single minute of it for granted. There is so much hate going around these days. There’s just no point. Tell your loved ones (or even those you might not like that much) that you LOVE THEM. Find the good in people even if it’s not immediately apparent. Wave when someone lets you over. Call your mom. Do the little things. We only get one shot at this…might as well make the best of it.”
So, for the Sol in our final game, we are excited to be here, playing a sport we love and sharing this experience with so many great friends in our community. Glad to have another shot at beating Dallas. Glad to share the message of cancer awareness through partner organizations LIVESTRONG and Early Recognition is Critical.