Club Sports Feature
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Club sports are a big deal.
Westmont has banded together many talented Frisbee enthusiasts to form the ultimate Ultimate Frisbee squad, known as the Westmont Wildfire. Led by President Peter Matthews and Vice President Christopher Costenbader, both fourth-years, the Wildfire is a year-long team that plays in tournaments during their Spring season. In these tournaments, the team typically plays about eight games in a two-day span, which Matthews explains “ends up being a good six hours of physical activity each day, and a lot of fun.”
Recently, the Westmont Wildfire participated in their annual pre-season tournament, “Huckfest”, which is hosted by UC Irvine.
“We did really well,” reported Matthews. He went on to explain that the team was eager to continue to improve and prepare for Sectionals in April, when they will play schools like Occidental and Claremont for a shot at reaching Nationals.
The team certainly hasn’t struggled to find willing participants, as it is has 20 members from all years. Along with Matthews and Costenbader, the group is led by fourth-years Josh Miller, Ethan Park, Austin McGrane, Andrew Boyd, and Will “Coach” Ostransky.
According to Matthews, the team is also filled with “many promising first-years, all of whom seem to be named Jake.”
The Wildfire is set to participate in a tournament closer to home at UCSB on Jan. 10-11. The team is also looking to partner with Westmont Intramurals to co-host an intramural Frisbee day sometime this year.
Another notable club on campus is the Westmont Rugby Football Club, which has recently jumped from Division 3 to Division 2 this year after a successful season last year.
Driven by the strong leadership of fourth-year captains Matt Browne, Ben Regan, Zach Chow, and Cal Roberts, Westmont Rugby is looking to prove themselves at the next level.
Like the Wildfire, the rugby team’s season during the Spring. However, they have also been able to put their talent to the test in a couple of highly competitive tournaments, both of which revealed that Westmont Rugby is continuing to develop into a reputable program.
The team is also a tightly-knit community. “One thing that keeps me going is the brotherhood,” explained Matt Browne. “You give everything you have for 80 minutes in order to protect and help your teammates.”
Browne also emphasized the spiritual aspect of the sport, pointing out that each practice ends in a time of prayer. “That moment when you get to meet God while locked arm in arm with your brother is truly special,” said Browne.
Browne did recognize that the team is currently undergoing a rebuilding process after graduating nine seniors last year, but he also added that the team has “a lot of potential this season,” and has a number of promising newcomers.
One such newcomer is second-year Quinn Strickler, who is excited for the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the team.
“I’m really glad I decided to come out and be a part of such an awesome program,” says Strickler, “and I definitely see a bright future for this year’s squad.”
Westmont Rugby will be playing games over the next several weekends at Elings Park.
Photo courtesy of Trapp Family.