TRON seeks to compete at national level after successful season
The Brandeis men’s ultimate frisbee team — known commonly around campus as TRON — has two primary goals. The first is to be a close-knit and fun escape that promotes a team atmosphere. The second goal is to have a competitive and intense environment for those who desire it. This team advertises that it welcomes all skill levels allowing improvement in technique. “A-side” team members go on a trip to Virginia Beach,where the team participates in the Oak Street Challenge tournament, practices, reviews footage of plays and just hangs out together. All in all, the team hopes to become competitive enough to compete at a national level.
The team works hard to achieve unity as a group on the field and as a family. The team gives each member nicknames. TRON nicknames are a secret tradition that binds the team together.
In an interview with the Justice, Micah Alexander ’22 remarked, “While our work on the field does help us achieve unity, it’s the work off the field that really solidifies it. Beyond just playing the same sport, TRON is a community, a true brotherhood, that gives full support to each one of its members with absolutely anything. Our unity on the field comes from the fact that we all trust each other, not just with the disc, but to be there for anything.” Although it is a large team divided between the more and less competitive groups, the team is still unified as one large family.
The team’s ultimate goal, determined at a TRON A-side meeting, is to make it to nationals this year. ll members who attended the meeting voted unanimously for this goal. In an interview with the Justice, Nick Simonetti ’22 explained, “We hope to strengthen our team chemistry by encouraging each other through intense competition on the field with the overall goal to compete at the highest level at nationals.”
Additionally, every fall semester the team has a tradition of playing its annual game of assasins with the women’s ultimate frisbee team, Banshee. Each member of the teams retreat from class to the corner of the library in order to avoid being assasinated in the game. This game is a fun bonding event to strengthen the relationship between the teams. The rules are simple; everyone has a secret target and must mark that person's skin with a marker in order to get them out. When your target is eliminated, you get your victim’s target. This game has a twist; each day there is a “safety.” This can vary from being untouchable when holding a banana to your ear like a phone to flossing your teeth or singing at the top of your lungs. This is a way for the team to bond and welcome new first years to the team.
Ultimate frisbee is a game in which seven players on the field try to score more goals than the opposing team. A goal is counted if the frisbee is thrown from one teammate to another who is standing in the opposing team's end zone. Running with the disk and stalling, holding the frisbee for more than 10 seconds, result in the frisbee being turned over to the opposing team.
For a Division III team playing Division I opponents, TRON truly had a successful run in this year's tournament in Virginia Beach, a team favorite event of the season. The team got off to a slow start against the University of Westchester, but secured the win in the end. The team defeated Princeton University in 25-mile-per-hour winds in the semifinal round.
In the final round the team facing Liberty University and experianced injuries, a game which ended in a struggle for both sides. In an interview with the Justice, Andrew Marshall ’21 explained, “The game itself was tight, with many long points due to the strong wind. After getting scored on multiple points in a row twice in the first half, we were able to rebound both times, scoring three or four points in a row. Our second comeback ended when we took half, which happens when a team reaches seven points. This was a big deal, as Liberty agreed to play to eight, due to a really long first half.” This decision required the Judges to score the next points in order to win the tournament. However, both teams put up a fight for the last points, knowing that acquiring them would result in winning the tournament. Because their opponents played the same individuals for most of the game, a victory for the Judges looked promising; however, with a disk turnover and some short passes, the game ultimately resulted in defeat. Marshall explained the loss saying, “falling just short means TRON has unfinished business to take care of in later tournaments.” However the season is not over yet.
All in all, the team looks forward to more matches and practices in the rest of the season. The players look at every practice as an opportunity to hang out with friends and play the sport that brought them together.