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UI student leads West to ultimate Frisbee victory

BY JULIA TRUSZKOWSKI | JUNE 20, 2013 5:00 AM

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Clad in a Metallic Wings jersey, Colin Lord paces back and forth along the sidelines, barking techniques and encouragement at the Iowa City West High Ultimate Frisbee team on a June afternoon with air as moist as the athletes’ clothes.

The occasion is the open brackets of the state Ultimate Frisbee tournament held in Altoona, Iowa, on June 15. Lord has coached the Metallic Wings, West High’s Ultimate team, transforming them from a group of students tossing a Frisbee around to a third state ranking in a mere three months.

“We’ve come a long way,” Lord said.  “At the beginning, we couldn’t throw a Frisbee, but now we’re one of the best in the state.”

Lord, a third-year accounting major at the University of Iowa, snagged the coaching position for West High’s first Ultimate Frisbee team in April after getting in touch with a former teammate on West’s tennis team and fellow Frisbee player Matt Murry.

“[Murry] got people [to join the team], and they got people. We ended up with a fair number of kids,” Lord said. “It just snowballed into a team.”

The good luck continued as the Metallic Wings, the team name that Lord trademarked, assembled three times a week to do drills and scrimmages in grueling two-hour practices.

“I could not have asked for a better group of kids,” Lord said of his athletes. “They always came to practice, never talked back to me. If I told them to do something, they did it to the best of their abilities.”

And the team was just as pleased as Lord after defeating Dowling, Ankeny, and Valley on day one of the state tournament.

“As a team, we played phenomenally,” cutter Dominic Muzzin said after the first two games, both resulting in a score of 11-1.

“Our team chemistry is unmatched,” handler Kegan Wakefield said.

The team later went on to defeat Urbandale, ranked no. 1, and Ames, ranked no. 4, securing them a state champion title and leaving them undefeated for the season.

But there were some moments of doubt for the Wings.

“In the semifinals on Sunday, we were down at halftime,” Lord said. He recalls, “looking at [the] kids and telling them there was no way we were going to lose it. We came back in the second half and dominated.”

Lord’s victories are not limited to coaching.  With a two and a half year history playing as a cutter for the Iowa Frisbee team, the Iowa Hawkeye Ultimate Club, he has had experience both on the sidelines and running the field.

“It’s been fantastic,” Lord said about his time with the club, which he described as “playing with 24 of [his] best friends.”

A standout moment for Lord occurred during a nail-biting game that was expected to end in defeat.

“This year at regionals, we were seeded really low,” he explained. “We hadn’t played very well that season, and we upset the No. 1 team in the country, Minnesota.”

Lord, one of the top scoring players, led the team to success with his natural athletics demeanor.

“I’m really competitive,” I said. “I try to build the team to victory any way I can.”

He tries to get the Wings kids into his determined mindset when coaching.

“Every player’s a little bit different,” he said. “You have to get [some people] going, [but] other people you need to calm down. I try to get the kids intense and fired up and let them take care of the rest.”

Despite the team’s success, Lord is unsure if he will continue coaching the Wings next season.

“That’s going to be up to the kids,” he said. “I’m not going to put myself in the coaching position. If it’s me, great. If it’s someone else, that’s OK, too. I just want the program to continue.”


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