The Wolfpack Invitational is an ultimate tournament hosted by the NCSU teams every fall. It's usually one of the first tournaments that teams go to and it gives the new rookies a taste of what real ultimate is like. I remember my first Wolfpack Invitational and how much I learned. The first ultimate tournament teaches rookies way more then any of those first couple of practices can teach them. It's the first experience of fast paced ultimate against people that aren't trying to help you or groom you for success. It's awesome!
When Jack decided to go to Wilmington I was so excited for him but I told him he couldn't try out for their Ultimate team. They just don't have a good reputation....especially with NC State players. I still see Jack as my baby brother and I didn't want them to make him mean or rude. That said, I also don't think it's fair to hold past reputations against this new team. Yes, it is a different team chemistry then NC State and yes they can be more aggressive, but I also trust Jack to maintain his sweet, laid back personality even if people on team start trying to change him or teach him the mean ways of ultimate. I also think every team has those people that aren't the most spirited and I know Jack can hold his own.
At the tournament this weekend, I got my first look at Jack (nick named Jack-o by my former wHw teammate and Wilmington Australian exchange student Mark) on the field and he was incredible! I was sooo proud. He wasn't able to make it down for Saturday's games but he came down for Sunday's and he dominated! I knew that he was athletic and good at sports, but it was so cool to see him play Derrick and my sport! We talk about it all the time and my family sort of gets it and definitely knows we're obsessed with it, so it was so cool to see him loving it too and understanding how addictive and great of a sport it is.
He caught so many goals, took his guys deep, skied people, threw goals, got run through D's, and even had a layout! I was freaking out!! Every time he did anything I was screaming and jumping wildly through the air. It was so fun to watch!
One of my favorite parts was when the other team came over. Derrick was playing with an alumni team so most of them knew us and are our good friends. They ended a game early on the next field and came over to see what I was yelling about and they joined in, yelling Jack's name, screaming for him to make a play, and chanting for the coach to put him in. I asked Jack if I had embarrassed him later and he said no, that he loved it!
I am so proud of him and I can't wait to continue watching him at his tournaments. I hope he continues to love it as much as Derrick and I do. I texted him after he told me he had made the A team and told him that it is a huge commitment but the best decision I made in college and that I wouldn't change a thing. I hope he gets that same experience!
|Jack-O after his first game. He has a lot to learn about what he needs to bring to a tournament. That's my Chex mix, my water bottle, and Derrick's shorts|
|In the stack.|
|About to throw a goal!|
|Part of the alumni team that Derrick and I played on|