Player Profile: Edward Guo

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Toeing the line at Douglas Bowl 2013

As we chronicle our journeys throughout our #allin2014 season, I’ll mention some names to some varying degrees of frequency. One that you will hear quite a bit throughout the season, scoring “guo”ls or providing great soundbites, is junior Edward Guo. Guo is a product of McRobert’s high school ultimate, and played a year of junior ultimate before joining the T-Birds in his freshman year. Since then he has excelled as an offensive cutter playing on the T-Birds, and Blackfish, a Vancouver-based club team.

He took the time to answer some questions.

What are some of your nicknames. 

Pijguo, Best Frisbee Player #1 (never heard that one before), “Guo”l Scorer, The Great Wall, “Guo”vis Island. (A new nickname comes up every practice it seems.)

How long have you been playing ultimate, and how did you start

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Edward at Spring Reign 2011 as a member of the McRoberts Strikers

6-7 years. My two friends and I knew a couple of the older players on the high school ultimate team, so we decided to give it a shot. Both those two friends quit after the first year and I kept playing ever since. I was also not the best at other sports, so frisbee was a good opportunity for me to be competitive at a sport.

What is your role on the team?

O-line cutter. Cannot reveal more than that.

Do you have a good story from your time as a T-Bird?

In 2012, it was my first year at UBC and also my first year trying out for the
team. I had heard a lot of good things about the team and the legacy that came with it. After the first tryout in the pouring rain, I had to get my wisdom teeth taken out so I couldn’t make any of upcoming ones. I didn’t think I would make the team anymore because I hadn’t gone to enough tryouts, so I just gave up on making the team. But one day one of the leadership members emailed me asking where I was and that they thought I would be a great fit for the team and should come out to the next tryout. That email showed me that the leadership at UBC cared about their players and after the next tryout the rest is history.

You can pick one professional athlete to add to the T-Bird roster. Who is it and why?

Roberto Luongo because he would have the most amazing mark. (Guo and I have made a “Team Earth” in case the fate of the world was up to an ultimate game. Our defensive strategy was indeed a zone where the mark was an NHL goalie, and the wall, full of NBA centres and power forwards. Rounding out the defence was cornerbacks as your mids and another NBA centre as your deep.)

What was your favourite ultimate related moment.

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Edward as a member of Blackfish against Sockeye at Flowerbowl 2013

Making Canadian Nationals in 2012 with PowerPack. Powerpack was a mixed team me and a couple friends came up with to try and compete at nationals. All the players on the team were friends and we had a great time competing and having fun. At nationals I learned how to time my cuts better and be a more dangerous player. (Edward played his first year at UBC as a handler on the D line)

Most influential person on your ultimate career.

Coach Seraglia! Has taught me many individual skills to help mould me into the player I am today.

What are some tips you can give to aspiring “Guo”-getters?

Specialize in something you’re really good at and keep working at it until you become even better at it!

Keep your eye’s peeled to our Facebook page and Twitter for more stories, player profiles, and tournament recaps.   

Photos provided by NKolakovic

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“It’s a Process”

The score was 12-11 in a rematch of the two top teams from our pool. Instead of playing for bracket positioning, the tournament was now on the line. It was a situation that was familiar to only a handful of our players. The field was soaked and Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 11.57.31 AMunforgiving by the time the last point was scored. The outcome: 13-11, UC San Diego over UBC. As students or as athletes, it’s easy to become preoccupied with outcomes. Whether it be obtaining a certain grade, lifting a certain weight at the gym, or placing well at a tournament. When you get caught up in the inviting thought of focusing on results, the process in order to achieve your goal gets tossed to the wayside. All weekend, captain Keane Knapp had said “focus on the process, not the outcome”; the result was the best tournament performance UBC has had in 3 years. Here’s how we ended up in the finals.

Saturday morning’s first challenge in pool play was against the UC Santa Cruz Slugs. Despite a sluggish (pardon the pun) and uninspired start, we ended up taking half and never looked back: 13-8 UBC. After a quick break, we were back on the field against a significantly better team in UC San Diego in what would be a preview of the finals. After getting broken 2 times in the beginning of the game, we battled back with a few motivational words from coach Marc Seraglia. Unfortunately, San Diego would answer back with more breaks than we could manage and we lost, 13-8.

Following a third round bye, we faced a young and avid Stanford team. We started strong and our defense carried us through the first half. In the second half, we became complacent and let Stanford back into the game. After allowing a few breaks, we gave our heads a shake and powered through to a 13-10 victory.

Up next was Las Positas in a cross-over game. Las Positas hosted a smaller team that had already played 2 universe point games that day (they would go on to play 4 the entire tournament). Their top end talent was unrivalled yet exhausted at the beginning of our game. Hoping to capitalize on our opponents fatigue, we jumped to a 10-5 lead. However, the team became complacent again, hemorrhaging breaks until we were down 11-10. After stabilizing our offence and earning a couple breaks back, it was 13-13; universe point, UBC on O. Playing on the edge of life and death tests the mettle of players; throws become harder to execute and wide open looks suddenly appear contested. After two turnovers, Las Positas was firmly in our red zone and it appeared a forgone conclusion that the game was theirs. An unfortunate timeout call – when they had none left – resulted in one last turnover for Las Positas: we converted. The outcome, 14-13 T-Birds, secured us the fourth seed going into bracket play.

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There were some interesting storylines going on elsewhere at the invite. The most significant was that of Tulane, a team only able to field 8 players due to flight delays and cancellations, yet still managing a 3-1 record on Saturday. With the lesson of not being complacent still fresh on our minds, we prepared to face Cincinatti who had just defeated Tulane on universe point (there seemed to be a bizarre number of universe games this tournament. Seriously, check the scores). The highlight of our game wasn’t the complete game effort or the relentless defensive pressure we applied; it was Edward Guo exclaiming “OoooHHH, oOOOh Tyler” as he completely took over a point for which he was handsomely reward a callahan**. Our mentality carried over into our semifinal resulting in a complete game effort, soundly defeating Arizona 13-4. This set up our final with UC San Diego.

Uncharacteristic to our games on Sunday, we started poorly. It wasn’t decision , but rather a bunch of unfortunate execution errors that put ourselves in a 4-0 before finally getting 1 on the board. The squids had come to play all weekend, and it was clear that they were the best prepared team in the tournament. In the second half, with a renewed focus on defence, we started to claw back at the daunting San Diego lead. But in a classic case of “too little, too late”, we were felled 13-11.

The best part of tournaments isn’t necessarily the scores and games but the underlying storylines of the team as it grows. Whether it was Sancho packing 2 days of clothes and jerseys into a draw bag, Hackney’s zeal for life, debating lunch choices at Costco, or simply eating as a team, we learned some tough lessons and grew as a team.

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The outcome was positive and the process was enjoyable. UBC’s Santa Barbara invite was a success.

See you at President’s Day.

#allin2014

*Universe point = Double-game-point, next team to score wins the game

**Callahan = a defensive block caught in the end zone, resulting in a unassisted goal.