Player Profile: Amy Luo

DSC00370Passion drives a team to perform at the next level. Seeing a teammate bid for every disc, playing outstanding man defence, or make an unbelievable, physics defying play causes a team to access reserves and talent otherwise unattainable. Having teammates like this are an essential catalyst for any high performing team. Amy Luo continues to invigorate the T-Birds originally as a defensive specialist, and now an offensive contributor. Amy has battled back from a multitude of injuries and other setbacks and continues to inspire her teammates to access their competitive edge. With her roles on Canada’s U23 mixed team, Amy brings fire and experience into what is the most substantial, and ultimate test of the season.

The basics:

Age: 21
Height: 159 cm
Field of study: Geography (NOT kinesiology or business, contrary to popular belief)
Position: O/D Hybrid cutter

Amy makes a grab at the Northwest Challenge Cup 2014. Photo courtesy of Tino Tran.

Amy makes a grab at the Northwest Challenge Cup 2014. Photo courtesy of Tino Tran.

How did you start playing frisbee?

I started for reals in grade 11 – In summer 2008 my friend and teammate Victoria Lam invited me to volunteer at worlds and I thought it was the coolest thing ever and since then I was determined to play ultimate and get good enough so I could play at the same tournament I was once volunteering for. 

Who is your most influential player?

I have two – two of the fastest, best, most dedicated cutters in the world (literally – both represented Canada at the world games).

Catherine Hui – she always pushes herself to go 110% and picks up the slack for everyone else. Her energy and determination to the sport and her team is infectious and it always pushes me to play my hardest. It’s been an honour to play alongside her.

Jenn Kwok – Kwok has battled against endless injuries to still be one of the best cutters in the game. Her dedication to rehab, injury prevention, and just the sport in general are incredibly inspirational. I have always kept her playing philosophy in the back of my mind – “New beginning. Go in knowing you don’t want to regret anything. Drops, throwaways who gives a crap. The only time i have ever had regrets was when i hid and played scared, so go balls out, and it will change your game i swear.” She has always believed in me from day 1 and motivates me to work hard and play hard no matter what.

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Amy marks to stop a huck against Tufts at the Northwest Challenge Cup 2014. Photo courtesy of Tino Tran.

What is your favourite ultimate moment?

Scoring 8 goals against UVic at Regionals this year and proceeding to beat them on universe. I had never really played against UVic before (I always seem to get injured in the first few points and am out for the rest of the game against them) and offense has always been the biggest demon I struggle with in ultimate. So to be on the best offensive game of my life my first time playing against them was a huge personal achievement.

Favourite play?

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Amy makes a layout grab at the Northwest Challenge Cup 2014. Photo courtesy of Tino Tran.

Slash break side and strike deep – the 7 cut, that or peeling in the endzone for the score. 

What’s the worst injury you’ve sustained from ultimate?

Dislocating my right shoulder 4 times over 4 years in 4 different cities.

Any hobbies?

Photography, snowboarding, bunnies, anything UBC REC related 

What teams do you play on outside of TBirds?

TC U23 Mixed, Battlecats, and now Zephyr

On top of playing frisbee Amy loves coaching. She started coaching juniors last summer and got so invested and considers it one of the most rewarding experiences ever. Check out our fundraising page for info on how to support Amy and the rest of the UBC TBirds Ultimate Team.

Player Profile: Peter Yu

1074083_10151653351775208_2073922166_oTenacity, intelligent play, and a strong mental game are qualities by all frisbee players, especially those on the defensive side of the disc. In his time on the T-Birds, Peter has undergone a renaissance. Originally starting out as an offensive downfield threat, he honed his defensive craft, becoming an all-star defender, and a disc-dominant distributor. The metamorphosis resulted in a rare type of player that has a enviable symbiosis of defensive instincts and offensive aptitude. Add to the fact “Petey” plays every point like it’s his last on the field, his multi-faceted game leaves many teams wondering “What just happened?”

 

The basics

Name: Peter YuScreen Shot 2014-05-02 at 4.11.02 PM
Height: 170cm
Age: 2
Field of study: Mostly English
Position: Squirrel

How/when did you start playing ultimate?

Started in grade 11 when my PE teacher kept pestering me to tryout; said yes for the
hunnies. (Hunnies are girls in case you were confused.)

Who is your most influential player & why?

Aaron Liu & Oscar Pottinger; I’ve tried to emulate Aaron’s defensive game and Oscar’s offensive game. Work in progress. 

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 4.10.17 PMWhat is your favourite ultimate moment? 

Playing at Pumpkin Pull in 2013 with a pick-up team called Where’s Waldo. I think our average height was 5’4. Our girls were super sick though, and carried us through the tournament where we lost in the finals on Universe point to a mash-up of old Furious/Traffic players. I got to meet Mike Grant; his flick pull is ridiculous.  


Favourite throw/ultimate play?

Throwing a floaty OI flick to a big Fred Lam sky for the goal, while I am falling down. 

Any hobbies outside of ultimate?

Watching the NBA, surfing YouTube, Pokemon, making fun of Guo, being terrible at playing pool, reading.

Have you played on any club/pro teams outside of TBirds?1116139_10100556532736541_80562493_o

Furious George / Vancouver Nighthawks, Blackfish, Team Canada

Any interesting facts about you?

If I were any taller, I’d probably have pursued my dream of becoming an NBA player instead of playing frisbee. I think of that every time someone inevitably tells me I’d be a super sick frisbee player if I were a little bit taller;dawg I’d be rockin’ the NBA by now!

Check out our fundraising page for info on how to support Peter and the team, and even get some Thunderbird gear.

 

Player Profile: Josh Cutler

A team’s identity is characterized by the way it responds to adversity, success, and the process in which it tackles the quandaries that our sport presents. Over the course of a season, a tournament, or even a practice, energy levels can subside, and concentration fades to distraction. One team member that embodies the T-Bird spirit, and inspires his team to take it to the next level is Josh “Mountain Man” Cutler.   Known for his zeal for life, seizing the moment, and just overall boyish charm, Josh can always be counted on for a good pick-me-up, introspective discussion, or general tidbit. Despite being hampered by injuries last year, Josh inspired the team by an aggressive rehab and commitment to take the field. After making his debut at President’s Day Invite this year, Josh can always be counted on for tireless effort on defence and promoting the overall well-being of the T-Birds. Clearly, not enough can be said about the Mountain Man.

The Basics906688_354638127987302_655620462_o

Name: Josh Cutler

Height: 180cm (182 with hair)
Age: 23
Field of study: Geography
Position: Defensive monster

How/when did you start playing ultimate?

I’ve always enjoyed playing pick-up games or just tossin’ on any available space/surface. I dabbled in a little more structured ulti during my first 2 years of uni. However, I didn’t really learn what a force was until I decided to check out ultimate practices during my first fall semester at UBC in 2012.

559115_10151308062416621_1791271283_nWho is your most influential player?

Fred Lam. He’s a powerful presence. Great teacher. Clear, focused and talented. But most of all, a supportive teammate and fantastic friend. 

What is your favourite ultimate moment? 

When your feet leave the ground…your body goes horizontal…you stretch out your arms…and you KNOW you got the huge block!

Favourite throw/ultimate play?

I’m really enjoying the wild high release flick. 

Any hobbies outside of ultimate?314141_282276135223502_1061188987_n

Running, sailing, climbing, biking, skiing, hiking, geography, dancing, cooking&eating.
Mostly all done together in one huge adventure.

 

The team gets stuck on an island in a “Lord of the Flies”-type scenario. Who
becomes the leader? What happens

It would be a collaborative leadership between Mugs and Fred. We would stumble upon a
case of good times and then we’d all pass out from the excessive amounts of fun. Then the Ng brothers would show up and think they rule the place. But really they just missed the party

375880_282275791890203_1605750156_nAny interesting facts?

The aorta of a blue whale’s heart is so large that a human could crawl through it. 

Josh is finishing up his undergraduate degree in Geography next year, and will spend the summer organizing trips for kids. Check out our fundraising page for info on how to support Josh and the team, and even get some Thunderbird gear.

 

Player Profile: Liam Stobart

Being a “Student-Athlete” entails a delicate balance between academic success and athletic performance. Liam’s ability to balance a demanding work and school schedule with ultimate performance is something that every T-Bird desires. Known for his shifty cutting, surgically precise throws, and seeing the field at another level, Liam “Doc” Stobart has been making plays for the T-Birds for the past 5 years, all while finishing up his undergrad in Biochemistry and his M.D.

 

 

The basics

Name: Liam Stobart
Height: 179cm
Age: 26
Field of study: Medicine
Position: Offensive Mastermind

How/when did you start playing ultimate?

In 2005, our high school grad class decided to start a frisbee team so all our friends could play a sport starting out together as beginners. I played mostly rec ultimate until 2010 when I joined the UBC team.

What is your favourite ultimate moment? 

Beating Oregon for the NW regional title in 2011. 

Favourite throw/ultimate play?

He didn’t answer this question, but I know for a fact it’s his squat flick huck. It’s hard to describe, and you’ll have to see it in person. 

Any hobbies outside of ultimate?

NFL Fantasy Football

Have you played on any club/pro teams outside of TBirds?

Richie and Friends, University of Queensland “Lovers”

Any interesting facts about you?

I have a twin brother.

Liam is in his 4th year of Medicine, and has really enjoyed his time with the T-Birds. Despite the costs of tuition, Liam has greatly appreciated the connections he has made with his teammates, the outlet for physical activity, and enjoys representing the T-Bird name. Check out our fundraising page for info on how to support Liam and the team, and even get some Thunderbird gear.

 

Player Profile: Fred Lam

Being a veteran leader on a team like the T-Birds entails responsibility, humility, and still being able to perform at a high level. Fred Lam encompasses these qualities in a way that can only be described as “beastly” with his commitment to mental fortitude, team chemistry, and team fitness level. Whether it’s coming up with a big play, studying at tournaments, or cultivating success from other teammates, Fred Lam encompasses the veteran leader characteristics to perfection.

 

 

 

The basics12668321095_0cbf187f4c_b

Name: Fred Lam
Height: 185cm
Age: 22
Field of study: Biopsychology
Position: Athlete

How/when did you start playing ultimate?

In the summer before Grade 8, I went to a summer camp where the flavour du jour was pick-up frisbee. In Grade 8, I was converted to the dark side by a bunch of Grade 12 Minis (Mini School) at Point Grey throwing around at our September Orientation camp. Been a frisbee nerd since.

Who is your most influential player & why?

I have been greatly influenced by my UBC teammate, Edward Guo. His high level of play is a constant reminder that all good things don’t come in the same package. Edward has really shown me that ultimate can be played in more than one way, and if you’re deceived by his outwardly Asian Tourist appearance on the field, he will make you pay with his nimble footwork and avian cunning.

What is your favourite ultimate moment? 

It’s not one singular moment but, the Sunday afternoon, post-tournament beer. Best enjoyed lukewarm and shirt off.

Favourite throw/ultimate play?

I never tire of watching people sky other people, and/or animals.

Any hobbies outside of ultimate?

NFL Fantasy Football

Have you played on any club/pro teams outside of TBirds?397023_10151809640466388_1851594309_n

Badbords

Any interesting facts about you?

I was born missing one toe on my left foot. Just kidding. I dont’ know, I hate thinking of an answer for the “Interesting fact” question. Makes me feel uninteresting.

Fred is in his 4th year and looks to be finishing up his undergraduate degree next year.  Check out our fundraising page for info on how to support Fred andthe team, and even get some Thunderbird gear.

 

Player Profile: Kevin Chu

presdaycrop-1Today we’re chronicling one of the many faces of the defensive line of the T-Birds. Kevin Chu joined the UBC team last year, in his freshman year, and made an immediate impact covering handlers and fooling people with his crazy high-release backhand. The defensive stalwart brought his talents to Blackfish this past summer, where he contributed greatly also on the D-Line. His quickness and awareness on the field is ranks near the top of the team, and he brings  an admirable attitude to practices.

What are some of your nicknames? 
PK, KChu, PKChu

How long have you been playing ultimate, and how did you start?
5 years. In grade 10 we didn’t have a volleyball team, so I decided to try ultimate. It was a life changing decision.

What is your role on the team?
D-line cutter (and sometimes an unfortunate handler).

What is your favourite throw?
High release backhand.

Do you have a memory to share from your time as a T-Bird?
Trying out for the team during my freshman year at UBC. I remember being so nervous
 throughout all the tryouts that I barely spoke at all and just kept to myself,

cuc2013

and after the last
day I felt like I definitely did not make the cut. But, when I saw my name on the final roster I was completely ecstatic. Being the youngest and the only junior from high school to make it onto the team was pretty exciting.

If you can pick one professional athlete to add to the T-Bird roster. Who is it and why?
Usain Bolt. I heard he’s fast, so he’ll give Guo some competition.
What was your favourite ultimate related moment?
One that stands out was the game against Vortex at regionals when I was playing on Mischief. We were down like 3-4 points and came back to win on universe point. CAUSING TROUBLE BAYBAY!

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Most influential person(s) on your ultimate career?
Coach Rags and the Leadership on UBC have definitely impacted my game the most thus far.
What is one thing you would suggest to someone who would like to improve their game?
Toss a disc whenever you can and always carry one with you. You can only get so many reps/touches in during practice.
Check out our fundraising page for info on how to support the team, and even get some Thunderbird gear.

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