Harding currently has 17 NCAA Division II sports teams, but it also has a non-NCAA ultimate frisbee team called Harding Apocalypse.
The Apocalypse started in 2003 and competes against other colleges around the South on weekends. Foreign languages professor Dr. Whit Jordan is the faculty sponsor for the group, and exercise and sports sciences professor Dr. Justin Bland is the faculty sponsor for the women’s team, the Harding Sky Bisons. Currently, the men’s team has 11 members. Ultimate frisbee is played with seven people on the field at a time with games being first to 13 points. The Apocalypse tries to travel to five tournaments a semester.
Senior Scott May said he has been all around the South for tournaments including Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. May explained the creative way the team keeps costs down while traveling.
“We’ll usually meet somewhere on the way to the tournament for dinner, and then we usually stay at a church near the field or if someone lives near the field, we’ll stay at their house,” May said.
The Apocalypse was in a tournament last weekend in Denton, Texas, at the University of North Texas. This time of year, it can be difficult to have enough players available to go to the tournament, so the Apocalypse paired up with the team from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, to compete in this tournament. Team captain senior Justin Mills was pleased with the team’s performance in this situation.
“It was mainly our freshmen and one of our sophomores, so it was great reps for them, especially on a team with a lot of subs,” Mills said. “It gave them a good view of what it can look like, and this is how far it can take us.”
Despite having to pair up with another school, the tournament was a success as the team placed second. The team’s next tournament is this weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Joining the ultimate frisbee teams is relatively easy. The Apocalypse practices three days a week, so the easiest way to join is to show up to Monday practices and talk to the team captains about joining. The Apocalypse accepts new members at any point in the semester, not just the beginning. There are posters up around campus with more information on practice times and contact information about how to get involved.
May explained some of the benefits of joining this community.
“It’s a great group of guys,” May said. “I joined it before I was in a social club, so I’ve known a lot of these guys for a while. You have a lot of fun, mess around a bunch and spend a lot of time together.”