The Rider Rangers: an ultimate frisbee community

By Adrianna Jaccoma

The Rider Rangers encourage those interested in ultimate frisbee to come out and join their team — no experience necessary. The team plays in tournaments in the Northeast area, and some members play in a winter league during the offseason. 

Rider’s ultimate frisbee team welcomes beginners and non-beginners to join their club sport. 

The Rider Rangers are a co-ed team, but there are more male than female players. The team consists of an estimated 30 players, including seven women.

“Although I used to see it this way, I don’t anymore, it used to be like ‘oh I’m on a team with all guys’ but now it’s like, I’m on my team,” junior elementary education major Melanie Tsai said. 

The team practices three times a week in the winter season when the sport is indoors and four times a week in the outdoor spring and fall seasons. 

Alex Yakowenko, a junior secondary education major, is the captain of the team.

“[As captain] I’m in charge of what we do at practices, how our team functions at tournaments … [I] basically make sure it’s going well and that we’re getting better,” said Yakowenko. 

Junior biology major Ryan Bowman shared some of his responsibilities as the team’s risk manager.

“My job is to make sure everybody on the team practices and plays safely. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the job of risk manager as a whole as we are responsible for safe COVID[-19] practices within our team as well as when we host our home tournaments,” said Bowman “… I must be CPR and first aid certified and make sure at least one other member is certified as well.”

Bowman is also responsible for reporting all injuries to ensure that players get the care that they need.

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When asked about the community and what they like most about the team, all team members mentioned the community they’ve built.

“It’s almost like a small family, everyone’s really good friends with each other … [ultimate frisbee is] a really good way to meet new people and play a new sport,” Bowman said. 

“I really like the community we’ve built and how I can just ask somebody and they will come study with me at the library,” Tsai added.

The team encourages players to learn from their peers, build their social skills and create bonds.

“It’s an absolute blast getting to teach some of the newer players some new things and learn from everyone else,” said Bowman, who has been on the team since his freshman year at Rider.  

Shaun Chornobroff and Michelle Pellegrino are members of the Ultimate Frisbee Team and editors for the Rider News. Neither participated in the writing or editing of this piece. 

The Rider Rangers hold Spring 2022 indoor practices in the Student Recreation Center courts every Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursdays from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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