#41 Pat Hammonds
History (w/ intention to teach)
Propel Charter Schools, Andrew Street High School
Oakland, Pittsburgh club
- Pitt A
- Pitt and Friends
- Swagger U.
phammonds41 AT gmail.com
Having the opportunity to play Mercer County Summer League during my off-season allowed me to gain more overall confidence as a player. I was encouraged to cut more, throw more, and challenge myself as a player. Upon returning to Pittsburgh in the fall, I was given the opportunity to play with Burgh. Competing in the elite club circuit helped me to develop more than I ever expected. Not only was I playing against some big name teams and matching up against big name players, but I also got a chance to work with new teammates. Gaining perspective from some of the older guys like Deo and Truck was a priceless experience.
This year with Pitt was also a very different experience from my first year. Coming into the fall with a full year of ultimate experience under my belt allowed me to take on a different role. Last year, I was a rookie. This time I was a veteran. Being able to help the rookies with rules questions, technique, and knowledge of the game was new and exciting. It was fun to be “in the know” for the first time. The addition of several very talented and very dedicated rookies paired alongside the desire and experience from all of the returning players proved to make this years team a serious threat.
Our team motto this year was “Hard Work!” and the desire to live by this law was contagious. Every single member of this team was hitting the gym, hitting the track, and hitting the field harder than ever before, and our work ethic resulted in some good wins and hard fought losses this year. Despite our successes, we refuse to be satisfied. We refuse to let down; the series is what matters and we know that. We are working harder than every one else to earn our third straight trip to College Nationals. Keep your eyes on Pittsburgh this year.
This season will mark my first official organized Ultimate Frisbee season ever, but a strong background in baseball and basketball allowed me to pick up the game at a promising pace. My friends and I played pick-up Ultimate every once in a while back home, but our game looked nothing like actual Ultimate. We didn’t know about forcing on the mark, stack or spread offenses, and most of us didn’t even recognize the need for a flick.
My friends back home always joked that I would go on to play college Ultimate, but none of us really understood that college Ultimate existed at such a competitive level. When I arrived at the first “try-out” for En Sabah Nur I was overwhelmed. I thought I knew what Ultimate Frisbee was; I should have been able to adapt quickly. Instead I was way behind the curve; something I quickly realized was an amazing opportunity.
Growing up on organized sports I had always been competitive in whatever I played. Standing on the Cathedral lawn at Pitt, I was finding myself less than mediocre. I soon realized the opportunity at hand; for the first time in my life I had to work harder than everyone else just to catch up. The game was new and exciting, and all I knew was, I couldn’t get enough.
I devoted a lot of time and effort to En Sabah Nur this past fall, competing in a number of tournaments and noting improvement with every one. It is now the day before the UPA Series begins and I am completely comfortable with my abilities and my role on this team.
One of my favorite aspects of Ultimate is that we don’t play for money, we don’t play for headlines, and we sure as hell don’t play for fans; we play for ourselves and for our team. “WE RIDE!”
Alumni Pat and I played a few glorious seasons together. We lived together for two years on Dawson Street where we constructed such fabulous conversations as who would win a game of Ultimate between the best Marvel vs. DC superheroes. We defined the practical benefits of being a dawg. We discovered the wonders of tombstones, Bruce Springsteen, and asbestos. Pat taught me a lot. He was a part of the duo to break me out of my shell and he has the manliest forearm hair I’ve seen. He smells, a lot.
It’s amazing to me that I’ve only known him for four years. I’ve got so many memories, so few do not include him. What’s more amazing is how well Pat played in his final tournament with Pitt Ultimate. He was unreal. The best way to describe it is how he refused to be denied the disc, whether it was skying over defenders all day every day at Columbus or getting two point blocks against Texas in two points. At one point in the Carleton game, fourteen all and before a crowd of hundreds of spectators, Pat nearly got sold out on an incut. Instead of getting taken by a layout D; he bid from behind the defender, a fully horizontal flash of large Nordic man-beast, to snatch both the disc and the breath from the crowd.
If there is a way to find the essence of a warrior, Pat Hammonds ended his career at Pitt with a performance that showed how. His team status now rests along with the greats like Brody, Sean, Josh, Rob and Stu. I look forward to being his friend for the years to come, wish him only the best and most interesting in life, and am grateful, to fate or coincidence, that we shared the brotherhood that is Pitt Ultimate.
-Written by Eddie Peters