Ultimate Frisbee is a co-ed club sport at Knox College. Currently, the club is named the Knox College River Rats/Alley Cats. They have competed in tournaments throughout the Midwest and compete in the Central Plains Section of the Great Lakes Region of the USAU College Series.
Knox Ultimate was founded by students Rob Clark and Ned Early, in 1992.
Eschewing the school's offical Prarie Fire mascot, The Dingos was chosen as the original name of the team, and they sported a Wile E. Coyote-ish standing dingo as their mascot. This name lasted until 2001, when it was reappropriated for the Alumni Team (a group of alums, spouses and friends who play in the annual Natalie Verazano tournament). The team rarely competed in tournaments at this time.
Casual Mexican Dining
After a team discussion in 2001, the team name was put to a vote and was subsequently changed to "Casual Mexican Dining".
The name comes from a tournament trip in 2000, when team members drove by a laundromat with a cardboard sign in the window reading "CASUAL MEXICAN DINING". The team stopped to investigate, went to the back of the laundromat, and found a small room with a picnic table and a place settings - a tiny restaurant. The team name remained until 2005.
The team began to compete more actively in UPA sanctioned tournaments as well as the UPA College Series - the offical sectional and regional competions that determine 16 teams to compete in the UPA College Championships (akin to the NCAA's "Final Four"). In the 2003 season, Knox defeated Notre Dame (amongst other teams) to win a bid in the Central Plains for the first time in school history. They competed against teams from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and went 2-2, with the University of Illinois and Ohio State winning the two bids to the Nationals.
- The team was known for a large number of TKE players, notably Ben Martin, founder of the current chapter of TKE and former Dingo/CMD team captain.
In 2005, the team again voted to change their name, this time choosing the onamatopoetic "Xonk" (Knox backwards, obviously). The team has seen a significant number of its players affiliate themselves with the Sigma Chi Fraternity since its inception, notably Nate Pierce, a founder of the school's chapter. Don't worry though -- the Sigma Chi connection, while still present, is not as strong as it once was. (phew).
In 2010, the club changed its name once again, now sporting the moniker "Baberham", which appears to bizarrely reference Knox's Abraham Lincoln connection(s) as well as its reputation for taking advantage of free expression.
The 2010-2011 Ultimate season was considered one of the most successful Knox sports seasons of all time. Lead by a group of talented seniors, the smoking hot freshman gave Knox a new and improved look both on and off the field. Grandpa Tim showed off his dashing speed and wooed one particular Frisbee girl with his j-biebs haircut. Another one of the fearless leaders was Caroline The Womanicorn Coatney who uses her gazelle-like grace to swoop across the field like the wind over the Arizona desert, (she is a mythical creature, reborn once every ten thousand years inside of a falcon's egg which she breaks out of using her tiny horn). Dave Currysauce Kurian gave the team the majority of its ethnicity. Often mistaken for a shadow, some have believed he is capable of flight. Liz Thomas, also known as "Strips Quickly," completed this fabulous foursome. Don't let being the Sigma Chi Sweetheart fool you, she was a feisty pixie on the field. As much as the seniors will be missed, which isn't very much, the youth of the team will provide a bright and sunny future. Some have already dubbed the Ultimate class of 2014 "the most naturally talented group Knox has ever seen" in addition to "the most gorgeous bunch of people everrrrr." The freshman class consists of talent from all around the US, from Wisconsin (Go Shorewood!!) to Idaho and all those states in between. By the end of their four years, it can be assured that Knox will have its first ever national championship.
The following is an email sent out my Brann Gallagher during the end of the 2010-2011 Ultimate frisbee year. It is perhaps the most epic email ever sent out to announce a scrimmage.
"Ultimate Players and all other inhabitants of Knox College!
Let it be known that its seems almost a fortnight has nearly pasted since we have engaged in a full squad scrimmage to determine the champion team of ultimate (at least for that day). For the stoic individuals who have continued to show up to practice,well then-- continue to wield your metaphorical ax of effort and continue to enjoy the smoking of earth's bounty, (oh and continue to show up to practice).
We must continue to battle against the relentless onslaught brought by the slothful, whose lethargy threatens us and collects like an infection that bangs against the doors of our glorious ultimate field. Step forward-- everyone! May both God and the spirits of the founders watch over you as you embark on your honorable duty. The duty to come to scrimmage today. It shall not be bemoaned! We will begin with ample training and preparation in the art of disc throwing at four hours past the zenith and begin our eminent battle in recreation at four and half hours past..
.aka we start scrimmaging at 4:30 see you there"
2016: Knox Makes its First Nationals Appearance
In the spring of 2016, the men's ultimate team changed their name and species to River Rats. Inspired by their increased sense of determination, hunger, and love for long road trips, the Rats attended High Tide tournament in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina over Spring Break in order to prepare for the upcoming grind that was to be their season. Though the team came away with an 8-1 record, they were prouder to preserve Knox's reputation as the "Harvard of the Midwest" in their newfound rivalry with Yale University. The rivalry was ignited on the second day of pool play, when Dan Perez, the notorious disc thief and 3-Meat Panini extraordinaire, stole a Yale "Superfly" disc before getting caught and reprimanded. Jeremy Gogoel attempted to defuse the tensions by acting very blase about the theft, but the opposition was angry, and rattled. Knox no doubt went on to win the game and a beautiful ivy league rivalry was formed.
The River Rats went on to take third at Illinois Invite before winning the Illinois Conference Championships. The clinching victory secured them the number one seed coming out of the Illinois Section heading into the weekend of Regionals two weeks later. This was the first time that Knox had won their section in three years, when the 2013 Baberham team went on to win second place in the Regional tournament.
On May 1st, 2016, the River Rats defeated Valparaiso University, the 4th nationally ranked D-III team, to clinch a bid to Nationals. The 2016 event, which pits the top 16 teams against each other in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, will be Knox's first appearance at the National Championship.
The Rats Will Never Stop Eating.
Harper Garvey, I love you so much. Bing-Bong
The Knox River Rats floated their way down to their first nationals via large and small waterways to arrive in NC on May 20th, 2016. Throughout 3 days of competitive play they scratched and nibbled their way to a 5th place finish, Losing only to Lewis & Clark and the eventual champions Georgia College.
Only time will tell if the Rats or Pussies will make an equally grimy return journey in the 2017 season, but the future seems bright with such stars as Neil "The Ferret" "I Love Evanescence" Banerji as their new Team Manager.
2017/2018: the year of the Frisbee House
Knox Ultimate turns the fuck up. In Fall Term 2017, Frisbee House was established on Monmouth Blvd just past the Quickie. Residents of the house include Cabreezy, Willy-C, Jackyboy, and Nick (no nickname cause he's not actually frisbee) 4 amazing parties were thrown this fall term, and twice they were shut down by Galesburg Police. We are very proud of this reputation, and will continue to throw amazing parties the rest of the year. Okay Stats is ending now so I will save this edit and add more later.
Anyways, Frisbee House is a two flat apartment. Thus, it is excellent for hosting really large parties, especially during the warmer months, where the excellent upstairs and downstairs porches can host upwards of 50 people on each deck. The large open field to the West of the house is also very usable for throwing a frisbee, football, or wiffle ball. The area to the South of the house has abundant prairie plants and trees -- the ideal place for throwing up after a lit Frisbee Formal. (If you ever find yourself in the backyard, keep an eye out for a discarded turkey carcass that was devoured by hungry hucksters at Fall Formal.)
We are known to throw the best parties on campus. If you are reading this and are heated, or if you disagree, just take it as a direct challenge to throw a better party. As Schraggy would say simply, "You Won't."
See you soon at the next Frisbee Banger, Knox community.
Natalie Veneziano Winter White Out Tournament
Each winter, Knox holds an indoor tournament across the gym's four courts, playing one game at a time. The tournament is named for Natalie Veneziano, a former Knox Ultimate player who recently passed away from cancer. At the tournament, a ceremony is held thanking the teams, remembering Natalie, and awarding the Rob Clark Award to the alumni who best displayed the spirit of Ultimate Frisbee and contributed it to the club. It has been awarded once to a non-alumni: in 2004, Jeremy Karlin (husband of professor Monica Berlin and long-time team tutor, competitor, and friend for the team). The mixed Knox A team won the tournament in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
2016: Cats: Maureen Lincke and Casie Panganibad | Rats: Jonathan Yeoh and Sean Treacy |
2017: Rats: Cats: Meryl Davis, Carly Gilbert, Lily Sronkowski | Jack Harman, Will Ensign-Church and Jonathan Schrag |
2018: Rats: Cats: Meryl Davis, Odessa Sagli, Keara Crook| Alec Hegg, Jonathan Schrag, Ezra Schley |
2019:Cats: Allison Mollinari, Tessa Moore, Tegan Doherty | Akash Patel, August Lindberg, Alec Hegg |
- http://www.knox.edu/x4208.xml Knox Website news article]