The spirit of flying discs: CSU’s 18th annual Fright Flight

Scoober, hammer, sky’ed, D stands for disc – all phrases tossed around on the intramural fields this past weekend at Colorado’s largest ultimate frisbee tournament, Fright Flight.

Sponsored by The Wright Life, a sporting goods store in Fort Collins, Fright Flight is a Halloween-themed tournament where teams are required to dress up in costumes to compete.

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Marshall Rawley jumps to catch a frisbee on Saturday during Fright Flight on the IM fields. Rawley is a member of the CSU frisbee team.
Marshall Rawley jumps to catch a frisbee on Saturday during Fright Flight on the IM fields. Rawley is a member of the CSU frisbee team.

Holly Wright, co-owner of the Wright Life, puts on the event each year as a benefit for the CSU womens’ frisbee team, the Hell’s Belles.

From its start 18 years ago, the co-ed tournament has grown from two small local teams to 32 teams participating, and has become a popular alternative for teams coming all across the Front Range.

Any team that does not make it to the National Championships, which are going on this week, Fright Flight is a fun opportunity for them to finish their season.

“Fort Collins itself has an enormous Ultimate community, so we have tons of people come and participate,” said Peter Jadovich, a natural resources management senior, team member on Hibida, CSU mens’ Ultimate Frisbee team. “It’s a great opportunity to get everyone playing in one place.”

Fright Flight is a time where fans and alumni from CSU’s frisbee team Hibida, which name means an “unidentified fluid on top of a surface” and Hell’s Belles come to mingle and witness the spirit of the flying disc each year.

“We do have people come every year,” said Wright, who was dressed as a minion from Despicable Me for her team. “It’s kind of a reunion.”

Mark Witherell, who has been participating Fright Flight for the past decade on the Sweet Action club team out of Denver, was decked out in full Game of Thrones gear for his “Crowes Before Hoes” themed team.

“All you gotta do is buy a battle axe, Frisbee and a pair of cleats,” Witherell said. “It’s a pretty cheap sport.”

The tournament is full of spirit and fun, but there is still a competitive element. The 32 teams are placed in a bracket and ranked through a process of elimination.

“People are silly and having a good time, but some of the games are really competitive,” said Matt Marrapode, biomedical and mechanical engineering senior who plays on on Team Hibida and played on Unicorn Cowboys in Fright Flight.

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“Even though people are in costumes, you see some fairly athletic plays out here,” Marrapode said.

Every team has its own theme, and three-year Hell’s Belle Heather Causey, senior environmental sociology major, captain for Fright Flight, chose Austin Powers.

“Fright Flight is of the art of frisbee – being random, being crazy and creative and having fun in costumes,” Causey said.

Along with Fright Flight, the Rocky Mountain Invitation is an annual tournament held in the spring to benefit Hibida, the CSU men’s team.

Hibida was ranked 65th out of 400 teams nationally last year, and placed 7th regionally.

“The rookies on our team take it very seriously. We actually do make cuts,” Jadovich said.

Ultimate Frisbee, a club sport at CSU has been around since the 1980s, and the legends of the sport have seen it grow over the years and become quite trendy.

“We didn’t grow up playing Frisbee, you know, no one does,” Marrapode said.

The team members take it seriously, but Fright Flight is all about having fun and tossing discs.

 “At the end of the day, it’s still just a plastic circle flying through the air,” Jadovich said.

Collegian Diversity Beat Reporter Hannah Hemperly can be reached at news@collegian.com.