Jaycee Park: Ultimate reunion
Life has spread the Rosemount High School class of 2007 all over the country. Yet each summer a group of friends reconnects through untraditional means -- Ultimate Frisbee.
The former classmates started meeting up for games shortly after graduation in 2007 and have kept up the tradition during the summers since.
The group, which communicates via Facebook, includes more than 90 people, mostly from the 2007 class. Group co-founder Ben Zschunke, who attends college in North Carolina, said they will get some people from the '08 and '09 classes too, but the majority graduated in '07.
While school's out for the warmer months, the old chums meet several times a week at Jaycee Park. They play for a couple of hours and get two or three games in. While the Facebook group has 90 members about 20 will regularly show up to the games.
Kevin Groenjes and Zschunke started the whole thing as a way to get their friends together to do something fun. They all liked Ultimate Frisbee so it seemed like the perfect fit.
In the beginning they tried to communicate through phone calls but it caused a lot of confusion and was difficult. Then Groenjes and Zschunke established a Facebook group to keep everyone informed and it became a lot simpler. Facebook is a popular social networking website.
"Facebook is the key, it keeps everyone informed," said Groenjes.
The group continues on strong with good attendance at most of the games. While not sure how long they will keep it going, Groenjes anticipates they will continue playing during the summers through their college years.
No one takes the rules too seriously. Their only real goal is to get in a few games before life takes them in different directions again, said Zschunke. It's so relaxed that half the players don't wear shoes during the games.
Ultimate Frisbee is a simple game. It only requires a Frisbee and at least 14 players. It's similar to football in that players try to score by getting into an end zone with the disc. The group plays their games with an official Ultimate disc, however; any Frisbee will do.
To get the disc down the field, players on one team toss it to each other while players from the opposing team try to block them or steal it. If the Frisbee touches the ground possession goes to the other team from where the disc landed. They play to 12 points.
It's a physical game with lots of running and jumping. Zschunke said playing provides his aerobic exercise for the week.
Zschunke said the best part of Ultimate is the free nature of the game. He said some games will last 20 to 30 minutes while others will take longer. He added the group will play in all sorts of weather.
"We really like playing during thunderstorms," said Zschunke.
While most of the players are RHS graduates, the group's not picky about who plays. Friends will bring other friends and complete strangers have joined in on the fun several times.
"We're really flexible and want everyone to play," said Groenjes.
To see when the group is playing next check out their Facebook group page titled Rosemount Ultimate Frisbee.