In the Fall of 2018, Madison middle schools were looking for ultimate coaches, and Daniel Garlock along with Emma Boehm from Atropa were able to coach the Hamilton Middle School team. The goal of the program was to get kids involved with Ultimate and teach them basic form, strategy, and spirit of the game. The Hamilton kids learned how to play hard and be spirited going undefeated this fall. Hamilton had about 20 kids on the team including several who now plan on continuing with Ultimate in high school. We may have some future Hodags and Bella Donnas on our hands!
In the Spring of 2018, Ja'Ron, a student at Badger Rock Elementary, reached out to the Wisconsin Ultimate programs asking to set up weekly clinics at his local Madison middle school in part for a project. Branavan Yogarajah and Andrew "Dirtball" Everts along with Kaitlynne "Bunz" Roling and Michelle "Meesh" Zaber from Bella Donna went to the school over the course of a couple months to give weekly clinics to Ja'Ron and about 15-20 other middle schoolers with interest in ultimate frisbee. In the end, the kids had a blast learning the basics of ultimate from these great collegiate athletes, and Ja'Ron got an "A" on his project!
Dirtball and Bunz with middle schoolers from Badger Rock Elementary
In late September, a couple of Hodags helped out with an E.R.I.C. clinic at a local middle school. The goal of the clinic was to simultaneously teach young adolescents about ultimate frisbee and cancer symptom recognition. We taught the kids to throw and catch along with explaining how they should speak up when something is wrong with their bodies. The middle schoolers ended the clinic by playing a quick game of ultimate before we had to say goodbye. Maybe, some of these kids will turn out to be future Hodags!
On December 14th, the Hodags teamed up with the Belladonnas to spend a Saturday morning giving back to the community through Second Harvest Foodbank. They spent most of their time sorting and bagging fresh produce that would eventually be given to families in need in the Madison area for the Holiday season. The project was a success, special thanks to Jordan, Peter, Chris, Tommy, Nick, Shane and Rainy for continuing the proud Hodag tradition of giving back to our wonderful Madison community.
Food for Haiti was an opportunity for us to help out people that really needed it. We spent a few hours on a Saturday making packs of food filled with dehydrated vegetables, vitamins, and rice. Not the most appetizing meal, but each package fed a family of 6. After we helped out, we got to work getting ready for regionals.