Team KAVU takes Ultimate national title
Masters winners in Florida
In the end it was all worth it.
All the training, time spent away from families, expense and travel paid off for the KAVU Ultimate frisbee team.
The Ketchum-based squad (also known as Ketchum and Various Underground) captured the Master's division in the United Players Association (UPA) Club national championships staged at Sarasota, Fla., Oct. 28-31.
Team KAVU attributed its win to strong focus and improved skills, along with a winning small-town attitude.
In a tournament conducted at Sarasota Polo Club, KAVU came from behind to defeat Old and in the Way of Boulder, Colo. in the championship.
Trailing 13-12, the two teams battled to 14-14 when Boulder committed a costly turnover, which Ketchum converted into the final winning point. It was the fourth consecutive year Old had fallen in the championship.
En route to the final, Ketchum knocked off GLUM 15-12, and Old Sag 15-9.
In a field of 12 teams from eight different regions, KAVU rang up a flawless 8-0 record, which is a huge improvement over last year in which they bowed out in the semifinals.
"Exceptional play was put forth by local players, Eric Rogers, Mike Payne, Scott Runkel, Bill Sherrerd and Tom Kennedy," teammate Trent Stumph remarked.
Also making up the 2004 championship team were: Alex Cross, Joe Dunbrasky, Kib Dacklin, Mike O'Dowd, Walter Van Der Schraaf, Pat Benson, Joel Mallett, Chris Eaton, David Pilliod, Paul Schiess, Tony Crane, Michael Lauber, Andy Petroff, Chase Fetter, Heb Kaup, Toby Johnson and John Milich.
Fetter said about Team KAVU, "Some of these guys have been playing on and off for over 20 years, and many of them have families and careers that make it harder and harder for us to get together and do what we love.
"Plus, the only thing you go home with is the thrill of victory and an empty wallet, which is hard to share with our wives."
Team KAVU, sponsored by the Seattle-based outdoor company for the past three years, will probably be hanging up its KAVU visors, although it's anticipated that some likeness of the team will continue to compete.
Last year KAVU celebrated its 10-year anniversary of bring the best, most comfortable and rugged outdoor wear to active people around the world.