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Spring Tune-Up & the Happy Return

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USA Ultimate’s college series is ramping up, with qualifier tournaments fast approaching,  University of Victoria’s Kevin Underhill (FG #89)  stirred up interest in getting the varsity squads together with the competitive teams for some scrimmages.  Naturally, it rained.

Furious George, Blackfish, UVIC and UBC convened for a day of tune-up play in Vancouver’s Strathcona district.  The weather varied between tolerably cold and annoyingly wet, but it made for good practice.    Jeff Bell was on hand to take pictures.

 

It also marked Bobo Eyrich‘s first return to ultimate since his ACL tear against NexGen last summer.

Bobo Eyrich, FG#7

Bobo (venerably listed as “Charles Beaufort” on more official documents) is a fairly recent transplant from the Halifax ultimate scene.  He made a name for himself playing for Team Canada U23 in 2010 and then with UBC Thunderbirds in 2011.  He earned his spot with the Angry Monkey practically before tryouts, and subsequently joined our defensive line.  Like a lot of rookies, he was energetic, nervous, and eager to please almost to a fault.  He was a gently hulking defender who occasionally flattened me like a truck, and would then follow up with a bashful inquiry if I thought he had executed the drill correctly. It was like sharing the field with a 200lb labrador.  But after only ten practices, an unlucky stroke (25:10 NexGen Vimeo timestamp) crippled him for the remainder of the season.  I still shake my head when I remember the commentator’s starkly understated observation: “it looks like we have an injury on the play.”  Just like that, in an instant that almost no one noticed, one play cost one of our most relentlessly positive, forward-looking players a year.

It was a rookie’s nightmare, but he still strove to prove himself to his peers in pretty much the only way left to him: supporting the team and doing his best to learn from his seat on the sideline.  Despite his injury, Bobo unwaveringly accompanied Furious every step of the way in 2011, attending every major milestone along the team’s path (not to mention almost every practice), even flying to Ottawa and to Sarasota just to share in our successes and our failures from the bench.  I have never met anyone who wanted to play more desperately than he, and he spent the entire summer a prisoner of his own knee.

Bobo got his surgery and rehabilitated with his characteristic determination.  On Saturday, he made a triumphant return.  With an exuberance that made most of us laugh out loud, Bobo played an amazing day of ultimate, and cheered himself on with fist-pumps and overflowing gusto as if the NexGen crowd was right there watching again.  I didn’t think it was possible, but he looks even better than ever.  Bobo is not famous, but you would like him to be.

Congratulations, Bobo.  It’s good to have you back.

Bobo celebrates Furious' win in the CUC Finals.

 

NexGen vs Furious George – Full Game from NexGen Ultimate on Vimeo.

Alex Davis

One Response to “Spring Tune-Up & the Happy Return”

  1. Karl Heinz Says:

    Hi Bobo, great to hear and see you are back…….hope you can make it to Japan for the big games in 2012….all the BEST to you and the team