Deep in the heart of this football-loving state, another sport is claiming a spot on the Texas roster. The fast-paced sport of professional ultimate Frisbee has sailed into Dallas-Fort Worth.
This isn't a group of guys playing a pick-up game on a soccer field; it's a professional, win-or-go-home team whose players dedicate weekends and evenings to the sport.
The team, known as the Dallas Roughnecks, kicks off its first season on Saturday, April 2 on their home turf in The Colony. The Roughnecks are one of 26 American Ultimate Disc League teams (AUDL) across Canada and America.
For those not familiar, ultimate Frisbee players score points by throwing the disc to teammates and making it down the field to the end zone. The catch is, players have to stop running once they receive a pass; they throw it to someone else within seven seconds to prevent a turnover.
Beau Kittredge, one of the Roughnecks' captains, has played ultimate Frisbee for 24 years and moved to Dallas to help build the team. He calls the ultimate Frisbee "the only sport that had everything I loved: It involved playing with friends, the athletic things I like, the mental aspect, the teamwork, training ... this sport had it all," Kittredge says.
He says the owner, Jim Gerencser, recruited him about three years ago, but it took him awhile to get to Texas. Gerencser, who currently travels between his homes in San Francisco and Dallas, started playing ultimate Frisbee more than 35 years ago. He knew Dallas was available in the AUDL so he bought the franchise and began to build a team.
The young team has 21 players from all over the country. Five players of its players, Kittredge, Jimmy Mickle, Kurt Gibson, Dylan Freechild and Cassidy Rasmussen, will compete in the world tournament later this summer for Team USA.
Kurt Gibson and Brodie Smith, two Dallas Roughneck players, are also teammates on TV show The Amazing Race.
An avid fan and player of the game, Mark Sellers, says he's been waiting for Dallas to get a team for 30 years.
"It's one of the most-exciting games I've ever seen played," Sellers says. "I'm excited about the professional level because I think it gives the younger people something to shoot for -- they think it's now a 'real' sport."
First game is at 7 p.m. April 2 at Field 8 at the Five Star Soccer Complex, 4100 Blair Oaks Dr, The Colony. $10. dallasroughnecks.com.