LUDA: Give us a brief history of Rigor Mortis. Who founded the team, and how long have you been together?
RM: We are entering our fourth season. After an unsuccessful attempt to start a unified Omaha club team in 2006, we tried again in 2007 with much more success and better turnouts at practice. SOUL starting up was definitely instrumental in that, but we drew the core of our team from pickup games around Memorial Park in Omaha. Our first tournament together was Mayfest 2007 under the name Omaha Bin Laden. The name was, of course, super-offensive and temporary; Summer Solstice in Tulsa, OK (June 2007) was the first time Rigor Mortis took the field. Among the 20ish original founding members of the team, there are about seven who remain, including captains Tim Hoarty, Ryan Mullen, and Tim Hopp. The core of our team has played together in pickup, SOUL, collegiate and club ultimate for almost 5 years, and this stability has allowed us to build every year to become a regional threat.
LUDA: How did you come up with the name "Rigor Mortis", and what does it mean (aside from the obvious)?
RM: The name pays homage to the Nebraska club ultimate tradition. In the 1970s and 80s, the first club team in the state was Death Frisbee, which practiced at Norris Junior High and competed around the region with success. The next iteration was Post Mortem (after death), which included both Lincoln and Omaha players who met halfway in Ashland for practices. We consider ourselves the third generation of Death Frisbee and thusly we rock the vintage black Death replica jerseys.
LUDA: What are your team goals for the year?
LUDA: What tournaments have you gone to so far this season, and how did you guys do?
RM: So far, 2010 has been mostly focused on college and high school ultimate in Omaha and Lincoln. One of our main priorities as a club team is to develop a successful ultimate community around us, and members of Rigor Mortis have been involved with many different activities, tournaments, and clinics. UNO and Cornfed both had busy college seasons although both failed to advance to Regionals as expected, which should motivate the talented players in our state for the club season. Also, Sweet Justice is setting the pace in the youth area and the rest of Nebraska high school ultimate is developing quickly along with them.
LUDA: Talk a bit about your practices; how often do you practice, and how do you structure them?
RM: In the past we have practiced once per week, while most players attended SOUL and multiple days of pickup per week. This year we are scheduling two practices per week and kicking things up a notch, so it will be interesting to see how everyone responds. That said, we expect more productive and efficient practices than in years past. Sunday practice will involve more advanced strategy and more intense conditioning, while Wednesdays at 6PM will focus on developing younger players. As with any Omaha ultimate happening, we are at Memorial Park on 60th and Dodge Streets.
LUDA: How many active players do you have on your roster?
RM: That’s a tough question to answer at the moment and one the won’t be answered until the first few weeks of practice. In years past we have had around 20 active players per year., and at sectionals last year, we had 19. This year, with the addition of Deadweight (captained by Josh Sauer), which will function as a developmental “B” team, we expect vastly increased numbers at practice. At this point we are planning on 25-30 for Sundays and possibly 40 on Wednesdays, but we aren’t really sure. In any case, we are prepared to move forward with whichever players decide to commit, and we encourage any and all local players to check things out. We essentially envision Rigor Mortis as the culmination of the entire disc community here, uniting the best players from around Eastern Nebraska to build a competitive team against regional powerhouses and creating a name for Nebraska ultimate around the Midwest and beyond.
LUDA: How long have you personally been playing?
RM: Among the captains, Tim Hoarty has been playing for 5 years, Ryan Mullen has been playing for 4, and Tim Hopp has been playing for 4. Other players who have been with us since the beginning are Will Watson and Beau Reed, and 2 year veteran Tom Sitorius is also a co-captain this year.
LUDA: What's happening in the immediate future for Rigor? As in, what tournaments are you planning to attend, what are you doing for recruitment, etc.?
RM: We could fill ten pages with our answers to this question, but to be succinct, A LOT. We are adding a second team, planning Battle in the Bluffs III for a much earlier date in the season, and preparing for the start of practice and our first tournament at Mayfest in Kansas City. When our season ended in 2009, we met to discuss the future of the team and plan for 2010. Since then, we have had several other meetings to lay the groundwork for a successful season and we think this year will be pretty memorable for us and Nebraska ultimate as a whole. Our main offseason focus has been recruiting youth players and college players to develop a strong base, while supporting those teams and ensuring their continued existence and success. Early plans are in the works for an ultimate day camp and other youth ultimate projects spearheaded by RigMo team members. We plan to hit plenty of tourneys this year, including Solstice, MUDI, Cooler, Colorado Cup, and Heavyweights before the club Series in the fall.
LUDA: What role do you see Rigor (and is members) playing in the Omaha and greater Nebraska ultimate communities?
RM: Given the growing community around us and the opportunity it provides us with, our players need to first and foremost be role models for the newer and younger members of the community. We are committed to demonstrating and advocating Spirit of the Game and understand that we represent the Nebraska ultimate community wherever we go. We expect the members of our team to support local leagues, hat tournaments, clinics, tournaments, and development of new ultimate teams and opportunities.
LUDA: Every year, you guys host the Battle In The Bluffs tournament. Care to plug it? When and where will it be this year?
RM: You bet we’d care to plug it! This will be the third year of our club tournament, which we feel is an important event for Nebraska ultimate (even though it takes place in Iowa). Having been to many different tournaments, we feel our tournament offers the complete positive tournament experience - painted lines, great fields, great party, camping, awesome people, and an overall sweet weekend. If you haven’t been to Battle in the Bluffs before, you’ve got to check it out this year.
LUDA: Any other tidbits or pertinent information you want readers to know about Rigor?
RM: Get out and play! We accept all players of all skill levels and would love to see you join our gang. More information can be found at our website, including our history, upcoming schedule, past results, news, merchandise, league info, and more. Lastly, to all aspiring young players trying to start a team or keep their team going - stick with it! Practice turnouts can be frustrating sometimes, with only 6 or 8 guys coming out, but believe us, we’ve been there and done that. The key is to keep working hard to get more people coming out to play ultimate. See you on the field!
Thanks guys, and good luck this season! Check out Rigor Mortis' website at www.rigmodisc.com