WEST BETHESDA, Md. —
For Bradley Scott, Ultimate Frisbee has been more than just a sport; it has been a way of life.
"I always knew I would play Frisbee," said Scott, an engineer in the Propulsor Manufacturing Office at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division in West Bethesda, Maryland. "I didn't know where it would lead me."
"My earliest memory as a kid was going out with my mom and watching my dad play Ultimate Frisbee," he said. "My dad played ultimate in college and then continued on to play club and then, when I was born, he was playing every Monday and Wednesday at the Frisbee field down by Baker Park in Frederick, Maryland."
Scott, 24, started to play around the age of 10 or 11, but due to the lack of Ultimate Frisbee youth teams during that time, he was unable to get involved in a league. In his teenage years, he tried to start a team at his high school, but was unsuccessful due to the lack of funding.
Nonetheless, he never got discouraged and continued to find ways to stay involved in the sport. Eventually, with help from some of his friends, he organized day-long, semi-annual tournaments in their area, which over time drew between 200-250 people.
"We actually got mistaken for an actual, legitimate tournament instead of kind of a high school, fun tournament, so Towson University actually one year sent their team to this tournament thinking it was a legitimate, sanctioned tournament," Scott said.
Once he started college in 2010 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, he didn't waste any time seeking out an opportunity to finally get involved in a league.
"That was the first thing I did during welcome week. I joined the Frisbee team," Scott said.
However, playing at the college level wasn't enough for Scott. While balancing his college season, he also played at the club level. After the professional league was created in 2013, he joined the D.C. Breeze professional Ultimate Frisbee team the next year.
While balancing three teams at once may seem like a daunting task for a college student, Scott didn't have any issues.
"I've always been very active with all different types of sports, and I just enjoy the mental challenge of trying to get your body to do the best it can, as well as get your team to work as a cohesive unit to beat another team," Scott said.
Even though he graduated in 2015 and left the college league, his schedule has not slowed down, and he still remains active on the club and professional level.
"From February to October, I don't have a free weekend. I'm playing Frisbee every single weekend," Scott said. "I enjoy playing, and I work hard when I play and I kept getting better and I keep getting better."
His hard work and dedication eventually earned him a spot as one of three captains for the D.C. Breeze in 2015, where he maintains that position today. While he said he wants to ensure his team plays well, one of his main focuses is to ensure they still remain a fun, spirited team.
"Sometimes in a game my role as a captain is that I'm the voice for my team," Scott said. "If they're being fouled or misused, and the refs aren't calling it, then it's my responsibility to make sure the refs are hearing it and I talk to the refs in a good, respectful way because if I don't, then my players are just going to start yelling, and it's going to become very unspirited and the game is going to kind of devolve."
He also wants to continue to build and maintain the chemistry of the team on and off the field.
"My teammates, they'll come over; we'll have cook outs," Scott said. "We'll have like weekly board game nights. It's become much more than just teammates, they've become lasting friends."
"The more love you have for your teammates, the harder you are going to fight for them during the games," he said.
Scott said playing a team sport also offers him the opportunity to learn interpersonal skills, which he said attributes to his work ethic.
"Right now at my job, I'm on a team. We [Propulsor Manufacturing Office] are a team of eight people, and we're working toward common goals," Scott said. "Each one of us has side missions to accomplish toward the long-term, outcome goal, and I know how to work well in that environment because I'm on these sports teams."
Playing on the professional team has also helped him get involved in the community, which he hopes will expose future generations to the sport.
"I was doing a clinic in Anacostia teaching low, social economic-status kids Ultimate Frisbee, and they were loving it; they were eating it up," Scott said. "We bused them all over to our game and got them to watch and play. That's the type of thing I want to keep doing."
He's looking forward to seeing the expansion and growth of the sport, but hopes it never loses that special feel that keeps him involved in the sport.
"I think that the Ultimate Frisbee community is special. I think that if you were to move anywhere in the world and you find the ultimate community, they are very nice and kind. It's different. Part of our identity right now is that it's small. It's our own thing."