Turlock has the best Ultimate Frisbee club in the state of California.
The name is '209 Ultimate' and the founder is a Livermore native Geoff Rexroth, who found a home in Turlock some three-plus years ago.
“I moved over here from Livermore with my girlfriend who got a job out here so I decided to find an ultimate club,” said Rexroth. “Wherever we go we need to either create or make sure there is an 'Ultimate' community because it is so important to us.”
Ultimate, or what some better know it as 'Ultimate Frisbee' has flown under the radar over the last half decade but it has made a roar within the community and young athletes.
“We started three years ago and it was just an after-school program where some moms played and wanted their kids to play,” said Rexroth.
It didn't take long before word of mouth expanded the program from a 12-kid roster to 40-plus in just a matter of 36 months.
“At first we did okay, but we have only gotten better since the first year,” said Rexroth. “Now we are the best of the best.”
Just how good is Turlock's Ultimate team?
209 Ultimate finally made a big splash in November, winning the Fog Burn Five tournament at Ocean Beach in San Francisco with a 4-0 record sweep.
They won all games by a nine-point margin or more, winning 11-1, 11-2, 11-1 and finally 13-1 in the championship game.
“We dominated that first tourney win,” said Rexroth.
Not four months later, in February, 209 Ultimate returned to defend their title in another showdown called 'King of Bongo.'
Again, 209 Ultimate went on to dominate all four teams and went 4-0.
209 Ultimate outscored their eight opponents in the last two tournaments by a score of 100-16.
“We kind of went from the bottom to the middle and now the top. Hopefully we will stay there with our influx of junior varsity players and continuing elementary kids as well,” said Rexroth of the recent success and national attention.
Like many sports, there is a girls team and a boys team, but what makes Ultimate so unique is that boys and girls get to play with and against one another.
“I might have some girls playing in my all-star team this summer and it's great to see them be great teammates and find faith in younger kids because they play differently,” said Rexroth.
Ages vary from eight-years old to the high school level and everyone is encouraged to at least try it out.
“I want our kids to enjoy the sport as much as possible but if they are having a terrible time and they are good then I'm not doing a good job as a coach and our program is not doing a good job,” said Rexroth. “I don't care if they are great players but terrible people so we are very disciplined on how we speak to each other on the positive words we use and negative tones and senses we don't use.”
Rexroth has brought attention to a sport that has been overlooked by many of the mainstream athletes.
“As we all know, our sport is fringy,” said Rexroth. “But I understand we get teased, but we don't want to become other sports. We are fine... we set the precedent on being good people who are also athletic so I'm good with that.
“This city is known for its youth sports so for us to develop another sport that builds athleticism and builds character as well is a great thing,” he added. “Athleticism is great but fact that they are great people as well is a huge aspect that some sports lose... if ultimate is the only sport where everyone is nice to each other and nobody wants to get in a fist fight, I want that to be our sport.”