The summer ultimate league starts next week, which is always a good time. The league draft is Tuesday, and for the sixth time I’ll be a captain. It’s always fun to captain a team, although it means quite a bit more work on and off the field. Last year I grabbed a co-captain for the first time– my friend Michael was gracious enough to help me– and it turned out well. Michael’s a great guy, and it was good to have someone who could help run practices, or just be at the practice when I couldn’t for some reason. Plus I felt like I didn’t have to make all of the decisions (white or dark? pull or receive? this endzone or that one? hard cap in five minutes or ten?).

So this summer I’ll be co-captaining with my longtime friend Brenda, who is not only a stellar ultimate player but also about three metric tons of fun mushed into a small woman’s body. I met her during my first official season in the Boulder league, ten years ago, and I’m really excited to work with her this time around.

One key component– often overlooked when drafting teams for the league– is the ability to write cheers. After every game, each team comes up with an original, spontaneous cheer to yell (or sometimes sing) to the other team. It’s a great way to promote spirit and fun after a hard-fought game, and a grand tradition. And Brenda is without a doubt the best cheer writer this county has ever seen. (I could easily find a hundred people who play in the league who would back me up on that statement.) The stuff she comes up with– mostly hilarious spoofs on well-known songs– is amazing. Since part of the overall scorekeeping for the league is “team spirit” we’ve already got a leg up on the competition.

So bring on those lazy summer nights, playing on nice warm grass as the sun sets over the mountains. I can’t wait.