Tonight's post is from a West Coast player I met while helping to organize Pres Day a handful of years ago and whom I have had the privilege of watching grow as a player over the years. Everyone knows Chip; she's a connector and someone who helped build Centex just by being a part of the tournament. I'm happy to have her share some Centex memories from over the years.
My freshman year, I played on the B team and didn't go to Centex, but I had heard how much fun Centex was from my teammates on the A-team. We even ended up watching the entire Centex Dance-Off on YouTube, and that was how I first learned about Backpack Girl. I was convinced that if I ever went to Centex, it would become a highlight tournament in my college ultimate career.
2011 came around and there I was, sitting in the back of an airplane with all my teammates, singing "I Believe I Can Fly" as the plane left the tarmac. We just finished finals week, it was the start of spring breeaaak, and we were flying to Austin for the last tournament of the regular season - to say we were excited is an understatement.
One of the best things about Centex is that it's more than just a tournament. Yes, it's competitive and yes, for many teams it's the last tournament to accrue bids for your region. But Centex embodies more than that. After a grueling Saturday of games, where your physical endurance and mental toughness is sure to be tested, everyone grabs Texas BBQ before settling down to watch (or participate in) the Centex Dance-Off. You play against teams from states you've never been to, whose playing styles and strategies are vastly different from yours. You get to spend spring break bonding with your teammates and going to Steak N Shake. And after games on Sunday, you convince all your tournament friends (ultimate players you're friends with because you see each other at tournaments) to go to 6th Street.
There's so many memories I can share from Centex, including the time Iowa brought out fire batons, still the most impressive thing I've seen at Centex. And, full disclosure, there's also memories I can share when your team doesn't go to Centex. Like that one time you go to NW Challenge for "weather purposes" instead, and then you end up playing in rainy and windy conditions, below 40 degrees, and some of your teammates didn't think to bring a rain jacket. The true story of a Southern Californian. Too soon? Needless to say, I love Centex.
Michelle Chip Chang
College Team Attended With: UC San Diego PsychosYears Attended: Player 2011-2013
Kansas Betty and Backpack Girl at the 2010 Dance-Off