Whitman Sweets host multi-team, ‘laid-back’ Onionfest
Fun, frisbee and, hopefully, sun will all be in order for the Ultimate Frisbee team’s annual tournament/onion-eating contest known as Onionfest.
Onionfest is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Whitman Ultimate Frisbee team and goes a long way towards covering the team’s traveling and equipment expenses.
“The tournament serves two purposes,” said Ultimate player and Onionfest organizer, Luke Sanford, “it is widely known as one of the most fun tournaments around each year, and it is a great fundraiser and attention grabber for the Whitman Sweets, our ultimate team.”
The Whitman Sweets had a hectic road schedule this year, competing at the Stanford Qualifier, the Stanford Invite, the Trouble in Vegas tournament, and, most recently, a tournament in Santa Cruz over spring break. The money the team takes in from the tournament is essential to covering these costs.
This year, the tournament has attracted 25 teams from around the northwest, three of which will be Whitman teams. One of the Whitman teams, the ‘A’ team, will be comprised exclusively of traveling Ultimate players while the ‘B’ team and the first-year team are open to all interested students.
“Anyone can participate in Onionfest,” said Whitman Sweets player, Johanna Leader. “This year we have enough interest for three full teams. Because Onionfest is a more laid-back, co-ed tournament, it’s a great opportunity for both beginners and more competitive players to form teams.”
The tournament is run very similarly to the NCAA college basketball tournament, with teams being seeded according to their record going into the tournament and their seed affecting who they play.
Teams like the Whitman first-year and ‘B’ teams, that don’t have previous records, are seeded lower down on the bracket.
This year is the 135th anniversary of the tournament. To celebrate, the organizers are putting on a showcase game between Whitman’s all-star alumni and the alumni of Carleton College: recognized as one of the best Ultimate Frisbee schools around.
There will also be an onion-eating contest during the showcase game and free burritos for everyone who comes out to support the teams.
Pool play will begin Saturday with teams facing off against each other based on initial seeding. On Sunday, elimination bracket play begins, culminating in a showdown between the two top teams.
The tournament begins at 8:30 Saturday morning and runs until 5:30 on Saturday night. Play resumes Sunday morning at 9 and the tournament concludes at 4 Sunday afternoon. Most of the games will be hosted at the Whitman soccer complex.
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