So, I split the squid history into 4 parts. This is the first of the 4.
The origins of the Air Squids go back to 1980, when a group of grad students got together and formed the team. At the time the team was known as Entropy. It wasn’t until the 1988-1989 season that the team became known as the Air Squids. The name Air Squids was originally a joke. A player named Peter Ritson, who had previously played for UC Santa Cruz, would call his teammates a bunch of squids whenever they didn’t play hard. Since squids were spineless and soft. Dave Adelson is said to have come up with the name Air Squids. The idea was that the team would temporarily be named the Air Squids, until they became a better team. In theory as the team was to get better, the squid would move up to be something like Air Sharks or something higher up on the phylogenetic scale.
At the time, the early UCSD ultimate team was not as big and well structured as it is now. The team was under the radar in the ultimate scene in the mid 80’s due to lack of interest and organization. However, one thing that was known during this time period was that UCSD used to host a tournament known as Winter Crystal Palace. It wasn’t until later in that decade the team reappeared back on in the ultimate scene.
The 1988-89 season had a core of 9 regulars and 3-5 additional guys who would sometimes show up to play. A big problem for the team during this era, was the lack of competition. To solve this problem UCSD, Cal State Long Beach, Caltech, UCLA, UCI, and Northern Air Force base collaborated to form the SCCUL (Southern California Collegiate Ultimate League). The structure of the league had 4 of the 6 teams meeting every other week and playing a round robin of 3 games each. Additionally, scrimmages with SDSU and UCR were organized.
After that season, the popularity of ultimate spread throughout the campus thanks to the start of an intramural league. Along with the intramural scene, a huge factor which raised campus awareness about ultimate was the sale of $5 discs. The team sold discs not for profit, but rather to raise awareness of the sport. John Toman was one of the original team members who did the designs for the shirts, discs, sweaters, and various Squid paraphanalia.
In order for the Squids to grow and become more competitive, the local competition had to get better as well. That meant there was a lot of cooperation with other regional/ local teams to help their programs develop as well. Although the SCCUL was formed, it wasn’t until the addition of teams from Northern California and Oregon which really helped competitive college ultimate grow. Pat Pohl, the current coach of Las Positas college and collegiate regional coordinator of the western region* at the time, made the Winter Collegiate Tournament. There was a huge effort to get the teams from so cal and nor cal/ Oregon to come together and play this winter tournament. This was a huge step for not just UCSD ultimate, but west coast ultimate as a whole, since the tourney brought together all the west coast teams for the first time.
An interesting side note from this time period is that we were the first team west of the Mississippi and second team in the nation to hire a coach (Tony Pellicane).
A picture of the crystal palace tourney shirt
A special thanks to Dave Adelson and Nami for getting me in contact w/ Dave .
Sectionals this weekend...some teams are about to get shat on by the squids.