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The Blue & Gray Press | December 15, 2017

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Nice Disk. Wanna Huck?

JOEY MERKEL

And so it was that the Sacred Heartasaurus-Rex Church of Raptor Jesus came to be and so it was that a festival of fools became the place to unleash its awesome power and mysteriousness to the world.
The venue? Pratt Park. The city? The unsuspecting Fredericksburg. These obeyers of prehistoric, pre-Christianic gods poured in to the small Virginia city equipped with flying discs that enabled them to move swiftly across fields of grass efficiently without hindrance.
Screams of raw passion erupted from the sidelines when non-believers stood in their way.
“W.W,” screamed any number of Raptor Jesus followers, as the rest would call in return “R.J.D.”
“What Would Raptor Jesus Do?”
A question that UMW alums Luke Wolckenhauer and Ryan Scales asked themselves one day. After making up pamphlets to spread the word of who they were and whom they represented, Raptor Jesus’ time had come to be unleashed.
Raptor Jesus claimed the hearts of many this weekend at Fool’s Fest, an annual three-day ultimate frisbee tournament, including those of Mary Washington students and RJ team members, seniors Paul Murray, Patrick Whelan, Daniel Curran, Jeremiah Karrs , junior Dave Gallagher and sophomore Austin Bartenstein.
Fools Fest was founded by Eric Knudsen in 1978 and was originally host to only 16 teams who played on the grounds of the Washington Monument. “Fools” is now the longest running ultimate Frisbee tournament after 30 years of rockin’ and has over 1000 players competing every year.
How do you become part of the Raptor Jesus faith, you ask? Sometimes you may not have a choice; sometimes Raptor Jesus chooses you. Ask anyone you may have seen walking around with what may appear to be a bloody “R” on his or her foreheads.
“They were raptizing people all over the place,” Bartenstein said.
Worry not readers, this is merely a harmless ritual. If you are chosen, you are simply surrounded by Raptor Jesus and have the ceremonial “R” tattooed to your forehead in bright red lipstick and a ritualistic scratch to the neck is applied shortly afterward to signify the mark of the one known as “Raptor Jesus.”
In the weekend’s tournament, the followers did their lord proud as the team won four games while losing three, finishing fifth place out of 20 all-male teams.
Across the three-day tournament the team took out Harvard University, the James Madison University alumni team, Middlebury by way of Vermont and “Death or Glory.” The last of which has previously received multiple bids to Nationals.
Unfortunately, Raptor Jesus fell in the quarterfinals of the Division I bracket to “Plonkers” who in turn lost to the eventual champions “Peggy Cronin.”
As for next year’s tournament, the question of whether Raptor Jesus will return to the fields of Fredericksburg and once again try to recruit followers and compete is up in the air.
“We did well this year so maybe we can do the same thing next year.” Bartenstein said. “It would be great if Raptor Jesus could be resurrected just like…”