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Catching up With the Indianapolis AlleyCats

Writer / Alesha McCarty
Photographer / Kory Easterday and Michael Durr

The members of the Indianapolis AlleyCats thoroughly enjoy competing as part of the American Ultimate Disc League.

Travis Carpenter, team member, stresses the simplicity and various physical challenges of the game in particular.

“All you need is a disc and a field,” Carpenter says. “I love the challenge – running, stamina and coordination. It’s low impact in contrast to other sports. You don’t even need cones. You can play just about anywhere.”

Although being a pro athlete is a full-time job, most team members have other careers and are involved in their communities.

Indianapolis AlleyCatsThe humility of the players makes them relatable, and several of the players say that the team meet-and-greets are some of their favorite moments on game days. You can chat with your favorite AlleyCat player before and after each game. Tim Held, majority owner of the team, previously owned a sporting goods store before starting the team in 2012.

“I love the up-close-and-personal aspect,” Held says.

The sport is for fans of all ages, and Carpenter says kids get the most excited.

“It’s fun to see how super-pumped they get,” Carpenter says. “Sometimes they’re getting their first frisbee or our autographs, and seeing their pure excitement is inspiring.”

Derek Tow, a minority owner, is excited to get back to the game.

“I miss the camaraderie,” he says. “There’s nothing like seeing ultimate live. They have exciting plays, big dives and big jumps on a regular occurrence.”

Tow’s enthusiasm for the sport is infectious. Game day is family day, and you can find his wife Cindy running the merchandise stand, or his kids running the flag during halftime. The AlleyCats are passionate about revamping the kids club this year, including an opportunity to run the flag across the field.

The AlleyCats kids club membership is a perfect gift.

“We want to keep it accessible for everyone,” Held says.

Indianapolis AlleyCatsA one-year membership is $30, and comes with a membership card, frisbee, water bottle, merchandise discount, game tickets, and access to meet-and-greets with players for the kids. Details can be found on the official team website. Kids 5 and under can attend games for free. Your kid may grow up to be an AlleyCat one day, and attending can be a great way to get them introduced to the sport.

The AlleyCats keep one field open to kids for free play or clinics, as well as cornhole, other games and prizes. There is a new spot to fuel up for the day, Grand Stand Sports Pub and Concessions, which is a family-friendly environment offering a full restaurant and bar stocked with local favorites. The 150-seat space overlooks the action happening on the field, so you can fuel up and not miss any of the action. The pub will also host post-game celebration parties.

“Everybody’s welcome,” Tow says. “Meet the team, get an autograph, grab some grub and just celebrate community.”

The meet-and-greets will also be a great time to figure out how to get more involved. Kids usually start in middle school, like Nick Phillips, the team’s youngest member at 19 years old. After a delayed season due to the pandemic, Phillips says he is excited to play.

The AlleyCats are one big family, if that family had 29 brothers.

“It’s been great learning about life and the game from them all,” Phillips says.

Phillips is also currently studying to be a performance psychologist. Head Coach Will “Bama” Drumright has been a great mentor to Phillips, as he has a background in mental skills psychology. Drumright also started in a youth group, and thinks it is a great way to make friends. He personally enjoys the mentor aspect of the job, and is excited for the new team to get started.

The AlleyCats will kick off the season with a meet-and-greet on June 13 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Broad Ripple’s family-friendly neighborhood spot, Half Liter BBQ. The team will be there for pictures, chats and autographs. You can learn more about future games and events as well.

General admission for games will be $11, and free for kids under 5. You can also purchase a season pass for just $49. For more info, go to myalleycats.com.

 

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