Dead on Arrival: The Story of UMassD’s Ill-fated Disc Golf Team

By Staff Writer Richard Sure Man.

DISCLAIMER: This article is part of The Torch’s annual “Torchure” issue, the April fools Issue. During the Torchure, our journalistic ethics and commitment to the truth hop on the earliest bus out of town, and we spend the better part of the week trying to coax them back with cannolies and baby oil. The Torch will return to faithful, truthful coverage of UMass Dartmouth-centric news next week, until then, enjoy whatever this is?

As has become customary for athletes of UMassD, another Corsair sports team, this time for the illustrious sport of disc golf, suffered a blowout setback to start their season.

Facing off in an exhibition match against their sister school in UMass Amherst, the Corsairs met their opponent in the early Sunday drizzle to a packed crowd of zero spectators and a whole bunch of oak trees. The Corsairs there had a very important match to play – one that could potentially decide the rest of their season.

As very few of New England’s prestigious colleges organize or operate their own disc golf teams, very few opportunities arise for ours to prove their worth. Aside from UMass Amherst’s disc-slinging Minutemen, the only other local disc golf team exists in the form of Hartford Puppy School’s Terriers team. That roster is fearsome, unforgiving, and loaded to the brim with purebred golden retrievers. Need I explain what these dogs can do with a frisbee?

Needless to say, their match against Amherst was must-win if they wished to keep their top-three seed above the third and last place slot leading into playoffs. Not only would they be contending for postseason promise, but they would be throwing the entire University’s hat into the ring, declaring with pride that we host better athletes than a couple of dogs.

The only thing our disk golf team declared Sunday morning was that we are, collectively, all losers.

The first hole set the tone for the perfect storm of misfortune that the Corsairs would experience throughout the day. Despite the seemingly light rain that accompanied the match, the entire course was flooded, muddy, and otherwise not ideal for an athletic event of any caliber. Many contending Corsairs failed to find proper footing in the muddy terrain to line up a proper throw.

One contestant, whom the Torchure has decided to keep anonymous to defend their sense of self-worth, lost their trusty frisbee in a sandpit hazard, akin to those used in professional golf. Why a disc golf match was played on an actual golf course is a true mystery, but it probably has something to do with how the only empty field on campus has a giant inoperable wind turbine in it.

Upon retrieving his lost frisbee, the Corsair found himself losing his footing in the wet mud-sand mixture. The terrain was too much for his faded pair of Converse shoes, sending him tumbling to the turf. With every attempt to right himself, he found himself slipping again and again. After a few tries to get up, he ultimately gave up. Some say he’s still lying in that golf hazard to this day.

With each passing hole, more and more Corsairs threw in the towel on the day’s performance. With UMassD athletes dropping like flies, most of the roster had dissipated and gone home by the sixth hole. Only one member, team captain and esteemed champion Sebastian Moronta, put aside how cold he felt in forty-degree weather and pressed on.

Pushing on to the ninth and final hole, Moronta was nearing par (which, given the circumstances, was nigh impossible) and within one last stroke from securing a first-place finish. As he was lining up the throw, he suffered the worst fate a disc golf athlete like him could – thigh cramps and dehydration.

Falling to the ground in agony, Moronta rolled around and groaned in pain for approximately five minutes before getting up under his own power and taking an ambulance trip to the nearest hospital. Not only would he leave the match due to injury, he would leave the sport entirely; later that afternoon, Moronta announced his official retirement following a crippling, career-ending injury.

Like the great Joe Theismann before him, Moronta leaves his sport not with a trophy, but in crutches. As for the rest of the disc golf team, the group shows signs of folding. Citing lack of interest and commitment issues, the departure of Moronta signified the end of the last stable era of Corsair disc golf. Perhaps by the next issue of the Torchure, this squad will have undergone a culture change and reformed under new leadership.

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