RACINE — Kevin Pettit-Scantling dreams of playing ultimate Frisbee on an Olympic field someday.
There’s one major hitch in his plan: ultimate Frisbee is not recognized as an Olympic sport.
Racine resident Pettit-Scantling, 21, co-founded DJones, a group of high school and college students that comes together to play ultimate in the area.
Working to make ultimate an Olympic sport is not DJones’ primary goal, but it is in the back of some members’ minds. Introducing the community to ultimate is a more immediate priority.
The number of players joining DJones has almost tripled in the four years since its inception.
DJones, named after the Doctor Jones Elementary School field where the founders — Pettit-Scantling, Donnie Jones, David Zickus and Aaron Gunn — discovered their love of ultimate, holds tournaments in the warmer months, attracting an average of 16 teams to each event, each with at least eight players, Pettit-Scantling said.
“It’s really not a question of ‘if’ you’ll get hooked on the sport, it’s what gets you hooked on the sport,” Pettit-Scantling said. “People make it their own,” so ultimate can be an outlet to distract from life’s hardships, he added.
James Paulson, 22, an environmental science major at Carthage College, has been involved with DJones for a little more than two years. Paulson has played many sports since second grade, but ultimate is his favorite.
In ultimate, friendship and fun come before competitiveness, according to Paulson.
“I know I’m not the best one out on the field, but I know I’ll always be out there,” he said.
Racine resident Kerry Adamski, 55, lives near the Lockwood Park on Graceland Boulevard, and has become an avid fan of the sport after watching DJones teams play there.
“It’s so positive — they’re not drinking, they’re not running the streets,” Adamski said of the young people. “It’s wonderful that kids are doing something, and they’re doing it all themselves with no sponsor.”
With a growing, loyal fan base and enthusiastic athletes, Pettit-Scantling sees the potential for ultimate to be a successful Olympic sport.
“It might as well be an Olympic sport so we can all play it on one field,” he said.
Still, “to make something an Olympic sport is beyond my knowledge right now,” Pettit-Scantling said. His more immediate goal is making the community aware of ultimate.
DJones’ next tournament is set to start at 10 a.m. July 21 at Lockwood Park.
All are welcome to participate. In fact, Pettit-Scantling said that it is fairly common for someone who just happens to be walking by the park to ask to join in the game.
If individuals cannot find enough players to organize a team, often, Pettit-Scantling will open up his team so that everyone can participate.
Though players are predominately high school and college students for the time being, Pettit-Scantling, who left UW-Milwaukee this year, hopes to expand DJones so that it is not so school-affiliated.
For more information on DJones, visit the Doc Jones Facebook page.