Career highlights: 2008 US Open Freestyle Champion with Steve Scannell, becoming the oldest player to capture a Major win at age 61 years, 169 days,
Thirteen first place freestyle titles at the Masters Tournaments
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Media exposure: Santa Clara American, Cupertino Courier, Scotts Valley Banner,
Appearances: birthday parties, demos
Mentor(s): Bob Coleman, Joe Messner, Mike Esterbrook
Started playing: playing: 1958; freestyling: 1978; competing: 1981
How I started playing: I first saw freestyle at University of Sonoma during Indian Summer 1978. Six weeks later, I was center delaying self-thrown counterspin.
Favorite move: UD counter brushing,turnover to scarecrow catch, flare pulls, chair pulls, body rolls
Other fun: Getting Macs for all my friends; AppleScript; Home Automation, Geocaching, Sudoku
Partners past & present: Dan Burleson, Bob Coleman, Joe Messner, Dan Roddick, Steve Hays, Allen Elliot, Steve Jennings, Danny Camernesi, Ron King, Danny McInnis, Rick Williams, Steve Scannell, Mike Esterbrook, Steve Hanes, Anne Graves, Tom Gleason, Don Hoffman, Tam Wolfe, Melissa Trail, Bob Morrissey, Tom Leitner, Mark Regalbuti, John Titcomb, Skippy Jammer, Carl Dobson, Greg Riley
My earliest remembrance of tossing a disc was with my Dad in the late 50's. I became a more frequent and better thrower while at Carnegie-Mellon University in the late 60's. We liked to sail Master discs down a slope in Schenley Park nearby. Three fraternity brothers would take turns throwing all the way to the bottom of the slope, retrieved by the bottom player and relayed back to the top by the third player half-up the hill.
Through the early 70's, I continued to hone my throwing and catching ability with my friend, Dan Burleson. We played in the streets and parks of East Hartford, Connecticut. The promise of better jobs took both of us to California where we continued playing Frisbee in the park.
By now a typical Saturday morning began at 7:30 with a round of disc golf on our new self-designed course at Santa Clara Central Park, followed by some pick-up Ultimate play at 10 AM, then freestyle in the afternoon, all at the same park. In the fall of 1978, we spotted a poster for an Indian Summer Frisbee tournament at the University of Sonoma.
Since we could do that BTB and UTL catch thing, we thought we knew everything about Frisbee tossing. Boy, did we have our eyes opened. This "delay" stuff was unbelievable. It was exciting and beautiful. I was blown away by folks like Laura Engel and g. Rose, along with Corey Basso and Evan David. Everyone at the tournament was so far ahead of me. Man, did I want to learn how to do that "delay" thing. I mustered up the courage and asked Laura to show me how to do it. She made it looks so easy.
My love of freestyle has been unabated since I first saw it. Dan and I went home from that tournament and practiced self-sets in our living rooms, measuring the increasing time that we could hold a center delay. Finally we went to the park to actually see if we could receive and delay a throw from each other. It seemed we'd been doing counter self-sets, but were throwing backhands at the park. It didn't take long to realize that we had to use the Ultimate forehand throw.
I talked Dan into partnering at a later tournament. Strong winds, unfamiliar to us, destroyed us and we finished dead last, but it took courage to even go out there. I started playing a lot more than Dan. A job assignment took me to Texas, where I started jammin' on the weekends with Bob Coleman and played in a couple of Austin tournaments.
When I returned to California, I started playing in Carmel with Joe Messner and a couple of teenagers named Tony Grissom and Dave Murphy. Joe and I took the Masters freestyle title at San Diego in 1983 and repeated a few years later.
I have played in tournaments every year since. I've played in twenty-some Masters Tournaments, doing all the events. I cherish the times and partners I've had over the years at these tourneys. These days, I especially enjoy the FPA Worlds tournaments, because it's non-stop, hot freestyle for three days.
I captured a tenth freestyle title in the Senior Grand Master division in San Diego in the Summer of 2005, 22 years after my first win there. Since I turned 55, I have seven consecutive freestyle wins in the Senior Grandmaster division. My career highlight has to be the 2008 US Open Freestyle championship with Steve Scannell.
I like to joke about my success being due to longevity and outlasting my peers. I'll continue to play as long it's fun and my legs carry me.
Tournament Results Results are current through 1992 Please email us if there are errors. This list will be complete through 1974 in a year or so.
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Learn to Jam Video!
Secrets of Pro Disc Freestyle Vol. 2 DVD Dave, Z and their Freestyle Frisbee champion friends from around the globe explain advanced moves and techniques. Available from The FPA Store at The Wright Life.