Photo by Tino Tran – phototino.com
A tireless workhorse on the field and vocal teammate from the sidelines, Britt Atack brings the heat and gives Seattle a distinct edge on defense and on the attack.
Seattle’s roster is full of big names, but Britt Atack is a secret weapon. A mainstay of the local and regional club scene, he’s seen it all, but with his 45th birthday coming up toward the end of the season, he’s not a name that younger fans will immediately recognize.
Well, it’s time to listen up, young’uns: get familiar with the name.
Atack may be the oldest, and also the most experienced Rainmaker – he’s been slanging discs since the ‘90s – but he’s no elder statesman. He’s intense, he’s passionate, and he’s ready to rail on whatever opposing teams want to throw at him. His playing history is a veritable encyclopedia of Seattle Ultimate, from mixed club teams like Shazam to men’s club teams like Coho and Sockeye. Atack has gone through the Masters circuit, where male players must be at least 33 years of age, and even the Grand Masters circuit, where dudes must be 40 or older to play. But in his mind, and in the mind of his coaches, age is only a number. However, this doesn’t mean that he’s not extremely honored to have been selected.
“I’m the oldest guy in the league. Maybe that’s why it feels so special to be able to play Ultimate with players of the Rainmakers’ caliber,” Atack said. “Playing with these awesome players and coaches, and having the support of our tireless General Managers and the numerous behind-the-scenes people is such a huge treat. Time and again I’ve been moved by the dedication and the willpower of the people making this team and the MLU happen. And talking with people who love coming to our games and are excited about the league…I never could have imagined this when I started playing the game 21 years ago.”
Atack recalls the tryout process fondly: “Ben told me about the team and encouraged me to try out. Given my age, my first thought was, ‘Do they need a mascot?’ But I am a sucker for being invited out to play with great players and great guys, so it was a quick change of gears to get psyched to get on the field with them.”
As the eldest Rainmaker, Atack is also uniquely qualified to evaluate the Innova Pulsar, the official disc of Major League Ultimate.
“Discraft was dominant when I started playing,” he said. “Whammo’s 175-gram disc was roundly scorned by all the Ultimate players I knew. Innova made a sudden splash on the scene in 1998 when they sponsored a tournament in Santa Barbara, and I remember being amazed by the extra distance I saw the big huckers getting on their throws there, but that was the only time I ever played with a Pulsar until now. Now that we’re using them, I’m not too focused on the differences, and I’m having fun figuring these discs out and seeing what they can do.”
As far as positions go, Atack has done it all. “My roles have run the gamut over the years,” he said. “I love them all, so I would be comfortable jumping in on O or D, handling or cutting.”
Atack’s versatility notwithstanding, he’s currently been slotted into a defensive handler role. Assistant Coach Andy Lovseth said, “I’ve seen Britt play for 15 years. The astounding thing is that he seems to get better and better with age. His change of speed and direction, breakmark throws, and gritty defense still make him a force on the field.”
You can catch Atack and the rest of the Rainmakers at 1:00 pm on Sunday, when they’ll take on the Vancouver Nighthawks.