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Colorado Mesa

Nathan Ploeger


Four years ago, Nathan tried to start an ultimate team, but with only three committed players, he was unable to compete. The following year, Nathan co-founded, captained and coached the 21-person Mesa ultimate team, growing the sport of ultimate to become more competitive. He grew this team, with only five people who had previous organized ultimate experience, from winning two out of 20 games the first year, to six out of 20 games the second year, and finally, to five out of 13 games this year before it ended abruptly, canceling Mesa’s first home ultimate tournament ever and his college ultimate career.

In addition to the co-ed men’s team Nathan was a founder of, he also competed on Mesa’s mixed ultimate team where, in the fall of 2018, he helped them to a fourth place finish in the southwest division after a loss in universe-point that still haunts him. He has been a role model on and off the field as a mentor, and he advocates for academic excellence in addition to building a more competitive ultimate team.

Nathan is Mesa’s Callahan nominee because he catches anything thrown in his direction, putting his body on the line every game, even after running 30 miles on the field each tournament weekend. He embodies the phrase, “touch the skin, bring it in,” and you can see his passion for the game while he plays. As one of the team moms said, “If Nathan didn’t get injured or muddy, it wasn’t a good game.”