When people think of Samantha Stovall, they may think of her contagious smiles or just how awesome she is at ultimate. However, on top of that, she coaches the Kennesaw State girl’s ultimate team AND is USAU’s Georgia Youth Coordinator. Crazy!
What is your current role in the AFDC?
I serve on the Women’s Development Committee! In the past I served as the Secretary for nearly seven years, and commished Spring Goalty!
What are you looking to accomplish within the next year/season and how do you plan to go about it?
I want the growth of women to occur in our leagues. I would love to see summer league move to a 4/3 league that is more inclusive for women on the field. I want our women’s league program to grow! I’m working with the Women’s Development Committee to find ways to make women feel more included in the leagues and to improve their skills at a faster pace. Women’s leagues clinics and women’s clinics have been such a great start!
Why did you decide to get involved?
Simply, my Kennesaw Girls. I am coaching the Kennesaw State Women’s program, a program that I started thanks to the gentle nudging of the men’s coach, Colin Bellair. Until now I have never experienced the amazing emotions that coaches get to feel when their team succeeds. Or when individual players just turn it on and start becoming ballers! I love watching women who are brand new figure out the game; it’s awesome when those light bulbs go off on the field! It’s wonderful being a coach, running up and down the sidelines, talking to players on the field, and then to see their faces when they’ve scored, or got a huge block, or hucked the disc for a completion for the first time. I may annoy everyone with how often I say “My Kennesaw Girls did this” or my “My Kennesaw Girls are this” or “OH MAI GAWD I LOVE MY KENNESAW GIRLS”, but quite simply, they are the reason I do anything in ultimate anymore. Being a coach changed the way I play the game and the way that I see the field. In truth, they’ve given more to me than I could have ever imagined. I just hope I can continue giving to them, and to all women in Atlanta, for a long, long time.
What is your craziest AFDC story?
Are we talking CRAZY stories? Or crazy stories?
I think my favorite crazy story is probably about Terminus back in ’07 or somewhere along that time. Terminus was still at the polo fields and a huge Tornado came and ripped through Atlanta Friday night. We decided to still play, I don’t know why, and when we got there the fields had flowing rivers in multiple places. Games were being played and people were laying out for discs, disappearing under water, and sliding for days! We played up until we saw the next storm cell coming in and decided to make a call for it to be on rain delay. I spent the next six to nine hours at the Mexican Restaurant down the street with a few fellow AFDC’ers as we watched a Tornado pass by nearly 5 miles from where we were sitting. I think that this was the first year that started the bad weather for Terminus. Is it possible that I broke the weather machine?
What type of shenanigans do you get into outside of ultimate?
I rock climb! I love it, love it, love it! I just started learning how to lead climb (which is super scary) but I am loving climbing so much. I set a 5.9+ and am working on setting this 5.10 that is calling my name!
There’s a kitten stuck up in a tree. Only you can help it and all you have is the contents in your frisbee bag. Assuming you can’t easily climb up the tree, what do you do?
You do realize you’re asking the crazy cat lady this question, right? Contents of my bag – I would take out a disc, unstring my shoelaces and draw string from my shorts and macgyver some sort of harness around the frisbee and use the slack of the remaining laces to tie to my jersey, and then to my pants, creating a long and elaborate rope. I would then toss the frisbee over the branch of the tree and hope that the kitten would be excited and curious about the toy in front of him and could use it to lure him on the frisbee and then slowly lower it down until he’s close enough for me to grab.
Samantha Stovall and her Kennesaw State girls
And finally, what do you love most about the AFDC?
The people. We have such a unique community – veterans, newbies, Chain, Ozone, Bucket, SoRev players – we all play with each other. I love going to a tournament, or a Spring League game, or 12 Days of Christmas and being able to walk up to a sideline and know someone from a random league team, college, or club. It’s really awesome and super amazing. We have a very awesome group of people – every one of us is unique and we all bring a different flavor to the AFDC. I wouldn’t change it for the world.