WTXL Road Trip: Chris LaRocque, Leon County

WTXL Road Trip: Chris LaRocque, Leon County
Posted at 10:14 PM, Jul 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-03 18:31:51-04

TALLAHASSEE (WTXL) - Ultimate frisbee is an emerging sport that has gained popularity over the last fifteen years. Now, club teams are popular at Universities across the country, there are even professional teams popping up across the United States, and even international competition has taken the forefront as of late.

Competing on that global stage? Chris LaRocque, a Leon High School graduate who happened upon the sport by chance.

"My senior year of high school, I actually joined the Ultimate Frisbee club, and started playing there," he said of his introduction to the sport. "I joined the college team when I got to Florida State. Five years later, I'm right here."

Right here means a third place finish at Nationals with his Florida State Club team this year, National Player of the Year honors, and a spot on the United State's team for the U-23 Ultimate World Championships later this month in London.

"We did an interview my first year playing the sport and they asked me what my goals and aspirations were," he said. "My goal was to just make the top team at Florida State."

"He was one of two freshman we put on the team that year, so obviously we saw something in him," said Peter van de Burgt, who admits Chris wasn't a prodigy off the bat.

"It was never a goal or an aspiration to make it this far," said Chris. "It just kind of happened, and I kind of just took it as it went."

The latest accomplished goal, unplanned or not, started last year, when Chris was whittled down from 1000 applicants to try out for the National team.

"I knew he was going to make it," said Peter. "At least if they gave him the chance to try out, I knew he was going to make it. I've known Chris a long time, and he's one of the best, especially in his age group, one of the best players in the country, if not the world."

"In two weeks, I'll be hopefully crowned an International Champion," said Chris, smiling. "The USA is considered the best team by far in International competition."

The best team, steered by the Nation's best player, with a chance to win a World title, and bring it back home to Tallahassee.

"It's nerve wrecking, but it's also really exciting that I get to do it for Tallahassee and also for the United States."

Chris will leave for Chicago to train with his new teammates before flying to London for the World Championships, which kick off July 12th.