James Robb played tennis four years and was a three-time state qualifier at Franklin County High School. But it was a new sport that he would play and have success in while at college.
Robb, a 2010 FCHS graduate, went to the University of Richmond. In his freshmen year he was introduced to Ultimate Frisbee.
“I played sports in high school and I knew I wanted to keep doing something in college,” Robb said. “I intended to try out all the club sports but I went to Frisbee the first week of classes.”
And from that first week of college to his graduation in May, he played on the Ultimate club team.
In his senior season as a co-captain, Robb was part of a squad that became the first ever Spider Monkey team to advance to the Div. III National Collegiate Championships. The team qualified for the tournament by winning the Atlantic Coast Div. III Regional.
“All four years I was there, that was the goal,” Robb said. “It was really exciting to be a part of the group that put it together. Having it happen right at the end was awesome.”
Out of 16 teams, the team placed seventh in the tournament. Robb finished tournament play second in goals scored with 20 and tied for seventh with 17 assists. He led his team in both categories.
Not only did Robb experience team success but he earned individual honors as well. He was named the Div. III Atlantic Coast Player of the Region for 2014, after making the All-Region Second Team as a junior.
And to cap his collegiate career off, he was named by Ultiworld, a news source for ultimate Frisbee, the 2014 Div. III Player of the Year.
“I know it seems like I am the most impressive player on our team because I score the most times and had the most assists,” Robb said.
“But I couldn’t do that if I was on a different team that played a different way. It was set up so I was the one that scored; that was our offense. Everybody has to do their job and my job was being on the end of plays as opposed to starting them.”
Robb said having the leadership experience from the high school tennis team translated over to Ultimate Frisbee.
“We had a really good group dynamic and once I got to be one of the leaders on the Frisbee team at Richmond, having that experience as a captain on the tennis team as part of a tight-knit, goal-oriented group, helped me be a leader and captain on the Frisbee team as well,” Robb said.
While at Richmond, Robb also played for a club team in the fall of 2012 while studying abroad in Paris, France and was a member of the Kentucky Flying Circus, a club team out of Louisville, for a summer club season.
Robb earned degrees in both French and international studies from Richmond. This summer, he will be working at a New Hampshire boarding school and said playing the sport will not be an option there because of his full-time work schedule.
The next opportunity to play Ultimate he said will be when he moves to Belfort, France for a year to teach English.
And he knows that the sport he fell in love with college is one that he wants to play at some level in the future.