Markham Shofner is curious. You have to be curious to excel, he believes. “Being curious enough about the disc, fascinated enough by it” to learn has made Shofner a stronger player, and a bit of a scientist. He speaks in terms of mechanics and the fine equation between power and control. “Listen to your body when you’re throwing. It’s trial of process,” he advises. He has spent hours tweaking his grip and throws, seeing what works and believes firmly that “the disc will show you how it needs to be thrown,” all you have to do is pay attention. Whether that is Markham the frisbee guru imparting wisdom, or Markham the team troll veiling his secrets, is left to be determined.
A multi-season athlete (and theatre kid) in high school, Shofner forewent his upperclassman soccer seasons and committed to ultimate full-time his junior year. He continued playing Division 1 at Pomona College in Claremont, California. After switching to Division 3 his Senior year, Shofner’s college career culminated with a championship in 2011. Shofner also has a prolific club CV, competing in both the mixed and open divisions at the national level; in 2008 with Guillermo, in 2010 and 2011 with Tanasi from his home state of Tennessee and most recently 2012-2015 with DC’s Truck Stop.
There is no question that Shofner is an elite player (he was named championship game MVP at the end of his 2014 professional season) but his game is youthful, impulsive, even. You can see it in his throwing: his arm is loose and stable and his release is consistent, but in the words of a teammate, he’s a little trigger-happy. Without much thought he’ll boost a cheeky 40-yard cross-field hammer. But it completes, and it’s clear that his curiosity has paid off. Shofner has a sort of sagacity about the field; he sees the field and the game differently, and uses his perspective to his advantage. He still has his impetuous qualities and don’t put him into a leadership role. “I don’t like captaining things.” Maybe that’s the troll speaking.
Outside of ultimate, rock climbing, swimming and yoga keep him “healthy and strong, now that I’m older,” he says. “I don’t like running.” That’s definitely Markham the troll speaking. He ran track and cross country in high school.
Shofner describes his transition from the Current to the Breeze as a slow seduction. He wanted the chance to grow from the Current’s spectacular 2014 championship season but also desired the diversity of competition the AUDL offered and is pleased to have signed with the Breeze for 2016. He’s looking forward to the breadth of the challenges he’ll face this season, developing deeper relationships with Breeze teammates and of course, benefiting from Duchy’s coaching. “I like playing really good ultimate and the process of becoming a good team.” He’ll get what he wants. As another teammate observes, “If there’s a coach who can get the most out of Markham, it’s probably Dutchy.” This year promises to be an explosive one.
— Libby Chamberlin, Breeze Staff Writer
And the AUDL tracked this gem of a clip down today, per The Dish…