Ultimate Hat Tournament Drums Up Interest


Sea Phongsphetrarat '23

Michael Zhang ’21 is a veteran member of the Varsity Ultimate Team.

For the past two years, the Ultimate Hat Tournament has served as a way to spark community members’ interest in Ultimate Frisbee and create an exciting event for new and experienced players alike. The tournament took place this past Saturday, February 1.
Teams were composed of four to five students or faculty members. The rules required mixed-gender rosters, a maximum of three Varsity or JV Ultimate players, and at most two Varsity players on each team.
The goal of the tournament was to encourage players of all different skill levels to join together and to expose new players to the sport of Ultimate. Head Coach of Varsity Ultimate, Dave Thomspon, said, “Since very few people play Ultimate before high school, the recruiting efforts for [the sport] are focused on current students who don’t have a spring sport or are looking to cross-train for another sport in another season.”
Captains and returning members of the team planned the event and worked hard to attract potential players. Varsity Ultimate Co-captain Isaac Alicea ’20 created a video for All-School Meeting to encourage students to consider playing Ultimate this Spring. The video displayed the school’s significant achievements in the world of Ultimate, featuring alumni who play professionally in Major League Ultimate (MLU) and on national teams.
Varsity Ultimate co-captain David Vega ’20 stressed the importance of running an organized tournament in addition to weekly pickup Ultimate on Sunday. Vega said, “While Isaac and Sandrine tend to other aspects of the sport such as recruiting, I cannot play due to a torn ACL, [so] I set up the teams, moderate play, keep track of scores, and make sure the tournament runs properly. ”
Last year, over 60 members of the community played on teams in the tourney and at least another 75 came out to watch the games. This year, six teams participated, culminating in a win for team “Kyle’s Brainchild.” The team included Jennifer Li ’20, Obi Okoli ’20, Toby Pouler ’20, Kyle Roshankish ’20, Asa Tuke ’21, and George von Weise ’20.
The Ultimate Team looks to build on the enthusiasm generated by the tournament as it look ahead to its first game against Xavier High School on April 1 at home.