The ultimate competition

Jack Rittendale, writer

Fourteen people gather every weekend at North Kirkwood Middle School. With the flick of the wrist and a turn of the hips, they practice the skills needed to meet the demands of the game. Seven on the field, and seven off, the players launch into a game whose only foe is the wind. With a two hour time cap, and the whole game being played on the honor system, the players must play to get to 15 points.

“The best part is that there is no equipment required,” Sarah Finley, senior, said. “All you need is a good pair of running shoes and a positive attitude.”

Although she plans to continue the sport in college, she said she has made an impact on the ultimate frisbee team since joining freshman year.

“This year has been an important year for the team,” Sarah said. “Up until the 2015-2016 school year, the ultimate frisbee team has always been co-ed. But since we have enough girls, we are able to make the move to divide the two teams,”

With the start of the new team, they decided that the best way to go was to transition from workouts, to focusing on running. Sarah said that this would help the girls to focus on the most important aspect of the game.

“You can run up to six miles in one game,” Sarah said. “So if you decide to join the team, you definitely have to be prepared for that.”

Sarah also said that the team will continue to make changes for the 2016-17 school year. The team is excited to see what those changes will end up being.

“The boys team isn’t much different,” Adam Tackes, senior, said. “The only thing that is really different is the coaching style. The coaches have played in club leagues all around St. Louis, so they know what they are doing.”

At the beginning of the year, the boys decided to take a poll whether or not they wanted drills, running or a mix of both. The majority voted for a mix, and ever since they have enjoyed weekend practices.

“Whether a senior or a freshman, boy or girl here at Kirkwood, everybody is treated equally” Joanna Serenko, freshman, said. “They just treat me like any other kid on the team.”

Joanna is new to the game of ultimate frisbee, and not only does she love the sport, but she loves making new friends. Joanna said she continues to make new friends with kids from other teams as the year progresses.

“When I started on the team, everybody was really inviting,” Joanna said. “Since that first day I have had no problems interacting with the upperclassmen.”

Rich Finley, ultimate frisbee coach, said he loves the atmosphere the players bring to each game, and the effort they put into it.

“I don’t coach ultimate just because my daughter does it, I do it because of the variety of personalities you can find because of it,” said Rich. “Not only do you get to get to teach the kids the game, but also develop a love of the game, and grow as a person.”