Seniors change their ultimate club into an activity
Founded by seniors Will Satre, Sam Conley, and Andy Wolf, the new Ultimate Frisbee team is currently in its inaugural season as a BSM club. The team is coached by Jake McKean, an instructor who works for the organization Gotta Go Gotta Throw, and practices take place every Monday and Wednesday from 5 to 6:30 pm, with captains’ practices on Tuesday.
The three seniors brought the idea of forming an official team to Mr. Jerry Pettinger this fall. After receiving a positive answer, the boys began an Ultimate club in order to generate a following of the sport. “We started playing over the summer last year, and [we] thought it would be cool to take it to Mr. Pettinger and get a club going,” said senior Eric Kretsch.
Made up largely of seniors, many students joined the club just for something to do this spring. But with over 40 teams in the Minnesota Ultimate League, the players quickly got serious about their sport. “When we started the club in the fall, that was just to get some interest. That one was just for fun, but now––as weird as it may seem––we’re out to win some games,” said Conley.
Ultimate, which has been popularized in college leagues, can be played at many different levels, but the official teams are organized by the Ultimate Players Association, which has now changed its name to USA Ultimate. “[The game is] played like a lot of sports combined; the field is 40 yards wide by 120 yards long, so it’s a football field’s dimensions, but thinner. [The objective] is to get down to the end zone, [and a] disc [must be] thrown into the endzone without a foul. It’s kind of like football, but the play doesn’t stop,” said Wolf.
The team currently has a winning record; however, as a new team they must work hard to present themselves as competition to other, more established teams. “The [players] are really athletic, [and] they show a lot of heart. We’ve got a winning record, but we haven’t been playing the highest competition. When we go to our tournament on May 19 and 20 we’ll see all the top teams in state, so that will be the best indicator of skill,” said Coach McKean.
The Ultimate team is looking forward to the state tournament on June 2 and 3, where they will be competing against the other 40 teams in the Minnesota USA Ultimate League. “All the registered teams are entered into it, so we’ll be in the state tournament automatically. But your performance in the season determines how well ranked you are going in, so the lower level teams don’t really have a chance. So we need to do well in the season,” said Conley.