No more stalling: Aces ultimate begins

The dominant boys’ ultimate program was set to defend achievements and a reputation before the pandemic halted their 2020 season. Now, they look to navigate a modified schedule back to the top.

The dominant boys’ ultimate program was set to defend achievements and a reputation before the pandemic halted their 2020 season. Now, they look to navigate a modified schedule back to the top. | Photo courtesy of Charlie Hurwitz ’22

In the winter of early 2020, the LM ultimate frisbee team prepared themselves both physically and mentally for their spring season, which was set to be a busy one to say the least. After finishing third in states the previous year, hopes could not have been higher. With tournaments on the agenda almost every weekend from the end of March to the beginning of July, in places from Massachusetts to Virginia, the team was excited to play hard and let their work pay off. Unfortunately, this could not happen, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 shutting down all games a week before the season officially started. That spring, thirteen of the 21 varsity members graduated, leaving the remaining juniors and sophomores disappointed and curious about the future of the team. Three-year varsity player Noah Lipsitz ’21 described his feelings about the lost season as “super disappointing” due to the potential he saw in the 2020 team.

The remaining members of the team were still determined to succeed in the next season, however, and despite not being able to have actual practices, they were able to get some socially-distanced sprint workouts and endurance training going. Although the pandemic has been hard, in a way it has brought the team together. FaceTime calls, masked workouts, and game-planning for this year have kept morale and confidence high after all this time.

This coming season, the ultimate team looks to compete in a condensed version of the normal spring schedule with fewer tournaments. Both the state and city championships have already been canceled, but the Aces’ minds are still fixated on winning at any chance they get. Once again, the large majority of the team will be graduating in the spring, so the time is now for the Aces. Lipsitz says, “This year, States would mean even more because we have been waiting for so long.” He further expressed his gratitude just to be on the field with his teammates for one more season. 

While the two biggest tournaments have already been ruled out, the team is still supposed to play a good amount of games. They are set to play their typical Central League opponents—Strath Haven, Haverford, Radnor, Conestoga—and potentially even the newly formed Harriton team. Competition is always fierce between these teams, and while tensions can get high, games remain friendly. Outside of these matchups, the Aces hope to be able to play in at least a few tournaments, which can be held anywhere from Oaks to central New Jersey and feature teams from all over the tri-state area. 

Like everything going on now, practices will likely look pretty different due to the coronavirus. Masks will be mandatory and indoor workouts will move outside. Regardless of the restrictions in place, the players are thrilled to have any form of a season.