Saucering it up

The frisbee team is back in action after waiting and training in the offseason.

As LM is thrown into the spring season, spring sports begin to prepare for their upcoming practices and competitions. One such sport, ultimate frisbee, has already had a preseason in the fall, with the boys’ JV team having great success and the boys’ varsity team even beating Radnor. Now, the team and coaches look
towards the upcoming season with great anticipation.

Christina Minecci, an Academic Seminar teacher at LM, is an experienced veteran in coaching ultimate, as she has coached at LM since the creation of the program in 2005. She’s been playing since 1993 and has also helped run adult and youth leagues in the Philadelphia area since 2000. Ming Haines leads the boys’ JV team and Harry Friedman heads the boys’ varsity squad. Friedman started playing ultimate in 2005 on the LM ultimate team and graduated in 2008. Minecci’s love for the game stems from numerous places. She admires how the “team is absolutely made up of athletes who love the game for the sake of the spirit, the friendships, fair play, and intense competition.” Since players make their own calls in place of external refs, they are forced to come to agreements with opposing teams. Minecci states that “you must respect yourself and your opponent; otherwise there is no game.” She also comments that the sport teaches players to take a breath and be emotionally in control in big-time situations. Charlie Hurwitz ’22, a team captain, describes that his love for the program stems from “the sense of community” that the group has created. At tournaments, the teams hang out, eat food, and watch the games all together. They have created a friendly and inviting atmosphere with each other so the sport is thoroughly enjoyed.

Minecci explains how the return to play will have growing pains since the fall season was stunted by the pandemic. In the last two years, the local championships and States were canceled. This season, the team is hopeful to play in tournaments again and be able to safely play without masks. Boys who’d like to play on the team should come out the week of March 14 for evaluations. However, LM Ultimate tends to be flexible through the first few weeks and lets players join the JV team late.
Depending on field availability, the scheduling of games, and whether there is a tournament that weekend, both the JV and varsity teams have three to four practices a week at Arnold Field. As of now, there is no schedule of games for the teams which fans can follow. When games are played, they will take place within the Philadelphia High School Ultimate Education League (PHUEL). This league consists of LM, Haverford, Radnor, Pennsbury, North Penn, Methacton, Wissahickon, and Carroll. Despite the lack of scheduled games, Minecci encourages people to feel free to “stop by—pick up a disc, ask questions, and watch” if they want to support the team or are just interested.

Despite its short existence, the ultimate program has developed skill and talent that has extended beyond just the high school level. This fall, PHUEL had 24 athletes competing at the adult-level National Club Championships, seven of whom hail from LM. The Ultimate Championships feature the top sixteen clubs across the United States and Canada. Later, in December, twelve LM graduates made it to the Ultimate College Nationals. 

This spring season, the ultimate team looks towards a season of exciting competition despite COVID-19 regulations. There will continue to be excellent coaching and players will develop further as competitors and people. All is in place for
another successful and enjoyable season.

Reuben Gottesman ’24 shows off his throwing abilities as he unleashes the frisbee to one of his teammates.
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