Ultimate Frisbee Team Turns Varsity

It often seems that Ultimate players are the most underappreciated athletes on campus, but not for long. Coach Scott Hoenig called a meeting last Monday night for the returning members of last year’s Ultimate squad, who were delighted to hear the announcement from Athletic Director Martha Fenton that Ultimate would be the newest Varsity sport at PA. To become a varsity sport, certain criteria must be met. There must be the proper facilities, an accepted financial statement, an interscholastic schedule, and a coach committed to the sport for multiple years. Most importantly there must be significant interest in the sport for numerous years. Phillips Academy Ultimate has finally met all of these conditions. It was brought to life at Phillips Academy by interested students in 1999, but did not gain recognition as a sport until Coach Hoenig revitalized the program. The program has branched out since Coach Hoenig took control and Andover now hosts the New England Prep School Ultimate League (NEPSUL) Tournament every May. This is a great accomplishment for both the Andover program and the sport as a whole. Recently, many prep schools have turned their Ultimate programs into varsity teams, including perennial powerhouse Northfield Mount Hermon. Co-Captains Jonah Guerin ’07 and Peter Kalmakis ‘06 are thrilled to lead the team in its debut season as a varsity sport. Returning also from last year’s team are Trevor Sanders ’07, Justin Waite ’07, Victor Kim ’06, Eliza Burns ’06, and Stephen Blackman ’07. Though this is a promising lineup, the team hopes to see some new recruits for the coming season. Also in the cards for the coming season is the possibility of fielding a girl’s team which would compete in tournaments and individual games against other New England teams. Burns, an experienced player, is excited to contribute a great deal of wisdom and instruct recruits in the inner workings of the game. It is safe to say that Ultimate is spreading rapidly across the globe. Though it started in New Jersey in 1968, it has spread from Great Britain to Japan to Australia and continues to grow. Varsity recognition at the high school level is just another step as Ultimate makes its way into the mainstream of world sports.