A steward of sportsmanship, Puru Sankar ’20 has developed over the past two years into a impactful member of Andover Ultimate, according to Co-Captain Isaiah Lee ’19.
“I remember when Puru was a Junior. He was a small boy. Now, he’s grown into nothing short of a team leader, a model of athleticism, sportsmanship and good spirits,” said Lee.
Sankar’s dedication and development has earned him The Phillipian’s title of Player to Watch.
When did you start playing Ultimate Frisbee?
I started playing Ultimate my Junior year. While I had casually thrown a disc before, I was new to the idea of the sport of Ultimate. [I was] convinced by some of my friends, [and] I decided to try out for Ultimate just days before the end of Winter term.
What are your favorite team traditions?
In my Junior and Lower years, Co-Captain Reuben Phillip ’18 led the team in singing the song “Halo” by Beyonce on the bus ride back from our away games. I was told, “It’s all about the timing of when we start the song.” We aim to sing the last line of the song just as the bus pulls into the parking lot behind the Borden Gym. Without Reuben this year, I’m interested to see who can step up and fill the shoes Reuben left behind.
Another one of my favorite traditions is the pre-game cheers our captains lead. Every year, the team comes up with a new cheer that is added to our long list of intimidating cheers. We huddle up around a disc, and while each of us holds it with our left hand, we say our cheer.
Could you give some examples of the cheers?
“The cheers are extensive and too complex to put down onto paper, but they get the team hyped and ready to perform their best at every game.”
How do you train for Ultimate Frisbee? Do you play Ultimate outside of the springtime?
During the Fall and Winter Terms, I can be commonly found in the weight room, lifting weights. While I don’t focus on exercises that might help with Ultimate, working out doesn’t hurt. Outside of the Spring term, I often find myself tossing with one of my teammates, Kion Young ’20. However, as [Head] Coach [Scott] Hoenig states, ‘There is no offseason. Instead, we have one long preseason.’
What about Ultimate Frisbee keeps you playing?
The players on our team are what keeps me playing Ultimate. While the game itself is fun to play, I find that I enjoy playing with my teammates more than anything.
Do you plan on playing in college?
While I don’t plan to play in college, I’m open to any opportunity I get to play Ultimate. [It’s] too bad colleges don’t recruit kids for Ultimate.
How does Coach Hoenig amp you up?
Coach Hoenig often quotes legendary Coach John Wooden. At the end of most practices, Coach Hoenig reads out a quote from Wooden’s book or teachings, and these quotes have shown me what it takes to avoid the path to mediocrity and live a life in ‘Champions Village’.
Who are your favorite on-campus rappers and why?
After much deliberation, I’ve decided there are two rappers that I know on campus whose music has potential, but could be significantly improved. MTA [Anay Mehta ’20] and Young Fuego [Tafari Friday ’20] work together in their production of mediocre music, and I respect their grind to produce music.