While most students are starting their weekend by speeding out of the parking lot onto Mission when the bell rings at 2:40 p.m. on Friday, East’s ultimate frisbee club starts every weekend on the East field for 5 o’clock practice.
The team can be found making their way out onto the East practice field to warm up their throws and run through plays. Practice begins when local player and coach Timothy Robins, or “T.R.” as the team calls him, arrives, they then start doing drills and running plays. From there, they scrimmage the rest of practice to prepare for upcoming games.
Junior Eli Fay has been throwing a frisbee his whole life. But since his brother brought him along to a practice freshmen year, he’s played each year alongside his now co-captain, junior Ian Roudebush. After becoming captains, they have renewed the sport as a club, with Chemistry teacher Jarrod Bardwell as the sponsor.
The club currently has around 50 members, though only around 15 commit to the weekly practices. The team tries to play every two to three weeks in order to give everyone a chance on the field, whether or not they have time to come to practice.
“There’s a mix of people who like to have fun and people who are wanting to improve, so it’s a blend of those two,” Robins said.
The game consists of handlers — players who are best at throwing and remain stationary — and cutters — players who run up and down the field to catch the frisbee. The frisbee is passed up through these players until it is caught in the endzone to score one point. The drills they learn are variations of positions and throws between the handlers and cutters to outsmart the opposing team.
Roudebush’s responsibility is getting in contact with other schools who have teams and setting up times to play. Currently, East is undefeated with two wins against Shawnee Mission Northwest and Atchinson and will play Rockhurst — their biggest rival — Saturday, Nov. 9 in hopes of keeping up with their record.
With an already record number of members, Fay and Roudebush continue to talk to as many people as they can and encourage them to come to at least one practice in hopes that they will return weekly, to help the team grow. Although the team is large, the members have all become close so far in the season.
“Since we mostly focus on having fun and making sure everybody has a good time, I think we’re all pretty close for only practicing for a quarter,” Roudebush said.
Due to Ultimate being a lesser known sport throughout the nation and in KC, teammates are able to bond and connect with each other while running through plays no other sport uses and, most importantly, inside jokes.
“We do the same thing as other sports: we poke fun at each other whenever someone does bad,” team member junior Liam O’Sullivan said.
Just like other sports, the team continues to work together to improve and grow as a team.
“Ian and I regulate everything and get everyone together, but from there it’s just everyone putting in work together and everyone trying to be a better team,” Fay said.