STM Triumphs in Windy Ultimate Frisbee

STM Triumphs in Windy Ultimate Frisbee Tournament
Posted on 05/13/2024
Ultimate Frisbee

By Larry Moko

The St. Thomas More Knights found a way to ‘persevere’ in some difficult weather conditions at the 2024 Ultimate Frisbee tournament.

More went undefeated in its six games to win the championship at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School Wednesday.

Gusty wind was the issue for the five Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic high school teams that took part in the mixed, seven-aside, self-officiated, non-contact event.

“This is my third year playing,” More’s Stephen Morelli said prior to the playoff rounds. “I started in Grade 11.

“St. Mary has won the last two years. We came second last year. We’re trying to persevere to see if we can get past them this year.”

The Knights topped the Crusaders 4-2 in round-robin action en route to the final in which they outscored the Bishop Tonnos Titans, 3-2.

“The semifinals (More vs. St. John Henry Newman and Bishop Tonnos vs. St. Mary) were unbelievably windy,” said convener/St. Mary coach Ashleigh Ovcjak. “Those games were atrocious. Brutal.

“The wind settled down a little for the championship. It made for a better game.”

Oddly enough, the tournament was moved ahead by a day because lots of rain was predicted for Thursday.

“For sure the wind has an effect on the games,” Ovcjak said, “but I think playing in the cold and the rain all day would have been worse.”

Despite difficult conditions for throwing and catching the disc, the competition was still enjoyable for the participants.

“At our school,” Ovcjak said, “(Ultimate Frisbee) is sort of like a rite of passage in Grade 12. Normally, just Grade 12s are on the team. The kids come out and have an awesome time playing in the sun with their friends.

“We have a lot of athletes like most teams do. The kids are fast. They can run and jump.”

The game is played with a minimum of three females and three males on the field. The seventh player is either male or female.

Each time the offence catches a pass in the defence’s end zone, it scores a point.

The disc may be moved in any direction by completing a pass to a teammate. Players may not run with the disc and the person in possession of the disc has 10 seconds to throw it.

When a pass is not completed (ie. dropped, out of bounds, blocked or intercepted) the defence takes possession and becomes the offence.

Picks and screens are prohibited.

“This sport is really great,” said Newman coach Chris Couto after guiding his fourth-place team to its 4-2 win over the St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves.

“The nice thing about Frisbee is that it’s all about fair play. The kids get involved and do the officiating. It’s a really good way of learning respect for other people.”

According to coach Couto, the players compete hard while still having fun. “It’s a change of intensity from their regular sports, as well. I prioritize spirit and good attitudes.”

Morelli, a city badminton champion in boys’ doubles, said team work is essential in Ultimate Frisbee.

“Each player has to contribute in their own way to help the team win,” he said. “Usually, there are a couple of people that throw it (handlers). They are looking for anyone else that is open.

“We like to move it around as much as we can and get everybody involved.”

The More squad also included Juliana Boldin, Geoffrey Bond, Alex Burzomato, Luca Capretta, Cynthia Coleman, John Daly, Ibiye Davids, Audrey Evans, Rianna Howarth, Cara Luang Asa, Cash McManus, Noah McNeice, Charlie Macaluso, Angelica Morcone, Declan Morris, Danica Morris, Alessio Mucci, Omran Samadi, Phoenix Santi, Annmary Sebastion, Juliana Skaljin, Lucas Thoma and Jacob Young.

Photos by Bob Butrym, RFB Sport Photography

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