2019 Ultimate Frisbee Season in Review

Luke Jackson, Copy Editor

Since it’s not categorized as a varsity sport, some consider it simply a game. Many people over the age of thirty confuse it with its cousin, disc golf. But if you ask someone who plays it, it’s a sport. Only ultimate frisbee could possibly be understood in so many different ways.

The Jordan High School Dirtybirds navigated a season full of ups and downs, led by their seniors Cal Nightingale, Albert Yuan, Wells Lawrence, Jack Nuernberger, Cade O’Fallon, Lorenzo Shaikewitz, and pickup players Alex Vaslef and Hiatt von Alten from Cedar Ridge and Riverside, respectively. Coaches Michael Avila (Jordan c/o ‘12, played for ECU Irate), Michael Lee (‘16, playing for NCSU Alpha), and Ben Maxson (‘13, four-year starter on UNC Darkside) have also played a massive role in shaping the team to be what it is now.

The team played in several different tournaments over the course of the season, meeting opponents hailing from Georgia to New York. Jordan had their best finish of the season at Fall Brawl in October, where they finished in third. At Mayhem in Martinsville in November, the Dirtybirds managed a fourth-place finish. At Queen City in Charlotte, as well as at a North Carolina State University organized tournament, Jordan came in a strong fifth. In Arlington, VA, at the YULA Invitational, the Dirtybirds faced teams from as far as New Jersey and finished seventh. After losing seven seniors to graduation, the defending state champions were able to hold their own throughout the season with a much younger team.

The 2019 team also had the chance to host two games at Jordan this spring thanks to the generosity of Principal Taylor and AD Levins, drawing students curious to see what competitive frisbee was about. In their first home game, Jordan defeated NCSSM, 13-12. However, on senior night against DA, they found themselves on the wrong end of the same 13-12 scoreline.

The season culminated with the achievement of a 5-2 record at the North Carolina High School State Championships in High Point, resulting in a fifth-place finish. The team won games against Asheville High School and Myers Park High School but dropped a game to Durham Academy in pre-bracket play. The Dirtybirds then lost their quarterfinal match to Carolina Friends School in a heartbreaker, 10-8. The quarterfinal matchup between the teams was their ninth meeting this season. This loss relegated Jordan to the fifth-place bracket, where they beat East Chapel Hill High School and then Ardrey Kell High School by ten to end the season.

The Dirtybirds are always looking to welcome new recruits, especially coming up on the 2019-2020 season! Students in any grade can join, so invite your rising ninth-grade friends to our interest meeting with you this fall!

*Special thanks from the Dirtybirds go to Principal Taylor and Ms. Levins for their generosity in field space not only for games but for practices for multiple months. Thanks also to Ms. Couch for giving the team a room to watch film and for your general support for the team.