Welcome to the Club: Alternative Athletic Options at LASA

Sydney Jones, Staff Writer

LASA has many athletic talents, one of whom includes senior Caroline Stone, who has the chance that high school athletes often strive for: to be recognized for their talent. She has been playing ultimate frisbee almost her whole life, and now she is ready to bring it to the next level and possibly even towards playing professional ultimate. 

Stone was scouted by a coach for the National Youth Ultimate Frisbee team after she won the quarterfinals of a national tournament and her coach encouraged her to submit an application for the national team. 100 other players got the opportunity to try out, and Stone is one of two from Texas. The tryouts are on March 19 and 20 in Seattle, Washington, and if she is accepted for the team, she and 49 other players would train over the summer and compete in the World Championships in Poland this August. 

Stone has been playing ultimate frisbee since she was in fifth grade and currently plays for LASA’s team, the Vertikills, and multiple club frisbee teams outside of LASA. Pursuing ultimate frisbee professionally is a dream of hers, and making the national team would open countless opportunities for her.

“[Ultimate frisbee] is my favorite thing to do of all time,” Stone said. “So if I do make the national team, it’ll make applying to professional teams, like the professional team in Austin [easier]. I want to take this as far as I can. I’m applying to colleges that have especially good frisbee teams.” 

Junior Andy Wang has played ultimate with Stone since eighth grade and is currently co-captain with her for LASA’s team. After seeing her effort and dedication to the sport over the years, he believes that she deserves this chance that could bring her further into the ultimate world. 

“I think the biggest thing would be that her name would be more widespread and that more people would know just how good of a fighter she is, not just of players in Texas, but more on a national level,” Wang said. “I think that trying out and putting her name out there, and even making the team, would solidify her as a national talent in the sport.”

Similarly, senior and another co-captain of Vertikills AJ Leigh has been playing ultimate with Stone for years and has come to admire many aspects of her game. According to him, she is able to lead a team and is incredibly decisive and hardworking, characteristics that Leigh believes have gotten her to the level that can bring her to the national team.

“Whatever she wants to do, she works as hard as she can to do it,” Leigh said. “She knows that she can make it, and I think she wants to put in a lot of work to do that. So I guess that’s why she has been working so hard because she can put in the work she needs to do for the national team.”

Stone has been playing ultimate for years, something that was originally driven by her father’s love of the sport. Her brother developed a love for the sport as well, and like her, he tried out for the national team when he was her age, but unfortunately tore his ACL and was unable to play. According to her, she feels she has to pursue her dreams where her brother wasn’t able to, especially when he has been helping her train so much. 

“My brother and my dad are really just on me for working out,” Stone said. “Constantly throwing constantly. My biggest concern is just making my dad and my brother proud. Because they’ve been really, really successful in the sport and proven themselves around the city and around the state for just being top notch players. That would just feel really good, to continue what they’ve been doing.” 

Stone is also incredibly thankful of LASA’s ultimate team and the experiences she has had as a member and captain of it. She doesn’t think she could have had the opportunity to make it to the national tryouts without all of the practice she has had with the Vertikills.

“I think a lot of people that go to LASA, forget that they go to the school that has the best, arguably the best frisbee team in Texas,” Stone said. “For some people that just kind of goes over their heads, or people around the school don’t really talk about it. It’s a super cool sport and I’m super honored to captain this team. I’m super honored to have this opportunity.”