New coaches huck new strategy to hopeful team

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New coaches huck new strategy to hopeful team

Alex Winter, Staff Writer

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A light breeze and a sunny day provide the perfect environment for the LASA Ultimate frisbee team, theVertikills, to practice.

The Vertikills are in line to win first place at the the Texas Youth Ultimate State Tournament in the Mixed Division (male and female) according to LASA junior and captain Carly Atwell. The 2018 State Tournament took place in Plano and the Vertikills got third place. Bowie High School placed first, and Hyde Park High School second place. The State Tournament occurs in May every year, and many teams travel from all over Texas to take part in the tournament.

“We did really well last year,” Atwell said. “We ended up getting third in state but we had one of our best games against the team that won state for mixed, which was Bowie, and then the team that got second was Hyde Park which was also a close game.”

After two close losses against the first and second place teams, LASA senior and Vertikills captain Josh Kreth said that there are new changes coming to the team.

“One of the biggest changes is we have new coaches this year,” Kreth said. “I think they’ll make a really big impact because I think positivity and positive reinforcement goes a long way to making new players feel welcome and encouraging them to get better.”

These new captains are experienced players and Atwell believes they will bring a lot to the team.
“We’re really excited about these other two coaches because one of them is also a LASA alumni,” Atwell said. “His name is ‘Square’ or that’s what he goes by in the ultimate community. And then we’re super excited to have a female coach, Cameron Woods, who also goes to UT as well as Square.”

Both of the new captains play for different teams at the University of Texas. Woods plays for the women’s UT Ultimate team, Melee, and plays in the Club Ultimate league. Square is the captain of the men’s UT Ultimate team, Tuff. Vertikills has never had this much involvement from experienced players and Atwell believes that the coaches’ combined experience will have a big impact on the team’s performance.

”The biggest competition happens to be in Marcus, which is near Dallas, and they have an amazing Ultimate program and that’s pretty much all they do and have been doing for like years,” Atwell said. “Last year they got fourth place but that’s they focused a lot more on their open team.”

While the mixed team from Marcus got 4th place, their open team (all male), a team which does not require a certain amount of girls on the team, was first in state. Marcus has traditionally been one of the best teams in Texas, being able to compete even on a collegiate level. The team is looking forward to another season of Ultimate with new coaching staff that the captains hope can lead them to the state tournament.