Jackson-Reed High School came out victorious at the District of Columbia State Athletic Association鈥檚 (DCSAA) ultimate frisbee championship against School Without Walls. (Courtesy of Jackson-Reed)
Jackson-Reed High School came out victorious at the District of Columbia State Athletic Association鈥檚 (DCSAA) ultimate frisbee championship against School Without Walls. (Courtesy of Jackson-Reed)

Jackson-Reed Captures DCSAA Ultimate Frisbee Title

Admittedly, before covering the District of Columbia State Athletic Association鈥檚 (DCSAA) ultimate frisbee championship on Saturday, April 27, I didn鈥檛 know about the sport. For those like me, who are unfamiliar with ultimate frisbee or have never been to a game, here鈥檚 the skinny: it is a non-contact team sport that is exciting, entertaining and competitive.

Played with a flying disc (commonly referred to as a frisbee), ultimate frisbee was developed in 1968 by Joel Silver in Maplewood, New Jersey, and combines  elements of athleticism, skill, and strategy, making it a dynamic sport played in over 100 countries worldwide.

Ultimate frisbee was recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in August 2015, meaning the sport is eligible to be included in the Olympics, although it will not be considered for the 2024 Paris or 2028 Los Angeles Games.

“Much of the exposure of the sport has to be through word of mouth,” said Besser, a social studies teacher D.C.鈥檚 Jackson-Reed.  “With it now being recognized by the International Olympics Committee, it is becoming more and more popular.”

In an ultimate frisbee matchup, each team has seven players on the field. The objective is to score points by catching the frisbee in the opponent鈥檚 end zone. Players cannot run with the frisbee; they must establish a pivot foot. The frisbee is passed among teammates through throws. After catching the disc, players have 10 seconds to throw it. If the frisbee is dropped, intercepted, or goes out of bounds, possession changes.

 The co-ed DCSAA tournament featured BASIS Charter School, DC International, Edmund Burke, The Field School, Sidwell Friends, 老澳门开奖网 Latin, School Without Walls and the seven-time defending champion, Jackson-Reed.  It should also be noted that School Without Walls, Jackson-Reed and DC International all have A and B teams.

School Without Walls, last year’s runner-up, jumped out to the early 2-0 lead before the Jackson-Reed Tigers regrouped and rebounded to tie the score at 2-2 early in the first half.  From there, the two teams traded blows.  The Walls Penguins effectively used a methodical attack that was predicated on patience and crisp passing to work down the field for scores.  The Tigers conversely went deep for scores and finished with some spectacular catches in the scoring zone.

Jackson-Reed, which boasts tremendous depth and experience, took the biggest lead of the game at 8-5 at the 34-minute mark. But the feisty Penguins refused to go away and rallied to get to within 9-8 with a little under 14 minutes to play in regulation.

Then the Tigers flexed and showed why they are ranked among the nation’s leaders.  The team from upper Northwest 老澳门开奖网, used its superior depth and tough defense to close out the game by reeling off a 4-0 run over the last 12 minutes.

“We rely heavily on our defense to dictate the outcome,” said Jackson-Reed Coach Aaron Besser.  “Because of that and our depth, we are able to make it stressful by putting pressure on the passer to create tight windows for our opponents.”

Jackson-Reed’s Lizzy Himmelfarb was named the tournament MVP

While it is highly competitive, there is a special and unique quality to ultimate frisbee. The teams share the same sideline and there is a lot of camaraderie between the players and coaches during the game. At the end of each game, players and coaches form a circle and the team captain of the respective teams speaks to the group on sportsmanship.

Jackson Reed will divide its team into boys and girls later as they prepare for the National Ultimate Tournament.  The Tigers boys are ranked No. 3 in the country, and the girls come in at No. 9 in the nation.

Jackson-Reed Defeats Walls in Baseball Game

It was another key matchup between the Tigers of Jackson Reed and School Without Walls.  Both teams entered the game undefeated in District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association鈥檚 (DCIAA).

The Tigers went up early with a two-run second inning.  With senior starter Quinn Lindblom serving up a mix of fastballs and curveballs, the Penguins were unable to get anything going.

Jackson-Reed (15-6, 8-0 in the DCIAA), which hit the ball hard all day, added to what appeared to be a comfortable 4-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning.

School Without Walls (10-12, 7-1 in the DCIAA) was able to take advantage of a couple of Jackson Reed miscues to get its first run.  The Penguins loaded the bases and Lindblom made one of his few mistakes with a hit batsman with the bases loaded that allowed for Walls鈥 first run.

The Tigers responded with a run in the bottom of the fifth that made it 5-1.

The Penguins again took advantage of Jackson Reed’s mistakes in the top of their fifth on a passed ball to close the lead to 5-2.

Then the Tigers, who have won 29 DCIAA titles, showed why they are the class of the league, adding another run for good measure while calling in reliever Jack Jannah to close out the win.

“The mistakes are just a part of baseball,” said Jackson-Reed Head Coach Robinson Mateo, in response to the two unearned scores.  “We knew that with our two senior pitchers, we were in good shape.  Walls always plays us tough, so we knew what was at stake coming in.鈥

Walls Head Coach Kip Smith said he has studied the Tigers, Penguins matchups.

“These games are always like this.  The strategy coming in was that we knew they would be starting their number-one  (pitcher), and we went to our number-two,鈥 Smiths said. 鈥淲e just wanted to keep it close.  This gives us something to work for as we prepare for the playoffs.”

The two teams, who have four games remaining in the regular season, could meet again for the DCIAA championship, scheduled for May 8.

Boys and Girls High School Track and Field

As is the case each year, the local high school track and field programs represented well at the famous Penn Relays, which were held at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, this past weekend.   

Archbishop Carroll and Bullis鈥 boys and girls track and field athletes, and boys’ teams from Bishop McNamara, St. John’s and DeMatha all made their presence felt before a crowd of over 50,000 attendees. 

The Archbishop Carroll girls 4X100 relay team, which has run some of the fastest times in the country this year, placed fourth in the Championship of America behind three teams from talent-rich Jamaica with a 45.15 clocking.  The boys also placed fourth in the event with a 40.68 clocking.

The upstart boys from St. John’s College High School finished second in the 4X800 Championship of America relay, clocking in at 7:44.66.  Bishop McNamara captured fourth in the championship of America of American 4X400 relay. DeMatha came in sixth in the event with a time of 3:18.41

The girls’ team of Bullis finished second in the 4X400 relay with a time of 3:35.17

But the talk for the second straight year was the performance of phenom Quincy Willson of Bullis.  The 16-year-old sophomore got everyone’s attention last year as a freshman as he turned in a 45.1 effort while running the anchor of the 4X400 meters relay to win the championship of America.

Rated one of the top high school performers in the country, Wilson has become the latest of many stars to make an indelible mark at, arguably the best track and field meet in the country.

After his teammates dropped the baton on the third leg, Wilson, who was running the anchor, got the baton next to last but that did not deter the talented sprinter as he came all the way from behind to capture second place.  

His split was an incredible 44.16, the fastest in the country. 

Bullis went on to finish third in the finals with a 3:13.10 clocking in the finals.

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