Horace Greeley defeated Scarsdale 13-7 in the finals of the first-ever New York State Ultimate Frisbee Sectional Tournament. The event, featuring the top six teams in the section, was hosted by Mamaroneck High School on Saturday, May 14.
Mamaroneck team captain Victor Odouard, a senior who will attend Cornell University, provides more info on the tournament and how it came about.
MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Mamaroneck Athletic Director Bari Suman got the idea started.
“Do you want to hold sectionals here?” The question rang out.
At first we were speechless. A whole tournament? Here, at Mamaroneck High School? We were used to lacrosse practice from dismissal till dusk on weekdays, baseball from dawn till dusk on weekends.
This time, though, Ms. Suman carved out a five and a half hour slot on not one, but two fields. It wasn’t only fields she gave us, though. It was the chance to transform the face of Westchester Ultimate, a chance to change the face of Section 1 Ultimate, forever.
We already started the process in the Fall of 2015--we’d started a league of eight teams, consisting of seven regular-season games.
This spring season, we wanted to take it a step further--by incorporating a championship bracket at the end for the top seeded teams. Ms. Suman had just provided us with that opportunity.
The first thing I learned is that organizing an event of over 100 kids is not easy, especially if you want to be ambitious. And ambitious we were.
To further promote the sport, we decided to buy each participant a custom “Section 1 Ultimate” T-Shirt to wear around their schools. We designed and ordered a plaque to be awarded to the winning team. We provided complimentary food and drink (water and gatorade) to all participants, and we designed and sold our own custom frisbees to raise money and cover some of the costs.
When it came down to it, just one point separated us from the championship--we lost to Greeley 11-10 in the semifinals. The magical thing was, though, that losing, this time around, was not so bad. Even a painful loss like that, it didn’t bite.
In this long struggle for the sport of Ultimate, a victory for one of the us was a victory for all of us.
Our constant searches for field space and recognition, our constant petitioning, our constant defense of a sport that has so long drawn criticism from our peers of “not being a real sport,” had somehow formed a sort of camaraderie, a bond of respect, between the teams.
And on this day, that respect trumped just winning.
This was not a big or extravagant tournament, by any means. It was five and a half-hour event planned by two high school seniors with love for a sport and a generous and helpful athletic director.
Yet this small event still made history for a collection of high schools in Section 1.
This small event would be remembered in the minds of players as the first time their school, their section, actually cared.
And to a high schooler, that’s more than enough to be proud of.