A little known treasure of the school is the girl’s Ultimate Frisbee team. Combined with Washington-Lee to make a wrist-flicking fighting force, the YLee Frisbee team performed exceptionally well this year by winning the States Championship and attending the Southerns Championship.
“This year YLee has proved just how adaptable and strong we are,” said senior Sydney Kane, one of three YLee team captains, “We learned whole new offensive and defensive strategies, and after working on them all season, our hard work payed off and we showed everyone that we are a team to remember.”
The States Championship was a tournament between all of the Frisbee teams of Virginia, which included HB Woodlawn’s varsity and junior varsity (JV) teams, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School (BCC) from Maryland (Maryland’s only team) and the YLee team. YLee first played the HB JV team and won 13-1.
“We mainly played man defense,” said junior player Christina Mack, “because we wanted to warm ourselves up.”
Man defense is an Ultimate Frisbee strategy where each player marks another player and covers them throughout the game, similar to basketball’s man to man defense.
It was a lot more intense in the HB varsity game with equally intense weather. It was misting, cold and miserable, but the YLee team powered through.
“Our own intensity and the sideline’s constant hype were what kept up our energy and gave us the boost that lasted the whole game. As a whole, our team has never played so well, and we all knew it in the moment and afterwards,” said Kane.
In this game they mostly played zone, with players designated to specific area to defend. They won 11-6.
The Southerns Championship is a more selective competition. Teams have to be invited based on their record and how well they have played throughout the season. This year it was held in Atlanta, Georgia, and the YLee team went on a fourteen-hour bus ride to get there. They were seeded eighth in the competition, beating the twelfth and thirteenth seeds on the first day there. YLee lost to Paideia, who were seeded first in the competition, but continued on to place second in their pool.
The team played against HB in the quarterfinals and played a very close game.
“[It was weird because] we travelled all the way to Atlanta to play against a team two miles away,” said Mack.
In the first half, no one was leading by more than one and both teams made very good plays. In the second half, YLee lost to HB 10-9 due to a very close play. Despite losing, YLee went on to place fifth in Southerns. They were disappointed that they were not able to beat HB (who went on to win Southerns), but were happy overall.
“We played a whole new game [this year]. We completely changed our offensive and defensive strategies and became a much more complex team,” said Kane, “We gained a new coach, Julia Petro, and she was able to add some depth to the team that we were unable to experience last year.”
Next year there might be some changes on the girl’s ultimate frisbee team. Due to the fact that YLee is made of up two different schools, they need to split after two years. This does not mean the end of ultimate frisbee for both schools, but rather that there would be one team for Yorktown and another team for W-L. The problem would be that there may not be enough players on each team to play.
“Theoretically, if people quit then we might combine with the boys because technically it’s open division,” said Mack.
It is still up in the air whether or not the YLee team will have to split, but Kane wants everyone to know that YLee owes a lot of thanks to their coaches, Colleen O’Briant and Julia Petro, YULA board members, the player’s parents and the other players in the community.
“Thank you for your cheering and support on and off the sideline. YLee wouldn’t be where it is without you,” said Kane.