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Ultimate frisbee seeks redemption after loss at state

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Ultimate frisbee seeks redemption after loss at state

Members of the ultimate team began practice on March 18 and will soon be competing against other schools in the area.

Members of the ultimate team began practice on March 18 and will soon be competing against other schools in the area.

Nic Zappala

Members of the ultimate team began practice on March 18 and will soon be competing against other schools in the area.

Nic Zappala

Nic Zappala

Members of the ultimate team began practice on March 18 and will soon be competing against other schools in the area.

After losing to Edwardsville Elite in the state championship last year, the DGS ultimate frisbee team plans to come back with force for their third competitive season. Their hope is to win the state tournament this year.

Ultimate requires a lot of endurance and is similar to basketball in terms of turnovers; however, it is different from soccer passing because once the players have the disc, they can’t continue to move. In order to score a player must catch the disk in the end zone.

Drew Sobczak, head coach and physics teacher, believes this year’s team has a unique skill set, which includes both captains being juniors, which will give the program an opportunity to develop over the next two years.

We have a lot of good players, but what we are able to do well is play as a team. Our team camaraderie is a huge strength. Our players get along very well and we have a great atmosphere around the team,” Sobczak said.

Junior Nicolas Zappala began playing ultimate through DGS last year as a sophomore and will be returning as a captain this season. Zappala feels that in his first year as captain, he has a lot of expectations to uphold, but that his teammates’ confidence is his top priority.

This is my first year as a captain and I believe that my most important job is going to be being able to lead the team during practices in each drill we do. Trying to help players get better with their skills every single day. Then most importantly, being able to pick players up in our games when we are down,” Zappala said.

Sobczak believes that one of the best things about the ultimate program is their no-cut policy because it fosters a positive environment and sets them apart from other DGS sports.

“Other sports cut people and it’s very obvious that [it] happens, so people who love a sport oftentimes can’t play the sport that they like. Ultimate frisbee never cuts anyone, so everyone, no matter what athletic ability they have [and] no matter how good or bad they are, will be on the team and they will play,” Sobczak said.

Senior Dimitri Kourafas discovered ultimate frisbee his junior year and feels that joining the ultimate program has been the best decision he has made since his freshman year.

“Right when I joined, I made so many friends. The game itself was so intense and fun. I regret not playing all four years here. I am truly glad I joined and played my junior and senior year. Ultimate frisbee has changed my high school experience for the better,” Kourafas said.

Social studies teacher Brennan Lazzaretto is the assistant coach for the Mustangs. He anticipates an enjoyable season for the team even if they don’t accomplish their goal of winning state.

“The goal of the program is to develop our student-athletes into leaders that engage their peers in positive energy while competing and building a team. Ultimate is a sport that focuses on competing with good sportsmanship. We have fun while encouraging others to grow,” Lazzaretto said.

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Ultimate frisbee seeks redemption after loss at state