The frisbees sliced through the air as the LBJ Ultimate Frisbee team practices throwing and running long distances to catch the frisbee. This is a recent drill introduced by Tom Atchity, the new ultimate frisbee coach. Unlike previous coaches, Atchity decided to make running and conditioning one of his key points for this season as he is eager to improve and win games as one team. He also said that another major point is to make sure everyone is having fun, because the rest falls into place if everyone is enjoying themselves.
“This is actually my first year as a coach,” Atchity said. “I have been the captain of several club teams in Kansas City and Austin, which requires a lot of the same skills as coaching I really love teaching frisbee and interacting with people, so coaching is a natural fit.”
The ultimate frisbee team has two team captains, junior AJ Marks and junior Zoe Czarnecki. They practice twice a week from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. They must share fields with LBJ girls lacrosse, track, boys soccer and girls soccer. With that in mind, they only occupy a small portion of the field, but that does not stop them from practicing positioning, playmaking and conditioning as inforced by Atchity. Czarnecki is an experienced player as she has been playing since sixth grade at Kealing Middle School. She said that she is very happy with Atchity as he is getting them to work harder and getting them be more serious about the sport.
“I’m…and I think the whole team is…really happy with our new coach,” Czarnecki said. “I think he is getting us to work hard and be a little more serious which is something I am really excited about. We’re actually still working with our coach from last year so it’s been great to work with both of them together. We’ve got some new plays and styles of running our offense.”
Czarnecki said her role as a team captain is she organizes registration for tournaments, collects safety waivers from students and orders jerseys. She also has to help make sure practice runs smoothly. During games she organizes the team, makes sure that everyone is doing their job and is a role model in front of the other athletes.
All of our games up to this point have been about development. The main season is just starting with our bigger tournaments and spring league play on the way, so games up to this point have been kind of like preseason,” Czarnecki said. “ I think we’re looking forward to improving more this spring season. I’ve been pretty happy with games up to this point, but we definitely have a lot of room to improve our performance.”
Another new idea implemented by Atchity is that this season they have been splitting up into an A and a B team. The ultimate frisbee team has already participated in preseason tournaments that have enabled them to see the things they have to improve on throughout the spring season. It was a successful tournament as they were able to see what their weaknesses and strengths were before real season
“All of our games up to this point have been about development,” Czarnecki said. “The main season is just starting with our bigger tournaments and spring league play on the way, so games up to this point have been kind of like preseason I think we’re looking forward to improving more this spring season. I’ve been pretty happy with games up to this point, but we definitely have a lot of room to improve our performance.”
Sophomore ultimate frisbee players Alex Winter and Shahin Masoumi said they have created many new long lasting bonds all thanks to ultimate frisbee. Being Winter’s first time playing competitive ultimate frisbee, he said that he is glad he had the opportunity to be coached by Atchity as he is in a better shape, both mentally and physically. Winter said that his playmaking skills are better now due to all of the drills they have to do during his practices
“I like to think that I bring a positive environment to the team, where everyone feels safe and they can be opened to say whatever they want to,” Winter said. “That’s really the beauty or the magic of what ultimate frisbee is.”
On the other hand, this is Masoumi’s second year playing for the ultimate frisbee team at LASA. Masoumi said that thanks to Coach Atchity, his positioning has improved along with his ability to catch as he is moving around the field. He thinks that Atchity has definitely change ultimate frisbee here at LASA in the sense that he now doesn’t feel like just part of a team anymore, but a part of a united and happy family.
“The most I enjoy about playing ultimate frisbee is the bonds that I have created throughout the season,” Winter said. “They are friendships that are deep in my heart and friendships that I will keep forever. That is what motivates me to stay after school after a hard day at school. Ultimate frisbee here at LASA is unique and memorable which will create lasting bonds and friendships that will last for your entire life.”