The Berkeley High School Ultimate Frisbee team were crowned State Champions this past weekend after competing in the California State Championship tournament in San Luis Obispo.
The BHS team, known as Coup, beat the nine-time winners from Alameda in the finals 11-6, which puts them at 18-3 on the season and ranked 13th in the nation.
The team now move on to the Western United States Championships in Corvallis, Oregon, on June 1-2, and hope to bring home another victory as they faces off against powerhouse rivals from across the western United States.
Coach Jordan Rose said the team have been building up to last weekend’s championship, which was sponsored by USA Ultimate, for some time. The team’s record leading up to states was 12-3, not counting informal friendly games. They also competed in the San Jose State invitational tournament this winter, featuring eight local college B teams, where they won two games and lost four.
Describing how the championship games played out, Rose said the games typically last 75 to 80 minutes, with finals lasting almost an hour and a half. “The running, cutting, diving and jumping for catches, while defended by your opponent, is quite intense. In Alameda and Atascadero we faced two extremely athletic and skilled teams that would take advantage of any minor mistake you make.”
“In tight games like those, it seems that nearly every throw will elicit a diving attempt at a block, as two players both battle for possession,” he continued. “We suffered a few injuries, the most serious being a collarbone break by one of our starters in a quarterfinal game. The points go fast, along with the action, and it seems like an endless highlight reel of amazing plays. In the end, despite such excellent rivals, we had the deeper team with so many talented and disciplined players, that the championship finally became ours.”
Over the seven years Rose has been coaching the BHS team, they have grown from a small group of just a dozen boys to a team of over 50 boys and five girls. “We’re trying to grow enough support for an independent girls’ team,” Rose said, “but, for now, the girls play with the boys, which is not uncommon in youth ultimate.”
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