Photo by Will Smolinski
On November 10, the D.C. Current partnered with the Youth Ultimate League of Arlington (YULA) and Capital Ultimate Camp (CUC) to host a middle school clinic and tournament.
D.C. Current players including Dan Kantor, Calvin Oung, Alan Kolick and Tom Doi lead 53 middle schoolers in a busy day of Ultimate. The dedicated organizers at YULA secured field space at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, while the CUC provided food, drinks, and prizes.
The participants got a chance to work on their throws and mechanics, and were also introduced to the dump swing and forcing. After an hour of skills the kids teamed up with Current players to compete against each other in a 5-on-5 mini tournament.
“It is so crazy to see how young some of the kids are who are playing Ultimate and to see how advanced their skills are,” said Doi. “If they keep playing by the time they hit college they are going to be unstoppable.”
Even with a steady 15 mph gust, the kids had a blast. “It would have been easy for the kids to get discouraged, given the windy conditions and huge talent range,” said Keegan, “but instead everyone was really friendly and enthusiastic.”
The team from Deal Middle School (assisted by Alan Kolick) won the tournament by defeating the team from Williamsburg Middle School in an epic universe point.
Dan Kantor loved the experience of passing on his Ultimate knowledge, and looks forward to another clinic. “All of the kids were incredibly excited to be there and learn from us, and it was a treat to teach them throughout the afternoon. I already can’t wait for the next one.”
The kids had a blast, and were excited to hear that YULA is in the process of coordinating a middle school rec league with WAFC this spring. “I was amazed at how many kids (and parents) showed up and stayed throughout,” said Keegan. “It’s becoming more and more evident that there is a loyal and growing group of local youngsters that love Ultimate. It’s an exciting time to play Ultimate in D.C., no matter what age.”
Thanks to assistant coach Will Smolinksi for contributing to this article.