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Atlanta U16 Boys Ultimate Take Second In National Championship

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Atlanta’s U16 boys ultimate team, ATLas, took second in the nation at the ultimate Youth Club Championship (YCC) tournament in Blaine, Minnesota. The team was placed as fifth seed, so placing second in the nation was a huge accomplishment. Atlanta’s ultimate youth club sent four teams to the YCC tournament: U16 boys (ATLas), U19 boys (ATLiens), U19 mixed (flATLine), and U19 girls (cATLanta). The U16 boys placed 2nd, U19 boys placed 5th, u19 mixed placed 7th, and the u19 girls placed 13th.

The U16 ATLas boys lost in the finals 13-12 to Seattle’s U16 boys, the DiscNW-Bonzai. The DiscNW-Bonzai team has not lost this tournament in five years. ATLas’ U16 captains are Grady High School student Aidan Downey and Paidea High School student Ben Dameron. ATLas’ team includes Grady students Adam Miller, Jacob Greenhill, Harrison Briggs, Jack Persons, Miles Pearlstein, Robert Mobley and Aidan Downey. 

“They played amazing,” said sophomore Lily Shevlin, who attended the tournament. “Every single game they played, they never quit trying. It didn’t matter if they were winning by 14 points, they always gave it their all.

Though the U16 boys had wished to take home the gold, they were still very proud of one another for all their hard work.

“In all I think my team played the best we ever have,” said Jaden Medley-Folks, an ATLas player and Grady sophomore. “We went in beating every team and fought a hard and emotional game. It sucks that we lost in the finals, but we’re still the best team in the nation in my book.”

The YCC tournament consisted of teams from all over the country, including Chicago Deep Dish, Philadelphia Fusion, Colorado Cutthroat, San Francisco Aftershock, Portland Neap Tide and many more.

The U16 ATLas boys made it to the semi-finals by beating the Indianapolis INtensity U16 team,13-3 in the quarter-finals. In the semis, they beat the San Francisco Aftershock 12-9, sending them to the finals. In the finals, the boys lost the championship to Seattle’s DiscNw-Bonzai, taking the silver medal back home to Atlanta.

“They deserved to win first more than anyone there,” Shevlin said. “They worked so hard almost every day of the summer to practice for this tournament. They beat everyone in their pool and went to the semi-finals, then the finals. The last game was the most amazing ultimate game I’ve ever seen. They never ceased to amaze me with every game they played.”

Ultimate frisbee is not the most popular sport among high school and collegiate level athletes, but it is growing significantly.

“Being in that tournament and playing for Atlanta was one of the best experiences of my life,” ATLas player Jacob Greenhill said. “The fact that such an odd sport can bring so many people together makes me so happy.”

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The arts, cultural and news magazine of Henry W. Grady High School in Atlanta, Georgia