Eastside Catholic Frisbee Club

Zach Sheehan attempts a pass during a game against Bellevue in 2019.

Eastside Catholic School

Zach Sheehan attempts a pass during a game against Bellevue in 2019.

Ultimate Frisbee is back at Eastside Catholic after our absence last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, our club will meet weekly during EC3 and, hopefully, Eastside Catholic Frisbee will have a team again by the Spring.

The Club aims to create a space where students can have fun playing Ultimate, be it in the form of a scrimmage or just passing the disc. Hopefully, this club can run alongside an Eastside Catholic Frisbee Team in the future and transition back into a sport in years to come.

Frisbee can be found at the professional, college, highschool, and pickup level. The AUDL league is the national standard for professional frisbee in the United states but as a small sport it goes relatively unnoticed.

At the college level frisbee can be found on a variety of campuses at the D1 level and is very competitive. The highschool level follows a similar season-tournament format with seasonal league each year.

Ultimate Frisbee began at Eastside Catholic under the name “Smash” in 2013, headed by the founding group of 7th graders. From there the team went on to win a few local tournaments before their final season as a team in 2018.

That is when I joined the team as a freshman and was thrown into a group of seniors with 2 other sophomores. Although I did not get to play much that year, I was able to learn a lot from my teammates who had been playing the sport for years.

That year was a blast and we won a lot, finishing the regular season with a solid 8-4 record. But, after a loss and then a big win, we found ourselves in the play-in game for the playoffs.

Unfortunately under the lights of the Eastside Catholic Football field, the magical run for that group of seniors ended with a blowout loss. Little did any of us know that that would be the first of 11 straight blowout losses.

After that season our coaches left to pursue their careers elsewhere but one stayed. So it was Coach Abby with her Dog, Queenie the Chiweenie, and Coach Brad, that presided over next year’s disaster.

I was thrown in totally blind. Having not had enough experience to learn the flow of the game, I had no idea what I was doing apart from the purely theoretical knowledge I had picked up the year prior.

With the group of seniors gone, we had six people left on the team. Thankfully, we were just barely able to gain enough players for a season.

Our Ragtag group did not stand much of a chance due to our lack of experience. I, for one, was not prepared to be a team captain in my second year, which was my first year as a starter. This was not out of merit but necessity.

As a team we amassed a total of zero points in our first game, finally scoring our first point three quarters of the way through our second game. It was like we had just won the superbowl. We sprinted across the field to congratulate each other, leaving the other team bewildered as to why we were so elated.

That was the only point we scored that day, but next week we scored again. Still, going into the last game of the season we were 0-9 with our best performance being a 5-12 drubbing against Bellevue.

We had never had enough players that season, so we often played without a bench and at times we had to play a man down. Still, as the last game of the season rolled around, we actually felt confident.

The game was played on a cold, rainy Bainbridge Island in the mud. We lost, but we put up 4 points and had our best defensive game all season.

We had no idea that this may have been the last game an Eastside Catholic Frisbee Team would ever play.

After that game, despite the fact that we went 0-10 we celebrated. We celebrated the good times we had had that year and the growth we had all experienced as athletes.

We were all excited for a Spring Season, but then the COVID-19 Pandemic hit. Unfortunately, we had already lost Coach Abby as she pursued her career, but we still had Coach Brad. However, due to the length of the Pandemic, Brad has since moved on and Eastside Catholic Ultimate was left without a coach.

So, the 2021-2022 school year rolls around and there are only four of us left from our 2019 squad and we had no school support. Because of this, I started the Frisbee Club to hopefully revive Ultimate Frisbee at Eastside Catholic.

While I am still pushing for an Ultimate team, the sport is caught in limbo and may never return to Eastside Catholic.

Now headed by Mr. Kok, Lucas Butcher, Owen Fitzsimmons, Will Heutchy, and myself, the frisbee club is thriving and will be at Eastside Catholic for at least another year, with hope to continue beyond that.