Frisbee Teams Place Second and Fifth at Virginia State Championship
The Walls girls’ ultimate team with their second place trophy / Credits: Rafi Fox
The Walls ultimate frisbee team traveled to Fredericksburg, Virginia to compete in the Virginia High School State Championship on May 20 and 21. Out of nine teams, the Walls girls’/non-binary team placed second, falling to James Madison High School in the final, while the Walls boys’ team placed fifth. This is their second state tournament in a month and the last of their season.
Virginia States caps off a relatively successful year for the frisbee team. The boys’ team placed third in a New Jersey travel tournament earlier this year. Then on May 13, the mixed team came two points from winning the DCIAA tournament, falling to rival Jackson-Reed in a competitive final.
On Saturday, May 20 of the two-day tournament, the boys’ team won three of four games in their pool, advancing to a quarterfinal in the bracket on Sunday, May 21, where they lost to HB Woodlawn by one point. The girls’ team won two games and lost one on Saturday and advanced to the semi-final against Jackson-Reed, coming back on a four-point scoring streak to beat them by one point. In the final, the girls’ team came in an extremely close second, losing 7-6.
Going into next season, the Walls team — after its string of victories and near-victories this year — is one of the top high school teams on the east coast. Although many leading players are graduating seniors, the team hopes to continue its success next year.
The boys team did not have the best showing, placing fifth despite being seeded second. “It was very much not ideal … we lost to teams that we definitely should have beat,” said Travis Tiller (‘24). “I think a lot of the players on the team were looking to go a little farther than we did.” Still, Tiller viewed the year in a positive light, saying “I would say it’s been the most successful year that the team has ever had.”
Co-captain Amaia Noursi (‘23) felt better about the team’s performance at Virginia States. “I think we did much better than we thought we could,” Noursi said, though she regretted the outcome of the final, saying “we could have easily beat [James Madison High School].” As the only tournament played fully by the girls team this season (rather than mixed), Noursi considered it a strong performance.
Next year may be a challenge for the team, as almost all of the team captains are seniors, as are many of its best players. “We’re gonna have to work really hard … to fill the gaps left by all of our seniors leaving,” Tiller said.
“We’re not gonna have as complete of a team.” Chris Seyfried (‘24), another player, said that this year’s team “could be the best in the country” at their peak performance. With the departure of the seniors, that standard will become much harder to meet. Still, Tiller thinks they could stay competitive at the highest level “with a lot of hard work and dedication.”
“We’re losing… some of the best players in the city, and they can’t be replaced,” said Gabriel Webster, coach of the frisbee team and a teacher at Walls. But he said he hopes that the year spent playing alongside the seniors has “shown younger players how to be really great… they can take what was modeled by the current seniors” into next year. He said that the team will need to recruit more players next year if it wants to keep playing at the same level.
Noursi, who graduates this year, hopes the team will continue to thrive, and also emphasized the importance of recruiting new students and growing the team, particularly the girls’ team. However, she said it was important to remain a primarily mixed team. Frisbee is a rare sport in that, except for some spring tournaments, practices and most games are not separated by gender. Noursi said that was essential to a strong Walls team.
“I see great things for the future of our team,” she said. Noursi intends to continue playing ultimate at the University of Vermont next year, and said, “I am gonna miss this team incredibly and everything it’s given me and everyone who’s been a part of this journey with me. Best of luck future flightless birds!”