Girls Ultimate: a strong and cohesive group

  • ultimate color
    The Amherst Regional girls' varsity Ultimate team huddles up after defeating Lexington 15-4 at the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. Photo: Dan Little
  • ultimate
    Girls’ varsity Ultimate members celebrate at the 25th annual Amherst Invitational. Photo: masslive.com

Having a team of mostly returning seniors, along with very talented underclassmen, the girls’ varsity Ultimate Frisbee team put on a strong showing this season. The team finished the season 13-0 in high school competition, and posted championship victories in the Amherst Invitational, Massachusetts State, and Northeastern Regional tournaments.

ARHS math teacher Joshua Nugent coached the girls this year. “He’s really intense, and really cares about us improving,” said captain Livvy Weld. She feels that this contributes to a good environment for playing.

Weld senses the pressure of living up to the reputation of being one of the best high school teams in the country, but is also incredibly impressed by the level of skill on the team.

“Everyone can throw a huck,” said Weld.

In addition to Weld, the team is also led by senior captains Jo-z Coppinger, April Weintraub, and Izzi Tripp. Coppinger said that this breadth is good because it creates, “diffused influence,” and that it contributes to more teaching and learning.

Coppinger emphasized the importance of teaching rules and inspiring her teammates. “We’re always striving to better our fundamentals in order to gel well as a team,” she said. Coppinger led the team in points and assists, with 11 and 17, respectively, as per USA Ultimate statistics.

According to Weld, the team is a tight group of people on and off the field. The players bond by baking together and having pasta dinners and sleepovers. Weld said that the roster happens to be nearly the same as the 2014 JVA team, so the players already had strong chemistry to start the season.

The chemistry showed as the girls surged through States and Northeasterns, winning nearly every game by an impressive margin. Their only close game in these tournaments was a defensive 9-5 contest with Watchung Hills in the championship match of Northeasterns.

Though most of the players will be graduating this year, Coppinger is confident in the team’s future. She named Shira Yeskel-Mednick, ‘17, and Leija Heiling, ‘18, as some of the highly talented underclassmen that will look to step up next year.

Coach Nugent himself couldn’t have been happier with his team’s performance this season. “We were a very balanced, deep team, and everyone contributed,” he said. “We definitely held up the legacy of ARHS Ultimate.”