An Ultimate Way to Spend Veterans’ Day: North Shore Invitational

Growing up on Long Island pre-21st Century, Ultimate Frisbee was a gym class and nothing more. Eight years after I graduated, I witnessed my first high school Ultimate tournament on Long Island (and, now that I think about it, the first tournament I’ve ever seen on Long Island). The club team of North Shore High School, located in Glen Head, hosted the North Shore Ultimate Invitational 2011 on the 11th of November. The games were played on three beautiful fields at North Shore Middle School on a chilly, slightly windy, yet gorgeous day in Autumn.

North Shore High School’s Ultimate started as a casual Friday afternoon activity some umpteen years prior. About five years ago, it blossomed into a high school club team that meets every Friday afternoon. This year, there are 15 students in the club. Currently, the North Shore team is co-coached by Patrick Cassino, Andrew Cross, and Juan Cifuentes.

The tournament was originally scheduled to take place the weekend before Halloween, but a nor’easter pushed the date back, for better or worse, to Veterans’ Day. The clubs that were able to make the trip were mostly from New Jersey: Watchung Hills High School, Columbia High School, Westfield Ultimate Frisbee Club, and Manalapan High School. Stuyvesant High School was the other New York representative.

Photographing Ultimate is always fun, and I was definitely looking forward to photographing my first high school level tournament. The reason being is they’re in high school and they have the means to learn and grow. For someone who didn’t develop an appreciation for the sport until college, it’s exciting. I like seeing the love for this sport spread, and the fact that it’s finally happening here on Long Island is wonderful. Also, photographing for a high school tournament means the schools may want some photographs I’ve taken for their yearbook. Parents, coaches, and students may like what they see so much that they’ll let me know when their next game/tournament is (Shameless self-plug). Hooray for networking!

Also, an important note from Michaelangelo: If you find yourself with free time the Sunday after Thanksgiving, I suggest you head over to the 4th Annual Stuyvesant Benefit Hat Tourney. This year, in addition to supporting the Stuyvesant HS boys’ and girls’ teams, a portion of the proceeds will go towards the development of NYC’s first Youth Club League. This league will allow players from all across the city to participate and receive coaching from elite club players. Next summer, the best players from this league will form a team to represent NYC and compete in the USAU’s Youth Club Championship in Blaine, MN. Help promote youth ultimate!

AND if you’re one of the parents, students, or coaches that attended the tournament, please e-mail me at jennifer.voce@gmail.com for the link to the album!

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