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Whitman and WJ frisbee team falls short of state championship

Senior+Josh+Strauss+%28right%29+prepares+to+launch+the+Frisbee+down+field+to+a+teammate.+Strauss%2C+the+team+captain%2C+played+a+big+part+in+the+team%27s+successful+season.+Photo+by+Anna+Gray.+
Senior Josh Strauss (right) prepares to launch the Frisbee down field to a teammate. Strauss, the team captain, played a big part in the team's successful season. Photo by Anna Gray.

Senior Josh Strauss (right) prepares to launch the Frisbee down field to a teammate. Strauss, the team captain, played a big part in the team's successful season. Photo by Anna Gray.

Senior Josh Strauss (right) prepares to launch the Frisbee down field to a teammate. Strauss, the team captain, played a big part in the team's successful season. Photo by Anna Gray.

By Cameron Jones

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Whitman and Walter Johnson’s joint ultimate frisbee team finished sixth in the Maryland State Championship despite fighting hard to stay in contention.

The Whitman-WJ team is half of a larger inter-school ultimate club, Poets and Pitchers, which consists of students from Whitman, Walter Johnson, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School and The Field School, but state regulation forced the team to split into a Whitman-WJ team and a JDS-Field School team in order to play in the state tournament.

Frisbee teams in the tournament started bracket play May 20 with each team receiving a seed based on their regular season success. The tournament concluded with elimination rounds May 21.

The Whitman-WJ team earned the fourth seed, while the JDS-Field team received the sixth seed. Because the original team was divided, the Whitman-WJ team didn’t expect first place, but still had high hopes for the tournament.

“Our goal as a team was to do the best we could, and we knew we could do pretty well due to the size and skill of our team,” sophomore Maximus Oleynik said. “At the end we didn’t expect to win but maybe get second or third.”

As the tournament got underway, Whitman and WJ secured a 3–2 start in group play, giving them a decent position for single elimination bracket play May 21.

In the first round, the team beat Archbishop Curley High School 13–6. But in the quarterfinals, the team suffered a heartbreaking 12–7 loss to their JDS-Field teammates, who went on to take the state championship.

“We ended up actually having to play each other in the quarter finals which was very disappointing because they’re essentially our teammates and we have all played together for years,” captain Josh Strauss said. “I can’t help but think how good our combined team would have been at states.”

Despite the loss, Whitman players are still proud of the Field School and JDS half of Poets and Pitchers. Although they lost as competitors, they won as a club and are proud of their teammates, Strauss said.

“I was still very happy for the other half of the team because I never considered the teams to be two separate bodies,” WJ team member Josh Eisen said. “A win for them was a win for all of us.”

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Whitman and WJ frisbee team falls short of state championship