At 6 p.m. Thursday, Red Wing’s Ultimate Frisbee team will host Senior Night in the team’s final home game of the season. The Wingers will host Lakeville South at the high school football field.
Red Wing boasts 35 players on the co-ed team, and includes student-athletes from eighth to 12th grade. The Wingers are 10-3 on the season and are ranked 27th out of 69 teams in the state. There is only one class in the club sport, and is not recognized by the Minnesota State High School League.
The game consists of 7-on-7 play and, in the words of head coach Michael Wendland, “it’s like a combo of football, soccer and basketball. It’s a football field with the speed and movement of basketball with the mileage of a cross-country race.”
Players must pass the disc after catching it, and cannot run after the catch. One point is scored each time a player catches the disc in the end zone, and games are played to 100 minutes or the first team to reach 15 points, whichever comes first.
Wendland said that much like basketball, soccer and hockey, play is fluid with no stoppage after a turnover. And much like high school tennis, the players call fouls and infractions.
“It’s maybe my favorite thing about it. It’s a great social and emotional thing that requires them to call the game themselves. And I love that as a teacher. I love that a ninth-grade girl will tell a senior boy that it was an infraction and he’s like, ‘You’re correct, here’s the disc,’ and then they play on,” Wendland said.
This is Red Wing’s fourth season and its largest roster yet. The state tournament is June 1-2 and is open to any team that wants to participate. State is comprised of four divisions with the Wingers competing in Division 2. Their best finish was 35th, but this year are guaranteed no lower than 32nd. The teams will play six games, three each on Saturday and Sunday.
“I tell the kids to make sure they have everything done before we go because they’re just going to crash on Sunday night,” Wendland said.
Seniors on the team include: Easton Brown (2nd year), Teagan Cyr (4th), Mattias Fitschen (2nd), Ian Johnson (2nd), Thomas Lidahl (2nd), Riley Marty (1st), Luke Newinski (1st), Ashlyn Nystuen (4th), Elise Pettersen (1st), Matea Simonson (4th, three-time all-conference), Drake Zibble (2nd) and Emma Zibble (4th).