The AFDC sent teams in two divisions to the ninth annual USA Ultimate Youth Club Championships (YCC) in Blaine, MN (Aug 10-11). The YCC tournament serves as the National championship tournament among the country’s best youth leagues. This year, the Twin Cities Ultimate community hosted 40 teams in U-16 (under 16 years old) open, U-19 open, mixed, and girls. And one of the Atlanta teams brought home a Championship trophy!
Our U-16 team, ATLarge, was the first U-16 team that Atlanta has ever sent to YCC. Coached by Jennifer Waldrup, Andrew Jones, and Paddi White, ATLarge entered as 8th seed out of nine teams. A second round one-point loss left 0-2 ATLarge facing a must-win game against #5 seed Cincinnati to make the championship bracket. The two teams played this final Saturday game tight, with neither team taking more than a one-point lead. ATLarge tied the game 8-8 as the hard cap horn sounded and then made a critical D & scored the thrilling universe point for the win. On Sunday, ATLarge rolled a heavily favored “hometown” Minneapolis team to make semis but lost to the NC team 13-8. ATLarge did not quit in a close 13-11 loss in the 4th place game to finish well ahead of their original seeding.
Atlanta’s U-19 Team, ATLiens, entered the tournament as a #10 seed (19 teams). But unlike last year’s YCC team, this squad coached by Michael Baccarini (Paideia) & Jonathan Monforti (Chain Lightning) started practicing together earlier in the year. And this collection of players from nine area schools had high expectations. Despite a close, capped 9-7 loss, ATLiens finished Saturday first in their pool with dominant wins (11-2, 11-3, & 11-0!).
On Sunday, ATLiens knocked off Chicago 13-8, Delaware 13-5, and then Seattle in the finals game that was never in doubt. Atlanta U-19 National Champs!! The full Sunday recap can be found here.
A huge Thanks goes out to the team managers, Kim Di Francesco, Anita Summers, and Helen Laseter, as well as the families who made this season possible.
Drew Di Francesco
Sebastian Di Francesco
Ultiphotos (Christina Schmidt & Alex Fraser)