Sports / The Prairie Fire / April 22, 2009

Knox Ultimate closes out successful year

After going winless in a disappointing performance at UPA Sectionals last year, Xonk, Knox’s Ultimate Frisbee team, came into this season looking for answers.

Veterans such as Paul Albertine, Matt Allis, Ben Fitzpatrick, Adam McDowell, and Matt Schmalz were lost to graduation in ’08, and the season did not look particularly promising.

“We were counting on our experience and our team chemistry to pull us through,” senior Kevin Goetsch said. “With the low number of freshmen who came out this year, we knew we’d have a smaller team.”

Led by co-captains Goetsch and senior Andy McCoy, along with seniors Danny Fisher-Bruns, Alex Nimmer, Kevin Wickman, and junior Derek Hayes, the team beat the odds and posted a 23-16 record this year. At Sectionals, the team went 3-4; posting wins against Notre Dame, Valparaiso and Illinois State while losing to Northwestern, Indiana, Illinois and Northern Illinois.

The highlight of the weekend was the team’s 15-5 win over Illinois State. After going down 0-4 in the early going, the team rode its fearsome zone defense to a 10-0 run to put the game out of reach for ISU.

“Beating a bigger school is always fun, but to go on a run like that was awesome. They’re a really good team, and they’ve beaten us in the past,” sophomore Tim Lee said.

McCoy said, “Our young guys really made a difference at Sectionals. [Sophomore] Peter Walker showed some great hands and is a phenomenal deep, [sophomore David Kurian] was making plays everywhere, and Tim Lee has played lights-out all year. Steve Galdek, our only first-year on the sectionals roster, did great against much more experienced competition.”

The team heads into next year with Kurian and Walker as co-captains. While the loss of another stellar senior class will be a challenge, Xonk hopes to carry on the legacy of great Ultimate at Knox.

Eric Ballard

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