Boys’ ultimate team to play in competitive tournament

Crush prepares to face Hopkins, Edina, Cooper, Eden Prairie


Emily Ziessman

Boys' Crush ultimate team huddles after practice during the fall season in preparation for the upcoming season. They will compete in the Wind Chill Invite at 6:15 p.m. Feb. 2 at Champions Hall in Eden Prairie.

Sofia Seewald

After participating in several practices over the last few months, freshman Danny Shope said he believes the boys’ ultimate team, also referred to as Crush, is ready to play in the highly competitive Wind Chill Winter Invite tournament coming up Feb. 2.

“We’ve been practicing all fall, and we’ve even been doing practices in the winter indoors. I think we’re going to be ready for this tournament, and I think we’ll do really well,” Shope said.

According to boys’ ultimate coach Spencer Hagen, the new and returning players this season have been committed to practices and have had positive attitudes.

“Energy has been super high and numbers have been really good,” Hagen said. “I have been really appreciative of the players focusing. We have very limited practice time right now, so everybody has done a really nice job coming in ready to go, being there on time, and focusing for the full amount of time that I’ve got them.”

Senior Ethan Kahn, one of the four captains, said the incoming players from the middle school team this year have helped the team immensely.

“We’ve got a ton of freshman this year, which is awesome, and the coaches have done a great job getting them into practice and getting them committed to the team,” Kahn said.

According to Shope, the captains and coaches have done a commendable job working with the different levels of experience on the team.

“We’ve done lots of clinics and pickup games where there’s no pressure, and people are playing at all different skill levels,” Shope said. “I think that’s really helpful for people who haven’t played because they aren’t just jumping into a real game.”

Hagen said the upcoming tournament will expose the new players to what a real game entails, and this will help further develop their skills in future games.

“(This tournament) gives us a chance to see what some of the best teams in the state look like,” Hagen said. “A big part of any new player developing their skills is having some visualization, so being able to see what it looks like when you put a point together and track a lot of passes.”

Khan said the other schools Crush will be playing against are very skilled and will be a good challenge for the team.

“Hopkins and Edina (will be) there, and they are consistently the top two teams in the state, and there are only five teams in the tournament, so getting to play high-end competition will hopefully help make us better,” Kahn said.

According to Hagen, the Crush team includes a lot of athletic players that he believes will be able to face the tough competition this weekend.

“I think it’s going to be good for us,” Hagen said. “Athletically we’re talented enough to compete with the top teams in the state, so just really bringing that focus and honing the skill and the strategies of the game is getting to where we want to go.”

According to Hagen, the Wind Chill Winter Invite will be held at 6:15 p.m. Feb. 2 at Champions Hall in Eden Prairie.