PMS ultimate frisbee finishes 2nd, wins Spirit Award in season tourney

Back row: Coach Don McBirney, Sawyer Heppner, Ari Lopez, Shane McNulty, Ariel Grossberg, Aidan Stewart, Ethan Grossberg, Coach Carolyn Stewart; Front row, kneeling: Ben McMurtry, Zach Fisher, Noah Hildebrand, Drew DeVries (Photo credit: Judy Lin)

Piedmont Middle School’s ultimate team, Purple Reign, wrapped up the competitive spring season with a 2nd place finish in Bay Area Disc Association’s premier youth ultimate tournament, Spaghetti Western. Purple Reign’s Varsity squad (seeded 7th out of 10 teams) competed in the Middle School Division 1 of the tournament that was held on Saturday in Stockton. That day saw torrential rain and sheering winds that suspended the tournament part way through the day. This was only the 2nd year that the team competed in Middle School Division 1 play.

Purple Reign went 2-0 in pool play thanks to a stifling zone defense that created turnovers that the team was able to turn into goals. The team beat defeated Baja Sunset( a team from Tijuana, Baja California) 8-7 and the Claremont Seawolves 6-3. Superb handling by Aidan Stewart (7th grade), Ari Lopez (8th grade), and Drew DeVries (8th grade); strong defense by Ariel Grossberg (8th grade), Noah Hildebrand (8th grade), and Shane McNulty (8th grade); and leading scorer, Ben McMurtry (7th grade), all played key roles in the two wins.

Tournament bracket play was played at El Cerrito High School on Saturday. A sunny day with winds gusting 18mph tested players’ throwing and catching abilities. Purple Reign was victorious over Alameda Taurus 6-2 in semifinals; but then lost a close championship game to the Claremont Seawolves 6-7. The aforementioned players were supported by Ethan Grossberg (6th grade), Sawyer Heppner (6th grade) and Zach Fisher (6th grade)- reserves who contributed on both offense and defense.

Purple Reign capped off a competitive day of ultimate with winning the Spirit Award. All youth ultimate tournaments feature a Spirit Award where teams rate each opposing team on their spirit and the team with the highest average spirit score wins the award.

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