Fox Chapel team views Ultimate Frisbee win as 'redemption'
Fox Chapel's boys Ultimate Frisbee team put Pittsburgh on the map by winning first place at the USA Ultimate Championship on May 27.
A Pittsburgh Ultimate team has not won the state championship since 2003, when Mt. Lebanon took first place. Fox Chapel was one of five Pittsburgh area teams that traveled across state to Allentown for the tournament.
When Fox Chapel didn't get a bid to the High School Northeastern Championship held May 12-13 in Devens, Mass., it fueled the fire.
"It was very disappointing finding out we didn't get into Northeastern," said senior Ben Plakidas. "It was kind of cool to show USA Ultimate that we deserved to play. It was a great feeling for Pittsburgh to bring home the title of first place."
Fox Chapel boys coach Jesse Sidhu called it "redemption."
"You're one of those 16 teams that comes out on top and has a happy ending," he said. "There's nothing better."
North Allegheny, Pine-Richland, Franklin Regional, Mt. Lebanon and Hampton competed in the state championship.
Fox Chapel began with wins against North Allegheny, 13-3; and Methacton (Worcester), 13-8. The second day it advanced to the final round, following wins against Haverford, 15-7, and Hampton, 15-10.
In the championship game against Lower Merion, the teams traded points until Fox Chapel led 8-6 at halftime. Sidhu said Fox Chapel's defense was key to keeping the team in the game.
"We didn't make them comfortable when they had the disc in their hand," he said.
Jack Slevin, Max Sheppard and Sam Kovel helped lead Fox Chapel to the 14-12 win.
"The whole weekend, we played amazingly," Plakidas said. This season, the team learned how to carry strong play into the second half, he said.
The win gives Plakidas and Fox Chapel's 10 other seniors a legacy.
"After four years, our hard work paid off," he said. "We're showing USA Ultimate that Pittsburgh is one of the big competitions and other teams should be weary of us."