The Deerfield Academy ultimate frisbee team has grown exponentially since the sport was brought to Deerfield six years ago. This year, captains Kento Yamamoto ’16 and Satwik Kamarthi ’16, who have both played ultimate for the entirety of their Deerfield careers, will lead the team. Kento was inspired to play by Trip Kaelin ’14. Satwik on the other hand, having previously attended Xaverian Brothers School (a top twenty ultimate frisbee program in the nation) decided to try the sport out here at Deerfield. He has loved it since.
The disc team hopes to surpass last year’s sub .500 season record and succeed in the 15 games and four tournaments are scheduled for this spring. Despite not having a winning record last year, they had some notable victories, broke seed in New England’s, and came from a sixth place ranking finished in fifth. The disc team defeated rival,Choate Rosemary Hall at mid-season last year, who placed second at New England’s. They also competed closely with Northfield Mount Hermon School and Phillips Andover Academy, where ultimate frisbee is considered a varsity sport.
The disc team this year differs from last year in that they now have a lot of athletes, especially young talent consisting of freshmen and sophomores. Satwik explained, “a lot of athletes have joined because they realize it’s a great cross training sport for soccer, field sports, lacrosse, track.” The team last year “was a mix of people who just did not want to play a sport in the spring,” so the team did not posses strong athleticism. However, this year, especially with a lot of soccer players, the stamina and athleticism have picked up.
With a new assistant coach this year, Mr. JD DeVaughn-Brown, the conditioning has intensified, with the “Batman” workout. The workout contains running and building the upper body via push ups, sit-ups, burpees, and in-place running. Kento summed it up as a “difficult yoga session.” However, this workout plan, however, cut down the roster. Those who were expecting a relaxed off-season were blindsided by the amount of conditioning and decided to quit. Kento explained that there is, “this idea that ultimate here is just throwing Frisbees and a little bit running, but it’s actually a lot of work.”
Not only does ultimate frisbee involve stamina and a lot of conditioning, but Deerfield also runs both their own set plays and also plays they have acquired from other programs. Ultimate consists of three types of positions: handlers, midfields, and deeps. The handlers, which Kento plays, are the best disc throwers on the team. The midfields, which Satwik plays, are more or less the “slot receivers.” They stay close to the thrower and are quick and agile. The deeps are the tall or fast players who can catch anything in sight by either running or jumping.
This year,the disc team hopes to have a successful tournament at New England’s, which are being hosted here at Deerfield . Kento said, “If people come out and see what a game looks like, they will get rid of the notion that it is just throwing a disc around.” Hoping to close out their senior spring and their final athletic experience here at Deerfield with a bang, Satwik and Kento are aiming to lead their well-oiled disc-throwing machine to a championship, something that has never been accomplished in Deerfield history.