Monarch Ultimate Frisbee Catches Championship Title

Graham King
Monarch’s Ultimate Frisbee team celebrates after their 13-9 championship victory against CIVA. Monarch won the State Championship, beating off a field of 18 teams.

Katie Ciaglo, Features Editor

Hail, sleet, rain, and snow couldn’t keep Monarch’s Mixed Ultimate Frisbee team from taking first place in the State Championship this past week. 18 co-ed Ultimate teams gathered at Broomfield Commons last Saturday, November 10th, to compete for the State Championship, and number one-ranked Monarch did not disappoint.

With horrendous weather conditions on Saturday, Monarch battled the elements to pummel the other teams in each of their four pool-play games, out-scoring their opponents 52-2 on the day, with games being played to 13 points. Monarch plowed through Golden (13-0), Compass Montessori (13-1), Fairview JV (13-0), and Jeffco (13-1) to come out as number one in their pool heading into bracket play.

Monarch was set to take on number seven-ranked Cherry Creek in the quarterfinals early Sunday morning, but unplayable field and weather conditions caused the tournament to be postponed. Instead, the teams got a couple days off to recover, and the quarterfinals game was rescheduled to Tuesday night, with semifinals and finals game being scheduled for Thursday.

Notably, Monarch’s JV team, who was also competing in the State Tournament, made it into the quarterfinals after coming into the tournament ranked 15th. They lost to number four-ranked Broomfield (13-4) in the quarterfinals, but it was an impressive run for a JV team made up of mostly rookie players.

On Tuesday night, Cherry Creek was no match for Monarch Varsity, who won the game handily 13-3. Monarch then faced Broomfield in the semifinals, who they took down 13-4, sealing Monarch’s spot in the championship game.

The championship game took place Sunday night at Broomfield High School under the lights on the football field. Monarch’s opponent was CIVA, a small school in Colorado Springs, who Monarch had not yet played in the season.

CIVA proved to be a much tougher opponent than any other teams Monarch had faced so far in the tournament. CIVA played a stifling zone defense, causing Monarch to work the disc up slowly with short passes to get around the defense. With this offensive strategy, each point lasted longer than in a typical game, but that didn’t stop Monarch from going up 2-0 early on, and they didn’t look back from there.

Playing smart, disciplined offense, Monarch slowly but surely ate away at CIVA’s defense. However, CIVA was also hungry, coming up with huge throws downfield to tall, athletic players who would snag the disc out of the air, and then convert the point on short throws into the end zone. This made for a close game between the two teams, but Monarch’s defense didn’t let anything get too out of hand. Monarch forced CIVA to make throws they were less comfortable with, and Monarch seniors David Pollicita, Will Minter, Keegan Healy, and Jacob Kershner, among others, were crucial in coming up with huge stops downfield against CIVA’s tall receivers.

After scoring the first points of the game, Monarch never lost the lead, but CIVA kept the game close, never trailing by more than four points. CIVA surged at the end, trying for a comeback, but it wouldn’t be enough for the Colorado Springs team. On a monster, full field throw from senior Cameron Waugh, senior Changdae Hahm raced into the end zone, jumping up to catch the game winning point. With a final score of 13-9, Monarch capped off their undefeated season with a State Championship victory, sending off their 22 graduating seniors in style.