It’s a Sport, I Swear!

GHS frisbee is heading to nationals.


Photo courtesy of Vicki Mullet

On June 8th, Garfield’s Boy’s Frisbee team, Purple Haze, will be traveling to Rockford, Illinois to compete at this year’s High School National Invite, the highest level of competition for high school Ultimate.
This year’s team is made up of students from every grade and experience level, and is led by captains Ben Kass-Mullet, Quinn Edgerton, and Soren Dahl.
“While we had a rockier regular season this year, I think that by the end of it we were as good as last year’s team,” Kass-Mullet said. “Throughout the winter we’ve been putting in more work and are playing more to prepare to go to Nationals again because we know what it takes now.”
Coach and Garfield class of 2013 alumni Homer Aalfs led the team through the regular season, and made sure that everyone’s minds were on Nationals from start to finish the year.
“While I wasn’t 100% confident that we would get a bid to Nationals this year, I certainly wasn’t surprised,” Aalfs said. “Given that we finished 2nd in SPS playoffs, 3rd in DiscNW State Championships this year, and held seed at Nationals last year, I believe we deserved the invite.”
In Seattle, high school frisbee teams compete during the fall sports season, but this isn’t the case around the country. Because of this, Nationals is held at the end of the spring season, forcing the Garfield teams to stay in shape year-round.
“Some of our players have been training all season, starting with the regular season in the fall, Seven Hills (an elite all-city youth club team) in the winter, and Nationals training in the spring,” Aalfs said. “Others took the winter off to recover, play other sports, or focus on academics and other activities.”
For the team’s seniors, Nationals will be their last time playing as a part of Purple Haze, which puts some pressure on their performance.
“I want to work as hard and have as much fun with my teammates as I possibly can in the last month I have with them, because Garfield Ultimate has been a family to me for the past 4 years,” Kass-Mullet said. “I’m gonna work especially hard for the seniors, most of whom I’ve been playing with for the past 7 years.”
Experienced players with long histories in the program aren’t the only ones so invested in the team, it’s also become a supportive space for new athletes coming into Garfield.
“Frisbee is a great way to relieve stress and spend my built up energy,” freshman Chander Boyd-Fliegel said. “The community that has grown around the sport is like a family to anyone who chooses to play. I have never felt so welcome playing any other sport.”
Purple Haze competed at Nationals last year and finished in eighth place after losing to Grady High School from Atlanta, Georgia in the quarterfinals. They hope to make it farther in the tournament this year, where they’ll be facing Grady once again, as well as the teams from Nathan Hale and Ingraham, both of whom Garfield competed against in the regular season this fall.
“We weren’t expected to make it this far so it’s especially exciting for the team and the coaches. I think we will crush expectations and finish in the top 4,” Boyd-Fliegel said.
Sending the team to Nationals, however, will be expensive, so many students are working and fundraising to help cover the estimated cost of ten thousand dollars. Because frisbee is not officially recognized as a school sport, they receive no funding from the school or school district. If able, please consider donating to their GoFundMe: