Boys Ultimate takes 7th at State Championships!

2017 SLA Boys Ultimate team
2017 SLA Boys Ultimate team
The Science Leadership Academy Boys Ultimate Frisbee team had an historic result at the PA State Championships over Memorial Day weekend! The boys placed 7th in the state - making the quarterfinals for the first time in the school's history! 

The weekend started with a game against SLA's crosstown rivals - Masterman. Masterman came out strong, taking a 5-0 lead on the Rockets. But there was no quit in the team as they started chipping away at the lead. Masterman took the first half 7-5, setting up for a classic finish. The second half saw both teams step up their game, with Masterman eventually taking a three point lead 12-9 in a game to 13. And then the Rockets truly took off. SLA made it 12-10 when sophomore Eli Zimmerman threw a score to junior Jori Gerveni. Junior Saamir Baker sparked the SLA defense with an end zone defensive block which led to an SLA goal when junior captain Eli Block threw the score to junior Johnny Saldivar to make it 12-11. A key Masterman turnover on the next point led to a Zimmerman to Block goal to tie the score at 12-12 to set up "Universe Point." SLA pulled out its zone defense, and Gerveni got a key layout block, leading to a Zimmerman to Baker score and a thrilling 13-12 victory!

SLA faced the 16th ranked team in the US - Pine-Richland HS. The team fought hard before falling 13-4. SLA rallied in the next round to beat Hampton HS 13-6 to take second in the pool and set up a pre-quarterfinal Saturday afternoon game against Methacton HS. SLA had lost to Methacton twice before in the spring, but Saturday would be different.

The team was determined to reach the quarterfinals, and they came out with an incredible intensity - forcing the Methacton team into uncharacteristic turnovers. SLA jumped out to a 5-2 lead, but Methacton proved to be up to the fight, tying the score at 5-5. SLA recovered, taking half 7-5 with Block throwing to junior Nate Little to take the half. At this point, the team looked in control of the game - one half away from making the top eight for the first time ever. But Methacton had other ideas for the second half.

The start of the second half saw Methacton play their best Ultimate of the game, scoring four straight points to take a 10-8 lead. But again, SLA proved worthy of the challenge, tying the game at 11 when Saldivar got a layout block, leading to a Little to junior Malachi Johnson goal. SLA took the lead 12-11 when Gerveni got his fifth block of the game, and Little threw the goal to sophomore Jason Chen. Methacton scored the next point, tying it at 12-12 and setting up the second "Universe Point" of the day. Again, SLA had nerves of steel, with Little throwing the winning goal to Johnson to put SLA into the state quarterfinals on Sunday morning!

Sunday morning saw a valiant effort by the Rockets, pushing the eventual state champions Radnor High School to 8-6 at half before eventually falling 15-7. SLA lost its next game to Franklin Regional 13-10 and then finished their state championship tournament with a 13-6 victory over Pennsbury HS - the first time in school history that the Rockets have beaten Pennsbury - to finish in 7th place in the state.

The 7th place finish was the highest placement the boys team has ever had at the State Championships, and the team played some of the best Ultimate in its history. The Rockets graduate two seniors - co-captain Kobe Nabried and senior leader Toby Mast. Congratulations to our seniors and to the entire team on a fantastic season! 
Top: Seniors Kobe Nabried and Eli Block with Coach Lehmann. Bottom: Captains Nabried and Eli Block with their coach
Top: Seniors Kobe Nabried and Eli Block with Coach Lehmann. Bottom: Captains Nabried and Eli Block with their coach

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