Triangle Ultimate Celebrates 20 Years Throwing the Disc

Triangle Ultimate Celebrates 20 Years Throwing the Disc

A milestone achievement for a community that continues to grow and give back, teaching good spirit and integrity along the way

Jordan High School’s Ultimate team (left to right): First row: Albert Yuan, Keith Kimbro, Mic Saleeby; Second row: Hassan Polani, Aidan O’Connell, Cal Nightingale, Matthew O’Connell; Third row: Substitute Coach Michael Avila, Wells Lawrence, Chris Cole, Collin Wilkes, Issac Palmer, Jack Nuernberger, Cade O’Fall.

The sport of Ultimate Frisbee – not to be confused with disc golf or the games you play with your dog – has had an organized presence in our area for two decades thanks to the efforts of Triangle Ultimate, a nonprofit based at The Frontier in RTP that promotes the sport with a mission to increase the quality and quantity of Ultimate programs for all ages and skill levels.

Carolina Friends School’s (CFS) Jason Manning steps in front of the Green Hope High defender to make a catch, “pancake” style.

Triangle Ultimate Executive Director Tristan Green – who has played Ultimate in the Triangle for more than 15 years beginning at McDougle Middle School, then Carolina Friends School and then in college at UNC – now leads the association he’s played with since he was a teenager. “Celebrating 20 years is not only a milestone achievement for the organization, but a milestone achievement for [this] community that has grown and accomplished so much,” he says, “a community that includes 7-year-olds beginning in our Learn to Play programs to players who have represented the United States internationally.

CFS’s Matti Lee looks for a teammate to make a pass. CFS went on to win the game 9–4.

“My hope is that in the coming years we’ll see [this] large generation of youth players that have now grown up in the Triangle Ultimate community continue to grow, give back and contribute to the sport in the Triangle or wherever their lives take them.”

Durham Academy’s Stillman Hanson reaches to catch the Frisbee in a match against the Carrboro Hydras. DA went on to win the game 13—5.

One Triangle Ultimate member achieving that goal is Alex Hoffman. A sophomore at Durham Academy, he’s played the game for five years now and incorporated his love for the sport into his Eagle Scout Project, organizing a tournament last year among area high school Ultimate teams in order to raise funds to buy laptops for classrooms at Durham Nativity School. “I remember visiting Durham Nativity and feeling shocked that they did not have the access to technology that I take for granted,” he says.

My hope is that we’ll see [this] large generation of players continue to grow, give back and contribute to the sport, wherever their lives take them.

Carolina Friends School’s Ultimate B-team (left to right): First row: Ben Hodgins, Jackson Meisner, Alex Chilton, Ryan Bliss, Matti Lee; Second row: Jason Manning, Peter Johnson, Ben Fuguet; Third row: Coach Matt Gouchoe-Hanas, Matt Frey, Ben Westlund, Roy Farrell, Luke Morton, Alex Kauff, Coach Ben Alexander.

Alex repeated that successful fundraiser again this year, raising more than $3,000, which should be enough to provide Lenovo Chromebooks for the entire incoming fifth-grade class. More than a worthy cause, it’s also a testament to the lessons he’s learned through Ultimate.

“While I love the sport for its fast-paced style of play and pure entertainment value, I am drawn to Ultimate’s principle that players can resolve disputes using good spirit and integrity,” Alex says. “No other sport focuses on these qualities as much as Ultimate does. [It] has made me a better person by developing my abilities to communicate respectfully in the middle of a highly competitive setting, a skill I know I will use later in life.”

Durham Academy’s Ultimate team (left to right): First row: Will Norry, Chris Walsh; Second row: Olivia Postel, Andrew Owens, Jackson Futrell, Coach Nick Galvez; Third row: Alex Hoffman, Nick Fogg, John Heaney, Matt Tucker.

Photography by Briana Brough

Amanda MacLaren
Amanda MacLaren is the executive editor of Durham Magazine. Born in Mesa, Ariz., she grew up in Charlotte and attended UNC-Chapel Hill, majoring in journalism. She’s lived in Durham for seven years. When she’s not at work, you can usually find her with a beer in hand at Fullsteam, Dain’s Place or Bull City Burger or getting takeout from Guasaca.