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A disc party

The Shenendehowa-Saratoga rivalry was taken to the ultimate level last Wednesday.

The ultimate frisbee level, that is.

The Shen and Saratoga ultimate frisbee clubs met for the first time at Clifton Common in a game that was well, days in the making.

I asked my mom about this team because she works (at Saratoga Springs High School), and she gave me the contact number, said Shen team captain Stephen Ehrlich.

"We heard that they had a team, so we kind of expected a game," said Saratoga team captain Travis McGrath. "I was going to call anyway."

You see, with ultimate frisbee at the high school level, there are no referees to contact, no leagues or school administrators to work with and no coaches to supervise. It's just two teams of teenagers throwing a Frisbee around in a field. It's a sport that does not require a lot of planning " just a large, open space and good weather.

"Pretty much, anyone can play," said Ehrlich. "It's one of those sports that are effort based. Anyone can pass, and anyone can catch."

It was hard for either team to catch the disc on this day, though. A stiff wind made it difficult to control the Frisbee's flight, especially when a team had to throw it into the breeze. Still, the players were leaping and diving for every wayward pass.

"It's just fun," said Shen sophomore Albert Nieh. "We care about who wins, but we really want to have fun in this game."

"We only take it as seriously as everyone wants it to be," added McGrath.

Shen and Saratoga are two of the latest high schools nationwide that have established ultimate frisbee programs, though the game is not quite the same as what is played at the collegiate and adult levels. When they played last Wednesday, they ddin't use a regulation 125-yard field that includes two 25-yard end zones. Instead, they used the Common's soccer fields and made the goaltender boxes their end zone lines.

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