Prep Welcomes 1st Frisbee Fest, Junior Class Delivers


Photo Courtesy Chris Fung ’23

The past year has been a time of transition within the Prep community. In line with the adage, “Out with the old, in with the new,” students brought new ideas into play on April 5 with the debut of Frisbee Fest, an ultimate frisbee competition between the junior and senior classes. 

Frisbee Fest replaced the traditional Powderpuff game, a flag football match between the junior and senior girls. As Luca Yeghnazar ‘23, one of the principal organizers noted, “We were aiming to pick a sport that would include everyone and at the same time make it so people were really excited.” The event required significant planning to meet DEI guidelines while also making it a fun time. As Chris Fung ‘23 shared, “We had to reach out to teachers and faculty.” Meanwhile, lead senior organizer Elise Desjarlais ‘22 expressed optimism about Frisbee Fest’s place as a new tradition: “You’re like the base of what could potentially be a really cool thing, so it will be interesting how this comes out.”

Students similarly expressed excitement on the day of the big game. The junior class was clearly in the right mindset; as Ashley Chea ‘23 put it, “The energy, the whole aura of the junior class is really high up right now.” Theo Kuo ‘23 concurred. As he described it, “The junior class is pretty pumped up. We’re ready to win.” Sage Shurman ‘23 agreed, exclaiming, “We’re going to crush the seniors!”

During a sweltering community block, students and faculty gathered by the field to watch the match. The seniors and juniors lined up along the sidelines, while several players from each class took to the field. Players were periodically rotated out to give them a brief respite from the heat. Meanwhile, Mr. Bellaimey and Mr. Hallett were stationed as commentators while Coach White acted as a referee.

The game got off to a shaky start with numerous fumbles and misses. Several minutes into the game, that changed when Nnamdi Nwaenia ‘23 landed the juniors their first point. Rolling down the field, they scored again before Jake Matsumoto ‘23 caught a long pass into the end zone to earn the juniors their third point. The juniors surged ahead again and again; a strong catch by Luca Yeghnazar ‘23 brought the score up to a resounding 5-0.

Though the seniors had several strong plays, including several led by Dominick Schraeder ‘22 and Nicholas Gonzalez ‘22, they repeatedly fell short. As the commentators observed, the class of 2022 seemed intent on a “two-pass strategy,” from end zone to midfield and from midfield to the opposite end zone. The commentators touted leadership as the key to the juniors’ success. They brought that premise to its natural conclusion: the juniors’ regular attendance at FLINT meetings was now paying off in spades. “FLINT delivering leadership to the class of 2023,” the commentators quipped.

Finally, a pass from John Stetson ‘22 to Aaron Lee ‘22 landed the seniors their first point. Alec Guthrie ‘22 came close to scoring but was narrowly intercepted by Sean O’Leary ‘23. A series of confusing events transpired shortly afterwards. A player unable to stop their momentum ran into an orange soccer net to the left of the field. An impressive throw across the field failed to make the end zone, in what the commentators dubbed, “robbing the bank but forgetting the cash.” At one point, misdirected aim landed the frisbee a good thirty feet out of bounds. Thankfully, Coach Mejia retrieved the frisbee and play resumed.

At halftime, students competed in a series of frisbee-inspired games led by Anya Rose ‘23, with Kevin Zhang ‘24 winning a purple stuffed animal.

Early during the second half of the game, Miranda Thomson ‘23 scored, bringing the score to 7-1 for the juniors. Seven must have been a magic number because it startled the seniors into action. The seniors quickly scored their second point, and soon after, Jiashu Wang ‘22 tossed the frisbee to Will Lanstra ‘22 to edge the seniors up another point. Points followed in quick succession. Passes into the junior end zone took on a steady rhythm as the seniors brought their score up a relentless three, four, and then five points. Finally, the seniors brought the tally up to a nail-biting 7-6.

Then, the juniors rallied. A solid catch by Chris Fung ‘23 brought the juniors up to 8-6. The juniors earned another point, and the seniors responded in kind. Following, the seniors came close to scoring several times. Each time, however, the frisbee fell flat in the end zone. A pass from Luke Chapman ‘23 to Griff Theis ‘23 took the juniors into double digits. The juniors and seniors each managed to scrape by with another point before the commentators launched into a dramatic countdown in Spanish. Final Score: Juniors – 11. Seniors – 8.

It was a happy moment for the juniors as they ran onto the field in celebration. As Griff Theis ‘23 described it, the game was “super fun.” Jacob Lee ‘23 had voiced hope that Frisbee Fest would be “just as awesome, if not even more awesome” than Powderpuff, a recurrent theme that day. Judging from appearances, Frisbee Fest met that expectation with flying colors.

The commentators had the last word. While the juniors won, “the real winner,” they reflected, “is the Flintridge Prep community.” Here’s to hoping that Frisbee Fest continues to score more wins, creating more memories in the years to come.