Lu helps BHS ultimate team earn official tie to school

Martin Lu was a sophomore at band camp, just looking for something fun to do during the breaks from marching. So he and some of the seniors in the band decided to toss a Frisbee around in the parking lot. “We just started throwing a Frisbee around at band camp, just messing around,” Lu said. “Then we learned more about the sport of ultimate and we thought, ‘Oh, this is kind of cool.’ And so we started playing more.” Lu, now a senior, and his friends found out about a couple of ultimate players at the University of Tennessee, who wanted to get a high school ultimate league started. Now, two years later, the Disc Dogs are entering their third season as a team and their first as a Bearden affiliate. The Disc Dogs have attended two state tournaments. “It’s been just a couple of years of hard work and determination to try and get this as a sport,” Lu said. Bearden’s ultimate team is not only participating in the spring league this year, but also in the fall league, another first for the team. “I think that our team is doing well so far,” sophomore Matthew Sui said. “Some people could improve, but I could see us going far.” The team placed eighth at state in 2009, and last spring the Disc Dogs won the city tournament and placed seventh at state. Out of the many sports at Bearden, little is known about the sport of ultimate and what it takes to be good at it. “It’s the best sport you never heard of,” Lu said. “Not a lot of people play it or know about it. I think it takes the same amount of skill as soccer or football; I mean it’s very much an endurance sport and you’ve got to be in shape, and I think that it’s a real fun sport to play that’s not mainstream.” Along with Lu and Sui, Nathan Hardcastle and Andrew Stripling have all proved to be great leaders on their team. Lu and Hardcastle have been on the team since it started at Bearden two years ago. “I think that every one of our players can bring something different to the team and can work,” Bearden ultimate coach Jeremy Yuill said. The team feels like they are gaining momentum, momentum that is vital for the young team. “A lot more people want to play ultimate now,” Lu said. “And that was our main goal, just getting people to know how great ultimate is.”