A national title won by Triforce highlighted the performances by five area Triangle Youth Ultimate teams that participated in the Youth Club Championship Tournaments last weekend in Blaine, Minn.
Triforce, which included several payers from Chapel Hill and Carrboro, captured the YCC’s national U-19 championship.
Seeded No. 4 in the 23-team field, Triforce overcame a 7-4 halftime deficit and downed No. 1-seeded Atlanta 9-8 in the semifinals, with Walker Matthews finding Nathan Kwon in the end zone for the game-winning point. In the final, Triforce blew by Cincinnati by a 13-8 score for the championship.
The Triangle’s U-16 boys team, N.C. Hammer, lost its championship game in a 10-9 nail-biter, falling a point short after coming back from a significant first-half deficit.
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It was N.C. Hammer’s fourth trip to the Youth Club Championships, where the team has never finished lower than third place.
Other Triangle teams at the tournament were impressive as well.
For the first year in the history of the YCC, the tournament hosted a U-16 girls division. The Triangle Space Cats U-16 girls team finished the tournament in third place, behind teams from Seattle and Cincinnati.
The Chapel Hill Warhawks, playing in the U-19 girls division, experienced their best finish since 2009.
Seeded sixth, the Warhawks upset No. 3-seeded Devyl of New Jersey and went 3-0 in pool play to secure a spot in the semifinals. The Warhawks lost a pair of close playoff games: 7-6 in the semifinals and 7-5 in the consolation to end up in fourth.
“In recent years, the girls have finished last or second to last,” said Warhawks coach Lindsey Hack. “It illustrates the efforts within the Triangle community to grow girls’ ultimate.”
Hack – along with the help of dozens of other volunteers – played a vital role in establishing youth ultimate in the Triangle. The Triangle Youth Ultimate League, or TYUL, began in 2008 with 94 participants competing in a recreational league during the summer.
This fall, the organization will run Learn2Play Clinics in Carrboro, Durham, and Raleigh. The clinics, which run for five consecutive Sundays between Sept. 28 and Oct. 26 from 2 to 4 p.m., are designed to teach the basic rules of the game, equip new players, aged 7-12, with fundamental skills, and provide participants with a deep understanding of the “spirit of the game,” a core tenant within the sport.
Ultimate games look a bit like a cross between soccer and team handball, with players passing a flying disc (Frisbee being a trademarked name) down the field, with the goal of completing a final pass into the endzone.
For more information on Triangle Youth Ultimate, or to register for the upcoming Fall Learn2Play Clinics, visit www.tyul.org.