The South Eugene Gender Diverse Ultimate Frisbee team has won the High School National Championship. To clinch the win, they beat Roosevelt, a team from Seattle, 15-to-4, in Richmond, Virginia on Sunday night.
During the 2-day competition, the Eugene high schoolers had to beat teams from Virginia, Maryland, Utah and elsewhere.
A lightning storm interrupted play for a half hour, plus there was a downpour just before the finals game. That was followed by a rainbow — “rather appropriate,” according to the official broadcast of the game by “Ultiworld.”
“There was no doubt by the tournament’s end as the gender-diverse squad put together the greatest performance in the tournament’s history,” read the summary on the Ultiworld website.
“Not only did South Eugene win every contest on their path to a 6-0 weekend, but it was also utter domination. Their final point differential for the tournament was +71, averaging an 11+ point margin of victory. In every game, South Eugene was able to reach 15 goals, even in conditions that generally limited the field from getting to the final number before the cap.”
A parent who attended the championship event, Julie Polhemus, wrote a summary noting that the South Eugene High School Boys team earned a spot in the tournament with only one loss across more than 20 games in their season. While they “surprised higher-ranked teams with their solid play”, the boys team was eliminated in the quarterfinals by “eventual champion Lone Peak, and finished tied for 5th place.”
Polhemus also wrote that the South Eugene Girls Team transitioned to its gender-diverse name after coach (Rachelle) Depner was approached by then–South Eugene player Soju Hokari. Hokari suggested the team change its name to better accommodate the makeup of its players.
“Senior and co-captain Arenaria Cramer, in talking to (Oregon Public Broadcasting), said that, ‘In a time when trans people are constantly ostracized and discriminated against, especially in sports, now is really good time for us to have a safe place and a safe community to excel in and to be exactly who we are.’”