Big Changes for Moeller Ultimate Frisbee
The Moeller Ultimate Frisbee team is going through major changes for the 2019-2020 season and many seasons to come because they are now an official club sport for Moeller High School.
For the 16th season of Moeller’s Ultimate Frisbee program, it will be joining all the other Crusader teams, finally becoming an official sport. “It is a validation of the hard work the players and coaches put in over the years, Moeller has always been generous with the program in terms of giving us access to facilities and students, but it is great to know that we are meeting their standards of excellence to be a school program. In practical terms it means that recruiting is easier, it's easier for students/parents/incoming 8th graders to see us as a viable program. “I anticipate the change having a great effect on our overall numbers in the coming years, which will have a positive boost,” said Coach Zach Kaylor.
In previous years, the team was co-ed, joined by the ladies at Mount Notre Dame, and went under the name SAVAGE. In Ultimate, the term savage refers to a team playing a whole game or tournament with the same seven people on the field. Mike Kaylor said, “We changed our name the 08/09 school year (the year after Zach left). We still had a JV and Varsity that year, but only about 22 kids between both teams. As a result, we played a lot of games with only a few subs, and occasionally with no subs. Given playing savage is when you have no subs, the name stuck.”The team has gone through many different name changes, but now we are the Moeller Crusaders.
Being a new sport means needing new jerseys. Our program needs to follow the official Moeller branding instead of using the old jersey that had both Moeller and MND’s name across the chest. The new uni’s will sport the M shield and Marianist cross, with navy and white jersey, and navy shorts.
Youth Ultimate Cincinnati (YUC) now allows single-sex teams to compete in the spring. In the fall, Moeller will keep to tradition and play with MND in a co-ed league but will begin playing single-gendered in a more competitive spring season. Not every GCL school has a team, so we play schools such as Milford, Mason, Revolution, and St. X.
The team is being coached by father-son duo Mike and Zach Kaylor, class of ’08, and led by senior captains Jimmy George and Donovan Duffy. The team wrapped up last season with an upsetting 6th place finish, just one year after winning the state title in 2018. Zach started talking about the future of the program saying, “Honestly, I think that we are just scratching the surface of what we can be as a program. With increased access to students/facilities I think that our program will continue to grow, and our success along with it. In 5 years, I think that Moeller will have 60 plus boys on the team and our top varsity team will be a top 10 team in the country every year.”
The upcoming spring season looks promising because of the abundance of returning players with three or more seasons of experience, and many of these returners played for a competitive club team over the summer.
Currently in the fall league, we are in second place with a record of 4-2. We have already had a big show out of new players getting to know the game now in order to help prepare for the spring season. Kaylor talked about his outlook on the upcoming season saying, “2019 - 2020 is shaping up to be a fantastic year for the program. We return around 7 boys who were significant contributors last year and have multiple other returners who have already taken a big step forward this year.”
Kaylor also spoke about the promising future of the club for years to come, “Last year we were a relatively young team and it showed sometimes during big games. This year we are still pretty young, but the experience those players got in big games/tournaments last season will help them to step up and perform. This is my 7th year coaching the team, and I can confidently say that this will be the most skilled team we have had in that time frame.”
New league, new players; the goal still remains the same Kaylor said. “It is always a goal of ours to win the state championship, and I think that this team is ready to step up and perform at that level. Most importantly this team has gotten to the point where our focus will be "win and reload" rather than "win and rebuild." I think continued success from this team is and should be expected for years to come.”