The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Poets and Pitchers promotes positivity in high school athletics

Senior+Matias+Hazbon+throws+the+disc+around+the+mark+set+by+Whitman+junior+Dante+Barutta+at+a+pre-season+practice.
Courtesy Sam Le Blanc V
Senior Matias Hazbon throws the disc around the mark set by Whitman junior Dante Barutta at a pre-season practice.

Every Sunday, several high school frisbee teams unite to face off and have fun. They are determined to achieve three goals: scoring points, having fun and creating a positive environment for young athletes. The Poets and Pitchers club, a semi-competitive frisbee club with members from across Montgomery County, is proud to have significantly different priorities than other club sports.

“In my experience, it’s been super friendly and relaxed, because everyone is always switching from playing hard to having fun and cracking jokes on the sidelines,” senior Matias Hazbon, president of the club, said.

Where other sports may be strictly competitive, Poets and Pitchers prioritizes building a strong, healthy community of athletes through teamwork, something which is essential to the game of frisbee itself. The lack of referees itself is a way athletes can grow stronger.

“Since there are no referees in frisbee, the players are the ones who have to make calls on the field. Players are always talking and learning from each other, whereas in other sports they’d be arguing,” Hazbon said.

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The inclusive environment is also apparent in the name itself. The word Poet comes from the poet Walt Whitman, and Pitcher comes from baseball player Walter Johnson. The collaboration of students from the schools named after these two different men is incredibly important to the club.

This unity between people from all around Montgomery County serves the important purpose of creating inclusivity and sportsmanship across school lines.

“It’s a pretty positive community. You won’t find a lot of bad people in Ultimate,” senior Gavi Olson, club co-captain from Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, said.

“It really brings an opportunity to engage with kids throughout the county. You can easily make friends in other teams, even your defenders,” freshman Abigail Friedland said.

From players with years of experience to players who’ve never touched a frisbee, the club takes pride in the benefits it offers to its members. One of the many benefits is having teammates to help.

“I learned how to work with others and rely on my teammates…It’s helped me do my best while also helping others,” Friedland said.

The impact on the players socially and athletically has become drastic. While Frisbee isn’t seen as the most athletic and social sport it has changed players for the better in their high school career.

“I’ve noticed that I’ve become a much more outgoing person, as well as becoming much more athletic. For my teammates, I’ve noticed that some are stepping into leadership roles, and some have shown levels of focus and dedication to the sport that is nothing short of remarkable,” Hazbon said.

Poets and Pitchers is aware of the difficulties in learning a sport that might seem complicated at first glance. To combat this issue, helpfulness is a critical aspect of the club’s culture.

“Most people [in our club] are very nice, you get to have awesome teammates,” Friedland said.

To students who are unsure about diving into an entirely new sport, the club’s message is clear: “I started on the second day of my sophomore year, having never held a real frisbee and completely out of shape. I had to learn everything from scratch, but it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. You don’t need to have experience to be able to show up and try,” Hazbon said.

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