To an outsider, the ultimate frisbee team at Bearden may not be particularly well known.
However, the team has a rich history that goes back to 2009, when the team formed unofficially. The next year, Knoxville Youth Ultimate began and has become one of the largest organized frisbee outlets in Tennessee.
“Bearden has had a team since the conception of Knoxville Youth Ultimate,” team coach and club sponsor Julie Stout said.
Bearden wrapped up its fall season on Saturday in the league tournament. They were seeded 10th going in and went 2-2 on the day to finish at 6th place out of 12 teams. The team will reconvene in February for the spring season.
John Schmudde, now a senior on the team, recruited Gale Jones to the be the sponsor in the spring of 2018. Coach Stout took over as both the sponsor and the coach when she joined Bearden’s staff last year.
For the past year, Jones and Stout, both math teachers at Bearden, have spread the word about the game that has become a community outlet for students.
“John Schmudde and a bunch of Young Life people had a team and brought it to Bearden,” senior player Zack Sturgill said. “Coach Stout came and made it a school sport this year, and now we have a bunch of younger people.”
Added Schmudde: “It started out as a team of friends that got together to compete and has expanded, allowing more and more people to have a good time together, while still trying to win every game.”
The group of Young Life goers and Coach Stout has been the perfect combination to create a solid foundation of the new program.
The game is a lot different than other mainstream sports, but still provides plenty of action and strategy.
“The way it combines the nonstop play of soccer and the passing and scoring aspect of football into one sport is what makes it special,” Shmudde adds. “It allows for nonstop action.”
The team has slowly been getting better each year and continues to bring in new players that want to learn the game. The goal is to build one of the best teams in the area and compete in tournaments.