FOUNDER'S MESSAGE on the club's history given by Sue Schlesinger during the team banquet 5/31/09:
Many of the newer players have asked me how we accomplished so much when this team did not exist 2 1/2 years ago (Formed Fall 2006). So here is a brief history:
Experiencing a serious injury whether to yourself or a loved one will change your life. After suffering through two lost athletic seasons in HS with my daughter Julie’s torn ACLs and knee surgeries and when the doctor told Brett that he had herniated a disc (a condition you usually see in older people) and that he had to give up crew for the rest of his life and perhaps many other physical activities, at age 15, the future Brett looked very bleak with the thoughts of only limited athletic activities and video games. This injury was very devastating to Brett and me…
It was out of this devastation that our drive to create this team was born… It was not only to restore the hopes and dreams that had been stripped away as we sat in the doctors office hearing the horrible news but it was a means to channel all of our negative thought and feelings. With weeks (which felt like months) of solitary Physical Therapy ahead, Brett searched for a new niche at RHS. It was clear that Brett’s desire to be active could not be met in the activities that existed at Radnor at the time, we realized we had to come up with something new…we had to overcome this and needed to put all our despair into something positive.
Brett and I brainstormed at our kitchen table and when Ultimate came up-for the first time in weeks. Brett became excited about the activity. Brett, however, wanted a team that would stand beside soccer and lacrosse. He didn’t want it to be "just a bunch of kids throwing the disc around". He wanted to take this all the way. I said we have 3 years to make this happen. If you are willing to do anything and everything, then I will too. So we made a pact (to make it happen).
Brett hung flyers up at the school and handed them out at the end of football games. He began by reaching out to other high school Ultimate teams like Lower Merion, we watched them play even though at this point the doctors said Brett might not be able to play! We had no money, no coaches, no fields, no players…Spinning was one of the few exercises Brett was allowed to do at the beginning. So our winter conditioning and first fund raiser was born…
From here, Brett did do anything and everything he could. In January, Brett went to Boston to the ultimate players and coaches conference together with our coaches and me. He went to sessions on how to mark and condition while I went to starting a team and hosting a tournament. We heard a great sports psychologist speak.
When the spring of 2007 came, and Brett saw that he could physically play, he practiced throwing every minute he could! Brett planned his life around ultimate in his determination to make this a serious respected sport at RHS. In his junior year, he arranged to take his SAT subject test in MA so he wouldn’t miss the 2nd annual coaches and players conference in Boston (organized by Tina Booth). Brett attended the UPA’s coaches clinic that year even though he was not old enough to be certified. He wanted to learn everything he could about every aspect of Ultimate! He has read many books relating to Ultimate, two of which I would strongly recommend to every player: the first is written by the coach of Amherst HS, Tina Booth, called Essential Ultimate, and the second book is called The Mind Gym.
Brett attended every ultimate camp he could. He has been instrumental in designing our new uniforms, marketing the team, writing our newsletters every month until Gil Henkin took over, plastering the school with many many flyers, helping raise money, scheduling, meeting and gaining the respect of the administration and community, and most notable attaining Varsity and JV Letters. The list goes on!
If you have ever seen the movie Field of Dreams, their motto "Build it and they will come" became our mantra…It began to catch on. Kyle Wolfe & Ryan Klinges, our previous captains over the last few years, Frenchie Trent Dillon, Dan Henkin, Nina Datlof were all players that took leading roles in our development, Jacob Coppage Gross, Michael Tang and Tobias Kirchwey were some of our early contributors!
So that is an abridged version of how we built this team.