Photo copyright Alex Simmons
The season may be over, but Reid Koss of the Seattle Rainmakers and Michelle Kondracki, GM of the New York Rumble, know that Ultimate never stops.
Koss served as the head coach of Seattle’s Under-16 team, Dynasty. While the regional based organization DiscNW sponsored Seattle’s Under-19 teams as they headed to the Youth Club Championships, a national youth Ultimate tournament that takes place each August in Blaine, Minnesota, Dynasty’s players were not covered by scholarships from the Seattle-based organization.
That’s when the Seattle Rainmakers, and Koss in particular, stepped in. The Rainmakers provided a suitable contribution while Koss donated the $100 dollars he earned from his Defensive Play of the Week to the team as well.
“This tournament is an amazing experience for everyone that gets to go,” said Koss, “and [Dynasty is] by far my favorite team to coach throughout the year.”
Koss cites several factors that make the experience so exciting for him and his players. For many of them, the YCC team may be their first time playing outside of school programs. Drawing from Seattle’s deep talent pool, this year’s team was composed of 19 individuals from 16 different schools.
The excitement translated to a high quality of play on the field, where Dynasty took first place at the YCCs, going 6-0 over the course of the tournament.
Along the way, Dynasty took on DEVYL, a team comprised of players from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Just like Dynasty, DEVYL shares connections to the MLU.
The Rumble’s Kondracki as well as assistant coach Anthony Nuñez coach DEVYL’s Under-19 squad, who finished tied for third in that division.
In addition to coaching DEVYL’s Under-19 team, Kondracki and Nuñez also traveled to Blair Academy early in the summer to teach Ultimate to kids ranging from ages 7-15. The kids were at Blair Academy as a part of the two-week summer weekday camp, Campus Kids, which offers a multitude of activities for kids to choose from, including Ultimate.
For Kondracki, Nuñez and Ross, as well as so many other members of the MLU, developing the next generation of MLU stars is something they all consider to be the best use of their time.