Jake Ball uses cross country skills in ultimate frisbee


It’s important to find a way to connect with your friends outside of the stressful school schedule. Junior Jake Ball and his friends find fun in playing ultimate frisbee. For Jake, summers are filled with playing ultimate frisbee with his friends including juniors Ethan Vredenburg, Evan Nickels, and Jake Hornbeck.

“[Ultimate frisbee] is a lot like air-force football, but with a frisbee. So you pass it and then if you catch it, you have to stop,” Jake said. “We tried [ulitmate frisbee] at camp, and we really liked it, so we kept playing; we played a lot this summer at Cascade Park.”

Jake plays ultimate frisbee with his friends from school and his youth group, Lifeline at Ada Bible Church. They play outdoors during the summer, but they haven’t found anywhere to play indoors during the winter yet. Everyone’s busy schedules restrict them from playing more, but they take advantage of the time they have off from school to get together and play.

The constant, continuous motion in ultimate frisbee makes the game challenging, but it has a very attainable goal. It involves a lot of running and athletic ability, so being an athlete, Jake is able to make the best of the challenge.

“We usually just do it during the summer because a lot of us play three sports, so we don’t really have enough time to play in our free time,” Jake said. “I play cross country, basketball, and track. I’ve been playing frisbee for a long time so I’ve had a lot of practice, but athletic ability translates [well into ultimate frisbee talent]. There’s a lot of running, so you need to be in decent shape.”

Because Jake is a three-sport athlete, playing ultimate frisbee comes relatively easily to him. Jake has been playing ultimate frisbee with his friends for around three years now. He didn’t play regular frisbee before starting ultimate, but still found enjoyment in the activity. Jake and his friends also occasionally participate in games of frisbee golf, but ultimate frisbee is favored.

“It’s difficult at first to learn how to throw a frisbee, but once you get the hang of it, it gets a lot easier as you go,” Jake said. “There’s a lot of running, so if you don’t run a lot, [it’s harder]. [Running cross country] helps for sure.”

Though playing ultimate frisbee is just a hobby for Jake and his friends, it is beneficial to him as a person all around. Between spending time with friends and being active, ultimate frisbee is an activity that Jake is always able to be happy taking part in.

“I gain comradery with my friends and playing helps me get in shape,” Jake said. “I like playing, and it makes me feel like an accomplished athlete.”