The following piece was contributed by Ben Siegel and Jonathan Steinberg of Paideia High School
Started in 2006, the Paideia Cup is one of the country’s most competitive high school ultimate tournaments. Many of the best teams travel to Atlanta to compete in the Cup. The tournament’s original goal was to help with the growth of high school ultimate in Atlanta and the southeast. This has been a success, as many high schools in the Atlanta area have recently started ultimate teams. The event is organized by Paideia parents, and players on visiting teams stay in the houses of Paideia ultimate players. The Paideia Cup is one of the most well-organized and competitive tournaments in the country, and this year is looking like it might be one of the best yet.
There are eight teams in the boys’ tournament and five in the girls’. Both Paideia High School’s boys’ and girls’ teams have done well in the tournament in past years. In the seven years of the Cup’s history, the boys have reached the final five times but have only captured the title once, in 2007. The girls have won the tournament three out of the past four years.
The boys’ teams, in order of seeding (numbers in parentheses are national rankings):
Amherst (no high school games played):
Out of Amherst, Massachusetts, winners of the 2010 Paideia Cup. Amherst is an ultimate powerhouse. Last year they finished 4th in the tournament and won the 2012 USA Ultimate Northeastern Championship.
Paideia HS (21):
Paideia HS, the host team from Atlanta, Georgia, always fares well in the tournament. They last won it all in 2007, and the past four years have come in second place. The Paideia Gruel are led by John Stubbs, the only high schooler chosen for the USA Ultimate U-23 team.
Holy Family Catholic (5):
Led by senior John Paul Bort, Holy Family Catholic, out of Cincinnati, Ohio, comes into the Paideia Cup ranked 5th in the USA Ultimate rankings. Last year in the Cup, they placed 7th.
Neuqua Valley (12):
Last year, Neuqua Valley came in third at the Cup, beating Amherst in the 3rd place matchup. They are coming to Atlanta from Naperville, Illinois.
Hopkins, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, won the Paideia Cup in 2012, beating Paideia in the final. They have faced Neuqua Valley and Holy Family Catholic this year, losing to both teams.
Columbia HS (18):
Columbia High School, from Maplewood, New Jersey, came in 4th place in the 2010 Paideia Cup. Last year in the Cup, they placed 6th.
De Smet is located in St. Louis, Missouri, and in 2010 they finished 7th in the Paideia Cup. They did not come to Atlanta for the tournament last year.
Vero Beach (26):
This is Vero Beach’s first time competing in the Paideia Cup. From Vero Beach, Florida, “Verocious” has won three tournaments this year.
None of the girls teams has played each other, and the relative strengths of the teams will be determined through round-robin play.
Paideia School (Atlanta, Georgia) is a mixture of returning veterans and girls brand new to high school ultimate. They have played against both college and high school teams and have had a very successful season so far. They won the Paideia Cup last year.
Holy Family Catholic (Cincinnati, Ohio) recently played in the Chicago Invite and beat every team but the eventual winners. It should be noted that Holy Family made it to the finals of last year’s Paideia Cup.
Saga (Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina) recently won a tournament comprised of North Carolina teams.
Columbia (Maplewood, New Jersey) We unfortunately have no information on this year’s team. Suffice it to say for now that this is the place where ultimate started in 1967.
ATL Junior Mixtape (Atlanta, Georgia) This is a hybrid team comprised of girls from area schools: Brookwood HS, Heritage HS, Grady, Tucker, and Paideia Junior High.