Ultimate was introduced to Shady Side by faculty members Dawson Haytock and Chad Fularz, who ran a spirited but non-competitive program teaching students the fundamentals and spirit of the game. In 2005, a group of soccer players approached history teacher Matt Weiss about sponsoring a PE option to create a team that would play in the recently formed Pittsburgh High School Ultimate League (PHUL). AD Gene Deal approved the idea, and the team was born, reaching the state semifinals in its second year of existence. Taylor Phillips '06 was a pioneer on the team, playing as the only girl and serving as a co-captain. In 2007, Stacey Mates '08 recruited enough friends to start a girls' team.
Both teams have continued to play in the PHUL, a unique league of more than 50 teams that is, for the most part, run by the student players, who schedule their own games, arrange venues, secure uniforms, provide transportation and, as a component of the sport, are player-referees in this self-officiated game. SSA's program stresses building skills, working together, playing with absolute integrity and respect for ourselves, our opponents and the game, itself.
Head Coach Matt Weiss
Matt Weiss is the head coach of the boys and girls ultimate teams and has been a history teacher at the Senior School since 2000. Weiss has been an ultimate player, coach and organizer in Pittsburgh since 1991, when he learned the game in the Pittsburgh Ultimate Frisbee Summer League and then joined the men's team (known as Mr. Yuk) at Carnegie Mellon University, where he did his graduate work in history. Weiss was the first president of the Community for Pittsburgh Ultimate and has played for the Pittsburgh men's, mixed and men's masters club teams, qualifying for the national championships in the masters division in 2005 and 2006 with Iron City Ultimate and Rust Belt Ultimate. With the help of enthusiastic students, he founded the boys competitive team in 2005 and the girls team in 2007. He still plays tournament ultimate (occasionally) in the grandmasters division and continues to play and captain in the city summer league. He'd play all day if we'd let him.