June 15, 2018

Windham Christian Academy begins disc golf team by Lorraine Glowczak

Six students in the seventh through twelfth grades at the Windham Christian Academy (WCA) participated in and competed for the first time in disc golf; a sport that is growing in popularity around the U.S. The students competed against two other schools, Grace Christian Academy in West Gardner as well as Pinetree Academy in Freeport. The six-week competition began on April 24th with the last game ending the season on May 29th.

The idea to incorporate the game into the WCA sports program was sparked by a post on the Maine
Zeb Cleaves, WCA student and disc golf player
Christian Schools Sports League website, asking area Christian schools if they would consider creating a league. “I asked the students if they might be interested in joining a disc golf league competition,” explained Jackie Sands, WCA Principal. “And, that is all it took. We had six interested students and it quickly became a reality.”

The words “disc golf” and “competition” used in the same sentence may seem like an oxymoron. “With this game, the competition isn’t so much about competing with others, but it is more about competing against yourself to improve your personal skill,” stated student and disc golf player, Elijah Seavey.

Seavey has some experience with the game as he often plays disc golf with his father and some of their friends. They have played at various disc golf courses in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, with their latest adventure in Limington, ME. “We mainly play for the fun of it,” he said.

According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, “Disc golf is played much like traditional golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, however, players use a flying disc or Frisbee®. The sport was formalized in the 1970s and shares with "ball golf" the object of completing each hole in the fewest strokes (or, in the case of disc golf, fewest throws). A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target which is the "hole". The hole can be one of a number of disc golf targets; the most common is called a Pole Hole®, an elevated metal basket.”

https://www.trufcu.com/Many of the six students have had some experiences playing the sport and thought that it would be a fun, low impact sport alternative to get involved in for extracurricular activities after school. “It is just like mini-golf,” explained WCA student and disc golf team member, Rachel Willard. “The onlydifference is you play with a Frisbee® and not with a ball. It was a lot of fun to play with my friends and to meet new people.”

The students played on courses at CR Farm Golf Course in Gardiner (Grace Christian Academy’s home course), Sabattus Disc Golf Course (Pinetree Academy’s home course) and the Pineland Farms Course in New Gloucester (WCA’s home turf). To practice their throws and to develop their own skills, WCA’s talented Wood Shop Instructor, Bob Berry built a Pole Hole®.

“There is not one way a person is expected to throw the disc in order to be the best you can be,” explained Seavey. “It’s really about finding your own ability and what works for you.”

It seems that the WCA disc players learned their own throwing capacity with the fewest throws to the target as they placed second in the league. “What amazed me the most about the players is how much they improved their skills in a matter of just six weeks,” stated their coach and WCA Physics Instructor, John Lancaster. “I was very impressed and proud of them.”
The disc golf team consisted of Molly Kramschuster; Rachel Willard; Gideon Richard; Mr. Lancaster; Zeb Cleaves; Adam Huang; Elijah Seavey

As with everything one partakes in life, you usually learn a few unexpected things. Most of the WCA participants were surprised to discover that there are approximately 75 various sizes of flying discs one can use to play the sport, unlike the maximum of 14 golf clubs in traditional golf.

Additionally, the students learned what type of shoe to wear. “Always wear boots when playing on a disc golf course,” WCA student and player, Molly Kramschuster suggested. “Many courses will take you into some very marshy areas and wearing boots is really important if you want to play a good game.”

Although a low-key sport, there are still challenges one must face. What is the greatest encounter in playing disc golf? “Trees in the way while you are trying to throw the disc to the target is the most difficult challenge,” stated Zeb Cleaves, WCA student and disc golf player.

The challenge, however, did not prevent the students from having a great time. When asked if they planned to participate in a disc golf league again next, WCA and disc golf participant Adam Huang exclaimed, “Oh yes, we will definitely do this again in the future.”

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