High School National Invite 2024: South Eugene Three-peat, Green Canyon Wins First Title

South Eugene and Green Canyon both emerged as worthy champions.

Tthe 2024 High School National Invite was truly a great finale for the high school season, with fantastic games down the stretch, including two very impressive finals. With the best teams in the country clashing to stake their claim as the #1, a humming crowd made for a great atmosphere and the players supplied plenty of to enjoy.

South Eugene Outduels Roosevelt for Third Straight Title

South Eugene’s Helen Burruss lays out for a catch in the girls division final at the 2024 High School National Invite. Photo: Kevin Leclaire — UltiPhotos.com

Three-peat. Powerhouse. Undefeated. South Eugene (OR) announced themselves as all of that and more, taking the girls division of the High School National Invite by storm and defeating Roosevelt 15-14.

In a narrow universe point win over Roosevelt (WA), both teams stayed calm and confident even with the pressure of the often tied score and large, vocal crowd. Led by stars Helen Burruss, Fluffy Jones, Ollie Bunson, and Lizzy Nelson, South Eugene began the game with a dominant 3-0 run. The team moved the disc with precision and speed, finding ways to break both zone and person defenses. With scoobers over the cup and dozens of layout saves, South Eugene fought for every point, even the ones they didn’t score. The team’s defensive strategy relied on both person defense along with various zone setups, making their team defense smooth and coordinated. With a fast moving offense, every block led to the cutters making quick turnarounds and running to set up for their next play. The team was organized in a horizontal stack to cut through Roosevelt’s strong zone, and cutters found the open spaces to allow for downfield continuations. South Eugene also routinely made strong, short throws and swings to tire out their defenders and bring the disc down the field.

South Eugene’s composure under pressure was evident. With a fairly even game in terms of momentum, getting scored on didn’t seem to affect their mental game at all. With the game tied before halftime at 7-7, Neala Anderson scored to give South Eugene the advantage. Despite a Roosevelt score to start the second half, they rallied to keep the points going back and forth. When it seemed like South Eugene had the upper hand near the end of the game, Roosevelt’s stars put up another point, ZsaZsa Gelfand hitting Chloe Hakimi to end the point. Tied 14-14 at universe point, South Eugene kept their heads level and closed out the game with a fast offensive hold.

All-Star shoutout: Helen Burruss kept possession alive with numerous layout saves, using their agility and speed to get their hands on the disc even after it was swatted by multiple Roosevelt defenders. Burruss’ layouts led to several South Eugene points immediately after, and their consistency both on defense and offense proved to be formidable.

Strong Green Canyon Seasons Ends with Championship

Green Canyon’s Nathan De Morgan celebrates a bookend score in the boys division final at the 2024 High School National Invite. Photo: Kevin Leclaire — UltiPhotos.com

After a long day of hard fought games, sweat filled brows, and yes, even an hour or two of torrential downpour, it was Green Canyon High School who came out on top of the boys division, defeating Edina 15-12.

Both finalists came out confident and in control of their game. If there were any nerves in these young players, they made sure not to let any of us see it. The first half was a spectacle of powerful run-and-gun offense by Edina and smooth, swing heavy, flow by Green Canyon. The star players of Edina were seemingly all over the field in the beginnings of the first half. They used their size and athleticism to their advantage, constantly giving and going on offense to increase the number of looks their handlers were able to see before having to reset the disc. Green Canyon’s offensive flow was buttery and endlessly patient. They moved the disc from coast to coast on the field several times a point, testing for weaknesses in their opponents defense before punching in the score. Each team had just a break a piece as they entered into a galaxy point scenario. Tied at seven, Green Canyon had the opportunity to break for half and Edina just needed to hold. Green Canyon’s Miles Phillips came up with a spectacular lay out block to give his team the disc and the momentum needed to break for half.

Green Canyon was now in the driver’s seat and they put the pedal to the metal from there on out. Green Canyon’s Nathan De Morgan and Blake Holt came out of halftime ready to go to work. The defensively dominant De Morgan generated a block for his team and then handed the keys over to Holt, the freshmen, who drove the team down the field for more breaks. The end was in sight when Green Canyon broke on back-to-back points to make it 13-9. Edina got one back thanks to some amazing efforts by Charlie Teply, but it would be too little too late. Green Canyon ended the game with a score by none other than senior De Morgan to secure the High School National Invite championship.

  1. Matt Fazzalaro
    Matt Fazzalaro

    Matt began playing ultimate in 2017 at Lambert High school in Forsyth County, Georgia. In his college career he played one year with the Samford Dogma and three years with the Georgia Jojah. Matt cites the Athens, GA ultimate community as the best he has ever experienced and also fell in love with goalty there. Matt now lives, works, and plays ultimate in Atlanta, GA.

  2. Ariana Golemis
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    Ariana began playing frisbee in 2019 for Neuqua Valley High School. She captained the NVHS team for two and a half years. She also played on the Illinois Youth Club Championship mixed team Hypnosis for two years, captaining them in her last year on the team. Ariana currently plays as a handler for the University of Minnesota women's team, Matrix. Along with playing frisbee, she enjoys sports photography and writing articles for Ultiworld.

  3. Quinn Kahle
    Avatar

    Quinn Kahle started her ultimate frisbee career playing on the U20 Mixed YCC team, Illinois Hypnosis in 2021, and then again in 2022 and 2023. She currently plays on the University of Florida women's team, Fuel.

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