Inman Coach Leaves Lasting Mark

The Southerner

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By Brett Pollock and Graham Russell

Paddi White, the Inman Ultimate Frisbee coach of eight years, has retired at the end of the Fall season. After creating the Inman Ultimate program, she coached the team to three Middle School Tournament victories, and took the team from a ten-player squad to a multiple team program.

“The main goal of the Inman Frisbee team is to basically expose youth to ultimate Frisbee because a lot of people don’t know about the it, unless their parents used to play the sport,” White said.

White was working part-time when her oldest daughter entered the sixth grade at Inman, and began showing an interest in playing ultimate Frisbee. Inman lacked a team and coach at the time when White approached an Inman Coach and volunteered her commitment to the ultimate program. With some help from a fellow coach, Paddi White coached her first season in the Fall of 2007.

At Inman’s first practice, the coach of Paideia’s ultimate team brought two of his players to help out and show the Inman team they were capable of building a successful team.

“It was a great example of how the ultimate Frisbee community is very giving, even though we ultimately compete against each other,”White said. “They helped us start our team.”

Since their first practice, the Inman ultimate team undergone incredible growth. With the success of the team and White’s help, the team count has expanded from twelve to over fifty student athletes. This growth was White’s main goal when starting the program, and what she considers to be her greatest accomplishment over the years.

“My fondest memories are watching the program grow at Inman and how it got big enough to where I needed help coaching,” White said.

White also helped create the Grady girls ultimate team. The Grady boys ultimate coaches, Dillon Tenell and Susie Mercer, approached White because they thought there were enough girls showing an interest. So White coached alongside Alison Ozzell, it was a “skeleton” crew with less than 10 people coming to practice.

“Ali and I would put on cleats and actually play because we didn’t have enough people to play a seven versus seven scrimmage,” White said.

Throughout the years White coached, Inman has built a very competitive program. After 8 seasons of coaching Inman ultimate, White has decided to put down her whistle and retire. White’s reasoning for making the 2014 fall season her last is a mix of lack of time and wanting to involve other parents/people that are able to put more time into the program than she can.

White has had a large impact on the players she has coached, and has made an important mark on Inman sports. Her influence over her players has helped spread the love of ultimate frisbee. She has been beneficial to the Grady team through her work by bringing students like sophomore Chase Kleber into the program.

“She’s the reason I started ultimate, and she was the beginning of my interest for the sport,” Grady student Chase Kleber said. “I joined intramural frisbee with her in sixth grade, and I don’t think I would’ve been able to continue ultimate if it wasn’t for her. She provided me with the basic knowledge and skills that I’ve been able to continue and refine them in high school.”


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