Photo by Kyle McBard – UltiPhotos.com
James Sheridan started playing ultimate a little in high school, played more seriously in college and now plays on the San Francisco Dogfish. For the past several years he’s been mentoring young players who may one day follow in his footsteps.
Sheridan coaches the ultimate team at Berkeley High School, where the Dogfish will be playing this year.
“I fell in touch with a person named Jordan Rose who started the team, and he did an unbelievable job in setting ground work. When I came on board five years ago the team was already about 50 kids strong and I took over the ultimate part. It was a wonderful transition process,” said Sheridan.
He loves coaching and was awarded the 2013 California Coach of the Year for his work with the Berkeley High team. The team has had a lot of success recently–over the past two years they have been undefeated in state championships and made it to the Westerns Regional Championships.
“The first year in 2013 we had a couple of incredible victories through the bracket to make it to the finals game. It’s a real tribute to the kids; they come out and work so hard. They promote the game within their own school. Every year we have a huge influx of freshmen who are really excited to play,” said Sheridan. “Both years we had second-place finishes at the high school [regional] championships, which is the highest it gets within the U.S. We lost in the finals, but made it all the way there,” he said.
Sheridan joined the Dogfish in 2014 and is looking forward to playing this season in Yellowjacket Stadium on Berkeley High School’s campus.
“This will really foster a sense of community around the Berkeley area. I am especially excited as a coach for my kids to have the opportunity to come and watch,” he said. “I don’t know if they have ever really seen me play before.”
Having suffered a shoulder injury last season, Sheridan looks forward to playing healthy this year and capitalizing on early excitement he feels among his teammates.
“The level of energy the team is bringing is already much higher than what anyone was bringing last season,” he said. “I think I am finally back to being able to play and I am looking forward to being able to contribute on the field in a larger role than I was able to last year.”