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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Throwing around the family name

Photo by Photo provided by Aimee Graham

Senior frisbee cutter Aimee Graham competes for Texas A&M Women’s Ultimate Frisbee. 


Continuing a family legacy, Texas A&M women’s ultimate frisbee player Aimee Graham competes not only for the spirit of the game, but also in the spirit of a family tradition.
Graham even credits the sport with why she is around today — her parents first met playing ultimate frisbee together at a tournament in the Australian capital of Canberra. At A&M, the psychology senior and cutter has made a name for herself, both for her enthusiastic energy and for pushing through hardships on and off the field. In the immediate future, Graham and the No. 4 seed women’s ultimate frisbee team, will compete in the USA Ultimate South Central Regionals on April 29-30.
As for what else the future holds, Graham said throwing the frisbee is something that will endure.
Graham said her earliest memories are throwing the disk around as a family and spending weekends at frisbee tournaments while her parents competed in Dallas league games — all this despite her dad’s diagnosis with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, in November 2015.
“I grew up on the frisbee side; I knew it was something that I wanted to do,” Graham said.
A&M’s ultimate coach Shaun Seidenberger said Graham’s defense will play a key role in the team’s upcoming regionals matches. Her skills include body position and her ability to hold ground to stop opponents from advancing, he noted.
“She can be pretty aggressive on the field when she wants to be,” Seidenberger said. “She’s a positive person, but her personality is really nice to where she can set the record straight and go hard when she needs to.”
Graham said she had to step back from playing when her dad was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord; the brain’s loss of connection with the muscles will cause them to lose their ability to walk, talk, eat and eventually breathe, according to the ALS Association. There is no treatment or cure for those diagnosed with ALS.
“Both of my parents were active and involved with frisbee, but it was my dad’s thing,” Graham said. “Had life worked out a little better, I think I would’ve played spring and summer leagues with them.”
Although the experience has taken a toll on her family, Graham said she still tosses the frisbee with her mom and sister during the weekends. It will always be a way to stay connected to her dad, even when he is no longer with the Graham family, she said.
In Graham’s fall 2019 semester, she was invited to compete in the first Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Hat Tournament with some friends who attended A&M.
“It was one of the roughest tournaments I ever played in because I didn’t know much about frisbee at the time, and I was not super active,” Graham said. “My body was dead at the end of it, but it was so fun. I got to meet some of the girls on the team, and I was on the team as one of the coaches.”
Graham began college at Texas State University in San Marcos but said she was unhappy there from the first week. Thoughts of transferring to A&M started her first year at Texas State, and playing in the Hat Tournament solidified that decision, she said.
“I knew there was a good program for frisbee here, and I wanted to be a part of that environment,” Graham said.
Seidenberger said he noticed Graham was apprehensive about coming out to her first practice, but her outgoing nature and confidence helped her ease into the team. COVID-19 regulations at the time made playing ultimate frisbee “weird” and harder to socialize, but Graham’s personality helped boost team morale, he added.
“Aimee was always one of those people to hang out with because of how much energy she has,” Seidenberger said. “She knew what she was doing.”
Graham’s passion for the spirit of the game was always apparent to teammate Carmen Fann. The second-year team captain joined the team at the same time as Graham.
“Spirit is a huge part of ultimate frisbee, and she is very good at bringing the spirit to the sidelines and on the field,” Fann said. “Cheering on our teammates and being respectful to other teams — she has a unique personality and energy — and it’s hard to create that.”
Graham said her favorite memory with the team was competing in the USA Ultimate sectionals in the fall of 2021. Despite COVID-19 regulations from the previous season and a majority rookie player base, the team broke their seed, advancing to regionals for the season, Graham said.
“When we got the bid to go to regionals, we were ecstatic because we had no expectations going into the tournament,” Graham said. “I was beyond proud of that tournament.”
Seidenberger said one of his favorite memories was seeing how fired up Graham would get the team during tournaments when they played against Texas State.
“Frisbee is a big energy game, so when you have someone really hyped and excited to play another team, it brings the rest of the team to that kind of level,” Seidenberger said. “I think she has really helped us.”
As Graham’s final semester comes to an end, she said she is sad to leave behind her A&M home. The memories, friendships and tournaments have made her time unforgettable, she said, and she will miss it all.
The frisbee community — whether playing in city leagues or clubs — will continue from what was once a family pastime to what is now a family legacy, Graham said.
“Frisbee has always been a home for me throughout my life,” Graham said. “I would really like to continue that and keep myself active.”
Graham and the No. 4 seed women’s ultimate frisbee team will compete in the USA Ultimate South Central Regionals on April 29-30 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to USA Ultimate. Follow the women’s ultimate account @stackedultimate on Instagram for additional tournament information and competition results.
Logan Russell is a recreation, park and tourism sciences junior and contributed this article from the course JOUR 359, Reporting Sports, to The Battalion.

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