Photo by Rodney Chen – UltiPhotos.com
After spending two seasons as a player-intern with the Rumble, New York’s Andrew Lehmberg has found success at the collegiate level in his freshman season at Pitt.
Lehmberg began his ultimate career at Westfield High School, and before long became one of two high school sophomores to make the U-19 Devyl YCC team in 2012. Under the leadership of coaches Anthony Nuñez and Michelle Kondracki, Lehmberg’s potential was tapped as his skill set began to develop.
“Our goal was to take this fundamentally strong player and help him develop his mental game,” said Nuñez. “Our first goal was to teach him to read defenses and come up with a quick plan of attack. During his junior year we moved him to the D-line, where we worked on his mark and downfield defense.”
Too young to tryout for the team itself, Lehmberg joined the Rumble organization as a player-intern in 2013. As a player-intern, Lehmberg was presented with a number of responsibilities as well as the opportunity to join Rumble players in practices, pre-game warm-ups and in-game huddles.
“During the game I would be as large of a sideline presence as I could while doing my best to soak in all the knowledge being spilled out in locker room huddles at halftime,” said Lehmberg.
Presented with a unique opportunity at an early point in his ultimate career, Lehmberg utilized his experiences with the Rumble as he continued to grow as a player. Distinguishing himself as a natural leader both on and off the field, Lehmberg went on to captain both his Westfield High School ultimate team and U-19 Devyl team in 2014, also earning a role as an alternate for Team USA’s Junior Worlds U-19 Open team. In the high school season, Lehmberg led Westfield to their first state championship.
“I think that one of my main takeaways [from the Rumble] was the leadership and captaining skills that I observed,” said Lehmberg. “I was a captain for both my high school team and for my YCC team, so seeing the importance of how one person could completely turn the attitude of the whole team around was very powerful.”
Between his successes in youth ultimate and learning experiences with the Rumble, Lehmberg stood as a seasoned player upon the closing of his youth ultimate career. As he began his career at the collegiate level, Lehmberg had no trouble acclimating to the heightened level of play.
Lehmberg has made definitive strides thus far at Pitt with En Sabah Nur, standing as one of only a few freshman in the program’s history to earn a spot on the starting O-line. A traditionally dominant organization, Pitt has had a promising season so far as they prepare for the 2015 USAU Ohio-Valley College Regionals.
Lehmberg wasted no time throughout the regular season in proving that he is a player to watch. As a freshman, Lehmberg has already made it clear for anyone to see that he will be a serious force at Pitt over the next few years.
“Andrew is a future baller in this sport,” said Nuñez. “He has great throws, a tremendous work ethic, and is a fantastic teammate. I am excited to see him playing in the pros one day, dominating his matchups the entire time.”