Photo by Sean Carpenter – UltiPhotos
Article by Jonah Galeota-Sprung
Jody Avirgan has been playing at the game’s highest level for a long time.
His first appearance at Club Nationals–at the time, the sport’s premier event–came in 2005, with DC-area team Potomac Ultimate. Not long after, Jody moved to The Greatest City on Earth, and he’s been a fixture in the NYC ultimate community ever since. In 2006 Jody joined up with PoNY, New York’s top club team, and in 2008 he was voted captain of the team. That same year marked PoNY’s first Nationals appearance.
Most ultimate players of Jody’s generation are lucky to have seen the sport before college, but he’s one of the rare few who was already tossing a disc around in middle school. His DC area high school had a competitive team, and Jody was able to take advantage of the city’s wealth of pick-up games and leagues. He soon became recognized as a shrewd and skilled player, and went on to captain the competitive Wesleyan University program. In 1998, Jody qualified for the US Junior National Team, going on to win a Gold Medal at the WFDF Championships.
Jody’s deep knowledge of the game doesn’t come just come from his time spent on the field. He’s served as coach as well, working with his alma mater Wesleyan in the 2007/2008 seasons and leading the US Junior National team to Gold medals in 2008 and 2010.
In his life outside the sport, Jody works as a producer for the city’s favorite radio station, WYNC. You’ll recognize his name in reports for the newsroom and as part of the production team for some of the station’s best known shows, including the Brian Lehrer Show.
Jody plays with a strong sense of pride, for himself and for his city. He values the diversity of his team, saying “We all have very different backgrounds and lives, but when we step on the field, the only thing that matters is making a play for your teammate and your city.”
Expect to see Jody to anchoring the Rumble from the handler position, making smart decisions and never turning the disc. He’s a player known for his consistency, but also his ability to take his game up a level when the team needs it most. As he says, “the best city in the world deserves the best Ultimate team in the country.” Amen to that!