Winter Weather Update #1 by Grant
March 9, 2011, 5:45 pm
Filed under: tournament write-ups

The snow is beginning to break, the temperatures aren’t dropping anymore and kids are migrating to grass fields everywhere on the weekends to begin the 2011 college season.  So much has happened in the past few months both on and off the field so here’s a winter season recap…

Fall review

Not more than one week after Club Nationals took place, the college scene was in action in Knoxville, Tennessee.  20 teams made the trek for the Dave Baldwin Memorial Tournament hosted by the University of Tennessee.  One word summed up the whole weekend: COLD.  The temperatures were a stark departure from the mild weather we enjoyed the previous weekend in Sarasota.  Everyone tried to bundle up as much as they cold and rarely did games go to full points.  The closest matchup on Day 1 took place between Mississippi State and Lipscomb.  It seemed the Bulldogs would pull away when they jumped out to a 6-3 lead but Lipscomb stormed back to score four straight and take half 7-6.  Out of the half, the Bison scored two more before Mississippi State got back on the board but then it became a dogfight to the finish.  The Bulldogs brought it within 1 to make it 10-9 then broke twice to regain the lead.  Lipscomb responded but Mississippi St. held serve and broke to get the W, 13-11.

Winter weather fail.

At the end of Saturday during the last round, the pizza arrived to the salivating eyes of hungry college kids.   The four top seeded teams held the byes for this round and with the exception of the UT Alumni, monopolized the pizza within 5 minutes leaving folks to wonder “What happened?”

The Alumni were less than worried because they had other priorities on their mind.  Their plan was to go for the tournament weekend trifecta:

1) Win the party

2) Win the tournament

3) Get laid

The sun started to faid and teams retreated to their prospective housing arrangements for the evening and I returned to my couch to put on some warmer clothing.  The evening’s activities kicked off at Mellow Mushroom on the Strip next to campus and the good folks there rolled out a large container of PBR tall boys on ice for everyone to enjoy.  Some teams arrived looking for the free pizza but were dismayed to find out it ran out at the fields and retreated to go find some food.  The occassional team stuck around but for the most part, the party was dominated by Rocky Toppers.  When the cooler to started to run out, the main crowd splintered off in search of more good times around town.

Before

After

 

 

Insert 4 hours of sleep

 

 

Semifinals

UT-Alumni v. Ohio State Leadbelly

One of the important lessons college kids learn during the fall season is be able to play hard on Sunday morning through a hangover and the top seeds were defiinitely the best at this.  The Alumni looked in tip top shape minus the myriad of mild injuries that cause chronic discomfort from years of ultimate activity.  They kicked off their semifinals with a chant of “Dicking over college teams, that’s what alumni do!”  Going head to head with the top seed of the tournament, Ohio State, the alumni held their own during the beginning of the game.  Kevin Baumann for Leadbelly and Peter Jackson for the alumni keep the game level at 2-2.  Phil Cherosky waits for the lane to clear and bursts upline to put OSU back in front and the Buckeyes get another break but the alumni answer back with some crafty veteran moves themselves.  Nick “Notor” Thomas throws a high O/I flick to Michael “Denmark” Friis-Jensen for a UT score (circa 2007) and the alumni use a fortuitous drop to get back to even leaving Lead Belly wondering what’s going on.  Time out called.  Ohio State huddles up while the alumni grab more beers.

Ohio State gets the their two goal cushion back and trade with the alumni to take half 7-5 with more offensive firepower from Cherosky.  He starts off the second half with an on point hammer and OSU stretches the lead even more with an around backhand from Jesse “Spike” Wohl.  9-5 Leadbelly.  The alumni still have some fight and the younger alumni still have lots of athleticism.  Notor is only one week removed from a 14th place finish at Nationals with Tanasi and can still elevate for Nick Stewart hammer, 10-7 OSU.  The younger kids definitely proved that the years of less drinking can mean more long term endurance and continued to wear down the older guys.

The UT B team is clever. I'm excited to see the jerseys.

The alumni get one more with a low mark beater from Denmark to make it 12-8 but Ohio State cruises to a 13-8 satisfying everyone because the alumni would rather heckle the finals anyways.

Ohio v. Tennessee Agent Orange

UT didn’t want to lose at their home tournament and came out Sunday morning dressed to play in their full sublimated jerseys.  Ohio, likewise came out dressed in their previous year’s spring duds but only one of these two teams would get to sport them one more time in the finals.  Well, from the start you would have to believe that team would be Ohio who started the game on serve then back to back breaks to put an early divot in UT’s game plan.  The boys in green 3, the boys in orange, 0.

Tennessee takes one back before Ohio rattles off two more and the Bobcats are frustrating Agent Orange.  Both teams are looking for the big play that’s visually exciting but nothing’s working until Nick Peppers picks a disc out of the sky then hits his man on the breakside to get a break back 5-3, Ohio.  In the passionate moments following a turn both teams try to outrun each other.  The Ohio huck doesn’t work but UT’s does and now UT is almost even with Ohio.

The Bobcats crush Tennessee’s momentum with a decisive finish to the first half.  Kevin Hanzel hits Mike Juratovac for the half in Ohio’s favor, 7-4.  After a goal from Agent Orange, Tennessee zones it up and the defense stalls the Bobcat O and UT converts.  The zone continues to work and Ohio has to change their game plan as Tennessee draws back to even.  The change in tactics?  Both teams start more jibbering and less jabbering.  Stoppages of play pick up as the game gets heated.  Don’t they know it’s only November?  Tennessee has gotten in Ohio’s head and grabs the lead, 9-8.  Chris Mullinix makes not one but two possession saving grabs on the next point including a wild hammer from Matthew Twilley to make it 10-8, Tennessee.

Sometimes there was more of this than playing.

Ohio isn’t backing down and the sequence of Mike Bruce to Mitch Cihon to Mark Hritz results in a goal for Ohio and a spike for everyone to see.  Mullinix is in the zone with Nick Peppers and they continue to connect on the long ball.  Ohio tries to be patient against the UT zone.  Hritiz, Bruce, Cihon, Andy Ball and Danny Olson are generating good disc movement but come up short of the goal line when UT clamps down.  On the turn Nick Wetzel gets a big layout d but it’s not enough to push the disc away from Mullinix.  He bombs it to Trey Williams and just like that a potential Ohio score turns into a goal for Tennesse, 12-9 Vols.  Ohio gets one more on a turnover laden point but Tennessee closes the game up three, 13-10.

Finals

Tennesse Agent Orange v. Ohio State Leadbelly

Not wanting to start the last game the same way, UT takes the early lead by holding serve on O and Ohio State returns in kind.  Thomas LaRocco goes deep for UT and gets the goal to maintain the offensive tone of the game as is usually the case at the end of Sundays.  Then, with a surge of power, OSU goes on a run of breaks capped of by a bookend score from spike, 5-2 Leadbelly.

Double Girth D is back.

The tale of tape for the first half is all Buckeyes.  Tennessee earn a few points but OSU commands the momentum and refuses to give up anything easy.  Baumann kills his man with a quick first step and Phil Cheroski rewards him with the goal.  UT is making too many rushed attempts and it costs them.  Cheroski catches a goal to make it 7-4 but the capper for OSU is the following point.  Leadbelly gains 40 hard fought yards complete with near D’s, near injuries and a lot of talking.  A hammer goes up to a pile of people with the tall Kevin Baumann coming out on top against several defenders as well as several teammates to give OSU the half, 8-4.

Tennessee needs a spark to get back in this game and they get when OSU hucks out of bounds.  LaRocco drags his foot for a score, 8-5.  Agent Orange settles in with a zone defense but David “Temp” Bentrovato finds the open holes for the score.   The teams trade but UT gets the next break to delight the hometown crowd.  OSU ups the tempo and speeds past the UT defenders to Juice for a goal, 10-7 and UT responds.  Chris Mullinix fakes flick, his defender bites and goes backhand for a cool 50 yards to Jody Lewis, 10-8 Leadbelly.

Tennessee is making a strong comeback case and they add another notch to their break belt when Cherosky makes an uncharacteristic drop leading to a UT break to bring the game within one.  OSU is hoping to provide enough firepower on offense to see this one out so Kevin Baumann goes to Zach Kaufman to get within 2 of victory.  Tennessee responds by Harbaugh beating his man to the disc and snagging a disc before it goes out the back of the end zone to inch to complete a crucial O point.

The tension of the finals is leading both teams to expand beyond the typical disc conservation seen earlier in the game and as a result, spectacular D opportunities present themselves.  Matthew Twilley makes a chest high layout D which leads to Phil Brock hitting Haden Campbell underneath for the game tying score, 11-11.  Cherosky won’t settle for second place and goes big with a picture perfect huck to Kaufman to smell victory, 12-11 OSU.  UT refuses to turn the disc over though so it’s now a game to 14.  Ohio State makes the first step.  Cherosky’s excellent hammer to Spike once again gives OSU the advantage, 13-12 and they get it when the normally sure handed Mullinix overthrows Harbaugh on the first pass.  Any more distance and UT might have a chance but OSU is automatic in the red zone despite a great bid from Matt Pirkle.  OSU starts the season off right with a tournament win, 14-12.

2010 Dave Baldwin Champions, Ohio State Leadbelly.

 

From there, the deep freeze of winter set in as club teams retreated to recovery rooms and pubs while the college crowd stuck it out with practices for a few more weeks as class time got thicker and thicker.  A dash of cold weather isn’t so bad and the holiday season really glamorizes the romantic side of it all, but the shorter days and dropping temps meant the majority of us had to do without outdoor disc for a few months and were left to ponder the off the field changes happening in the college scene.

Next up… winter weather update 2!


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