Terminus Day 2
April 4, 2010, 3:59 pm
Filed under: tournament write-ups

All of the sunshine was expended during pool play, but the weather is still mild enough for enjoyable ultimate. Teams enter today in win or go home mode, and for the squads from other regions, home is a long way away so staying and playing certainly seems like the most appealing option.

Tufts E Men v. Luther LUFDA

Both teams made it all the way to Columbus last year and the establishment of both are still around playing this year. Joining the game midway through the first half, Tufts is leading 6-5 but LUFDA immediately closes the gap with a pass from Eric Johnson to Ben Kofoed to tie it up. Tufts works the disc up but try to shift over to the other sideline and Trevor Sanders can’t hang onto the pass. No matter as Alex Cooper gets a run through D and Tufts is right back where they started from. One flick to the breakside gives the half to the E Men, 7-6.

What had been an on serve game to this point should have seen Luther score to start the second half but Tufts gets a crucial break in a persistent wind. The teams are back to trading points and Luther is driving through the E Men D thanks to their workhorse Greg Shirbroun. He gets an I/O break flick to to Johnson for the easy sequence to keep LUFDA close, 9-8 Tufts.

Luther are using an old fashioned abacus style method of keeping score with discs flipped or not flipped up. They try to explain it to me but I just don’t understand. Tufts gets a turn back with a D from Cooper and Ben Nelson hits Hollingworth upline to hit double digits, 10-8. Tufts is keen on a zone defense stopping Luther but Shirbroun is making excellent use of the cog position and gets enough yardage downfield to force Tufts to revert to man D. Luther gets one back, 10-9 Tufts.

Luther is still looking to get their break back especially with the games to 13. They might have gooten their chance when Hollingworth overshoots his man. Jason Clark is there to bail him out the first time but the second time, nobody’s home and LUFDA picks up. Shirbroun looks for Chris Ash available in the endzone but he jumps too soon, mimicking the previous Tufts offense. The E Men chill out this time around giving Alex Ornik and easier play on the disc. He’s so excited to grab a score he kicks the goal, 11-9 Tufts.

Shirbroun continues his precision passing, hitting his receiving in stride, 11-10 Tufts. Tufts responds with a quick goal to Trevor Sanders so Luther is up against the wall, receiving at 12-10 in favor of the E Men. Both teams dig in, with LUFDA working the under and pushing the stack backwards but a routine dump to Johnson proves to be just enough of a problem and Eric doinks it. Tufts is amped but the liveside pass overshoots the offense and falls innocently to the ground despite the best efforts of Jason Clark to save it. Mike Kientzle sees an open Eric Sievers but fails to see the break off of the cut and the miscommunication causes a turn. Tufts chance number two: Hollingworth hucks to the endzone and fortunately his teammate catches it and immediately starts working around only to float the disc to the heavens. A “buttload” of people convene under where they think the disc will land and an orgy of hands go into the air with two getting a grip on it. The problem is, one hand belongs to a Tufts player and one hand belongs to a Luther player. Now what to do? After some discussion, neither can prove they were there first so the disc goes back to the original thrower and Tufts immediately calls timeout.

The disc is immediately reset to Hollingworth who tries a breakside throw but its too high. Joe Wheelock comes swooping in to make a redonkulous grab over his opponent giving the disc back to Luther with not a yard to spare. They move it back into their comfort zone, calling a timeout on THE TUFTS goalline. A hole opens up through space and the disc fills that hole… and also the hole through the receiver’s hands. Back to Tufts. With each successive turn the action gets more tense. Eric Johnson finally gets a D and says he’s had enough, going for the score and Shirbroun acknowledges. Luther gets the point only to find out the game has ended on hardcap in favor of Tufts, 12-11.

Georgia Tech Tribe v. Georgia Jojah

Tech has jumped out like gangbusters on UGA leading 8-4 the Silver Britches. They trade with Tech to stabilize their offense and pull, down 9-6. Nick Lance and Peter Dempsey are marking each other neutralizing their strengths. Tech tries an all out huck but its ill fated so Ethan Edgerton shows up with a big footblock to get the disc back. The wind is swirling and Michael Spear can’t connect with Hogan McHugh for the second time. When Tribe gets the disc back Spear decides to go deep and beats his man, 10-6 GT.

Jojah is battling against a Tribe zone and even though short throws usually work, GT steps it up to get a hand in on a throw only to have Matt Bailey poach off a throw and grab a D for UGA. Throws are flying all over so GT calls timeout to settle down. Andrew Fish picks up and thinks liveside, then thinks deadside, and of the two options decides a liveside huck backhand is the way to go, stretching the length of the field to Matt Mills for the BOOM! Headshot!, 11-6 GT.

Georgia can only manage to trade points the rest of the way and Tech wins receiving on O, 13-8.

Tufts E Men v. Indiana Hoosiermamas

Tufts starts off right with Colin Harari hitting the hole to Banerji to start on top, 1-0. Indiana pitches the disc away against a Tufts zone but the deepshot from the E Men is no good. Unfortunately neither is the IU swing so Tufts gets it back. The gentle swings of the offense move cautiously downfield until Banerji gets enough seperation from his man to get the break, 2-0 Tufts.

Indiana gets on the board but both teams are having redzone trouble so Tufts tries to work their 50 yard redzone rather than their 15 yard endzone with a huck to Harari who bids over the outstretched arms of Mark Soo Hoo for the goal, 3-1 Tufts. Tufts almost breaks the Indiana cup open again but Ed Wu gets a layout block in the dump. Steven Kane picks up the disc and and you can see the count get high and I’m just waiting for him to punt it. He does and it floats towards the endzone. Several players gather underneath but none are in the right spot as Bybee walks in to grab it without needing to jump, 3-2 Tufts. For an encore performance Indiana gets a quick D and score and suddenly the score is back even at 3’s.

Tufts comes back to work a disc out of the Indiana zone with a Cooper to Hollingworth to Clark sequence and reclaim a two point lead on the next possession. If getting a second break in a row would have been so great for Tufts, they simply can’t move the disc forward out of their endzone and the recently turned defense of Indiana smells blood. Noel Brennan steps up and the cheers of Callahan! ring through the red and white sideline to rejuvenate the Hoosiers, 5-4 Tufts.

With the E Men on offense the teams trade points to half and the E Men start the second half at an advantage, 7-5. The start of the half is marked by lots of layout D’s from both teams along with ill advised throws to nobody in particular. Harari finally gets an upline score and “wholesale!” is yelled from the sidelines with Tufts going up another, 8-5. The wind is very powerful now and making one direction of the field tough to manage. IU gets a quick downwinder and so does Tufts. The teams have a nice downfield rhythm now even if some points are more nerve racking than others. Peter Shayman has a scary bobble as he struggles to hold onto a potential score in the endzone. When he finally hangs on, he looks up to give a look of, “Yikes! That was close.” 9-7 Tufts.

After Tufts continues to score downwind, they get a chance at an upwind break and they take it. Ben Strauss gets one to extend the Tufts lead, 11-7. Playing defense downwind now, Tufts stops IU’s upwind attack and get another break to set up game point. Indiana won’t die yet. Jesse Roehm does the hard part for the Mama offense and finds Taylor Kraemer for the goal, 12-8 Tufts. The E Men finish things going downwind. Jason Clark dumps to Harari and then goes upline for the winner to advance to the finals, 13-8 Tufts.

Georgia Tech Tribe v. Middlebury Pranksters

Tech starts by beating the Prankster zone right off the bat to EJ Layne in the corner and Middlebury responds like clockwork. No turns so far. Middlebury changes that with a D and Waldo hitting Dan Glatt, who leaps for the goal and Pranksters break GT to go up, 2-1. Nick Lance goes deep for Hogan and he outruns Will Van Heuvelen to get back even. In this game of back and forth momentum swings, Tech is on the uptick with Spear ripping a disc to Garrett Braun in the middle of the stack, catching the defense offguard as the cutter usually gets the disc in the open space. Without a mark, he hits Tyler Plunkett on the deadside for the goal to get back on serve. Tech contines forth and their zone stops the Prankster O and gives them a one throw goal. Middlebury almost gives up another break but get the disc back so they go to their tried and true deep man, Joe MacDonald who gets the score, 4-3 GT.

Both teams rely on a credible and potent deep game to succeed on offense and its working. Hogan for Tech and MacDonald for Middlebury. With Tech up 6-4 Pranksters are poised to get a break back. They get a turn and spread the field with their offense to create holes in the GT defense. MacDonald gets the disc to WVH for a good bit of yardage then gets the goal himself from Will to cut the Tribe lead back to one, 6-5 Jackets.

The first offensive try by Tech fails but the zone won’t let Middlebury out of their endzone and cause a turn. Fish picks up on the left sideline and connects with Braun up the middle to take half 7-5. Starting on offense, Middlebury gets their zone offense in synchronization (or simply n’sync) and MacDonald starts the Pranksters off with a goal, 7-6 Tech. With Lance holding the disc he puts up a disc with no readily identifiable receiver but it was intended for Spear because he said, “Ah… Spear,” as in “Ah…Spear, you cut one way when I thought you were cutting the other way, so I through to the exact opposite place you were running to, but the disc was intended for you.” Middlebury freshman Mattias Fitzpatrick gets the disc in the middle and hits Waldo on the breakside for the tie game. Will Van Heuvelen had this to say about Mattias: “Mattias is the man. He’s a freshman. He’s been playing for two and a half months.” He certainly carries himself like veteran.

Tech stops the Prankster run and gets an easy goal to regain the lead, 8-7. Pranksters almost respond but toss up a disc too soon and Tech takes over. Robby Zabel steps up with a layout D and the Pranksters convert to bring the game back in the balance. Not only is the wind making throws miserable but it is severely curtailing any warm temperatures. Tech and Middlebury must be trying to share body warmth as a result because the Tribe zone is nice and tight, clumping a lot of people together. Tech gets the objective so they begin their sequence of Hogan to Lance to Spear… to the wind. Middlebury takes the disc back but its all for not. Realizing that multiple throws can lead to a greater risk of one of them being a turnover, Tech tries one throw to Hogan in the endzone. Even though he doesn’t have the positioning on his defender, he still has the reach, and uses his long arms to reach out and over his man to get the point, 9-8 Tech.

The teams trade points when the D emerges to get the better of the teams on the following point. Tech causes a turn but Waldo gets a layout D not once, but twice in the point. He has to take one after the second D. When the disc is tapped in Mattias cuts to the middle getting the disc out of the cup and turns around to find Casey Knudsen all alone. Mattias throws a perfect flick huck and there’s no chance it’s not caught. 10-10. Tech sticks to the find Hogan deep offense and he’s open but the disc goes past his grasp, only to find the hands of Braun who runs it down, Tech leads again 11-10. Middlebury responds with a full field huck to go into a universe point situation, all tied at 11 a piece.

The Pranksters get a lucky break with a Tech turn but Hogan blocks a hammer that still has enough velocity to get into the hands of Zabel. No matter as he gets his SECOND CONSECUTIVE HAMMER HAND BLOCK and this time its a clean D. Tech tries to reward him with the win but he can’t quite hold on to the huck so Middlebury is working upwind for a break and the win again. Dan Glatt overshoots his man but Tech does the same they are right back where they started from. Middlebury, learning from their mistakes works the disc up to midfield. Waldo gets the disc and fires a huck to a wide open Charlie Roberts and improbably Middlebury breaks to win 12-11!

Finals

St. John’s Dartmouth Tufts Middlebury Pranksters v. Tufts E Men

The weather gods have granted to the finals with a light intermitent rain that sends spectators looking for shelter every few minutes and slippery discs to the ground. Tufts starts with the surer hands and jump out to a 4-1 lead after some easy turns from Middlebury. The Pranksters receive and Zabel throws behind MacDonald and Tufts calls time out about five yards out. MacDonald blocks the dump throw but the huck to him is to far and Tufts take over again, albeit much farther back. Harari finds out right away that the disc is slippery when he wants to huck in bounds but instead goes directly out of bounds. Charlie Roberts puts enough O/I on the disc to Kyle “Vader” Olsen to get past the D and Middlebury gets one back, 4-2 Tufts.

Both teams are susceptible to turns but Tufts is turning the disc near the opposing endzone and when Middlebury also turns they capitalize. Harari finds Hollingworth for the goal and Charlie Roberts matches it with a shifty move to get separation for a goal from WVH, 5-3 Tufts. Jason Clark mans up when Tufts is forced into a defense situation on the next point getting a layout D, which sets up a goal from Alex Cooper to Ben Nelson. The Pranksters aren’t done yet and MacDonald throws a no sweat pass to Davis Whitehead with only minimal sliding on the wet ground to get back to 6-4 Tufts.

Here is where one can say that the Pranksters are done because Tufts immediately and completely took over the game at this point. Hollingworth gets a goal to take half and the E Men start to roll through the thin Prankster line in the second half. Backfield turns spelled the downfall as WVH fumbles a dump, throws go errant and Tufts plays great D. Robby Perkins-High gets in on the action adding a couple of goals to his and Tufts tally and before you know it, Tufts is serving on game point 12-4. Eric Wilburn finds Jed Palmer in the endzone and it’s all over. Tufts emerges to wrestle the Terminus championship from Dan Heijmen’s Wisconsin Hodags with a complete performance this weekend.

All in all, I’d say the teams that attended were happy to just be playing a complete tournament with a variety of weather, none of which prevented play. Flatballers arrived on Sunday with sunburns from Saturday and left with a new respect for the wind. Spring break started right for some teams and ended rough for others but Terminus is back and that’s the best part. After a two year hiatus and a new field site, the elite teams made a good choice to travel to Atlanta for the weekend. Good luck in the series everybody!



Terminus Day 1
April 3, 2010, 7:25 pm
Filed under: tournament write-ups

If there is any one significant storyline that resonates for the entire day it was the weather. The sun came out to play, making sleeved shirts uncomfortable and the action much more exciting. I’m sure the teams travelling from the northeast and the rest of the frozen recesses of the country were more than delighted to be playing, much less playing on grass in the sunshine.

TUFTS E Men vs. Williams WUFO

Jumping into the middle of this tilt, Tufts and Williams are locked in battle. Williams is setting up a play in a timeout and their handler sequence works giving the first half to Williams, 7-5. Tufts black jerseys have a shiny logo and shiny numbers which nobody knew about because they haven’t seen sunlight at tournaments yet this spring. Williams is receiving to start the second half but Tufts forces a turn and Andrew Hollingworth is the downfield option, reeling in a huck with not a foot more to spare from the sideline. Everyone catches up and he hits Alex Cooper up the line to get back within 1, 7-6 Williams. Williams gets a second chance at offense in the second half and Aaron Freedman attempts a greatest giving himself an opportunity with no defense around but it’s not good. Tufts takes the disc and ties the game, 0-0 game to 6. Williams finally gets their first offensive goal of the half when Todd Bustard grabs a hammer just over the goalline. Several E Men and WUFO jaw back and forth over the spot of the grab but the call stands and Williams grabs the lead, 8-7.

Just when it seems Williams is about to go up another, the wide open receiver drops the disc in the endzone and the subsequent look of horror is mirrored on the sideline. “That never happened!” is all the WUFO sideline can say to get their team in the defensive mindset. Hollingworth gets the disc and hucks to Alex Berdoff. The disc trails away towards the deadside and Berdoff’s defender can’t catch up to get a position on the very frustrating disc. Tufts ties it up at 8’s.

Williams answers back to maintain the point advantage and breaks into sideline song before the pull with a rhythmic chant of “I said get a D. A layout D.” Williams can’t respond and Hollingworth grabs another to stay on par. Williams turn to answer and after turning it over to Tufts, they get a fast break play with Caleb Balderston finding William Pettengill when the Tufts dump goes to far.

With Williams leading 10-9, Tufts responds with another game tier and then ramps up the defense capitalizing with a goal from Adrian Banerji to Hollingworth to go up a point. At this point in the game, it’s important to know the score which led to the following conversation between a Tufts play and a member of the Tufts sideline:

“Does that tie it up?”
“No were up one now.”
“Make sure [Williams] thinks so.”
“It doesn’t matter what they think.”
-Tufts, always in the competitive mindset.

Williams is now on the answering end and do so with a risky pass to Jack Chen who runs down a trailing pass, with the Williams sideline muttering, “Risky…risky…risky.” All square at 11 a piece. both squads are starting to rely on the superior playing ability of particular individuals rather than working it diligently up the field as the sense of time constraint looms closer. Jason Clark is the target of a Tufts huck and he makes the 50/50 grab over a slightly taller Pettengill, firing up the E Men with the lead in hand 12-11.

Now with Tufts withing a score of the W, seven defenders line up to stop any Williams threat. A deep pull allows the E Men to set up their D quickly but everyone is still expecting the Williams handler to find the first open man and get a throw off. The first look isn’t there… neither is the second. The count starts to get dangerously high and a floaty pass rises from the handler to a covered dump. It’s clear from the start that he won’t be able to make the grab and when the disc descends to the Earth, Adrian Banerji is there for the Callahan winner! Tufts win 13-11.

I caught up with Adrian after the game to ask him about his Callahan goal.

Spin: “How does it feel right now to win the game like that?
Adrian: “It feels great.”
S: “Does it feel even better doing it in nice bright sunshine with warm weather?”
A: “Yes it does.”
S: “Then why are you wearing sleeves on a day like this?”
A: “I’ve been in bed for a week so this is a great way to come off the couch.”
College Terminus, a cure for the sick.

Pennsylvania Void v. Elon Big Fat Bomb

Much to my surprise I wasn’t expecting too much from Elon, simply because I didn’t know much about them and Penn was wearing fully sublimated shirts. From an appearance standpoint the skill level seemed lopsided. That is until I heard the score and the more surprising fact that Elon had previously beaten Williams in the early round. Void took half 7-6 on Elon and broke out of huddle with a traditional team cheer. Elon broke out of their huddle with a “Spring Break!” cheer. Fantastic.

As stated earlier, Penn got some full body SJ’s for this season and put them to work getting the first goal of the half but Elon is sticking around and a big fat bomb goes up to Graham Gilley who runs it down. 8-7 Penn. Penn stays cool and gets another goal not worrying about the scoreline but Elon answers back with a huck to 37 and punches it in on a swing around to 2. Unfortunately that’s where Elon stalls and Penn starts to ramp up their game. When Void gets a goal and turns to defense, Elon tries a backward dump but only manges to find the dfense. Penn gets another gift when their zone stops Elon on the goalline. Jay Choi gets it to Ben Steinberg forcing Elon to call timeout with Penn leading 12-8. Matt Heath won’t let his team go down so easily and with his long hair and flowing mustache, musters up another goal for Elon. Penn seals the deal on some basic swingwork with Gary Rodman getting open to grab the final goal, 13-9 Void.

Emory Juice v. Cornell Buds

Like Willis Reed coming out of the locker room to excite Knicks fans in 1970, both David Berendes and Robert Runner have emerged donning Emory jerseys today for the first time together this year. The Buds are unphased and start the game with a break up the line and double up with a disc that cause a two on two footrace with Alex Kadesch outpacing everyone to grab the disc, 2-0 Buds. Garrett Bernstein finds Brian Grundy for the third in succession before Runner and Berendes connect for the first time.

The Emory D is starting the keep the field short but the offense isn’t clicking. It’s especially hard with the wind and train noises picking up. 175 grams just isn’t enough weight to throw a disc in a smooth offense with these conditions. Cornell finally wins the battle with Dan Brager finding Jim Fuller in the endzone. Runner leads the Emory offense, hitting Teddy Donley who gives it up to Zach Finn for the small victory. Emory is trying to get something going but Cornell is running a 4 man cup in the wind. After Cornell tacks on a couple more, Emory gets one back when Berendes makes a grab near the goal forcing Cornell to switch to man. Aalap Shah connects with Josh Brzinski to make it 6-3 Cornell. The Buds lineup with their “way too easy offense” as they like to say on the sideline and take half relatively unchallenged during the point, 7-3.

Emory gets a turn to start the half and Alex Ko puts up a high floaty flick to Berendes and even before it lands, Ko is regretting his decision. Never the less, Berendes makes him look good and makes the grab, 7-4 Cornell. Both teams exchange a few D’s and Emory is showing some signs of life as Byron Liu finds Runner upline for the second consecutive break, 7-5 Cornell. With momentum on their side, the Juice D stops the Buds run and Runner picks up the disc on the left sideline. He elects to go with a big outside backhand to Berendes who proves supreme in the air, catching in lots of traffic and staying on point to call the timeout right away. With his pivot near the goalline, its no sweat for him to dump to Runner right away and get it back for the break, cutting the Cornell lead to only 1, 7-6.

As if an unfortuitous jinx towards his own team, captain Matt Wetzel ensures that I have the score written down at that point because he says,”it might never happen again.” Well at that point, Cornell picks up where they left off to start the game and begin their scoring drive. Jon Hirschberger gets the first and second goal of the half for Cornell. The Buds get a couple more before Emory can match, making the score 11-6.

The Buds utilize the upline and move within one to victory, 12-7. Aaron Gemmell seals the deal with a grab off of a huck for the win, 13-7.

Georgia Tech Tribe v. Xavier Blob

Before I can even jot down anything, Tech grabs the lead as Sean Balla rumbles and tumbles for the grab and the break to make the game 2-0. Xavier almost gives up another break but Oliver Rytman gets a big D in traffic to give Blob the disc and the opportunity works. Xavier is on the board, 2-1 Tech.

Hogan McHugh throws a big flick to match his big stature but Nick Lance can’t run it down but with Xavier looking a long ways down field, their offense sputters and Tech makes short work of the minimal field. Tech settles into a zone when the wind picks up and its too much for Xavier and they are forced to play a lot of D the next few points. Andrew Fish picks puts up a backhand over everyone just enough for Andrew Dunbeck to jump up high as kite drawing oohs an aahs from the sideline. 4-1 Georgia Tech.

Tribe is on a roll and take half 7-2 with some stellar defensive play from Alex Bui. Starting on offense, Tech gets the offense going quickly and continue with the breaks. Xavier finally looks sharp and gets a no turn point capped with Aaron Bacon firing an on point laser to his receiver running downfield for the the point, 9-3 Georgia Tech. Yet in the end, Georgia Tech is too much for the Blob and take this game, 13-7.

Georgia Jojah v. Middlebury Pranksters

Middlebury starts this game off with a huck to Joe MacDonald for the first goal but Georgia responds with a huck of their own to Matt Bailey to tie it up and this is already setting up to be a very exciting game. The Pranksters get ever so close with their possesion but the goal shot is too long. UGA gives right back though and Will Van Heuvelen (WVH) finds Jake Herman, 2-1 Middlebury. MacDonald gets another goal as Middlebury works the disc around to the deadside, 3-1 Pranksters.

Tom Ball finds a hole for Jojah and hits Caleb Edwards who turns and throws the goal to get UGA back on track. They stick with it as Jojah gets a turn and Davis Waller lays out to save a disc and desides to go up top to David Hooten who tracks it down to get the break back. All tied up at 3’s. Middlebury and Georgia go back and forth with the disc until Peter Dempsey hits Andrew Mistretta with a good foot advantage over his opponent, 4-3 Dawgs.

Georgia looks primed for another break but Middlebury ramps up the layouts. First try? Missed. Second try? Missed, but closer. Third try? D. Charlie Roberts gets it to MacDonald to Dan Glatt to Tim and Middlebury is back even… is it Dartmouth? With the cheers these guys are yelling, they could be any number of schools. Georgia converts on O and step up their D to get a break looking to build momentum towards half. When the Dawgs get the disc again on the next point a shot goes up with Matt Bailey, Peter Dempsey and Taylor Nilan all in striking range for Georgia, but WVH has the best line to the disc and looks to get the disc back for Middlebury. He goes up but it’s just beyond his fingertips and Dempsey gets his fingers on the disc… only to tip it away right into the outstretched arms of Matt Bailey who never stopped running and the Dawgs are ecstatic to take half 7-4.

With a short roster making the trip from Vermont, the Pranksters send more and more rookies in to get some playing time and Georgia takes score right out of the gate. The teams trade points back and forth with neither team able to capitalize on D. Davis Whitehead gages the wind just right to go upwind to Jake Herman and time out is called. Middlebury gets what they came for and score, 11-7. When the Pranksters get one more they look like they might pull within two but Jojah makes a goal line stop and storm back the other way. Caleb finds Bailey for the open goal, 12-8 Dawgs. David Hooten closes up shop for Georgia, 13-8.

Tennessee Agent Orange v. Indiana Hoosiermamas

I spy a flip going on between Indiana and Tennessee and when Indiana excitedly wins, I already know what its for without needing to look. As if on cue, Tennessee dejected takes off their sublimated jerseys while Indiana keeps theirs on. As if the shirts are giving them a source of power the Mamas start the game right going up 1-0. Tennessee matches with Jody Lewis out to Matthew Twilley who cleans up the garbage for the equalizer. Indiana gets another go ahead goal and UT says whatever you can do, we can probably do too. Matt Harbaugh milks a swing pass almost too long but it draws the defense off the mark long enough and UT is off to the races with Harbaugh getting it back for the goal, 2-2. After both teams started out with great offensive rhythms, miscues start to tally and turns pile up. Tennessee gets near the goal and calls time out. After trading a turn a piece Nick “Notor” Thomas gets it to Stephen Soufleris for the break, 3-2 UT.

Ed Wu has some sick handles to go with his sick hair but when he tries to break upline the pass is too short. Likewise IT tries a hammer in the wind and the gusts slap the disc to the ground. There is a lot of agony from the sidelines as mistakes continue to be made. Players are swirling around Twilley but eventually Haden Campbell gets an open upline look and Tennessee goes up another break, 4-2. UT and IU start to jaw back and forth a little bit so the Mamas relish the chance to get the next goal. 4-3 Vols.

Indiana uses the goal to turn around their fortunes and get a break back when Jesse Roehm decides a 50/50 disc is worth putting up a huck. The disc has solid footing that works for the Mamas to get their break back, 4-4. They gain the lead again when Notor makes a great grab but can’t stay in bounds so Noel Brennan assists AJ Novosad with his goal. IU leads 5-4. IU is really clicking now. Casey Bybee hits Wu and IU gets a break of their own. With IU stopping Tennessee on the second throw of their next possession, the one pass offense gives the half to Indiana, 7-4.

Tennessee gets their first point since leading 4-2 from Soufleris that cuts the lead to 8-5 IU. But Indiana is not to be denied. Ben Walter gets a footblock on the goal line giving IU another one pass goal score, 10-5. UT just can’t get anything going for them and start to make poor decisions. A hammer finally falls into the hands of Richie Ward to make it 11-6. Indiana serves to win going downwind and UT has too much ground to cover. Hoosiermamas win, 13-6.

Emory Juice v. Georgia Tech Tribe

Emory and Tech are in a crosstown barn burner to end their days. Juice is leading their rivals 11-8 late in the game that could cause havoc in pool standings. Alex Bui closes the gap witha quick hit to Andrew Fish as the soft cap horn sounds, 11-9 Emory. Alex Ko tries a sniper shot to the end zone but it doesn’t work so Tech takes over. Garrett Braun goes deep and the thrower obliges him as he runs down the pass to get Tech back within one, 11-10 Emory.

Both teams are showing fatigue and trying to eek out just a few more points. A pass is complete to Runner and he utilizes his superb handling skills to get a backhand upline to Ko for a goal and Emory is only 1 point away from victory, 12-10. Georgia Tech decides to work the under cuts. Fish gets it to Michael Spear to Ethan Edgerton and play comes to a temporary stop. When the action starts up again, Nick Lance hits Spears for the goal, 12-11 Emory. When people first look at David Berendes they might assume that he is primarily a cutter but has some big throws as well. Some big NATIONAL CHAMPION throws. This time is not to be as his Chain Lightning teammate Nick Lance eats up a forehand huck of his and waits for the fellow jumping participants to clear out before rifling a downfield flick that races past everyone… but it means Emory is starting on their own cone going upwind. The first pass is no good so Tech gets a goal of their own with one pass setting up a universe point situation.

Emory gives it another go downwind but a throw to Berendes is too high to hang on to. Tech is about 15 yards out of the endzone going upwind. Spear picks up and looks for Garrett. He makes the decision and Garrett has to layout to make the grab, but he holds the disc in his clutches when rises to his feet and Georgia Tech pulls off the come from behind victory, 13-12.

All in all a great day for Ultimate and a wonderful reprieve from the consistently lousy spring weather. Tomorrow’s bracket play should be awesome, considering the past two years there wasn’t even one and Wisconsin is the current reigning Terminus champion holding the trophy from their 2007 win.



Terminus Preview
March 20, 2010, 4:29 am
Filed under: tournament write-ups

After two full months of the college season, the series is almost upon us and teams are still jockeying with each other to determine bid allocations and region supremacy. This weekend is a pivotal point in the season with Centex, Southers and the Chicago Invite accompanying Terminus on the slate of games. Spin Ultimate will be out at the Georgia Soccer Park reporting on the action and here’s a quick preview on things to watch for.

5 teams attending Terminus made Nationals last year so they have the immediate targets on their backs. Georgia enters the tournament as the top seed in Pool A and after a positive Stanford Invite, they look to avoid being snake bitten again by bad weather. If you remember last year, UGA went 0 and A lot so for Jojah to maintain constistency so late in the season will pay dividends come series time especially with a crucial win over top teams Florida and Oregon. Peter Dempsey points out that injuries have hit UGA this year and the roster has never been at full strength. “We still haven’t played with our top 10 guys healthy. It will be nice to see what we can do once all the pieces fall into place. Also, like many other teams in the country I’m sure, we have lost a lot of practice time because of the extremely wet weather. Our practice fields unfortunately close pretty quickly when it rains. We get a good workout in either way, but you can’t replace actually getting out there and getting your hands on the disc.” Dempsey, along with Taylor Nilan, David Benkeser, Matt Bailey and Herrig brothers, Rob and Charlie are the cogs of the Jojah machine this year but are instrumental in incorporating the whole team.

Williams and Tufts, the Northeast Region’s Nationals representatives from last year wind up in Pool B together and the two squads are a bit of a mystery coming into the tournament because neither has played many games. Tufts captain Andrew Hollingworth had this to say, “I’m not sure what I’d call our biggest successes; we have barely played. We played a couple games at Vegas, but that’s about it, and none of those were particular highlights. We’ve been practicing indoors on a set of tennis courts that are inside of our indoor track, so I guess that’s been frustrating.” Caleb Balderston echoed the sentiments for Williams, “The truth is, we are untested as of yet. We scrimmaged a few schools in the Northeast in January, but other than that we haven’t seen other teams (on grass) since the fall.” Never the less, both teams are primed to go deep in this tournament with a bevy of talent on both sides. Besides Hollingworth making plays for the E-Men, Jay Clark, Ben Strauss, Colin Harari and Alex Berdoff are others to watch out for. WUFO boasts an impressive lineup of 11 seniors this year and the depth in the experience department could pay dividends come May.

Cornell also makes the trip south hoping to regain form after a dissappointing Vegas which saw the Buds lose all three games played, despite the fact some of their key players were missing. Yet early season results are hard to quantify and the Buds should never be counted out, especially with their tall studs. Luther rounds out the reigning field of Nationals Participants which caught some folks off guard last year. Despite the handicaps of residing in a cold weather region, LUFDA is already picking up where they left off, going 7-1 at Frosbite over some stiff regional competition. ” It was good to get out after months of indoor training and finally hit the ground running, no matter how soggy it was. It was indeed wet, cold, and windy (nothing new for spring in the Midwest), but we persevered and ended up with the 7-1 record. We were most pleased with our victory over Minnesota-Duluth, and the way we responded after being crushed by Iowa State in the quarters. If we can continue to show that type of resiliency in a season that has already seen more injury troubles than last year, I think we’ll be successful,” says captain Greg Shirbroun.

Beyond those teams, there is plenty of good competition heading south for the winter to do battle. Dartmouth had a rough 2009 but is already making statements in 2010 that they will be in the thick of things, but more than likely are just happy to be getting out of the cold weather for a weekend. Middlebury and Massachusetts are also making the trek to Atlanta for some good times and good weather. As you may remember, Middlebury was a good bet to make Natty’s last year but is team known for crazy outfits and good times.

It’s been a few years since George Washington made Nationals but they’ve never slouched off even though the weather tries to keep them off the pitch. “Like most teams, our spring schedule has had tournament cancellations due to weather. Therefore, the only full tournament we have played at was the Wilmington 8’s on Feb 20-21. It turned out to be a very encouraging tournament for us as we ended up losing in the finals and finishing 2nd after being seeded 6th,” says captain Russel Howd. The Hippos are incredibly young this year but are building a core for the future. Howd says they’ve had the largest freshman recruiting class in history and the quicker the young Hippos figure out the college game, the more this team will be lethal.

Likewise, it’s been a few years since Penn has been to Nationals and a generation has past since they won it all. Adding a new coach to the fold and getting lots of indoor time means that this team leaves a lot to wonder. On the one hand they are getting some excellent coaching from Billy Maroon of OLD SAG but as Gary Rodman puts it, ” Usually we are able to tough out a handful of practices in the January and February cold here in Philadelphia, but the record winter here (over 70 inches of snow fell before February even ended) made that impossible. So, the result is that we were relegated to our indoor facilities and working almost exclusively on our fitness.” So the key for VOID will be to match their fitness with the mental game that they haven’t been able to work outside with all that much. Dave Rublin anchors the D line along with Chris Ballard, John Ruch, Edward Linton and Leon Chou for assistance. Jay Choi will be setting up behind the disc on offense for Penn.

Terminus also boasts some strong local teams in Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Clemson and Emory. Tennessee was my darkhorse pick to make Nationals out of the Atlantic Coast this year at the beginning of the season and they’ve already posted wins over Virginia and NC State in the fall as well as wins over Illinois and North Park this spring. Agent Orange is looking forward to a full healthy roster to dominate the fields. Co Captian Chris Mullinix had this to say, “We had a top 10 player Matt Mullinix out with his ACL tear but he is back and this will be his first fully capable tournament. Our biggest threats on the field would be seniors Phil Brock and Nick “notour” “kid” Thomas.” Georgie Tech has steadily proved to be a pipeline for Chain Lightning over the past few years and now they are giving back as Russel Snow is coaching the team this year. After beating UGA for the first time in almost a decade at CCC, Tribe has cooled off a little bit this spring, suffering some tough universe point losses but look forward to defending their “home” turf. Nick Lance, Michael Spear and Hogan McHugh are three big threats from the Institute. Clemson has steadily become an annual regional contender thanks to the leadership of Ben Slade and a surge in athletic talent for the Joint Chiefs. Clemson recently finished 3rd at the increasingly prestigious Tally Classic and continue to be a program on the rise. Miller Yoho had this to say, ” We finished that weekend with a 4-2 record with both losses coming on double game point to the teams in the championship on Sunday. Also in Saturday’s showcase game for the ACC Championship our offense was PERFECT. We had no turnovers.” Yoho also reaffirmed the torrential weather cycle that has put a strain on many teams this spring but that hasn’t stopped a few players from shining. Ben Slade, Keenan Watson, Wes Hall, Tyler Van Hook and Michael “Viper” Parks will be big contributors this weekend. Finally, Emory has been a team struggling to find its identity this season. Both Robert Runner and David Berendes enrolled at Emory this past fall to work on their post graduate studies and both still have their 5th year of eligibility to use but have had to make the sacrifice in order to succeed at the research university. So instead of replacing the always upbeat Sam Gainer with two Chain rookies, the team has had to build a core of undergraduate players and battle injuries to the leadership at the same time. Captain Matt Wetzel had this to say about his injury as well as others, ” I am [injured] and have been out for a while now thanks to my ankle, we’ve had people abroad and injured all year, so its been difficult to build the chemistry we would like.” Never the less, Wetzel, along with Josh Glasser, Alex Ko, and Byron Liu have stood out for Juice this season.

Finally watch out for a couple of new kids on the block, Xavier and Kennesaw State. Xavier made Regionals for the first time last season out of the massive East Plains Section. Captain David Cranston is excited about the prospect of coming to Terminus, “Trying to compete at a higher level with a large freshmen class has been challenging, but so far so good. Our coach Michael Rimler, economics professor at Xavier, has done a great job integrating the freshmen with the senior class and leading us to the switch between a semi-competitive team to one who is battling for a high finish at regionals… This is the first really high level tournament Xavier has gotten a bid to with the exception of Chicago Heavyweights. ” Watch out for the tall Cranston as well as Chris Place, Zach Dahaemers, Aaron Bacon and Danny Yunez. Kennesaw State has had to work in the shadow of Georgia Tech and Georgia during their existence but now have some solid players to work around. The altitude enhanced Taylor Goforth will be grabbing everything out of the sky this weekend as Kennesaw State makes its entrance into fold of elite college ultimate.

Well there you have it. The biggest storyline for the weekend? Weather. The key for teams to play well and come away with good feelings from the weekend? Weather. Hopefully the skies will cooperate. See everyone at the fields.



If I was a voter… Feb. 16th Edition
February 16, 2010, 12:38 pm
Filed under: tournament write-ups

Lots of action over the weekend caused havoc with the previous week’s rankings but here we go again.

1 Florida
2 Colorado
3 Carleton
4 Oregon
5 Wisconsin
6 UC San Diego
7 California
8 Minnesota
9 Cornell
10 Georgia
11 Pittsburgh
12 British Columbia
13 UC Davis
14 Stanford
15 Virginia
16 Illinois
17 Western Washington
18 Notre Dame
19 Brown
20 Michigan State
21 UC Santa Cruz
22 Harvard
23 UNC Wilmington
24 East Carolina
25 Iowa State

Just missed the cut: Whitman, Williams, Iowa, Washington, Ohio State, Michigan

When I look back at last week, I think about the uncertainty of the results thus far but looked forward to the previous weekend as a beacon that would provide answers. Unfortunately, outside of San Diego, weather has been a major factor in the outcomes of the premier tournaments thus far. Mardi Gras became a mudbath on the alternate fields and Queen City was delayed several hours on Saturday because of frozen fields. Still, some teams excelled while others will head back to the drawing room looking forward to warmer weather.

My top 4 stayed the same and there was no reason to change but Pitt dropped several spots because of their two losses this weekend. I feel the criticism of their hype is unfounded, as they are an excellent team, but inclement conditions can close the skill gap of most teams. Wisconsin jumps into the top 5 after winning Mardi Gras. From what I heard about their loss to North Park was that their D line could not stop anything from the Lost Boys. A loss will certainly jolt the life back and it appears to be the case.

UC San Diego moves into the top 10 after going undefeated to win their home tournament and handing Cal their second loss of the season. Cal drops the spot and holds at 7 followed by Minnesota, who put together a strong showing in Baton Rouge and Cornell who was off this week. Georgia moves into the top ten after winning Queen City. Even though Georgia lost again to ECU, they did so with an extremely short roster as the remainder of the players waited for the roads to become navigable to make it to Charlotte. With games played to 11, there wasn’t much room to make up ground after starting down. Regardless, Georgia is legitimate and will contend this season.

Pittsburgh starts the next 10 and I put British Columbia at 12 this week because complacency can lead teams to slip a bit. What I mean is, UBC doesn’t have any more games on the slate as of right now. Even though they are a powerful team, not playing against the top competition in tournaments can lead to an inaccurate self assessment of problems to solve. Until they play anyone else that counts towards the year end rankings, I keep them at 12. UC Davis, Stanford and Virginia finish out the top 15 after being off this week.

Illinois had a great weekend in Baton Rouge and looked sharp, especially when the fields weren’t muddy. Their game against Tennessee was full of standing water, lots of mud and generally awful conditions. They enter at 16 ahead of Western Washington who was off and Notre Dame who lost a great one to Illinois at the end of Saturday. Brown drops a couple of spots as a result of the rise of Georgia, Illinois and Notre Dame and Michigan State rounds out the top 20. I almost put Burning Couch in my poll last weekend but I felt they lacked any significant wins up to this point despite posting a very good fall and early spring record. Making finals at QCTU is all the justification I need.

Santa Cruz and Harvard were off this week and Wilmington joins the top 25 at 23. Their record would warrant a higher ranking at any other tournament but, as stated earlier, with crummy weather and short round times, several results could have gone either way. ECU remains in the top 25 after another win over Georgia and Iowa State finishes off the top 25 with a strong Mardi Gras finish.

I think a big storyline here is the lack of South region teams, especially Texas and Kansas. I gave Texas the benefit of the doubt after an ok finish at CCC but an 0-4 pool play day on Saturday is no way to start the spring and it appears TUFF is going to have an uphill battle to get back into the elite. Kansas, who has yet to post any results leaves a lot of question marks and perennially losing to Texas means that I have no idea if they belong in the top 25 or not.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate in the next few weeks as the teams continue to shape up.



If I was a voter…
February 8, 2010, 2:48 pm
Filed under: tournament write-ups

Weekly rankings are tough to accurately gauge a team’s strength especially early in the season and this week is no different. When teams are still learning, playing in tournaments with conditions completely different than what they’ve been practicing in, and overall the results aren’t available yet to counterbalance what might be early season upsets, there is a greater margin for error. Never the less, debating polls is always fun and after attending two tournaments and using a fair amount of discrepancy here is my poll for the week.

1 Florida
2 Colorado
3 Carleton
4 Oregon
5 Pittsburgh
6 Californina
7 Wisconsin
8 British Columbia
9 Cornell
10 Minnesota
11 UC San Diego
12 UC Davis
13 Stanford
14 Virginia
15 Texas
16 Western Washington
17 Brown
18 Notre Dame
19 Georgia
20 UC Santa Cruz
21 Harvard
22 East Carolina
23 UC Santa Barbara
24 Michigan
25 Kansas

Just missed the cut: Georgia Tech, Whitman, Williams, Iowa, NC State, Washington

This week is very tough considering the sparse results from Vegas and only two other major tournaments so far this season, but here’s a quick run down.

Florida looked incredibly dominant this past weekend weekday, and was basically cruising past the teams they played. They started off, 5-1 to Cornell, blanked Wisconsin in the second half and Virginia looked so demoralized during their game they didn’t even want to talk about it so they get my nod for number 1 over Colorado. Beating the champs gives Mamabird the spot over Carleton, followed by CUT who got their own universe point win over Oregon. Pitt was off this week but still old a top 5 spot for the time being.

California was also off but a finals appearance in Santa Barbara and universe point loss to Colorado should not be overlooked. Wisconsin played up to par in Vegas to much a slew of wins in the fall but the wild card here is UBC. This program deserves a lot of credit as being a team that reloads, not rebuilds. Located in an ultimate hotbed community, the Thunderbirds are looking sharp this season after winning Sundodger late last fall and winning all their games in Vegas without any threats. Cornell was missing some key players this weekend and shouldn’t be discredited so soon and Minnesota rolled over the competition except for a loss to Oregon in a super secret back alley rumble.

UC San Diego impressed in Santa Barbara and I feel there is no doubt about their talent and deserve the top 15 spot. Next up is UC Davis and here is my reasoning for being so high. When teams start to beat each, determining rankings by head to head competition can be tough, and Davis beat Stanford last fall as well as two weeks ago at SB. Also, their only two losses of the tournament were to the two finalists. So despite finishing 5th in the tournament, had they been in a pool without Colorado or Calilfornia, there’s a good chance they might have made semis. Stanford gets the next spot because they are still a strong team despite these early season losses. Virginia falls in the same boat but lost the head to head to Stanford so they settle at 14. Texas, without any results so far to speak of, round out the top 15.

After the top 15, teams can become very comparable in strength and disseminating one over the other can be tough but Western Washington starts off the remainder of the top 15 by rolling through their pool in Vegas and still retaining a lot of talent from last year, including all region player Nate Castine. Brown takes the next spot as a traditional program that always draws top talent but produces results as well. They scooped their pool in Vegas and the only college team they lost to in fall was Cornell. Despite losing some talented seniors to graduation Notre Dame is still maintaining a high level of play and also rolled early in Vegas. Georgia at 19 might come as a surprise to some, but they have yet to play or beat any elite programs this semester and lost in the finals to East Carolina. Despite that, Georgia is still a top team with Peter Dempsey and Taylor Nilan leading the squad and will certainly move up in the rankings as the season progresses. UC Santa Cruz rounds out the top 20 with a semifinal appearance in Santa Barbara

The final five is very tricky and is always in the most flux. Harvard starts off at 21 after beating Arkansas in Vegas but more importantly, Vogt and Stubbs have another year under their belts to mature this team. Next is East Carolina at 22 which might seem silly considering they beat Georgia only a couple of weeks ago, but Georgia gets the nod based on traditional program strength. Again, the rankings take in to consideration not only results right now, because there are only a few, but expected results and Georgia always gets stronger as the season progresses. Still, getting a tournament win in Clemson earns the Irates a top 25 appearance. UC Santa Barbara takes 23rd after finishing 6th in their home tournament. Kansas and Michigan round out the top 25 with a lack of current results but made Nationals last year. Michigan is action next weekend and Kansas has nothing in the near future but it doesn’t mean they don’t belong in the top 25.

There are so many schools that could make a case for being in the top 25 right now, it’s almost impossible to get everything right and I made a poll on Thursday or Friday it might look very different than this one. Relax, it’s still February and there is a lot of exciting ultimate coming this spring.



Trouble in Vegas Day 1
February 6, 2010, 1:30 pm
Filed under: tournament write-ups

I’ve been to Vegas before. I love the town, but it can be a lot of excess in a very short amount of time. Lights pop out from every direction, people walk around with lots of cash, act like they have lots of cash, or pretend they have lots of cash hoping to become in with those who have lots of cash. For those who enjoy the lifestyle even for a few days, it can be a healthy mix of insanity and adrenaline. Thus, as the plane landed into McCarran Airport and “Death or Glory” by The Clash blasted into my ear buds, I knew I had to sidestep the normal tournament weekend path for these few days.

Flash forward to Friday morning and I’ve already lost $400, most of the stuff I was supposed to pack never made it my bag making it a rough night on my eyes, teeth and armpits, I’m slightly hungover and my debit card has been put on suspicious activity alert. No matter as I just had to detour to the local Target on my way to the fields and once I finally arrived at the complex, I was in mild awe of the size of the place and number of games going on at once. This could be another episode of Vegas sensory overload. Preparing for a potentially sunny day, I emerge from the rent a car in shorts, an unbuttoned collared shirt over my spin jersey ready to hit the scene…

Florida Gators v. Cornell Buds

As I arrive, both teams don’t muster much emotion from the sidelines yet for very different reasons. Florida has already broken three times to start the game before Cornell gets one, 3-1 Gators. The Gainesville demeanor is calm and collected while the Buds look a little solemn as if they might have some momentum issues. To more accurately portray Florida’s attitude, Alton Gaines says, “Too bad this is a serious tournament. I want to get drunk.”

The wind is picking up slightly, wavering on sleeve/no sleeve weather i.e. three beer weather and Florida continues to roll. Brodie gets an easy up the line pass to make it 5-1. It’s very apparent the offense runs through Brodie and Cole Sullivan. They use a lot of give and goes with Cole occasionally winding up looking throw something erratic, making a grimace on his face and then faking a couple of times and hitting the dump only to get it back again. The game is getting a little out of reach and I check back in to see Cornell getting one back with a goal line pass to Art Shull to make it 11-6 Florida. But thats the last word the Buds get in before Florida rattles off two more to get the easy victory 13-6.

Virginia Night Train v. Stanford Bloodthirsty

Virginia hasn’t taken delivery of any official jerseys yet so they are rocking some sweet green shirts with gold chains, yet they look like Tyler Conger’s regular wardrobe. One says “Big Ass Chain” on it. Could it be a possible tribute to departed Night Trainer and club champion Robert Runner? Hmm…

Virginia and Stanford are locked in at 3 a piece when David Sylvester reels in a score so effortlessly and emphasizes it with a non chalant spike. Wait, this guy’s a freshman? He certainly doesn’t look inexperienced. 4-3 Bloodthirsty.

Conger does what he does to get even then both teams proceed to engage in a huckfest, an incomplete huck fest that is. Stanford spins the reels one more time to Ben Phillips as he pauses just as the disc goes into the air causing Jesse Macadangdangdangdangdang to freeze up temporarily and not have enough time to catch Phillips as he tracks the disc down, 5-4 SMUT. Tim Panucci has arrived at Virginia, bringing some Metro East skills from Columbia and he makes the play to bring it back even.

Former Callahan winner Jim Schoettler is stalking the sidelines for Stanford. He isn’t saying much but Blood looks good regardless. All of this comes to a halt when Andrew Wilkes makes a possession saving layout grab near the sidelines then finds a wide open Alex Dagley on the ground in the endzone. The only logical explanation for the site I’m seeing is Dagley took the Mario Bros. green tube and emerged in the endzone without anyone around. Virginia gets the break to go up 6-5. Stanford walks one in with Ryan Thompson hitting Angus Pacala to bring things square.

This sets up Virginia getting set to take half but they turn the disc over in the increasing wind. Stanford tries to work it but an errant dump pass gives a big D opportunity to UVA and Alex Kohn answers with a presence of authority. Virginia has a short field to work with and they punch it for half, 7-6.

As halftime lingers on I take a few points to mingle and check out the atmosphere. This is the first west coast tournament I’ve been to in two years and as such this is the first time I’ve seen a few folks in as much time. What a wonderful city. When I get back, the game is level again at 8 a piece. Virginia is working their horizontal stack with Conger leading the charge. They get so close but turn it over and Stanford goes deep off the bat to Jordan Jeffrey who dumps it to an urgent Thompson just as a call stops the rush. Everyone looks around to assess the situation and Thompson hits Jeffrey again upline and continue to Ben Funk for the spike, err uh score. 9-8 Stanford.

As if waiting for Virginia to tie the game once again, Stanford says no and rattles off two breaks in a row to make the game 11-8 as the time dwindles. Both teams trade hucks and UVA gets lucky when a huck to Conger overshoots him but Panucci is there to pick up the trash and hit Tom Licitta for the goal, 11-9 now. The teams are electing to get wackier with their passing as Stanford tries deep and fails. Virginia works a seemingly complicated cutting system all the way down the field only to drop near the endzone. Miscommunication among the Stanford handlers means UVA gets it again and huck it to Tyler who can’t make the grab in bounds so…

Greatest!

But wait. There is a debate about whether Conger executed the play properly in bounds. Nobody can decide so the logical thing to do is send it back to the thrower. Night Train concedes yardage as they retain possession and then convert on the goal to Brian Kiernan eventually getting a break back. The second horn sounds and it’s do or die. Stanford wastes no time trying to get the win and sends a deep shot to Funk with Andrew Wilkes hot on his tail. Wilkes trips as he prepares to layout giving Funk the opportunity to layout unopposed for the win and he does it! Stanford takes it 13-11.

Oregon EGO v. Carleton CUT

Oregon starts pulling to Carleton in what is already starting to be a heavily spectated game. The masters of early season shirt stenciling open the action, threatening in the red zone looking for an upline strike that would be a score but it’s a decoy, clearing out several defenders to create a passing lane for Ben Sullender in the back of the endzone, 1-0 Carleton. Oregon makes an uncharacteristic early turn, and CUT is too giddy to stay calm and turns it right back on the score line. A legitimate D by Carleton works and Alex Evangelides gets the grab and the break, 2-0 Carleton.

CUT is pulling downwind and the pull gets distance in a hurry and Oregon can’t stop it from rolling out the back. The men in black tank tops have a long way to upwind. Eli Janin gots the disc and hucks it to Cody Bjorklund and the continue is available for Eli Friedman getting EGO on the board, 2-1. Oregon gets a D and break back to get even followed by Grant Lindsley making an uncharacterstic drop. Oregon gets moving again and this time Cody finds Kevin Minderhout for the goal, putting Oregon up a break, 3-2.

Both teams are being less than cautious in the wind. Passes that are too short, too high and getting turfed are seen but Carleton wins the battle with a Luke Powers to Sam Kanner to Grant sequence, 3-3. Both teams start to get into a positive game rhythm, utilizing their best players to make a difference and get goals. Eli Janin releases a perfect huck to Josh Wardle into the wind setting up an easy goal. Lindsley wins an aerial battle after sprinting deep, only to slow up when the disc hangs in the air and he uses his jumping ability to get the goal. Janin continues to go to the air with a huck to Andy Bryn for a quick strike, 5-4 Oregon.

With Carleton moving upwind now, passes can gain wobble and height if the wind picks up and thats exactly what a dump pass to Luke Powers does, but the man makes a super rip over his teammate and a defender drawing, “Ooooooohhss” and “Oh shit” as he comes down hard. Kanner replaces him and they press onwards. Alex Kinsey had to make a juggle grab, bobbling the disc a few times before securing it and CUT finally punches it in and were tied once again, 5-5.

Carleton is getting opportunities and after a turn they look long with the Oregon sideline looking to prevent a big throw yelling, “NO HUCK! NO HUUUuuuoooooaaa….. That’s way out.” So when the Carleton Ultimate Team gets the disc back they harness the short game for a break and the game is back on serve.

EGO gets a little lucky with the wind but retain possession and Bjorklund gets the liveside score off a stoppage. Hey, it’s Vegas so I expect a little luck now and again. With both teams perched at 6 a piece, this point could prove a major hurdle in getting away from the opponent in the game as teams are about to enter half. More wind arrives along with more high throws. Carleton’s is incomplete. Oregon’s is complete, leaving Kevin Minderhout wide open in the endzone for half, 7-6 Oregon.

Coming out of the half, Sam Kanner makes himself more visible in the playmaking spotlight. He starts by getting a layout D on Eli Janin cutting upload for a potential goal and CUT turns it into a score to get even. Cody won’t let Oregon slow up and gets large in the air, jumping over his man to go up a point. Oregon starts a zone defense but a slip through the cup forces the Ducks to revert to man. After jockeying with the disc back and forth, Christian Foster gets out of trouble on the sideline as the cup is back and has him pinned down by throwing a sideline to sideline outside in backhand over the cup to the far side wing. No sweat from there, 8-8.

The teams are meeting turn quotas on each point now and it looks like another as a huck goes up intended for an EGO receiver but 3 more bodies have gathered underneath the disc, waiting for it to descend. Aki Ohdera sees the crowd forming and as they take their turns jumping early, Ohdera runs in and leaps to sky everybody in the pile getting the lead for Oregon once again, 9-8. Carleton chills out and stretches the field completing the point with a no brainer from Sullender to Patrick Roberts for a tie ball game. Oregon tries to match with under cuts and Friedman makes a great grab through the middle to keep possession but Janin gets footblocked in the red zone so Kanner gets the disc and goes long for Lindsley who narrowly catches the disc in bounds at the back of the end zone for a break, 10-9 Carleton.

CUT is feeling a surge of momentum and they get tough on d. Oregon squirms around but always manages to find an open receiver or dump until Jackson Kelsay gets the disc and as if he had a 6th sense for where Eli Janin is, whips around at midfield and puts up a perfect, almost no look huck to Eli for the score as Carleton can only watch on, 10-10.

CUT goes back to work on offense moving in a Dance Dance Revolution type sequence of up, side, side, back, up, up…. all the way down the field. A false D on the goal line scares Carleton into calling a timeout so they set up a play that they hope should work. Patrick Roberts gets the nod and he makes the grab over the goal line by a slim margin. Carleton’s up 11-10. Both teams make careless throws that would probably work in a less windy environment, but this tournament is exposing everything. As the disc is traded back and forth Carleton looks for the dump and the pass is too floaty giving Oregon the D opportunity . Cody Bjorklund comes down with the hospital pass but it’s all for not. This time Kanner has a serious lapse in judgement as he throws a hammer to nobody and can only smirk at his judgement. All of this was merely setting up a trailing huck to Andy Bryn who peels off dead from his defender to make the grab, 11-11.

The next point is more visually impressive as Eli Janin gets a big layout dump D but Adam Fagin answers back with an equally impressive layout D to save goal. Kanner hucks to Lindsley and he’s in a foot race with Eli Friedman to make the play. Both men are displaying exciting speed and Friedman lays out but the disc is beyond his reach as Lindsley shows off just how hard he works but not even having to layout to reach down and grab the disc before it hits the ground. He resets to Fagin who obliges Grant with the goal, 12-11 Carleton.

A turnover by Oregon gets a lot of anticipation from the Carleton sideline as they are no in position to win, but Fagin drops a dump pass gifting the possession to Oregon. Janin makes a layout grab and gives it up to Matt Thornton who hits Friedman for the open goal, 12-12.

Universe point.

Fagin almost drops the pull for everyone to see and wants to make up for it but overshoots Powers. It’s Oregon’s chance for the win now. Janin gets the disc on the right sideline and hucks to Joe Condon who watches the disc as he crosses over the goal line making the grab. But wait! Travel is called on the throw and Eli is livid about the call in an otherwise clean game. Janin tries again but the disc overshoots Joe this time and Kanner hauls it in. He rushes up to the goal line, winds up a big throw and… nearly hits the tent past the endzone. Oregon has to throw up a bailout huck as the count gets high so Carleton has another chance. They tap the disc in quickly and get moving. A huck goes up for Christian Foster and he’s running to the corner and covered up by the mobs of spectators, causing poor line of sight…

But a roar goes up from the CUT sideline and the champions prevail, 13-12.

After this game, its time for lunch so of course I need to find the nearest In n Out Burger. Ecstasy comes in the form of a double double and fries, and hey, there’s a casino right next door. After my meal I decide to press my luck before heading back to the fields and after a circuit of pai gow, roulette and blackjack I recoup some of the previous night’s losses. Success. I feel I should get back to the fields and get so disoriented trying to make it back to my car I end up circling the entire hotel trying to find the right lot. Yet, I don’t feel terrible about it.

Wisconsin Hodags v. Florida Gators

The lights are on now and rain has started to drizzle but Wisconsin and Florida are in the middle of a grudge match oozing with history. The game is tied at 6’s with Baby Blue holding the disc. Cullen Geppert throws behind his dump and Florida looks to fast break hitting Brodie on the right sideline for half, 7-6.

Coming out of half, Florida looks as if they’ve dominated the whole game. They stuff Wisconsin on the brick mark and Alan Baird swirls around till Brodie finds him. 8-6 Florida. Miguel Palavacinni gets in the action to get the next goal causing Wisconsin to call a timeout. If you’ve never seen a Wisconsin huddle, they are the absolute best. Lots of yelling and swearing and simple statements like, “WORK HARD!” but its to no avail. Wisconsin’s goal throw fizzles out and Florida comes the other way with a punt that winds up in Gator hands, 10-6.
Florida closes out the game blanking Wisconsin in the second half to make it 13-6 on the scoresheet.

Whitman Sweets v. Tufts E Men

In the adjacent game, Whitman is taking on last year’s nationals qualifier Tufts. The Sweets are threatening when Ben Strauss gets a hustle layout D to stop the Whitman surge, but as the rain drizzles, play becomes less precise. The Sweets get it back and find an open man after Jeremy Norden is double covered. 10-9 Whitman. Jacob Janin and Jermemy Norden are leading a great effort with a short roster (something like 14 healthy bodies?) against this powerful Tufts team. After getting two breaks in a row, both teams struggle to get the next point. On the other side of the disc Andrew Hollingsworth and Ben Strauss are making plays to keep their team in it especially when Strauss gets a layout D on the mark to prevent a goal line chance for Whitman. Tufts tries to huck it for a goal but its no good so Whitman tries the same move and Jacob catches the disc out of bounds. Hollingsworth thinks Jacob jumped from out of bounds and the disc never came in so they decide to rosham for the call. Hollingsworth takes it running away, 2-0 and the disc goes back to where the throw went off. Adrian Banerji finds Patrick Meyers cutting to the left side and Tufts gets one last goal as the hard cap horn had sounded already. Whitman takes it 12-11.

As I leave the fields, the rain is steady and constant and the forecast is for a fair amount on Saturday. We’ll see how it affects the day’s play while I’m enjoying the night indoors in the Pit.



Jersey Day
February 4, 2010, 1:58 am
Filed under: tournament write-ups

Is there any better day of the year than getting a fresh new jersey? Sure, you might come up with something that is legitimate beyond the bounds of our ultimate frame of mind, but it doesn’t cheapen that feeling when you get a fresh clean jersey that’s all yours, nobody has seen yet and you now have that formal bond with your teammates.

Last year, I neglected to mention Spin gear very often on purpose. While I didn’t want to shamelessly promote the product, the jerseys did leave something to be desired; they lacked the spandex material of other fabrics, the panels of fabric seemed a little off and at times the screen printing was sub par.

Not any more.

Spin’s new Triumph and Prime lines are absolutely incredible and I love touting the jerseys every chance I get. Being lucky enough to get a chance to sample the new jerseys last fall, I knew it was a no brainer for Georgia State to go with prime jerseys this spring and needless to say I am very impressed. These jerseys are quite possibly the best out there right now for a variety of reasons: They fit very well and are true to size, stretch when you need them to, are very light and the overall quality is very apparent. Did I mention they are made in the USA?

With the jersey product chosen, Korey and I set about coming up with a jersey design that would work. These days sublimation is all the rage, numbers appear in odd places, and you need to walk around somebody to be able to see the full image. Certainly this is a far cry from a decade ago when teams played in the finals of nationals without any jersey numbers on the back. I played my formidable years in the Northwest so I personally love the past decade when jerseys were advancing, but simplicity was in and made for a very clean look. That’s why I pushed for a throwback uniform idea for this year’s team. I thought, we’re a new team, we should start from the beginning. So I was stuck on a dark long sleeve, a light short sleeve, 8″ block numbers, a one color logo on the front and the school name + ultimate above the numbers and that was it. I think the final product met the wants of the new generation while satisfying my ideal of what a jersey should look like. Check out the new threads:

We went with two short sleeve jerseys, a navy and a white, with white printing on the navy jersey and navy printing on the white jersey. The logo is the evolution of last year’s design and several sketches done earlier this by our team. A big thanks goes out to Chris Hatton who took these images and came up with a new image that worked very well as a single color logo. Just having Georgia State across the back worked very well instead of Georgia State Ultimate or GS Ultimate or some other variant and the Atlanta Braves stylized A in “State” is a nice little indicator of our hometown. I convinced the guys that having the option for a black long sleeve jersey would be a good idea so we made an alternate design without numbers on the back available for students and alumni that will be available in a week and a half. I’ll be sure to post that image when I take delivery. As for now, I’ll be sporting one of these babies in Vegas this weekend.



This is the season… for Georgia State
February 3, 2010, 10:46 am
Filed under: tournament write-ups

Georgia State University is a large research university in downtown Atlanta. It has 28,000+ students in undergraduate and graduate studies. The university has been around for almost 100 years and has boasted some prominent alumni including Ken Lewis the CEO of Bank of America and recording artist/actor Ludacris. Yet the one thing the university has failed to produce is a consistent ultimate program, that is (hopefully) until now. GSU Ultimate is in the 2nd year of the restarted program which has already had incarnations in the past as a dominant team for a short span. In the early part of the 2000 decade, the GSU Thundercats took the Atlanta Coast region by storm with several former and current Chain Lightning players banding together as a misfit outfit with a few years of eligibility left among them. The team made finals of Terminus in 2002 beating Dartmouth, Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin and Georgia before losing to Cornell in the finals. Unfortunately, despite a top 25 year end ranking, this was the beginning of the end for the former GSU team. The Thundercats fizzled at regionals and all but died out by 2004.

Before he was winning titles with Chain Lightning, Jason Simpson was playing Superman for Georgia State


Enter Korek Meek and a group of enterprising freshmen in the fall of 2008 who got enough folks together to make it through a rough 2009 season as an unofficial club team, with a minimal roster and little direction. Yet for all the growing pains of the 2009 season, the seeds of this team were planted and now the program is starting to grow. The roster is now a healthy 20 players and has two coaches in Greg “Bug” Allpow and Malcolm “Milky” Clark. As I returned to school I brought some experience from a seasoned program with me and have also been helping out in a practice player/coaching role.

The team still has a lot of work to do and is a few years away from making heads turn but the effort is there and this new team has the elements of a program that will last a long time. This season will be a chronicle of how a team that didnt win a game until AFTER sectionals last year, has already put a a legitimate W on the board in our first tournament of the year.



2010… A look into the future
January 11, 2010, 1:09 pm
Filed under: tournament write-ups

2009 was an absolute blast to cover on the college circuit. I got to watch how the Atlantic Coast Regionals unfolded including Florida’s meltdown, an exciting Mardi Gras final between Michigan and Wisconsin and saw first hand just why Georgia Bosscher was a worthy Callahan winner. College Nationals provided a terrific stage for Carleton to dominate the field en route to their second open title and the Burning Skirts of Santa Barbara fended off a bevy of Northwest teams to breakthrough and capture their first title in the women’s division in 18 years. As seniors left the field after their last collegiate game, many spectators and players shifted gears towards the club season to see what new developments were taking place at the peak game.

Now the club season is over and 2010 has arrived marking the beginning of yet another exciting season in college ultimate. Fall results can be a tricky mess to decipher but there are already a few teams that are beginning to exert some muscle and could be threats in May. Here are some teams and players to watch out for this spring:

Oregon EGO – The team that could have been in 2009 is making no excuses and could be primed for a bid to Nationals in 2010. With seven 5th year seniors returning for one last chance at glory, this team is going to be dangerous.

Eli Janin wants another trip to Nationals, courtesy of Andrew Davis

Eli Janin still has the throws and has the name recognition from years on Rhino but the rest of the cast will be on par at such a high level of play. Eli Friedman, Joe Condon and Andy Bryn are all integral parts of the team working the cutting lanes and getting open deep. Losing Dusty Becker hurts, but for the past decade, Ego has never worried too much about having to replace people. Also look out for Josh Wardle, who crossed the pond for some more schooling but not before cutting his teeth on the UK club circuit with perennial world power Clapham United. This team runs much deeper than its starting seven so staying at peak performance on Sunday shouldn’t be a problem.

Cornell Buds – I certainly got my wish last year when Cornell faced off against Humboldt in a Buds v. Buds matchup that leapt off the pages of RSD and onto the field. But the (Rose)Buds didn’t stop there and captured their first Metro East title in 7 years with a tall roster and an incredible deep game. Think about this: Cornell had seven players last year who were at least 6’3″ and Seth Reinhardt is the only one of those players who has graduated. Jon Hershberger is back with his throws, grabs and D’s that almost pulled off the win vs. region rival Pitt in the pre quarters and he’s surrounded by second team all region stud Arthur Shull and tallasaurus rex Ethan Pollack. If the Buds are anything on point like they were last year, they should punch a ticket to Madison.

Wisconsin Hodags – Too easy. When you have a student body of 42,030 (thanks Wikipedia!) its no sweat drawing top athletes for your program. Combine that with a budding local scene and the host site for the 2010 College Championships and this team will be there. One person of note is main gunner Evan Klane. Chances are if you hear “Boom! Headshot!” it’s Evan’s handy work.

Carleton CUT – Again, too easy. Reigning national champions. Grant Lindsley’s back. Luke Powers is back. Sam Kanner is back. Adam Fagin is back. In fact you could say the same emphatic statement about all of their returners. CUT never left.

Brodie Smith usually skies people, even his own team, courtesy of Andrew Davis


Florida Gators – If there is any team that has caught more flack over the past few years than anyone else, it has got to be Florida but it hardly diminishes the work this team puts in on the field. The upstart superpower turned the world on end in 2006 with its second trip to Nationals, first National Championship and first Callahan winner. Then it seems that Florida started drawing the ire of many opponents and many more online trolls who have never played against Florida. But the Gainesville crew doesn’t let it bother them one bit and none of this changes the fact that Florida is still a damn good team. If there’s one flaw in their program, its depth and that became apparent at Regionals last year when the heat wore down the starting seven and gave Brodie health problems on Sunday. No matter what happened last year, this team cannot be counted out for 2010. Especially with Brodie, Chris Gibson and Cole Sullivan coming back, expect Florida to be right in the thick of things this spring.

UC – You pick em – All of the big California school system programs are looking sharp for the upcoming year. The entire Santa Barbara community is putting a lot of effort into bringing back its team to prominence and Black Tide is going to benefit from a rebuilding Condors team. Last year’s natty’s squad was noticeably small also very young, with only 19 players on the roster and a few seniors. Jeff Silverman will be hard to replace but Max Schteir-Dunn leads a group of Black Tide players who return to the college scene after playing with the Condors this past fall. San Diego is back after a Nationals bid and they arent slowing down one bit. A finals appearance at Sean Ryan saw them only lose to the champions, twice. Josh Nickerson is going to be a primary threat in the goal scoring department and the other big man Justin Elliott brings Streetgang experience to the college level.

Josh Nickerson, courtesy of Amy Chang

Santa Cruz took an early spring lull through the college season last year but reemerged at the right time to take a bid to regionals and upset Western Washington in pool play. Now after winning their home tournament which is the west coast equivalent of Classic City Classic, the Slugs are looking comparable to 2008. Mr. motor Cassidy Rasmussen is an absolute freak, even the Bay Area wunderteam Revolver thinks so and now boasts the status of upperclassman to go along with his frisbee skills. Berkeley also can’t be counted out especially after returning to Nationals last year following a four year absence. Ugmo likes to play the part of the faceless army and truth be told, besides their bevy of seniors, a lot of underclassmen were making crucial and huge plays against the best competition in Columbus. Even Davis can’t be counted out. Taylor Lahey has been a big part of the Dogs for years now and the coaching staff reads like a who’s who of national level club stars in Kevin Cissna and Eric Halverson. With a strong Sean Ryan, Davis could once again return to the national discussion.

There are many more programs both traditional and new that will be contenders this spring but these were only a few that have had promising starts so far. Other teams to look out for include Tennessee, Minnesota and Georgia Tech. Generally speaking if you are going to get a fully sublimated jersey as a college team, you’d better be pretty good. That’s exactly what Tennessee has done this year and after a seed breaking 5th place finish at regionals last year, Tennessee might be a surprise team of 2010. Phil Brock and Chris Mullinix are the veteran returners who will provide the leadership to Agent Orange this spring and have already beaten some top ranked opponents in Wilmington and Chattanooga. Minnesota made no excuses last year with four bids to nationals out of the Central region and the team took home some valuable experience from Columbus. The young team returns this season largely intact with Michael Arenson back to blow past defenders in usual spirited romp. Georgia Tech beat Georgia for the first time in eight years at Classic City Classic and that could provide the spark that leads to a breakthrough in a region dominated by the Dawgs, Florida, the North Carolina schools and William and Mary over the past decade. The last time Tribe made it to Nationals was in the old South region and the current roster was in diapers. There is some top talent on this team in Michael Spear and Andrew Fish, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a club national champion on your team (for a few more years!).

Of course twelve teams doesnt satisfy a 20 team nationals field and the bid allocation wont be known until April (I think, if I read the restructuring rules correctly) and by that time, the community will have a better understanding of who’s performing well this season. But when there’s action Spin will try to be there.



Spin Tournament Coverage is Back!
January 7, 2010, 7:46 pm
Filed under: tournament write-ups

It seems only yesterday that teams took the field in Columbus and honestly I wish it was. How could I apologize for months of neglect and piles of notes unpublished? Well, I can’t but I can indeed make excuses and it goes a little something like this:

Lots of information that looms over me like the Sword of Damocles

Scribble notes furiously in my composition book at Natty’s
(time elapses)
Let a few months pass, occasionally staring at the pile of notes
(time elapses)
Still nothing, and I mean nothing at all as I was laid off from my job in March
(time elapses)
Decide to go back to school. The real world is no fun anyways
(time elapses)
2010 arrives

Well, I can’t wait any longer and it’s time to get back in the swing of things as the 2010 college season gets in gear in only a few weeks. Look out for previews all weekend as well as a few tidbits from 2009 and what to look forward to from Spin in 2010! In the meantime check out Aguilar’s blog for all your recent big time tournament coverage from the Classic City Classic this past month in Chattanooga, TN.

A Typical Choice