2016 SAPP CON All-Section Results

After another very successful year in the SAPP CON, we look back and recognize the top players from the section. Below are the results from 80+ votes between current coaches and players in the SAPP CON. Not bad at all for our inaugural season.

 

First Team
Anders Olsen (Emory)
Daniel Sperling (Emory)
JP Burns (KSU)
Nathan Haskell (UGA)
Parker Bray (UGA)
Paul Lally (UTC)
Sam Little (UGA)

Second Team
Charles Loudermilk (KSU)
Chris Calhoun (UT)
Devon Rogers (Ga Tech)
Mac McClellan (UT)
Mike Bartell (Emory)
Stephen Burkot (Ga Tech)
Zack Avello (UTC)

 

POTY
Sam Little (UGA)

 

Once again, congrats to these players on their successful seasons. Be on the look out for a WAY Too Early SAPP CON Power Rankings coming soon, as well as some here and there club coverage.

Until then…

 

SAPP CON Women’s Mid Season Power Rankings

Once again thanks to Emory Luna Coach Keith Raynor for this in-depth write up!
New Power Rankings! We’ve got results for most of the teams in the Conference (and the region) so the picture is starting to take shape for Conferences and Regionals. With that in mind, I’ve noted each team’s overall sanctioned record (OVR), in-region record (IR), and out of conference record against Southeast Region teams (OC).


10: Berry College

Until they prove they exist this season, we’ll just leave this here.

9: Georgia Southern (OVR: 2-4, IR: 1-3, OC: 1-3) 

While they finally debuted, and thus exist, which is probably the lede, this team is now called the Southern Sirens, according to USAU, which I think is the third name I’ve heard for them in 3 years. Considering there’s another Sirens in the region, dunno if this will stick, but let’s run with it. On the one hand, a pair of wins looks surprisingly good for our Sirens, but they also took a serious beating from FSU-B. Probably their best showing a 9-7 loss to Tulane! There’s potential here.

8: Georgia State (OVR: 1-5, IR: NA, OC: NA)

This team is still just, when healthy, probably more talented at the top than UTC and Georgia College. But with minimal legs, reps, and depth, they may not have what it takes to some of the Conferences other teams. Early returns are not strong, but it isn’t clear who was their to perform for them in their lone tournament, Joint Summit.

7: Georgia College (OVR: 3-3, IR: 3-3, OC: 2-1)

Solid if unspectacular showing at Hundred Acre Wood shows the resident D3 team has some chops. Dunno how they’ll fare against the top four, but after that…

6: Tennessee (OVR: 3-8, IR: 3-6, OC: 3-5)

They did not put up their best showing at Florida Winter Classic, and Only Ten I See did not bounce them back. After beating Emory in the fall, they got rocked 14-6 at FWC, albeit probably short some firepower. Then, they missed some close ones at Only Ten I See to Winona State and Tennessee-Chattanooga, finishing 5th after being seeded 3rd. Inconsistency seems to be their biggest weakness right now, as they rely on a couple of players to do a lot around the disc.

5: UT-Chattanooga (OVR: 5-8, IR: 3-8, OC: 1-6)

The biggest win for UTC was obviously besting in-state rival, Tennessee, which gives them double game point victories over both Georgia College and Tennessee. You can see how this unfolds in the rankings. UTC’s 3-4 record was actually enough to get them 3rd at Only Ten I See, although their 0-4 out of conference record drops them to 1-6 against the rest of the Southeast. Ouch.

4: Emory (OVR: 3-9, IR: 2-6, OC: 1-4)

Any questions about the SAPP Con pecking order were pretty roundly answered by KSU thumping Emory 14-6 at Moonlight Invite. But Luna actually pieced together some close losses to Auburn and Vandy in other showings, and they looked like they are improving. Right now, though, they just don’t seem to have a lot of killer instinct, a byproduct of their youth.

3: Kennesaw State (OVR: 3-3, IR: 2-2, OC: 1-1)

Things are coming together for Strix, who is getting production from role players and top end alike that they haven’t had before. Their success is begetting confidence that makes them dangerous in games they really want. Depth might still be an issue, but expectations keep going up for KSU because they keep stringing together results.

2: Georgia (OVR: 9-5, IR: 4-0, OC: 3-0)

It feels like a dead horse, but Georgia looked so young at Queen City Tune Up. Marsh and Yang buck that trend with their on-field authority, and when freshman Sally Cummings is on, she shows the potential to take over points. But it is still a work in progress. They still have what it takes to get better, as shown by a 2 point win over Bama on Saturday at Hundrend Acre Wood followed by a 7 point victory on Sunday.

1: Georgia Tech (OVR: 13-13, IR: 11-1, OC: 8-1)

Wreck took on elite competition at QCTU, and got a rude awakening Saturday, going 1-4 and getting decked a few times. But they did nearly topple Virginia in an awesome game and bounced Sunday with some much stronger play after they collected themselves. But they were easily the best team at Moonlight Invite and turned in an awesome Tally Classic where they finished second and traded games with FSU. Undoubtedly, GT has the top disc skills in the conference and that makes them a real pain to match up with.

The Bid Picture

By my count, after this past weekend (thanks UAB and Georgia Southern!), the Southeast Region should have 25 competing teams, making for a 12 bid Southeast Regionals. You can rejoice now.

SAPP Con should be on line for four to six of those bids. South Florida and Mississippi State both had big weekends, but LSU and Tulane did not help out that same conference. Tennessee and UTC may have swapped places or just pulled each other down. Should some teams vanish and we only get 10 team regionals, the question becomes for SAPP Con would we be able to get 3 or snag a 4th? FL is basically a lock for three bids, but SAPP Con and Bamasecs will battle it out for supremacy. It will probably come down to KSU, Emory, and Tennessee/UTC against Bama, Tulane, Mississippi State. Early returns favor Bamasecs; that group for SAPP Con is 6-16 out of conference while Gulf Coast’s record is 12-5. The real SAPP Con disaster would be failing to even protect the third bid. Shudder, don’t think about it too much. Just don’t let up late in the game against a Bamasecs AKA Gulf Coast squad.

Moving the Club Season Part 2

USAUltimateLogo435x290

See Part 1 here

First, I want to thank everyone for the great response to Part 1. We had huge readership numbers and lots of comments on here, twitter, and r/ultimate. I’m glad people feel like our thoughts are a good representation of the issues at hand.

The 2 big reasons USA Ultimate has stated as their driving force behind moving the season (and more importantly Nationals) earlier in the year are:

  1. Get ultimate on TV, specifically ESPN.
  2. Open up more large cities to host Club Nationals, specifically more northern ones.

 

I mentioned the issues ESPN is having in terms of viewership in part 1. We have to consider that cable TV, especially sports cable TV, is changing very rapidly. The almighty Disney stock is down (despite the huge uptick Star Wars has brought) because of the financial problems ESPN are having. As many in the industry. I believe in the near future we will begin to see sports sold through season passes on different streaming platforms similar to NBA League Pass or MLS Direct Kick. These may be delivered through a set top box, but the mechanisms for choosing sports is going to change.

ESPN Subscribers

Why then should we expect ESPN to make good on the promise to show ultimate if it isn’t during football season? We already have major events not in football season that aren’t being shown on TV. ESPN could easily show the college finals live on ESPNU instead of airing cut down games a week after, but they don’t. Nexgen and Ultiworld do a way better job filming ultimate with far fewer resources than ESPN, and yet we as an ultimate community still don’t pay for their services. Why should we expect the general public to care enough that ESPN will be willing to put their already dwindling resources into a currently niche sport.

“But guys, esports are a niche sport and ESPN is starting to show them!” Have you seen how huge of a following esports have? Twitch already broadcasts games with hundreds of thousands of spectators, and certain game tournaments have 10+ million people following the finals. The most I can remember ever seeing on a free youtube broadcast was maybe 10k. When people had to pay for a weekend pass for a tournament being streamed by NexGen, their total viewer numbers including VOD were, sorry NGN, awful.

USAU has somewhere around 50k members, and while we like to talk about how fast the sport is growing, we are tiny compared to soccer, basketball, baseball, and football. Even US Lacrosse has 450k members! It’s ok to admit that we are a small, niche, but growing sport.

As for opening up more cities, especially in the northern part of the US, to host nationals, the biggest roadblock to hosting isn’t weather. How many large cities have not only the volunteer structure, but a facility big enough to host 3 16 team divisions with all the correct buffer zones USAU wants at their championship events? I currently live in Atlanta, and while we have a huge local ultimate scene that would likely be willing to help staff a national event, we don’t have anywhere even close to big enough to host.

Let’s say NYC ultimate was able to secure the fields on Randall’s Island in Manhattan (assuming it worked for nationals). What do the temperatures look like for late October compared to the end of August? What would they look like the 4 other major ultimate cities?

nyc boston

seattle portlanddenver

In reality, the only thing keeping USAU from sending nationals to not Sarasota/Frisco is the lack of suitable site or lack of support from the local community. If any of the above cities had put in a viable bid prior to the reup with Frisco, I can guarantee nationals would be headed there. I have asked USAU to release the list of bids they get for TCT/Nationals that don’t get picked, but they said it is against their procedure. I would love to discuss the transparency of this process, but that is a topic for another day.

While I would love to return to the days of a permanent home in Sarasota, I understand that it isn’t the cheapest place in the world to get to for everyone. I believe we should have a 3 city rotation including Sarasota, Frisco, and some west coast location. Let’s try that for 2 cycles and see how it works.

College Challenges

With the club season potentially moving into May, we now have a huge conflict with the college division.

  1. College stars will forgo college seasons to focus on the new March/April club preseason. (We’ve already seen some players do this for pro/club)
  2. College players will have skip tournaments to attend club tryouts.
  3. Elite club teams will be less likely to take college players as they have to set their rosters in May.
  4. There will be more injuries and burnout among talented college players as they now have almost no breaks in the calendar (Jan-May college season, May-Aug club season, Sept-Nov fall college/college mixed season)
  5. Club players are less likely to coach local college teams when their respective playing seasons now overlap.

 

Behind just the logistics of shrinking the season down, the college-club problems created are the biggest reason this shouldn’t happen. Let’s be honest, for the most part, the college game is still pretty ugly to watch. It is advancing in skill and watchability because so many players have access to solid club teams during the summer that they can develop their game at an accelerated rate. Moving the season up only complicates the college-club connection. We are now going to be asking college players to somehow fit a club tryout into their end of semester schedule including exams, college series events, graduation, and moving. What do you think will be the first activity dropped? A tryout in a potentially different city that will eat up a lot of time.

In my opinion, the thing that really drives interest in the college game is how the stars are able to put a team on their back and drag them to glory. How many times have we seen a team come out of nowhere solely because they have 1 superstar player. Now how much more boring would the college division be if a dozen of these guys opted out of their last few years of college eligibility to focus on club ultimate? We will be left with a bunch of above average players duking it out instead of things like this

 

I’ll wrap up part 2 with this- no matter how you look at things, the club season move creates way more problems than it solves. That should be a big red flag to everyone at HQ.

SAPP CON Power Ranking (updated)

After some major spring tournaments have come and gone, I believe it’s time for our very own SAPP CON Power Rankings! UPDATED EDITION!!!

This is going to be a quick article. And you’re going to like it that way. So get over it. Here’s my splurge for each team and how they have done so far this spring.

9. GGC

Where are you? What are you?

 

8. Georgia State

As much as we want to make fun of this team for not being good due to the departures of Sam Kim, Spinks, and Kenta, this team is actually better than I was expecting. Now does that mean that they’ll be playing for a sectional title this year? No. But it does mean that they have some young talent that should be developing soon, and as long as they get numbers in recruiting over the next few years they’ll be competing again in no time. Morgan Choi, younger brother of new head coach Sun Choi (former KSU stud) has been great so far this year and has some big potential. Shout out to DK and Felix for being two guys who continually carry this team for the time being.

 

7. Georgia Southern

With Zaki on the sidelines at T-Town, Southern had a solid Sunday but didn’t do as well as they had planned on Saturday. This team has some athletic depth that we didn’t expect to see and has shown to be a real contender in this section so far this year. The only thing that stops me from putting them higher is who do they go to when they need big plays? Some major contributors left after last year and this team is still in search for those key guys. I believe they find them though and compete extremely well later on this season.

 

6. Kennesaw State

JP Burns has shown to be a better all around player than we thought after some solid performances at KSU’s first tourneys this year. The biggest surprise has been how solid his supporting cast has become. After a rough fall, KSU did have a better showing at Mardi Gras finishing 4th overall after going undefeated in pool play on Saturday. They would end up losing in the semi to UTC.

 

5. Tennessee

After having missed out on the redo weekend of T-Town, we have yet to see Agent Orange in action this semester… which gives me all the reason to not doubt how good they will be once they go to their first tourney. Sometimes time off can hurt a team, but I have a feeling this team will be even better this spring than they were in the fall. Other than that I have nothing to write about. So let’s move on.

 

4. Emory

YOUTH. YOUTH. YOUTH. With some of the best freshman talent in the section, Emory has proved that they can play with the big boys (losing to Ga Tech on universe at T-Town) but has also shown that they can play down to their opponents. Inconsistency has hurt this team so far this year. They got huge wins over Brown and Michigan at CCC, but have yet to put a tournament together where they play well every game. This team will be sneaky towards the end of the season and could challenge the top teams if they’re playing well and consistently. Juicy info right there.

 

3. UTC

Trusting your offense enough to NOT play Paul Lally on it is bold, but honestly they’ve done a great job so far this season developing guys who aren’t Paul or Nightmen. This team is deeper than we thought and will be a real threat to the top tier teams in this section, maybe even the region. They didn’t have the T-Town results they wanted, but followed up THE NEXT WEEKEND by cruising to the Mardi Gras final where they lost in a tough game to LSU (a top 3 team in the GC). Look for UTC to pull out some big wins against some very good teams later this season.

 

2. Georgia… TECH!

Tech had a slow start to T-Town but would eventually pound their way to the semis where they lost to the 4-man cup, huck and play D team that is Florida. (side note: UF would go on to win easily vs Auburn in the final). Tech is still trying to raise their game from “hey we almost make nationals a lot” to “our team is awesome”. Ever since the studs of Lance, Clark, and White have gone and passed…well graduated/ran out of eligibility… they’re still alive I believe… anyways… this team has been wanting to become more than just studs with role players. This year’s team is the closest they’ve gotten to that since. It’s been impressive. Can they continue to get better as the season progresses and play their best at regionals??

 

1. Georgia, The University of!

#SEBidParty2016. Yep, these guys killed it at QCTU this past weekend. They broke a whole seed! Georgia was be ranked 5th going in, made the semis and lost to Ultiworld powerhouse UMASS. BUUUUUT the wins they picked up were huge for the region and getting 4 (maybe 5) bids again this year. Sam Little, Parker Bray, and specifically Nathan “Nasty” Haskell were all over the Ultiworld twitter feed this weekend, which means about as much as having the most liked post in a groupme but still!… These dawgs made some noise and are still the team to beat in the SAPP CON.

FOR NOW…

Itchfest Preview

 

Written by the man, the myth, the Emory Luna coach… Keith Raynor!

Nashville will play host to one of the final events of the fall in the Southeast, Itchfest. If everyone’s lucky, the teams will dodge the rain and only be faced with damp grounds and maybe 10 mph winds. But with a wide range of competitors – from Regional Champions to brand new squads – it should be an interesting weekend.

 

Seedings & Format

The seedings are definitely weird, mostly at the top where teams have given a bit more to go off of. FSU went to Nationals last year and probably should be #1. Georgia Tech should probably be #2 or #3. Vanderbilt makes sense at #4 and then probably Auburn, KSU, and Tulane in order. Tulane is a big standout as #10 seed because they crushed #7 Emory and gave KSU a good game at CCC. After that, things are probably mostly toss ups; I’d probably give Emory the benefit of the doubt on paper, but it wouldn’t mean much.

The other unusual wrinkle is the format, featuring reseeded crossover games to seed the bracket. After pool play concludes, we get cross 1/2 and 3/4 matchups between A & D and B & C. Those results and potentially point differential will seed teams into the bracket, or send them to the consolation round robin. The bracket is the losers of the 1/2 vs the winners of the 3/4 for the chance to play one of the four teams that get the bye into quarters. The format should give teams mostly unique looks at one another from pool play to top bracket.

 

SAPP Con Outlook

Kennesaw State is a rather curious three seed. It isn’t clear why a team admittedly on the rise is seeded ahead of Georgia Tech, Vandy, and Auburn; GT is coming off a great performance at CCC and Vandy and Auburn made the Hootenany final. But Sam Stovall’s team must be pumped and eager to try and defend the lofty expectations. Auburn will be a very challenging opponent for them, with the athleticism to give KSU’s top players trouble. MSU is no pushover either, but Univesity of Southern Indiana is not likely to pose a big threat.

Down at the 5th seed – probably should be 3rd seed – is Georgia Tech. They made a big splash at CCC and could continue that run. Ole Miss has been driving to improve, but Tech is probably just going to overpower the lower seeded teams in their pool. Vandy should provide a much better litmus test – is Tech going to be in the hunt for a top spot at Regionals? This could hint at that.

Fall hasn’t been kind to Emory, who has struggled to get traction. They are saddled with the toughest pool, having to face superpowered FSU and a Tulane team that rolled them at CCC. It’s only been a couple weeks, but Luna will have to be better at maintaining possession and defending deep to get improved results. Tulane’s attack is aggressive and could give Emory trouble, but they’d love to prove they are one of the competitive teams in this field and this game could do that.

The other three teams are looking for what wins they can get. Tennessee gets the best pool, with matchups against Harding (a D-III team from Arkansas) and Georgia State looking like potential Ws. Expect to Vandy Alums, VuDID, to be pretty good, but you never know who will or won’t show for those sorts of things. Georgia State, if they are playing well and have a decent roster, is good enough to steal some wins in Pool A. UT-Chattanooga is a wild card, but will have a tough time against three well coached teams that aren’t likely to play down in Pool D.

 

Predictions
I think the clear favorites are Florida State, Georgia Tech, and the Vandy alums. I do think the fall version of FSU could get upset by either of those teams in the bracket; Georgia Tech doesn’t hold much back and the Vandy alums won’t have any rookies to throw on the line if they wanted to. But this tournament will start giving us a picture of how the various middle teams in the Southeast rank with one another.

Preseason Player of The Year Watch (SAPP CON)

At the end of each year we’ll be naming an all-section line, POTY, and Freshman of The Year. With these awards only being months and months away…why not start talking about them now!? (because we have nothing else to do. we play frisbee)

Last year in the SAPP CON we had a ton of studs from different teams, all worthy of POTY. Elliott (UGA), Nathan White (GaTech), Sun Choi (KSU), Christian Olsen (Emory) and so on. This year the conference has a ton of new faces that we should get know, because they’ll be tearing up the college scene this year and we’re going to let you know about it. Here’s our Preseason POTY Watch!

Sam Little

Sam Little (UGA) – Last year, Sam was one of UGA’s more consistent players with AND without the disc. He did a great job of leading their D-line at times, helping walk them down the field after turns. He often would get matched up with the best offensive player on other teams, showing his versatility between playing great D and controlling the disc on O. This year look for Sam to take over during important points, and for his supporting cast to play a role while Sam goes off. He’s easily one of the front-runners for POTY.

 

Nathan Haskell

Nathan Haskell (UGA) – Only a returning sophomore, the younger Haskell will need to step up again this year in place of losing a few very experienced seniors (including his brother Tyler). If there was one player last year who was the most valuable to his own team, it may have been young Haskell. In big games down the stretch of the series, including the “game-to-go” against Auburn, Haskell made clutch play after clutch play. It should be interesting to see what he can do after a summer away from club. I know for some guys taking time away from the game helps, but he might come back a little rusty. I don’t think he will though. He’s too naturally talented and will be a front-runner for POTY even as a sophomore.

 

Burkot

Stephen Burkot (GaTech) – After an outstanding performance at U-23’s playing for the Australian Mixed team, Burkot might be the exact piece that Tech needs this year to compete. Losing Nathan White will be tough, but with the return of Burkot, Tech could easily be a clear top-2, regional competitor again. Burkot has some of the best throws in the section and the athleticism to go downfield if need-be. Look for Burkot to be the go-to guy for Tech and get a TON of touches this year.

 

Paul Lally

Paul Lally (UTC) – Former Tennessee stud Paul Lally will be (from what we hear) playing with UTC this year and will look to continue to be one of the section’s biggest playmakers. Lally over the last few years was always one of, if not THE go-to guys on Tennessee. Being great in the air AND having big throws, Lally looks to help UTC take the next step and challenge for the section title. The question is, what will his commitment level look like? If Lally is able to plug himself right in without any trouble, look for him to easily be in the conversation for POTY.

 

JP Burns

JP Burns (KSU) – Chain rookie JP Burns will look to fill some big shoes as KSU loses a huge part of its core from last year. Burns gained some great experience this past club season playing with Atlanta’s Chain Lightning. He’ll look to bring his knowledge and experience to his young team this year, as well as be an even bigger factor for KSU himself. One of the most athletic players in the section, look for Burns to be making big plays all year.

 

Anders Olsen

Anders Olsen (Emory) – After a fantastic freshman campaign, this year is going to look a little different for Anders Olsen. With the departure of long time Emory star Christian Olsen (Anders’ brother), Anders will likely be the focal point of an extremely young Emory squad. With the addition of a few YCC freshman, Anders should have a decent enough cast around him for them to compete. Anders, being maybe the fastest player in the section in a straight line, has always had the ability to make huge plays… but can he stay consistent through the year and be the rock that his brother was for years.

 

Mac McClellan

Mac McClellan (Tenn) – Mac McClellan is my darkhorse for POTY. He already showed at Dave Baldwin that he will be able to carry Tennessee at times, shredding opponents’ defenses with break throws and almost always getting open for resets. I would look for McClellan to have a breakout year. Will he win POTY? maybe not, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the conversation.

 

Honorable Mentions

Parker Bray (UGA) – Very important cutter for UGA, and one of the fastest/hardest working players in the section.

Phillip Dougherty (Tenn) – A solid rock for the Tennessee handling core. Great inside flick break.

Devin Rogers (GaTech) – Tall and useful. Devin has sharpened his fundamentals the last few years and will be a threat all over the field.

Tim Barczak (UTC) – Experienced and overlooked, Tim does a great job of moving the disc and being consistent for UTC.

Sam Kim (GSU) – If he ends up playing, Sam is one of the best throwers in the section. Quick and natural, Sam is an extremely tough guard.

Ishaan Dave (Emory) – After a season of club Ishaan is now a huge threat with the disc. Break throws and hucks galore, his most valuable asset may be taking care of the disc. Also super quick.

George Summers (UGA) – There’s something to be said about how important a really good puller is in the game of ultimate. UGA has the section’s best in Summers.

 

Missing anyone? Let us know below!

2015 Bama Secs Jersey Bracket Presented by Spin Ultimate: Final Four

The full bracket can be seen at http://challonge.com/hk9oo6uv. Please ignore any numbers on seeding as this was done randomly. I REPEAT- THIS WAS NOT SEEDED

The teams that I thought should advance did so in the round of 8. The Final Four is composed of four quality jerseys, and I think any of them could win. Voting ends Wednesday night at 11:59 PM. PLEASE DON’T ASK ALL YOUR NON-ULTIMATE FRIENDS TO VOTE IN THIS THING. I ended up not throwing out any votes in the MSU W/OM W matchup because both of them advertised like crazy. I might DQ you this round if you do it, though.

Michigan State Men (white/dark)
Ole Miss Men

Final Four: Game 1

  • Michigan State Men (61%, 125 Votes)
  • Ole Miss Men (39%, 81 Votes)

Total Voters: 206

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Emory Women
Miss State Women

Final Four: Game 2

  • Miss State Women (53%, 99 Votes)
  • Emory Women (47%, 89 Votes)

Total Voters: 188

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Southeast, What Say You?

COMMENCE RANT

Cincinnati this, Cincinnati that, hopefully no Cinci-NATTIES. HEY OH!!! So Cincinnati decided they would drop out of Huck Finn yesterday and turn the bid scene into a shit show for the Southeast and the rest of the entire Earth. That’s super cool of you guys. Let’s be real, they dropped so they can secure another bid for their region, just in-case this is the only social media site you read ever. Don’t even try to comment and say they had multiple injuries, life events, the plague, or some sort of other awful reason not to attend. THEY WANT A BID. But hey, WHO DOESN’T??? This move was stupid smart by Cincy, but sends a gut-wrenching blow to the Southeast and their possible 5-bid year. (see our previous, reasonable article explaining Cincy’s thought process)

Here’s some initial thoughts from an average player on an almost-nationals level Southeast team:

– I hope every single team Cincy has beaten loses every single game this weekend, and I don’t care who knows it. (sorry Tulane)

 

– If Cincy gets the bid and makes the game-to-go in their region, I’m cheering for the other team. (Ohio St, Ohio, Penn St, Penn, etc…)

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Illinois

 

– If I’m playing ultimate in college, I enjoy playing tournaments. I don’t enjoy skipping tournaments. I just want to play the friggin sport, not sit around and hope we claim a bid we might end up using. Just go play the games.

 

– The Southeast is the biggest Auburn fan this weekend. If they do well enough at Easterns, this won’t matter. WGDMFE!!! We’re currently working on getting an interview with Chuck.

 

– I absolutely hate how smart of a move this was by Cincy. Who the hell actually pays attention to the rankings pre-tourney?… oh wait…

 

– Cincy has only played 11 sanctioned games. Here’s their powerhouse of a schedule!..

Cincy games

 

– Lastly, this HAS to be breaking a spirit of the game rule…

 

When it comes down to it,

GROW SOME BALLS AND EARN YOUR BID BY PLAYING GAMES

 

 

RANT OVER

GC College Power Rankings- According to the People!

Welcome to the 2014 College Power Rankings! For the people!!!!

BYAHHH!!!

 

Every month or so we’ll be allowing you the people to share your opinion through this public power rankings poll. Soon we (the experts) will come out with our official early season power rankings. So get your votes in now because you never know… it may sway me to put your team higher.

 

Let’s get it on!!!

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The Three Ring Rally | Tournament Recap

Well now that nearly 1000 people have died of Ebola and everyone is done complaining about the Chesapeake Open, I figured it’d be a good time to release The Three Ring Rally Recap, although I believe our Preview did a pretty good job of anticipating the outcome. As projected, Interrobang! hammered the competition in the Mixed division and Pittsburgh Temper took an easy path to the Open Finals, where they exploited KFC’s depleted roster with an authoritative 15-8 win. Although the tournament results didn’t really surprise anyone, let’s squeeze some blood from this stone and talk about which teams got the most out of their weekend.

Click here for official USAU tournament results!

First Place — This was Pittsburgh Temper‘s first sanctioned tournament this year—or ever, for that matter—and they looked fresh as they rolled over the competition. Even with Trent Dillon sidelined, Temper put away teams early with gorgeous hucks from Pat Earles and solid, team-oriented offense. Against KFC in the Finals, they took half 8-6, but then took advantage of KFC’s O-line turnovers during the second and ran away with the game. These guys are definitely out to prove something this year and they started off with an emphatic statement, which is probably why USAU has them ranked 35th overall this week, ahead of Bullet, Six Pack and Space City Ignite. Note to Temper’s future opponents: Their zone is hard to beat so, subsequently, they’ll have no trouble beating your zone. 

Second Place Kentucky Flying Circus‘ coach, Hobart Yeager, gave his team a B+ for their Rally performance, saying, “We did everything we were supposed to do but not really anything above or beyond expectations.” True, but asserting themselves over last year’s Section rivals, Enigma, must have felt good. It’s worth noting that the team’s youth led the way this weekend, with many lines featuring first- or second-year players, and with many storied vets (Gallagher, Blatz, Hills, Pate, Wharton, Sever, Harr, Goulson) unable to attend or sidelined due to injury. Perhaps having learned a lesson from their 15-1 loss to Prairie Fire at Huckfest, KFC was able to give Temper a hard-fought first half, but they looked deflated in the second, only scoring 2 points. Verdict: They may be the best team in a four-hour radius, but they’re likely to fall short of Select Flight status again at Regionals if they can’t put together a full game against a team of Temper’s caliber.

Third Place — Enigma lived up to their name this weekend, posting some strange point differentials en route to an impressive Sunday finish. They looked a little sleepy in their first game of the weekend, but sources conferred that they looked much better afterward. They’ve lost some key players from last year so, as with any team in their position, there are guaranteed to be a few head-scratchers this season. Nevertheless, they really proved they were the third-best team at the Rally, putting down Los Heros 15-10 and PCA 15-9 on Sunday. Word to the wise: Don’t expect Enigma to roll over. As they progress through the season, they will carve out a stronger identity — and could be on their way to Regionals again this year. 

Of the remaining teams, Pocket City Approach of Evansville, Indiana, was definitely the most impressive. After two games against them, I was able to note that although they lacked the explosiveness of higher-level teams, they were definitely disciplined and intense. Teams like that—who minimize mental errors and give you a tough time on defense—will mess you up if you’re having a bad day. When KFC played these guys last year at Hoosier Hoedown, they looked disorganized — now they are a team. Hopefully they can build on that team unity and their younger athletes can step up for them moving forward. Finishing fourth is not always considered an accomplishment, but I think PCA can hang their hat on this one. It was an important weekend for them and they played with urgency.

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[quote_center]Tournament Report Card[/quote_center]

Organization — A
The organization of the tournament was fantastic. Plenty of water and food was available at tournament headquarters, Saturday’s lightning delay was handled professionally, and the TD used twitter effectively to communicate. The captain’s packet was also of high quality and the proximity of the fields to the hotel, campgrounds, downtown, and tournament party was a huge plus!

Tournament Party — B+
Throw in 2 free drink tickets per attendee or tap some kegs and next year, we’re giving this party an A+! There was pool access, decent drink selection, good music, and most of the teams attended by the end of the night. Having to pay for everything in addition to the bid fee was a letdown, but the prices weren’t extravagant.

Location — A
With every aspect of the event within walking distance, a beautiful view of the Ohio River, and being only a short drive from downtown, visitors got to see what Louisville is famous for. There wasn’t any chance of visiting teams getting lost on their way to the fields — everything was conveniently located nearby.

The Circus/Entertainment — B+
Having aerial performances going on during ultimate games worked surprisingly well. The circus performers did their thing up at HQ, a safe distance from the fields but still within sight of everyone playing. It was great for players and fans to have something else to put their eyeballs on when there was no action to see on the field.

Promotion to Public — B+
The TD and his team publicized this event differently than most tournaments and as a result, there were a lot of friends and family out there to watch. Community beyond just ulti players were there enjoying themselves. The circus helped, the food truck helped, the field DJ helped — and it all came together as something that was really impressive for people to come see (remember a casual fan has no idea that 8 teams is a small tourney, and it looked like an awful lot of ultimate to any casual fan that showed up).

Fields — C+
You have to line the fields to get an A on Bama Secs. And I also heard a few complaints about disorientation due to side-by-side fields having different dimensions. But I’ve heard through the pipeline that the TD is already considering a new field location for next year with flatter ground, so that would be a welcome improvement.

Swag & Concessions — B
They had discs with the tournament logo printed on them as well as some Disclips on sale for a reduced price. But I was told there would be food trucks there and only one showed. Still, bagels and bananas were in abundance and the TD’s staff was very responsive to water requests.

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Thanks to Brian Wilson (PCA) and Hobart Yeager (KFC) for contributing to this recap!
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Freaks 2014 Roster

Looks like the Huntsville guys have whittled their pool of 32 down to 27. New players are in italics.

Andy Sieja Freaks
Caleb Rogers
Cameron Heck
Chris Brackbill Freaks
Colby Robinson Freaks
EC Gibbs Freaks
Ethan Hodges Freaks
Isaiah Radcliffe Freaks
Jake Brouwer MSU
Jason Cunningham Freaks
Jason Williams Freaks
Jordan Matthews
Keith Mize Freaks/Auburn
Mark Daigle Miami Club?
Mark Ullom Freaks
Matt Radcliffe Freaks
Michael Delp
Michael Robie Freaks
Michael Volz Auburn
Mike Guiles Freaks
Pete Wilkerson Freaks
Quack Montgomery Auburn
Riley Mog
Rob Ferguson Jollytown
Ryan Manning Freaks
Tom Radcliffe Freaks
Will Stevenson Freaks

HuckFest Team Map

Our man Andrew Francis is a Support Engineer at Intergraph in Huntsville, Ala. You’ve probably never heard of Intergraph, but it’s a major player in the Geographic Information Systems world.

Of the (un)Holy Trinity, two of us (Francis and I) work in the GIS/Engineering realm. The other guy is still in school studying to become a doctor or something, nbd.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that sometimes our work lives bleed through here on the blog. For Francis and I, it usually comes in the form of maps. You can see our team maps here, and Francis just put together this handy-dandy team map for this summer’s HuckFest tournament and its impressively-expanding field:

HuckFest Team Map

The latest addition to that field?

Gulf Coast Club Preview: Southern Hospitality And Freaks Uv Nature On A Collision Course

SoHoSouthern Hospitality burst onto the club scene in a big way last summer.

In its first year as a program, the team had an unblemished record in pre-Series tournament play. SoHo won HuckFest, MudBowl, Shawn Adams, and Sectionals before ever tasting defeat.

That build-up led SoHo to Southeast Regionals, where the team was seeded fourth overall in a three-bid conference. Whispers that Southern Hospitality could punch a ticket to Nationals became buzz and finally racket the week of the event.

But defeat finally came for SoHo, and it eliminated any chance of a bid to Nationals on Saturday at Regionals. The team that blazed through the regular season, won the Sectionals crown, and earned a high seed at Regionals wasn’t even the last Gulf Coast team standing when bids to Nationals were on the line.

The SoHo captains admitted the pre-tournament hype was a factor in the poor showing at Regionals, but that it did not tell the whole story.

“The hype of it wasn’t as bad as just our inexperience due to our tournament experience and average age/experience of our team,” they said. “And that is the fault of us captains. Because we started this team so late, we were cautious to demand them to travel far distances for more experienced and variable levels and styles of play at least for a first year team.”

So what did Southern Hospitality do about it? For starters, SoHo revamped its tournament schedule for this season.

“We won all of our tournaments last year but we don’t believe we ever tested ourselves, which did not propel us to want to get better,” the SoHo captains said in an email. “Our view of this schedule is that we would rather challenge ourselves by going to higher-level tournaments, potentially lose more games than win, and learn what is needed to constantly improve.”

While SoHo may have lost some key experience from last season’s Series roster (starting handler Chris Browning left for Ironmen), the captains said the lessons learned from Regionals last year will improve the product on the field this season.

“We never challenged ourselves (last regular season) and we don’t think we really grasped what it takes to take on such adversity and overcome it in a short time frame,” the captains said. “We have really calculated every step and collaborated much further in advance and hopefully we can reduce mistakes and increase our strengths given the amount of time and preparation.”

FreaksFreaks Uv Nature

You saw the Freaks’ Monkey Bowl roster. This is a team that retains its talent well from year-to-year.

I lived in Hunstville, Alabama, for a little more than a year after graduating from LSU in 2006. The Freaks Uv Nature were nearly non-existent during my time there, which made little sense to me. How could an ultimate community as good as Huntsville’s, with year-round pick-up, a burgeoning summer league, athletes and young people galore, and intelligent individuals throughout the organization not have an elite club team in the Gulf Coast?

Well it took a few years, but that finally happened. And now they consider themselves to be more than just a team.

“We view the Freaks less as a team from season to season, but rather as a program,” Freaks’ co-captain Andy Sieja said. “This is necessary since we don’t have a college team in town to feed us players every year. We have to refine the talent we have over multiple seasons.”

Last season, the Freaks lost the Section title to Southern Hospitality but were the last team standing at Southeast Regionals a couple weekends later. Although they didn’t win any games on Sunday morning, Sieja said the team learned some valuable lessons.

“It made us hungrier. It made us what to just get better,” he said. “Top to bottom on this team, we are seeing more dedicated players.”

The talent is being refined in Huntsville, and with most of the roster back this season the Freaks are hoping to challenge SoHo for the Section crown again.

“We had a great game with Southern Hospitality last year, but came up a bit short against an extremely talented opponent,” Sieja said. “We hope to get a chance to play for the Section again.”

THE NEXT TIER

1269281_10100836241771846_24957241_oIronmen

Significant coup for Ironmen this offseason in landing the talent of Chris Browning.

Browning, who played for SoHo last season, a few college seasons with Alabama and is the Gulf Coast’s best spiker, moved to Birmingham and decided to eschew another go with SoHo in favor of the local club team.

Ironmen never lacked for players in the “experienced” category, so his addition only strengthens the old, wily veteran factor on this team.

Also of note on this year’s roster is Dane Jorgensen, who just might be the best player in this section you’ve never heard of, probably because he just has not played here yet. Jorgensen comes from the Illinois program, where he made a trip Nationals in 2011. Young-ish, tall, athletic, friendly, loves animals, and a ginger. Lethal.

Disclaimer: Jorgensen has been out of the game for a few (two? three?) seasons while he was living and working in New Orleans, so if he doesn’t pan out don’t hold it against me.

ThighsThe Team Formerly Known As Jockamo?

Few teams had more fun last season than Jockamo, and no team generated as much interest and intrigue as these guys. Yet when the dust settled after Regionals, where Jockamo took a depleted squad and still won more games than they lost on Saturday, you could tell that changes were on the horizon.

Those changes have now taken effect in Baton Rouge. Jockamo as the “A” team’s name in BR may be a thing of the past. The team is potentially re-branding itself again (Turbodog > Jockamo > Purple Haze?) and taking a more serious approach to ultimate this summer.

And the kicker? Everyone seems to be on board for this culture change, even the die-hard DGAF’ers in Baton Rouge.

The end goal is to challenge SoHo and Freaks for the top spot at Sectionals, make a deeper run at Regionals, and still have a good bit of fun doing it.

Prairie SquidsPrairie Squids

Admittedly, we do not have many in-roads with the Memphis ultimate community, so previewing this team is challenging.

What I do know is that the P Squids took out a talented-but-inconsistent Jockamo team on Sunday at Sectionals last season, had a rough go of it at Regionals (good experience, nonetheless), and are definitely back this year. They are on the list for Monkey Bowl, so we should get a decent idea whether this team fell off any during the offseason by way of attrition or are still carrying momentum gained from last fall.

YOUNG BLOODS

Hammer BrosHammer Bros.

The “first team out” at Club Sectionals last fall, Hammer Bros. are undergoing a change in leadership this summer. Michael McNeil is no longer captaining/coaching the young squad. That burden has been left to Will Miller, who was voted Team MVP last season.

Most of the core still remains from a team that reached the game-to-go-to-Regionals in only its second season. McNeil and Blaine Clancy still are around despite bad knees and gravy legs, and the team added former LSU player Eric “Squirt” Melancon.

Notably absent from this year’s roster are Chris “Jesus” Melhado (Jurassic), Kenny Berthelot (Baton Rouge), and Gary Lee (Jurassic). But the Bros. did add a number of young athletes for future development that should help maintain a sustainable program for years to come.

LagniappeLagniappe

The younger LSU guys that GAF created Lagniappe last summer in contrast to Jockamo and will exist again this summer despite Jockamo’s change in mentality.

I think we can expect to see the same thing out of Lagniappe this year as last: Talented but young, lots of chemistry, athletic and energetic, but depleted roster by the Series because LSU football games are more important social events than playing at Sectionals as a long-shot to earn a trip to Regionals.

935877_10201806188535129_1473542854_nMisfits

Catholic High School assistant ultimate coach Gary Vicknair rebranded the team formerly known as Adrenalize as the Misfits for this season. This is a group of guys from outside Baton Rouge who have been playing together for several years — most of them played together in high school — and are still developing as ultimate players.

There are some decent long-term talents on this team who has been committing themselves to the game, so they should be more competitive this year than last.

NEW TEAMS THIS YEAR

JurassicJurassic

Perennial POTY candidate Gary Lee took a lesser role with Hammer Bros. last summer to learn more about the club game, and he now has transitioned that knowledge to both Southern Miss and, also, Jurassic.

The Jurassic roster is full of experienced college players, with a few veterans sprinkled in for good measure. The fact that Gary has been able to get that many people to commit to a club team hailing from Hattiesburg says a lot about his personality. People want to play for him.

Gary Lee >>> Geography, apparently. I wish I would have known this in college, because then I could have just majored in Gary Lee and saved myself a whole lot of time.

Jurassic is the preseason favorite for jersey of the year. This team, behind Lee’s budding ultimate acumen, also hopes to be in contention for one of those coveted bids to Regionals as well.

Shotgun

Tulane’s preseason Freshman (?) Of The Year candidate Shamit Dua is spear-heading the effort to restore the Club Open scene in New Orleans, which has a robust and populous ultimate community.

Side note about Shamit: Super nice guy, super high ultimate ceiling. He came to one of the Hammer Bros. tryouts and I was impressed by his maturity and business-like approach to the game. He clearly deserved to be on the FOTY (ROTY? He may not be a freshman, according to “sources”. Regardless.) radar during the Gulf Coast spring college season, and I think he’ll start registering some more playing time for Tulane next season after a summer of club.

Back to this team. Shamit won’t have too much competition for talent from Party Posse, the mixed team hailing from New Orleans, because those players are pretty embedded already. But he does have a deep talent pool from which to draw, including several of the Tulane regulars we have come to love here on the blog.

Based on what I’ve seen/heard about the roster, they will be plenty talented. Solid choice in team name, too.

Smash

These guys just recently popped up on the club scene in the Gulf Coast, so I am not really sure what to expect from them. I did get this information from Francis: They are a bunch of Mississippi guys not playing for anyone else who wanted to have their own team.

That’s the kind of in-depth journalism you’ve come to expect from Bama Secs, right?

WILL THEY PLAY?

Screen Shot 2012-07-10 at 12.54.42 PMDeep Fried

The club team from Jackson took a step back in 2013. Losses of some top players like John Clemmer to Southern Hospitality depleted last season’s talent pool and led, eventually, to a 7th/8th place finish at Club Sectionals.

This year, there are new challenges to add to the depleted talent pool for Deep Fried. The new mixed team in town, Turmoil, plans to scoop up all the best open and female players in the Jackson area for competition this summer.

As of right now, there are no plans to revive Deep Fried this summer. Rest in peace to some of the sickest jerseys in the conference.

1048756_10201131685430149_164746245_oGunshine

There are no plans currently to revive Gunshine for the 2014 season. Brandon French is trying to make the Shrimp Boat roster. If he does, it is unlikely Gunshine will participate in the Series this year according to him.

But French said that, if he fails to make Shrimp Boat, he will revive a small, invite-only group of players to maintain the Gunshine program. So, it all hinges on French’s status right now.

The USA Ultimate-ESPN Partnership Failed Us Tonight. Or Did It?

For one night, American ultimate frisbee got back to its roots.

The grassroots.

When USA Ultimate announced its multi-year, likely-very-expensive deal with ESPN prior to the 2013 College Championships, it was hailed as the watershed moment for the sport. Showcasing ultimate frisbee on ESPN — even ESPN3 — finally gave ultimate the “legitimacy”, at least in the public eye, its players have craved for years.

Fast forward to Sunday night’s UNCW-UNC semifinal, which followed a bad-for-TV Oregon-Colorado semifinal.

USA Ultimate, for the sake of its patrons and for the sake of its contract with ESPN, needed a dynamite product on Sunday night. There are no numbers to support this (yet), but I would venture to guess that more people were tuned in to ultimate today than ever in the history of the sport. Having a year of ESPN streaming and, subsequently, more eyeballs than ever on your product tend to increase your viewership.

It’s been a rocky year so far for USA Ultimate (Score Reporter, now this). Ultimate and USA Ultimate, in particular, needed another one of UNCW’s miracle universe-point wins, or something close to it, on ESPN tonight.

And although that kind of game never materialized, there were things that happened during the course of the UNC-UNCW game that would have captured audiences. Jon Nethercutt’s monster huck. David Jackson’s layout score. Those are the kind of plays that make fans say “WHOA” on their couch, which then prompts everyone else in the house to ask “What?!?”.

What? Come see this. That’s what.

That’s how you spread something interesting through live video, the ULTIMATE medium in today’s forever-plugged-in society. TV still is king.

ESPN is a mainstream enterprise, the giant in its industry, on the cutting edge of technology. And sometimes, even sports media giants and cutting-edge technology fail.

Which leads me back to my point. When even a giant in the arena of sports and technology fails, the ultimate community still prevailed tonight in my opinion. Through another technology medium, no less.

Twitter.

Look, I know what this is going to sound like to you. “Oh, here goes McNeil again. Forever tooting Bama Secs’ own horn.” OK so I admit it, we (T.J. Martin!) did a really great job covering the void left by the ESPN live stream vacancy. But so did a host of others.

Really, we were just doing what ultimate players have done for years before this fancy ESPN contract. Spreading ultimate, in all its glory, through the word of mouth.

Just replace “word of mouth” with “tweets” in this case, and there you have it. All we, and the rest of the ultimate community on Twitter, were doing tonight was talking about and, therefore, promoting, the sport we love.

Twitter is the technology of the grassroots.

At least for one night, it was good to get back to our roots as an ultimate community. But here’s still hoping that we all actually get to watch the finals on Monday, and that we get the game we deserve in the process.

Otherwise, I am sure we will have something to say about it on Twitter.

Five Bama Secs Athletes Named To USA Ultimate’s All-Freshman Team

Tulane’s Jack Baba and a pair of Alabama freshmen — Clay Tylka and Liam Holthaus — all were honored by USA Ultimate today in being named to the Southeast Region All-Freshman men’s team.

On the women’s side, Auburn’s Kristine Fedorenko and Vanderbilt’s Charlotte Doran made USAU’s All-Freshman team.

Three Bama Secs males and two females on the USAU All-Freshman team? That’s going to be good for Bama Secs business in the future.

The rest of the men’s team:

all freshman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rest of the women’s team:

women

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tykla and Fedorenko also were named the Bama Secs 2014 Freshmen Of The Year earlier this spring.

Central Florida’s Michael Fairley was named Freshman Of The Year for the men in Southeast Region. Lucy Berman of Florida was the women’s FOTY. USA Ultimate plans to release its All-Region teams for the Southeast on May 21.

 

Monkey Bowl Team List

With the majority of club team tryouts in the books, rosters are getting set (Jurassic and Ironmen announced yesterday) in stone and regular season tournaments are on the horizon.

First up is Monkey Bowl in Nashville at the end of the month. The team list:

Open: Breaker’s Mark, Hammer Bros, EnvyUs, Clarksville Throwback, Robertcats, Enigma, Prarie Squids, Blade, BigWheel, Pride and Queso, The Slipped Discs, Old Hickory, Animus Raptor.

Elite: Bullet, Castle, Freaks Uv Nature, Kentucky Flying Circus, Pocket City Approach, Voodoo, Ironmen, Madcow, Reckon, Southern Hospitality, (Smoke) Shack, Haymaker, Mistress, Ohio Club, FOG, Rawhide.

Mixed: Buckwild and Wonderful, CAKE, Hairy Otter, Carlos Hustle, Liquid Danger, Swamp Rabbit, Bunny Ears, Birmingham, Lady Meat, Southern Revival, Nooga by Nature, Turmoil.

Women: Laser Chains, Hotbox, Oxygen, DeSoto, Filthy Gorgeous, Revolution, Golden Girls.

That team list is as of a few weeks ago, so it could have changed. Score Reporter pages are up on the Nashville Ultimate website.

Rumor has it that Southern Hospitality is going split squad (X/Y) for Monkey Bowl as part of their tryouts. Which means we won’t see a SoHo roster until June.

Pardon Our Progress

Like USA Ultimate and Score Reporter, Bama Secs is upgrading the look and — hopefully — functionality of our site for future generations of ultimate players.

Unlike USA Ultimate, however, we aren’t doing it in the middle of the college season. Or club season, for that matter. We’re going to do it now, between the two seasons. Because that actually makes sense.

So while we go through this transition period, bare with us please. There will be some significant changes around here, like the addition of sister blog Colonial Secs. And, hopefully if all goes well, others like it.