Friday, October 21, 2005


So I saw this brought up in the last comment on this blog: PHUEL v. PHUL as far as which league is better. Right now, PHUEL has the better teams, but PHUL has had some top players come out of it (including Worlds team player Tommy Hendrickson, ME freshman of the year for nationals team David Vatz, Darren Shultz, among many other good players). First, what top players have come out of PHUEL. Second, my perspective right now has PHUEL having better teams overall, but PHUL having better top level players. I really want to hear from PHUEL guys, because I have no clue what goes on there.

In my opinion, I think this happens because the top players in PHUL (with the exception of Vatz and Lebo) don't produce great teams because they are more involved in club than with their high school programs. Central Catholic has been a great example of this - with two of the league's better players playing there throughout history (Hendrickson and Brenenborg), but neither producing a successful team. On the other hand, many of the high school teams that have tight knit, deep programs don't have the experience to get their teams to the next level. Such I believe was the case with Bethel Park in 04 and 05 and even moreso with Hampton of last year (they are looking good this year, likely thanks to gained experience through rec leagues and clinics). The next big thing from PHUL will likely be North Hills (probably not a big thing until 2006) as they are as tight knit as a gets, all are basically the same age (10th grade), and have tons of experience and lots of access to more experience players. Perhaps it's a difference between what can be picked up in Pittsburgh versus Philly rec. leagues or maybe a difference in coaching or access to experience, helpful players. Regardless, I think PHUL is finally moving in a direction that will let it produce more really good teams and not just good players. The work of David Vatz and Darren Shultz has really given lots of PHUL teams more outlets to play (and therefore more experience) and both have gone to give clinics and such to PHUL teams (extending access to good players). More and more teams have coaches - Hampton, Lebo, Bethel, North Hills (more access to tons of exp. players here than a coach), Shady Side, Fox Chapel (not sure about them though) - and probably a few more I don't know of. This is compared to I think 2 teams having coaches a year ago. Impulse, the Pittsburgh Youth Club team, is also having and will continue to have a HUGE effect on PHUL and it should expand its effecr next year. PHUL is becoming more competitive, more experience, and this will only produce better teams.


Rob Olson said...

PHUEL has graduated some very good players, two of whom captain teams that are traditionally better than Pitt - Owen at Penn State and Porazza at Penn. To be perfectly honest, I'd take Owen over any other college player in the state right now, and I think the way that he was talked about in summer league this year suggests that most of PADA feels the same way. That's just the tip of the iceberg - there are tons of PHUEL players who have starred, or are starring in college, along with a few who went straight to club (I believe Street, for which Darryl plays, finished better than any Pittsburgh team this year.) I'd put Alex Peters up there as one of the best individual players to have graduated recently too. That's not to take anything away from Vatz or Shultz - they're both good players who, more importantly, give tons back to Junior's ultimate. BUT, I think that just through sheer numbers, PHUEL has managed to graduate more good players... .

McCabe said...

a few more names to add to the phuel list - (though this blog is not intended to be a phul vs. phuel rivalry post war)

-reed verdesoto
-rich "fraggle" coker

looking into the near future -
-dan zygmund-felt
-jeph bullard
-brad bellinger
-andrew ip

as rob said, this is not to take away anything from how good the graduate phul players are, but merely to say, philly has their share as well.

another side note - i obviously do not know all of the phuel players from all years past, so anyone that was there near the inception of the league, if you could post with the players who were dominant from your years, maybe we could get a better perspective.

McCabe said...

i forgot one -

-garrett mcinnes - who now plays for GW

Nick said...

Any comments on why you think things are the way they are? I would still argue that - when they graduate - PHUL has pumped out better top players. That isn't to say that PHUEL or PHUL has players who BECOME better players, just where they are when they leave the league.

Nick said...

We'll all always be biased about who the best players are, but any accounts of team structure, summer league experience, etc. that might affect PHUEL teams.

Nick Ongpauco said...

When i was still playing back in 04 and my team (cheltenham) went to states, we had to play PHUL's "all star team", impulse. it was apparently Mt Lebo and Bethel Park players combined to play as one team. No one stood out on that team more than Vatz and Grassel (sp?)(where did he go anyways?). Two players who were sick as hell. Had to play tommy and his team as well. We beat both teams but thats besides the point. i think this shows one thing. PHUL likes to hype single players where as PHUEL likes to promote their teams. Pittsburgh ultimate also like to take these super hyped up players and take them into their club scene. This is a great advantage for these PHUL players and thats what will give them that edge in making them stand out when they get out of HS. If in the past couple years if the philly scene had been smart they would have been taking the hot PHUEL players into their teams (god knows philly has enough club teams) then you would probably seeing a lot more PHUEL players making a name for themselves. I think this year will be big for PHUEL though seeing as the 05 class had a sick amount of players some of which have already made the A team at their respective colleges

Nick Ongpauco said...

Oh yeah PHUEL needs to get the youth playing more PADA (philadelphia's city league). PHUEL teams are only playing each other, almost none of the kids are playing in the city league, which could only improve their game. i understand that its hard to have weekend practice and play in the league, but the league is the best place to gain experience. most of Pennsbury's team plays in the mercer county league which is NJ's pretty competetive league where pike players are playing and if you watch pennsbury play, it shows that they have played at an elite level. at league they not only learn fundamentals but they also play in more intense situations than a juniors game will provide (i.e. seeing club players play)

Nick said...

The PHUL all-star team in 2004 is ridiculously over-stated. That team had Vatz and then the Mt. Lebo JV team in addition to Grassel and 3 other players from Bethel. That said, Bethel was good that year, but had prom that weekend I think and were 6 of their top 8 weren't there (with Grassel and Russell being there).

That thing you said about Pennsbury playing in that summer league is great. Obviously, it had a lot to do with their improvement into this year. Questions: how much of PHUEL participates in the summer league and how many PHUEL players play club while in high school? Just like percentages maybe?

Nick Ongpauco said...

None of PHUEL plays club while in high school. The philly club scene apparently doesnt like to develop its youth. None of PHUEL i dont think plays fall or spring league. a select few from cheltenham have been playing winter league (indoor and sprint format) as well as Pennsbury. Cheltenham and Wissahickon has had a few players playing summer league the past two years, but nothing before that and most of those players graduated this year. PADA (phillys city league) should really try and get PHUEL more involved in the league if PHUEL plans on staying good

Fantusta said...

I can say that there's at least a small PHUEL presence in fall league -- myself and Eddie Peters from CB East are on one team, and 3 other kids from Lower Merion are on another team, but that's about it.
Summer league (city, at least) has some high school kids also, but definitely not enough.

Anonymous said...

another former PHUEL players to look for in the near future
Steve Heckman - most like UD in the spring
Chris Poarch - PADA in the spring

~former opponent

Anonymous said...

a few thoughts, PHUL vs. PHUEL alumni game at states if enough former players could show up. even if it would just be like 5 on 5, maybe even have a few current players from each league join in to fill roster spots.

Philly seems promote teamwork in their ultimate more than pittsburgh, this is not saying pittsburgh does not have this, but in recent years, Philly has overall, come ontop of Pittsburgh after the downfall of the nationals bounded Lebo team. Hampton, who as of now is considered the best team in Pittsburgh, came up short at Kit KAt in the Hat, with multiple Philly region teams placing high (including Pennsbury who won).

Pittsburgh cannot officially have him, but can claim he did and probably played some type of ultimate while living in Baldwin:

Jim Parinella

BnB said...

Usually, there is only one PHUL player a year, who plays on the club team. A few players may play with the mixed Pittsburgh team, but that team is not very competitive at all. What PHUEL should really do is organize a Youth Club team. Then we can duke it out in Blaine next year.