Monday, May 15, 2006

In the wake of Easterns...

Amherst wins again.

Extending the streak... 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007?

Familiar story? Pretty close -

2003 - the Hurricanes won 15-10 over Paideia in High School nationals
2004 - 15-5 over the Northwest School again at nationals
2005 - the switch is made to easterns and westerns, Amherst wins 15-9 over Columbia
2006 - continued dominance, this time Amherst over Madison West 15-6, which was the most points scored against the Hurricanes all weekend (McCallie of Tennessee racked up the same number and they finished tied for 13th)

The highest score by any high school team this year versus Amherst was 10, by Hopkins, who wasnt at Easterns.

Quite simply put, no one got close - at least thats what the scores say. So what is it? Is it an unmatched superiority rivaled by none east of the Mississippi? Are the Amherst players simply just better athletes? Better fundamentals? Better coaching? Varsity support by the school?

Is there a team in the forseeable future which will be able to unseat Amherst? Once they are beaten will it mark a huge watershed in high school ultimate - perhaps that there can be more than one concentration of elite high school ultimate?

One thing i used to tell my team, and think to myself after we would lose a game, or before we were going to play a new opponent - "look at them, figure out the difference between us and them, and close it. what do they have that we dont have? throws? athletic ability? know-how of the game? nothing is unchangeable in sport."

you just have to look at the differences between those who are better than you and yourself and close the gap.

perhaps gradually, but those scores will get closer, and not just because amherst has an off day or someone else plays out of their skull. they will get better because people will realize what they need to do better and they will start to do it.

i am in no way rooting for amherst to lose, but i know if i played for amherst and in an entire year no one got within 5 points of tieing us it would get a little bit boring. not that i would ever advise bringing ones play down, rather i think it would be more exciting and enjoyable if the entire level of competition were raised.

within the next two years amherst will lose a game to a high school team. an illusion of invulnerability will fall, and as a result USA high school ultimate as a whole will rise to a whole new level.

i can only dream.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

"i am in no way rooting for amherst to lose, but i know if i played for amherst and in an entire year no one got within 5 points of tieing us it would get a little bit boring."

hopkins took amherst to half at the paidiea cup (just a note). they have a target on their back... and you are correct... someone will beat them within the next two years. high school ultimate is booming, and no one program will be able to hold it off.

Anonymous said...

Last year at the NMH tournament, Columbia was down 7-3, then up 12-7, before Amherst whipped out their zone and won 15-13.

Amherst looked beatable this year. The difference seemed to be that their turnovers were all in the other team's endzone, while they forced plenty of turnovers by the other team's endzone. That makes for much less of the field to traverse, and Amherst has a freakishly high red zone conversion rate.

Still, I think that next year is the year for an upset. Columbia is losing two seniors, Pennsbury is losing one senior starter, and both teams will be able to challenge Amherst.

gman said...

Sidwell Friends out of DC beat Amherst at ARHS in 1995. I think they were the only high school team to do it from 1991-1999.

Alex Peters said...

Amherst has had a middle school feeder program for years. That means that by the time Amherst players are seniors at Easterns, they may have been playing coached competitive ultimate for 7 years. When you compare this to most schools that may still have first or second year players that don't even have great flicks it's easy to see why Amherst dominates.

Anonymous said...

Vartisy, JV - A , JV -B, AND a middle school team gives amherst so much experience. Look at the other teams compeating in easterns, mostly club teams. Even columbia is not a varsity sport. Funding, young recruiting and experience leads to amherst's domination. If other school's took ultimate as seriously as amherst does, then we wouldn't be talking about this right now

Anonymous said...

Amherst is a completly dominant team and all, but thats not all to talk about when easterns was only 2 days ago. so who was the cinderella team of easterns? what was up with wissahickon's 9 players the entire tourny? I just want to talk about other teams than Amherst.

LittleOrphanAnnie44 said...

Talk about Pool C.

(original seed, final rank)

C1: Mount Lebanon (3, 5)
(Was "handed" the third seed overall from the drop-out CHUF, but managed to finish a somewhat respectable fifth, taking out a tired Columbia squad at the end of the second day).

C2: Pennsbury (6, 3)
(Both Columbia and Pennsbury bumped into each other in what was probably the toughest quarter-final matchup. And what did they do? They ran each other into the ground. Their reward: a semis beating at the hands of ARHS).

C3: Madison West (10, 2)
(holy Buzzy Hellring! The tenth seed battles its way into the finals. Although Amherst won the battle that day, Madison may win the war. After all, the measuring stick of success is not only how your respective high school teams perform in the present, but also how your alumni compete in the future. College Nationals anyone?)

C4: Lincoln-Sudbury (15, 10)
(Not to be outdone, they jumped five seeds of their own).

Anonymous said...

I also agree Amherst will lose soon enough. I personally think it will come to either a young and brigh paideia or a very scappy tough and also young pennsbury team. look for both to be on Amhersts tail next year, and dont foget about columbia.

Julian Hausman said...

Technically Mount Lebanon was the 17th seed before the tournament. They were first on the waiting list, and took CHUF's #3 spot because they dropped after pools were set up.

In terms of moving up and breaking seed, Mount Lebanon would be considered the Cinderella team, moving from 17th to tied for 5th. However, a 10th seed making Finals (While Lebo only made quarters) is also quite impressive for Madison West.

Lincoln Sudbury, for starting as 15th seed, made some noise, beating Hampton, McCallie and Madison West.

I would have to agree that Pool C was overall the strongest Pool, with 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 10th place finishes.

Anonymous said...

I think that we should focus not on what happened this year, but what to do in the years to come to defeat this "Amherst dominance" Yeah okay they're good. Really good. But complaining about turn overs in our red zone and how sidwell friends beat them 11 years ago is not what we should be worried about. How about looking to next year and getting better yourself. Trust me, I've lost to them 2 times this year and they're not going to get any worse. I know for a fact that the Amherst players reading your comments just makes them more pumped to beat teams like us even worse.
Stop typing and get your team out training.

Anonymous said...

boy did princeton suck this weekend. they won their pool, but lost to YORKTOWN. HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!1

Anonymous said...

Hey i play Ultimate in MN and we play hopkins HUrt alot. I think that they are the team that is giong to beat amherst. Even though they are losing some seniors this year i know of 4 players (atleast) that are HUGE up and comers. Greg arenson is a monstor just like his brother, danny barberio is one of the best cutters , shapiro (dont know his first name) is going to be one of the best players in the country, and sam brickwede is a monstor on D. If they dont beat amherst later this year they will for srue in 2 years

Alex said...

Princeton did not play to the best of our abilities, but we by no means sucked. We took care of our pool fairly easily, but just ran into an athletic team in Yorktown which also had the numbers to tire us out. We should have performed better, but the quaterfinal game was a tough one, that ended on a universe point, so i don't think you can say that Princeton sucked at this tournament. And in the 5th place game we were mentally and physically out of it, and played an ungly game. Princeton was 1 point away from at least 3rd. But for the most part we played solid ultimate all weekend, ask the teams in our pool.

Coach Becker said...

RE: the new site.

It's great. I especially like the RSD feed. Very convenient.

Maybe add a link to the Purdue videopapers in the "Resources & Links" sidebar?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone posted their photos onto a site anywhere?

I'm dying to see pics of the awesome action from last weekend.

Anonymous said...

How about some props to Columbia and Pennsbury playing the best game ive ever seen. Columbia was up 10-7 than down 12-11 and then up 13-12 and than lose on universe point. There were more layout D's in that game than there were in any game ive ever seen at the highschool level. Finally, after numerous calls, and some crazy sideline misunderstandings, pennsbury pulled away. immediately when the game was over you saw kids just collapse to the ground, truly a physically and emotionally draining game!

Anonymous said...

Youth Club Championship last summer, Drizzle (a group of the best highschool players from seattle) beat amherst in the finals. does that count?

Julian Hausman said...

Michael Smith took alot of pictures, he should be posting them relatively soon, hes the same guy that did the online photos from last year at Easterns. As soon as he posts them, ill put up a link if someone doesn't do it first.

McCabe said...

eastern's photos are online now.