Thursday, October 12, 2006

Fall Brawl - Oct 21 - Excitement Brews...

So right after Kit Kat in terms of prestige for the east coast tournaments has got to be the Fall Brawl, only in its third year it is already attracting talented teams from Needham, Mass. to Beacon in NY, to Columbia to PA powerhouse Pennsbury.

The weekend will definitely prove to be one of the better indicators (in the fall season) for Easterns this spring. While no easterns prognostications will be in any way valid until the full range of competition can be assessed in the spring, many of these teams may be counted among those with the talent to be considered.

All that being said, this is going to be an intense tournament. The teams...

Pennsbury Peyote (PA)
Needham Ultimate (MA)
Columbia HS (NJ)
Princeton P-Huc (NJ)
Beacon Blue Demons (NY)
Watchung Hills Warriors (NJ)
Scarsdale Hellfish (NY)
Stuyvessant Stickyfingers (NY)
JP Stevens HS (NJ)
Cheltenham Spirit Animals (PA)
Pennsbury B-Unit (PA)
Central Bucks East Nasty (PA)
Columbia High School B (NJ)
Watchung Hills Warriors JV (NJ)

Pennsbury and Columbia have already begun to prove their dominance in PHUEL and NJ tournaments respectively, however many of these teams will be making their first fall appearances. (note: look for a writeup of Pennsbury and Columbia's fall seasons as of yet coming next week... seriously im working on it, swear to frisbee.)

However all of them enter as traditionally strong teams -

Needham arrives as one of the stronger teams from Massachusetts, and if the UPA score reporter has been adequately updated they are returning considerable numbers from the previous year.

Watchung Hills comes in having had a strong program since the late 90s, where they took teams to consecutive national appearances. While they may have trailed off for their program's standards in the past few years they have opened this season undefeated, and having not lost a game since June 11 when they lost to Columbia 10-13. It will be interesting to see how they fair in this tournament, if their early season results are a product of competition or rather that this is a renaissance of sorts for their program.

CB East returns after a big season last year finishing 2nd in the state to Pennsbury. However they have lost big names like Eddie Peters as well as a few other members of the national champion Philly SEPDA team, so again this tournament will be a very interesting indicator of their potential for the spring. Even moreso because they were conspicuously absent from Kit Kat this year, which from my recollection might be the first time since the inception of the tournament 11 years ago - i have to check my sources on that though.

Princeton comes into the tournament looking to prove something to its critics who say they have graduated too many stars to remain a strong program. However i think it would be a stretch to put them any lower than the third best team in New Jersey right now. Their competition being Columbia and Watchung Hills

Rounding out the top teir according to the automated rankings is Lower Merion who literally graduated every member of their team last year (to many formidable collegiate ultimate programs i might add). However this is not a team without any experience, the A team now consists of last years B-team - underclassmen who gained valuable playing time experience playing tournaments in A's shadow for the past year. If things stay the way they were last year they are also Coached by Paul Minecci, a Philadelphia ultimate legend for those not in the know, so i wouldnt count them out for a second.

In the semifinals i would expect Pennsbury and Columbia, but the other two teams are a bit more up in the air. Needham will make a serious bid for one of them, but their opponent could be any one of the dark horses named above (or perhaps someone i've neglected to mention).

No matter what the makeup of semis or finals it promises to be an exciting tournament that will give a good indicator as to the potential of a lot of these teams for the spring.

[Fall Brawl UPA Score Reporter Site]
[Fall Brawl Tournament Site]
[Picture at top is c/o Mark Rosser - Pennsbury after winning 11th Annual Kat in the Hat]


Fantusta said...

I hate to say it, but I think we can count CB East for this one. They've already been bageled by Pennsbury, and losing Eddie, Ryan, Art, and Mike is just too much without a strong core to stepup for it.

Also, I don't know who Scarsdale graduated, but they gave both LM and CB East good games last year, and could make a good run this year.

Anonymous said...

Any idea how the Varsity and JV divisions will be split?

Alex Peters said...

I believe CB East will be playing in the JV division.

Anonymous said...

Also Lower Merion will be without all their juniors because of psat testing. So the team will have mostly freshmen and a couple of seniors.

Anonymous said...

yeah, needham will also have a few singificant losses because of PSATS and a few core seniors due to the god damn Red Hot Chile Peppers concert the night before (too long a drive?)

Anonymous said...

with the pool play just established its going to be Pool A with Pennsbury, Princeton, Watchung, Beacon respectively, Pool B with Columbia, Needham, JP Stevens, Stuyvesant respectively in the varsity division.

with that i think the top 4 coming out of the first day of pool play will be pennsbury, columbia, princeton, and needham(looking at their last year's record). ive heard princeton has gone on a huge recruiting campaign and they have a huge team this year... if they can keep inexperience at bay, they have a good chance at making finals. Columbia is also going to be competing with princeton for that final spot. and pennsbury is a powerhouse i doubt anyone will be able to deny them a spot in the finals. i dont know anything about needham... but i think its a good bet that both semis are going to be good games to watch =).

hopefully... JP Stevens will step it up and surprise some ppl as well. >.>

Anonymous said...

princeton always recruits a lot of stars from their other sports programs. it's almost a guarantee they'll have some good, athletic people.

Anonymous said...

who did princeton recruit this year to help out the 3-4 returners? any standouts?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know results from the first day?

Anonymous said...

Pennsbury took Fall Brawl with a 13-7 win over Columbia in the finals. They pretty much beat up Needham, but Needham didnt nearly have a full squad, they were missing 2 starters and a handful of valuble bench players. Look for Needham to be a force once they get their players healthy and home from concerts!
The PHS v CHS game was a good mathcup, with Noah and Xander bringin up the intesity as always. 13-7 isnt a good representation of how close the game was, but Pennsbury's athleticism and depth is hard to stop, and they look to be on top of this intense rivalry at the moment. Hopefully theyll be at Easterns, i heard some talk of their prom interfering???

Anonymous said...

how is that kid that got injured on columbia doing??

b. hizzle said...

Julian had his left leg put into a cast on the same day. Came back to watch the last few points of the Pennsbury final. He'll be out for at least six weeks.

His hucks are sick.