Monday, March 05, 2007

PHUEL Spring Preview 2007

The snow is melting yet again, and the discs are beginning to fly in the Philadelphia area. Lower Merion just sent me their spring schedule, and it already has me excited. Their first game is next Monday, against Cardinal O'Hara, and they'll kick the season off well, I'm sure. (If any other teams lay claim to starting the season, I apologize; by all means, let us know, and please post your games on the score reporter!)

With the college season already in full swing (and Paideia making their noise there), high schools are soon to gear up as well. Pennsbury, one of Paideia's main obstacles at the Amherst Invitational and the Paideia Cup, will look to dominate PHUEL action this year, but some other teams would certainly like a say in the matter.

The Phall PHUEL tournament gave us a great chance to see the field without Pennsbury, though it was still missing some possible contenders such as North Penn. The Pterodactyls took out Cheltenham in the finals, 13-5.

Kit Kat was the chance Pennsbury had to shine, and they took full advantage, never letting anyone come close to them in dominating all day, including a 13-1 win over the winners of the aforementioned Phall PHUEL champion Pterodactyls.

Granted, Fall events don't mean anything on the field in the spring, but they give a good indication of how the field might shape up.

My idea of ranking the top dogs:

1) Pennsbury Peyote
An easy call. They only graduated one senior from last year, the dreadlocked wonder Franky Frank. They still retain an amazing core of handlers that can dominate all over the field, especially Noah Saul, Mark Dundala and Scotty Wright. With everyone healthy as well, something they could rarely say last year, they will be looking to play at a very high level, with a legitimate chance of winning both Amherst and Paideia's tournaments.

2) The Pterodactyls
Peyote's classmates, but rivals on the field, they proved themselves winning the Phall PHUEL tournament. They, too, graduated only one senior, Dave Hanyok who went to play for perennial Nationals contending Brown. Handler Kevin Taylor and deep threat Jinal "Weapon X" Patel will bring this team to play.

3) Cheltenham Spirit Animals
In years past, you could always pencil these guys in for a near-top spot, but a stellar graduating class of '05 made last year a rebuilding year. They took advantage of that year, however, and return most if not all of their top players from last year, should be a very sound team that will take work to put down, and want to put Cheltenham back on the map.

4) St. Joe's Prep Hand of God
Starring Joe Kruse and two of the brothers of the legendary McCabe family, St. Joe's was just outside the elite echelon of PHUEL last year. They return the aforementioned core of the team, hoping to make some noise and atone for a poor showing at Phall PHUEL.

5) Lower Merion Babaganouj
A team that graduated their entire A team, save its lone female, Andrea Bowring, to top schools including Brown, Carleton, and Wash U. Lower Merion was lucky enough to have a B-team that got plenty of experience last year, and features a few players ready to step up and take charge at a higher level, especially Justin Rubin and co-captains Harry Friedman (brother of last year's co-captain Gabe Friedman) and Adrian Galbriath-Paul. They, too, disappointed expectations at Phall PHUEL, and hope to live up to last year's impressive showing for a team in its first year. What will the second year bring?

Note that those 3-5 rankings are more of a nod to the Fall results than anything -- my alma mater LM could easily make some huge strides when playing for keeps with a real A team, and there's no reason St. Joe's shouldn't be far better than they were (and no reason they shouldn't report all their scores on the score reporter).

Also look out for:
North Penn: who missed out on the Fall season, but could very well make some noise this spring, after upsetting St. Joe's for the 5th place finish at Cities last spring.

Pennsbury B-Unit. Yes, _another_ Pennsbury team, but they comported themselves well at Fall Brawl this year, and since Peyote didn't lose anyone, they didn't need to take many players from B-Unit last year, so they're progressing nicely.

Cardinal O'Hara Waste of Life: If PHUEL made a true switch to a mixed division, Waste would have no trouble adjusting, as they can already field an entire girls line, and probably the best girls in the city.

Wissahickon: Graduating a few top players to Pitt was too much for them, though we always see to say that and they always manage to surprise us; look out for Michael Plunkett, one of, if not the only, the few non-Pennsbury juniors on SEPDA last year.

CB East Nasty: Again, the top players go to Pitt and Cornell, and the team suffers. Carly Maconaghy will try to lead this team by example, as one of the premiere females in PHUEL.

The state tournament this year is already scheduled (May 12/13), and looks to be even better organized this year. Can anyone from PHUL stand up to the Peyote? Can PHUEL maintain their lockhold over both finals spots for another year? More questions and answers will come forth this spring.


Alex Peters said...

This will probably go down as the most lopsided PHUEL year ever. There is no one even remotely close to Pennsbury.

As for PHUL, hopefully we'll see Pennsbury vs North Hills at the Paidea Cup.

McCabe said...

correction: there will be three mccabe brothers on prep's team this year.

tom '07
john '08
austin '10

prep will be very senior heavy with this being the first class having played for four years.

greg owens
jim ionata
john bauer
matt paparone
drew zebley

among others round out the senior strengths. speaking with bias, this team has a great deal of potential.

season opener is next week against o'hara i believe.

Anonymous said...

Jinal Patel is actually not a Dactyl anymore, and although he seems to have had a big reputation, it far out weighs his contributions to the team both on and off the field.
Dactyl Captain, Matthew Cummins

Greg said...

Ohhh man. That 4th spot seemed a bit harsh; can't wait to prove it wrong.

Psyched isn't a strong enough word to describe how incredibly, ridiculously, amazingly, crazy pumped I am for this season. I am disregarding everything else besides Ultimate and will play until I can't breathe.

SJP - Hand of God = Ready to Roll

Good thing we started training in the middle of January ;) because being out of shape is the worst excuse for losing.

God, I can't wait to lay out.

Panna said...

I love you, Greg.

Fantusta said...

SJP, you know I love you -- but the results at Phall PHUEL speak for themselves, so I can't wait for you to prove it wrong either.

Anonymous said...

B-b-b-b-b-b-b B UNIT!

Anonymous said...

2)B Unit

JasonKatz said...

Hey anonymous guy above me and actually the rest of the PHUEL community, don't count Cheltenham out. We tied with the 'Dactyls without most of our team and just had some sloppy play against them in Cities. Now, our pretty solid core of seniors are more dedicated and the sophomores (like myself) have matured in our knowledge of the game and skills. Also, we have a new coach Dan Perry (goes by Danzo) who has won Worlds twice in open and masters. I'm really excited to get back on the field and play some ultimate!!

Anonymous said...

lol b-unit over dactyls...

Anonymous said...

The b-unit over Dactyls talk is pretty entertaining. The Dactyls just lost to Pennsbury A 15-10, and I honestly don't think the b-unit could hold a candle to any of the teams listed.
Matthew Cummins
Dactyl Captian

Anonymous said...

Great Valley. Anyone?