Thursday, May 31, 2007

Open thread - the past two weeks in review

What a crazy few weeks -

Phew, all that in addition to all the normal talk, recaps and previews of high school ultimate from around the country.

Use this thread to talk about any and all of the above, there will be another open thread tomorrow for the weekend's tournaments.

ps - Apply to be a contributor!!! Applications are due in 28 days! Submit one now! - if you know someone who might be interested in contributing to the blog, email them and let them know that we are accepting applications, especially if there isnt a contributor from your area yet!

[update 6/1] - added girls' easterns and westerns winners, please excuse the omission

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

2007 Highlight Reel Contest - The Winners

A sincere thank you to everyone who submitted a video and everyone who voted. For those who won a huge congratulations, for those who didnt, I assure you everyone in the ultimate community appreciates your contributions. Aside from that I promise you will cherish the videos for years to come as you remember your high school years.

Unfortunately we couldnt give prizes to everyone, what with there being 11 submissions so without further ado the winners...

In the category of people's choice, with more than 600 votes cast in total the winners are...

3rd place - Video #2 by Montour's Allen Peng
Prize: A University of Pittsburgh Men's Ultimate "En Sabah Nur" Disc

2nd place - Video #3 by Needham's Branden Steinberg
Prize: A copy of the Wildwood 13 DVD from

1st place - Video #1 by Watchung Hills' Brian Li and Jacob Katzen
Prize: A copy of the 2006 WJUC DVD from UltiVillage

In the category of editor's choice, selected by the contributors to PlayUltimate..

3rd place - Video #9 by Churchill's Christine Wilson
Prize: A University of Pittsburgh Women's Ultimate "Danger" Disc

2nd place - Video #4 by Churchill's Dylan Freechild
Prize: Any 8x10 or 8x12 print from

1st place - Video #3 by Needham's Branden Steinberg
Prize: A subscription to the 2007 College UVtv Season from UltiVillage

Special note: The votes from Luke Johnson, who coaches Churchill team(s) in addition to contributing for PlayUltimate, were not counted towards the Churchill Videos. That is, there was no conflict of interest involved in the selection - the votes clearly indicated the above three winners.

So congratulations to all, next year we will try to announce the contest and the prizes a little earlier so you have more time to work on them and then we will announce the winners right after Easterns or Westerns.

Thank you to all who participated and voted, we consider the contest a great success and look forward to holding it again in 2008!!

very very exciting announcement next week

make sure you tune in next week to hear all about PlayUltimate's new project (which will be launched with the announcement).

this is the most exciting thing (i think) since we started the site way back in august of 2005.

i dont want to give anything away, but lets just say its going to be sweet, and i am (obviously) very excited about it.

SO, stay tuned.

and consider applying to be a contributor.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Contributor Applications availiable now [update]

Applications for contributors for June 2007-June 2008 will be released either tonight or tomorrow, have been released. You will need to submit a resume, the completed application, and a writing sample of some sort (anything in print for a newspaper or magazine would be ideal, a paper for school will do though - this is basically to guarantee that you can string a coherent sentence together.)

So if you want to get started gathering those things you are more than welcome to. The applications will be due Wednesday June 18th 2007

Really consider applying for a position as a contributor, its a great thing to add to a resume, it will give you experience writing for large audiences, the community will love to read what you write and depending on what area you are from you will have the opportunity to introduce the entire country to high school ultimate in your area.

Applications will be open to everyone, but we would like to add contributors specifically from Georgia, Massachusetts, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Virginia to name a few.

Those are just the places I know of established ultimate leagues that we dont currently have contributors for.

The position will run for one year and you will have free reign to post about whatever you would like once accepted, assuming some sort of focus on the area you will be reporting on.

So please consider applying for a position as a contributor, if you have any questions you can post them here as a comment or email the site at

You can download the application by clicking here
Email completed applications, a resume, and writing sample to before June 28th 2007 to be considered for a position.

Highlight reel contest - Winners TBA on Wednesday night

All the winners for the 2007 PlayUltimate Highlight Reel Extravaganza will be announced on Wednesday evening before 10pm.

In the mean time you can take a look at the videos, the prizes, and how the contest evolved.

PlayUltimate May Madness - the winner!

Wisconsin beat Colorado yesterday in the 2007 UPA College Championships - open division final - 15-7.

In our own little fantasy bracket though the winner has not yet been announced. There were more than 30 entries into the fantasy bracket contest, but only one can take home the prize. First, the winning bracket...

Oregon vs Ohio State - Oregon 15 - Ohio State 11
Texas vs Indiana - Texas 15 - Indiana 9
Carleton vs North Carolina - Carleton 15 - North Carolina 10
Pittsburgh vs Georgia - Georgia 15 - Pittsburgh 12

Wisconsin vs Oregon - Wisconsin 15 - Oregon 10
Stanford vs Texas - Stanford 15 - Texas 10
Colorado vs Carleton - Colorado 16 - Carleton 14
Florida vs Georgia - Florida 15 - Georgia 11

Wisconsin vs Stanford - Wisconsin 15 - Stanford 11
Colorado vs Florida - Colorado 15 - Florida 13

Wisconsin vs Colorado - Wisconsin 15 - Colorado 11
compared with the actual bracket of...
Oregon vs Ohio State - Oregon 15 - Ohio State 12
Texas vs Indiana - Texas 15 - Indiana 13
Carleton vs North Carolina - Carleton 15 - North Carolina 10
Pittsburgh vs Georgia - Georgia 15 - Pittsburgh 13

Wisconsin vs Oregon - Wisconsin 15 - Oregon 9
Stanford vs Texas - Stanford 15 - Texas 11
Colorado vs Georgia - Colorado 15 - Georgia 10
Florida vs Carleton - Florida 16 - Georgia 14

Wisconsin vs Stanford - Wisconsin 15 - Stanford 6
Colorado vs Florida - Colorado 15 - Florida 10

Wisconsin vs Colorado - Wisconsin 15 - Colorado 7
As you can see the only difference in the entire bracket was the reversal of Georgia and Carleton in the Quarterfinal matchups. Even most of the scores were within 1-2 points. Very impressive.

SO, the winner of the 2007 PlayUltimate May Madness Fantasy Bracket is Tom Bassett of Needham High School.

Tom has won a copy of the Ultimate: the First Four Decades book, sponsored by Luke Johnson and CHS Ultimate.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

2007 YCC Team Preason Preview: Pittsburgh Impulse

It might be early for some people to start thinking about Youth Club Championships, but try telling that to the coaches and players of Pittsburgh Impulse who were devistated by a 14-12 loss to Philadelphia (SEPDA) in semifinals last year. And even though finishing fourth in the nation is still a great accomplishment, there is something about that loss that leaves a bittersweet feeling inside these players.

This year coaches Nick Kaczmarek (Pitt Ultimate) and Ben Banyas (Edinboro Ultimate and Metro East All Region Team) will look to utilize what appears to be PHUL's strongest depth of players ever.

Although tryouts for the team will not begin until Monday (Memorial Day), the main core of players on the team from last year will be playing again this year; Impulse lost 7 players from last year (6 graduation; 1 age restriction). As can be expected, PHUL standouts Julian Hausman (Mt. Lebanon) and Alex Thorne (North Hills and PHUL Finals MVP) will be the playmakers on this year's team. Although early, PHUL's three powerhouses (North Hills, Mt. Lebanon and Hampton) will look to contribute a significant amount to the team's roster.

The team will hold 5 tryouts between May 28 and June 6 with the final roster being formulated the night of the final tryout. Before attending YCCs in August, Impulse hopes to attend at least two tournaments. Any PHUL player reading this and wants to have more information can contact the team at youthclubcoaching AT gmail DOT com.

There will also be a Pittsburgh Impulse B-team that, although not competing at YCCs, will attend a couple tournaments over the summer and be used as a building block for 2008 and will be for those who do not make the team to improve their skills.

Look for a more in depth analysis of the team sometime after June 6 when final rosters are announced.

NOTE: There is also a girl's Pittsburgh team being formed that will compete in 1-2 tournaments before attending YCCs in August. More information on this team will be done later.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Weekend Open Thread - College Nationals and a ton of HS tournaments.

Ill be leaving for Columbus at 5am tomorrow for the weekend to see the 2007 UPA College Ultimate national championships. If i have access to a computer i will post some updates over the weekend.

Use this thread to talk about the championships, or the other upcoming tournaments - to see the list click here.

Get your ballots in for the PlayUltimate May Madness fantasy college championships.

The winners will be announced in the next few weeks, as will the winners of the highlight reel contest.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

PlayUltimate's May Madness - Fantasy ultimate!

Announcing the first ever PlayUltimate May Madness
Sponsored by Luke Johnson and CHS Ultimate

The rules...
  1. You may only submit one entry. if you submit more than one - disqualified.
  2. You must enter correct contact information. false information will disqualify you.
  3. You must fill out every field in the ballot. if you dont you will be disqualified
  1. Scoring will be done looking at finals results first and working the way back to pre-quarters.
  2. If you get the finals winner wrong you will be excluded and entries will be narrowed down accordingly until.
  3. Whoever has the most correct entries will win.
  1. Ultimate: The First Four Decades provided by Luke and CHS Ultimate

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

2007 College Choices - THE List

May 23rd - DATE CHANGEIt has finally arrived, the second year for the [now named] PlayUltimate College Signing Day, last year's list can be viewed by clicking here.

You can scroll through this year's list below by clicking on "Click here to view the entire list", or by clicking here to view it as a Google Spreadsheet. I will put up a .pdf sometime in the next few days.

119 graduating seniors submitted their college plans, beating last year's total by almost 40. They represent not only the 45 high schools they have or will graduate from, nor the 74 colleges they will attend in the fall. The names listed below, the class of 2007, represent the future of ultimate in the United States.

So, without further ado, I present to you the PlayUltimate College Signing Day List for 2007...

Click here to view the entire list.

Thank you to all who submitted information, spread the word so that next year's list can be even more comprehensive and jaw-dropping.

ps - disregard the date on the image, we moved the date up so college players could print the list out before leaving for nationals this coming weekend.

PlayUltimate highlight reel contest - winners announcement next week

The votes have tabulated and the winners have been elected and selected.

The winners will be announced next week (probably Thursday, but you should check back sooner because we are unpredictable like that)

The sponsors will be contacted shortly and the prizes will be in the mail (if applicable) by the time the winners are announced.

Thanks to all who participated.

College choices announcement - 3 hours left!

120 players, 74 colleges and universities.

Can you guess how many players the most popular college choice received?

(Answer: 7)

Check back at midnight to see the 2007 list in its entirety.

PlayUltimate College Signing Day List - 22 hours left

The list has been finalized and tallied into an excel document, it will be released tonight (Wednesday) at midnight. Only 22 hours and counting.

Spread the word to your college acquantances, they are most certainly going to want to find out what sweet recruits they will be picking up.

There were 104 entries to the list, representing 9 nationals qualifying teams and a ton of regional qualifiers.

Check back throughout the day for updates and facts about the list....

PS - PlayUltimate's foray into fantasy ultimate will be announced Thursday afternoon, stay tuned for more information.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

2007 College Choices - URGENT - LAST CALL!!!

May 23rd - DATE CHANGEI will be releasing the list on Wednesday, May 23rd at Midnight (as many college players will be traveling to Columbus on Thursday and will naturally want to print it out and peruse on their journeys). SO, if you would like to be included on the list get your information posted now.


Description of the event: This is the sixth in a series regarding high school ultimate players and their college choices. Easterns is quickly approaching, as are big state championships. I know for a fact many colleges have sent out their letters by now, so announce your plans!

If you've been following along you know that last year we compiled a list of where many players from around the country were attending colleges. You can find last year's list here.

Well we are doing the list again for 2007, and the deal is all the information is user submitted, so comment below with...

Last Name, First Name
High School
Right Handed / Left Handed
HS State
HS League

later we'll add Xs next to the names that get selected to YCC teams. It ends up being a very fun list and an early indicator of which college programs are trending up or down.

If you have decided on a college, post your information below and you will be added to the list. If you prefer to keep it a surprise until the Official College Ultimate Signing Deadline, on May 23rd (when the list will be released) - you can email the site at, just put "2007 College Choices" in the subject line.

Thus far we have 81 submissions to the list representing 9 college nationals teams. Now i know there are more seniors out there graduating. Score reporter says there are 300 high school teams, so if there is just one senior on each team the list should be at least 300 long. So post your decisions asap.

If you know of teams in your league that dont read the site, forward this to the other captains. Post it to the league message boards. Make the other colleges jealous they didnt get you, connect with other incoming freshmen!


Monday, May 21, 2007

St. Louis Ultimate Juniors (SLUJ) All-Star Highlights

Too late for the contest, I know, but enjoy action from the very first SLUJ All-Star Game.

Fantasy college ultimate is coming PlayUltimate...

Thursday or earlier, keep checking back. There will be prizes, and it will be almost entirely automated.

If you can't make it to Columbus this is the next best way to be a part of the College Series National Championship

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Weekend Open thread - Easterns Edition

If you hear the scores, put em up - Easterns seems to have live updates on the score reporter site, but any reports from the fields would be welcome im sure.

The big show...

State Championships...
Other tournaments...
Thus far according to the score reporter everything seems to have progressed to seed except for Northfield Mount Hermon and Madison West possibly flipping. Scores from the last round of play should be up shortly. Needham vs. North Hills should be a hell of a game (or i guess it was, its over now). Yorktown seems to also have silenced some critics or at least made a case for their seed, going 3-0 on the day.

Play-in games will start at 4:45pm tonight deciding who will face off against the four #1 pool finishers. The action starts again tomorrow at 10:30am, by 5pm tomorrow a champion of the east will be crowned.

If you have updates or scores from any of the tournaments post em as comments.

UPDATE - 3:52pm - Pennsbury up 10-8 on Amherst in the finals of Easterns. Check the comments for the most recent updates

Thursday, May 17, 2007

100,000 Unique Visitors - thank you.

At some point today PlayUltimate will receive its 100,000 unique visitor and its 220,000 page view. And from the bottom of our hearts, and on behalf of all the contributors, we'd like to say thank you.

Over the past year and nine months we have had the privilege to report and comment and talk about ultimate at its most exciting level - high school. We started the National Ultimate Signing Day in 2006, we held a highlight reel contest in 2007, we previewed and reviewed the WJUC tournament in 2006 (even interviewing teams from Australia and elsewhere), we've covered state championships and Easterns and Westerns and every tournament in between. And its been a ton of fun.

It has been fun because more than 500 of you every day tune in to discuss and talk about high school ultimate, the teams, the players, the competition and the future of the division - and that number is growing every month. We want to thank you for that.

We appreciate your audience every time you come to the site.

We have some exciting things planned for the future of PlayUltimate, hopefully you will stick around to see them come to fruition. But again thank you for visiting PlayUltimate.

-the PlayUltimate staff

If you would like to promote PlayUltimate further there are a number of things you can do, you can....
- link to the site - any and every way you link to us spreads the word about high school ultimate! this is really the big one, if you can put a link in your myspace, or blog, or aim profile, or facebook or anything like that every link is like a vote for Google and other search engines, so the more links there are the more sites are saying - hey, i like PlayUltimate, put them high in the search results! and that would be great.

- put the latest headlines from PlayUltimate on your own website, myspace or blog (scroll down on the right hand side and click on "put the headlines on your site", copy and paste that code into your website.

- subscribe to the RSS feed - get automatic updates every time there is a new post, you can do this by entering your email address, or by putting the feed address into your favorite feed reader. Just click on the "RSS" tab at right for more options.

- join the facebook group by clicking here. an easy way to show other people on facebook that you play ultimate, as well as support PlayUltimate. if you have a facebook group for your high school team, throw up a link to PlayUltimate so that all the younger players will know where to go for more information.

- bookmark PlayUltimate on if you use this service its another great way to show other people that you play ultiamte and again, support PlayUltimate

- click on an Ad on the site. its a very small action, but if everyone did it once a week and somehow our traffic started pulling in 100,000 visitors a day, there is theory that says i could forego finding another job and exclusively report on ultimate, and travel around the country to do so. seeing as that is fairly unlikely what with there being only 25,000 members of the UPA at the moment, if you click on a link it will give the site the equivelant of a nickel every few days.

- search the archives, at this point there is a ton of information on the site in both posts and comments. if you are looking for something or someone in particular feel free to search the site itself.

- if there is a story you like, submit it to Digg, there are links at the bottom of every post, you can submit things to the sports section or whatever the case may be. If people like what you submit they will "digg it" and as if a vote was cast it will move up a notch. the most popular stories appear on the homepage of digg and usually receive somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 hits in a day as a result. Not too shabby at all.

- join the Frappr! for the site (its like a Google maps mashup, so you can see where other readers of the site come from)

- tell your friends from other teams and other leagues about PlayUltimate by word of mouth or instant message or email, or anything really. We would like PlayUltimate to become a truly national forum for high school ultimate and that can only happen if everyone knows about it.

- Become a contributor! After the spring seasons are concluded i will put out applications for new contributors. We would like to see more leagues represented and have more posts on the site every single day and we can only do this if some people volunteer to contribute. More information on this will be posted later.

If you do any of these things i assure you everyone will appreciate it, and so for one last time, for that 100,000 visitor today - thank you.

2007 College Choices - Thread #6 - ANNOUNCEMENT DATE CHANGE

Date Change: after looking at the ultimate calendar for the next few weeks it occurred to me that College Nationals is the weekend of the 27th. Since i will be attending and since this would be a great opportunity for all those college players to discuss the 2007 list i am moving the release date of the list to Wednesday, May 23rd at Midnight (as many college players will be traveling to Columbus on Thursday). SO, if you would like to be included on the list get your information posted now by then. (I'll change the image at some point today hopefully)

Description of the event: This is the sixth in a series regarding high school ultimate players and their college choices. Easterns is quickly approaching, as are big state championships. I know for a fact many colleges have sent out their letters by now, so announce your plans!

If you've been following along you know that last year we compiled a list of where many players from around the country were attending colleges.
You can find last year's list here.

Well we are doing the list again for 2007, and the deal is all the information is user submitted, so comment below with...

Last Name, First Name
High School
HS State
HS League
Right Handed / Left Handed
later we'll add Xs next to the names that get selected to YCC teams. It ends up being a very fun list and an early indicator of which college programs are trending up or down.

So if you have decided on a college yet, post your information below and you will be added to the list. If you prefer to keep it a surprise until the Official College Ultimate Signing Deadline, on May 23rd (when the list will be released) - you can email the site at, just put "2007 College Choices" in the subject line.

Looking forward to seeing where people are heading...

(If you would like to see all of these college choice posts, and their comments, in one place you can click on the "College Choices" label)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Highlight Reel Extravaganza - update and voting deadline!

Voting will close tomorrow night - (Tuesday, May 15th) - at Midnight.

After that point the editor's choice selections will take place and then the winning videos will be announced in the next week after Easterns.

So start emailing your friends, put it in your profiles, link on your myspaces and facebook accounts, if you want your video to win. (You can click links below each post on PlayUltimate to automatically post things from the site to Facebook, and others!)

You can still vote by clicking the big graphic at the right, or by scrolling down on this page. We want as many people as possible to see ultimate, and high school ultimate at its finest, so even encourage all of your non-ultimate playing brethren to stop by and vote.

So hurry up and vote already!! There are some sweet prizes at stake!

2007 Easterns seedings announced...

Pool A
Madison West
Northfield Mt Hermon

Pool B
North Hills

Pool C
LC Bird

Pool D
HB Woodlawn
Univ School of Nashville
Lexington Catholic

And the girls...
University School of Nashville

Amherst JV
HB Woodlawn
c/o UPA Score Reporter - Open, UPA Score Reporter - Womens | Official Tournament Site

Whats interesting to me is how much the upper seeds have played each other. Seems like a high level of travel is becoming to norm, or at least expected if you want to become an elite high school team.

Also interesting that many of the top programs in the country have both open and girls teams. Perhaps it can be inferred that the reason these teams remain at an elite level is because of their commitment to developing a fundamentally sound program for ultimate - including jv teams, open and girls teams etc.

Post Westerns Reactions...

What a weekend! Though I'm way too tired to give a full acount of all that took place, I was so proud to be part of what took place at this year's 2007 Westerns.

Congrats to Northwest and South Eugene (1st & 2nd Open Division) as well as Churchill and Northwest (1st & 2nd Girls Division)!

For those of you with comments, write-ups, ramblings, props to other players, photo-links, etc... let this be the post to have them live.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Weekend Open Thread - Westerns and State Championship Edition

Arguably the biggest weekend in ultimate this weekend, huge tournaments coast to coast.

The big show...

State Championships...

Other tournaments...

Last minute predictions welcome now, and post scores as you hear them. I will be receiving text messages from Luke throughout the day tomorrow so i will update as soon as i have access to those for the Westerns scores.

To be sure though, if you want the latest and greatest in high school ultimate - you gotta keep it here - PlayUltimate. for. life.

Reminder: you can still vote for your favorite videos in the highlight reel contest by clicking on the logo at right, as well as post your college choices by again, clicking on the logo at right.

UPA PA State Championships: The PHUL Side

With PHUL season officially over, it's time for some teams to look to the next step. For all but one of the eight PHUL teams playing in this year's state championship, this will be their final stop on their 2007 spring season; North Hills is the lone exception as they will be playing in HS Easterns.

On Thursday, PHUL finished up the season with the championship game between North Hills and Mt. Lebanon. It was evident from early on that North Hills would dominate the game and went on to repeat as league champions.

But as for States, PHUL is now showing signs of a more established and dominant league in Pennsylvania. They are sending the most teams to States (8) and three of the top four seeds in the tournament belong to PHUL: North Hills (#2), Mt. Lebanon (#3) and Hampton (#4). This, however, is no surprise as they are the best of the best in Pittsburgh. The semifinal matchup between North Hills and Hampton was one of the most intense and exciting games to watch.

Although I still don't understand how Mt. Lebanon continues to be ranked higher than Hampton, these two teams along with North Hills will be able to bring to States something that Pittsburgh hasn't been able to do in quite a while: presence. These are the teams with the big name players and these are the teams that will be able to give Pennsbury (#1 seed and early favorite to win it all) a game.

North Hills, Mt. Lebanon and Hampton have the skills and talent to be a contender for a State Championship and all three bring with them a wealth of knowledge from their coaches: North Hills (Nick Kaczmarek, Pitt Ultimate); Mt. Lebanon (Jake Christian and Evan Jenkins, Pitt Ultimate); Hampton (David Vatz, Pitt Ultimate). Being able to "recruit" the talents of collegiate players, who just so happen to vying for a National Championship in a couple weeks, has allowed for these teams to use their potential to the fullest and become a stronghold in PHUL.

For North Hills (#2), look for PHUL Finals MVP (and PHUL MVP candidate in my opinion) Alex Thorne to lead his team. He seemed to be everywhere on the field during the PHUL championship as he collected 6 goals and 3 assists in a dominating fashion. Along with handlers Ben Funk and Jack Gazdik, North Hills bring perhaps the best handling core this side of the Mississippi (and, yes, I'm serious). Look for last year's PHUL Finals MVP Colin Conner YCC players (Pittsburgh Impulse) Jeff Olko and Chris Lippert to also make their presence known on the field. If there is any early favorite to knock of Pennsbury, this is the team.

Mt. Lebanon (#3) rolled into PHUL Finals as the number one seed before getting knocked off by North Hills. Potential PHUL MVP candidate Julian Hausman will use his knowledge of the game, along with his flick huck, which by my estimate can circle the world, to dominate the game and lead his team. YCC players (Pittsburgh Impulse) Pete Imler and Zach Ehler will look to also keep Mt. Lebanon's offense rolling. And guess what? If both North Hills and Mt. Lebanon win their polls, then we'll see a 2007 PHUL Finals rematch in semis; that will be one intense game as I'm sure Mt. Lebanon is looking to avenge their two strait losses in PHUL Finals to North Hills.

Hampton (#4) is lead by senior Lukas Truckenbrod, who is my pick for PHUL MVP. This guy has to have ice as veins because he's so calm and cool in the most intense and nerve-racking games. His handling skills are among the best in PHUL and with the help of junior Allen Rakers, he hopes to dominate the offense (and defense) for Hampton. Other key players include junior captain Cody McInnis, who has exploded this year as a key player in PHUL. His defensive skills are amazing with many footblocks and skies for turnovers. Senior Perry Martin looks to own the sky and come down with anything thrown his way.

After the "big three" in PHUL, Tayler Allderdice (#9), Montour (#10) and Pine-Richland (#13) will have the best chance to break seed this weekend. These teams have the talent and knowledge to be a good team and if they are able to put the pieces together, they will be able to give anybody a fight. Fox Chapel (#15) and Moon (#16) round out the rest of PHUL.

PHUL sends three girls teams to PA States this year. Fox Chapel (#1), Hampton (#3) and North Hills (#4) all have talented girls on their teams and will look to win the girls championship. Maybe I'm biased, but if I had to pick right now, I'd have to say that Hampton has the best shot at winning it all. OK, I am biased. But I'm a writer and I can have thoughts and feelings, too, right?

Good luck to all PHUL teams taking part this weekend!

Friday, May 11, 2007

UPA PA State Championships: the PHUEL side

[editor's note there are two separate previews for PA state champs at the moment, you can see the second by scrolling down, or by clicking here]

The UPA PA HS State Championship is this upcoming weekend, May 12-13, at the Brandywine Polo Fields,
260 Polo Road
Toughkenamon, PA 19311

My, fully Philly-centric, preview follows:

PHUEL is sending 7 open teams and 3 girls teams this year.

PHUEL teams being sent to States 2007 (seeds):

1. Pennsbury Peyote (1)

2. St. Joe's Prep Hand of God (5)

3. Haverford High HUDA (8)

4. Council Rock South Fiasco (7) > Radnor

5. North Penn FTM (6) > Cheltenham

6. Cardinal O'Hara Waste of Life (12) > Great Valley

7. Lower Merion Babaganouj (11) > Neshaminy

(4-7 have the team that won the game-to-go > the game that lost the game-to-go, ranked by RRI in order of the original higher-seed)

A slightly more robust system was in place to determine who would make it to states from PHUEL this year. Using the PHUEL standings, which award 3 points for a win, and 1 point for a loss, the top 11 teams were chosen (a number arrived at by taking the total number of bids PHUEL got [7] and adding 4), and then re-ranked by RRI. The top 3 teams got automatic bids to states (Pennsbury, SJP, and Haverford High). The remaining 8 were to battle it out for the remaining 4 spots. 4v11, 5v10, 6v9, 7v8. The latter two matchups provided slight upsets, with LM and O'Hara winning rematches they had lost earlier in the year.

And that set the field for PHUEL's contingent to states.

I believe PHUL has been lucky enough to get 8 bids both of the last two years, so they merely send all the quarterfinalists in their (much more organized) playoff system?

Add in the 1 CPHUL playoff winner (Boiling Springs this year [I believe the first time a non-SCUF team has played outside of CPHUL?], SCUF last), and you have your state field set.

Do any other states need to allocate bids, or is PA lucky in that we must turn people away because it has three booming leagues?

Back to the teams:

Pennsbury has to be a favorite to easily make the finals, if not win it. Noah Saul, Mark Dundala, and Scotty Wright may be the three best players in the state, and they're all here to prove they deserve it (and to get back in gear for easterns next week).

Any other PHUEL team would be very fortunate to make the finals, and even a semis appearance would be impressive for many of these teams. But many of these teams are still dangerous, with SJP playing better every time they take the field this spring (although their prom tonight may interfere with a good pool play showing, look for some underclassmen to step it up), and Haverford, North Penn, and Council Rock South (an unknown before this year, playing with a fire lit by Mike Lenz) playing very well but still untested against other outside top competition.
LM won't be graduating any difference-makers this year, (co-captains Adrian Galbriath-Paul and Harry Friedman are juniors) so this is a bit of a rebuilding year, though they'll bring all the game they can.

We may be even able to see an all-Easterns matchup in the finals if Pennsbury and North Hills hold seed. But this year should be closer than others, with anything possible.

Girls teams:

1. Cardinal O'Hara (2)
2. Pennsbury (5)
3. Lower Merion (6)

The seeds are a little more meaningless in this one, as there's been practically no playing outside of each respective league, and no common opponents between the PHUL teams.
I've been talking a long time about Cardinal O'Hara's girls, and this is their chance to prove they can game outside of the open division.
I don't know much about Pennsbury, but they have the advantage of having played some competition in the rest of the country; experience is lacking in here
LM's team is built almost entirely on sophomores and frosh (see Nina Bar-Giora and Emily Eisner, respectively), so even a weak showing this year is a good sign for years to come. The mere existence of this division is a good step for PA Ultimate.

The other 3 teams are all PHUL teams, North Hills, Fox Chapel, and Hampton as each league only send in 3 bids, I believe. Not quite a full division, but very good.

Unfortunately none of the PA girls teams are going to Easterns, but a state tournament here is a good first step in sending teams in future years.