Experiencing what the coaches referred to as the hardest tryouts, toughest cuts and deepest pool of talent to hit PHUL to date, being able to release a roster and begin to focus on that one goal for the rest of the summer has to come as relief for some of the players and especially the coaches. There were two cuts necessary to reach this final roster of 22 players that have the makings to be a national champion. Some of the players are already noticing a difference in the team and truly believe this is the strongest Pittsburgh Impulse team to take the field.
So, I present to you the 2007 Pittsburgh Youth Club Team (Impulse):
|Name||School||Grade||Years with team||College|
|Blanciak, Eddie||Kiski (played with North Hills JV)||9||1||N/A|
|Cervone, Zack||North Hills||11||1||N/A|
|Conner, Colin||North Hills||11||3||N/A|
|Fleiner, Paul||Montour||12||1||Cal Tech|
|Funk, Ben||North Hills||11||3||N/A|
|Gazdik, Jack||North Hills||11||3||N/A|
|Hausman, Julian||Mount Lebanon||12||3||Pitt|
|Imler, Pete||Mt. Lebanon||12||3||Penn State|
|Kush, Joe||North Hills JV)||8||1||N/A|
|Lippert, Chris||North Hills||11||2||N/A|
|Macurak, Dave||Bethel Park||12||2||UNC-Wilimington|
|Olko, Jeff||North Hills||11||2||N/A|
|Reinhardt, Zach||Bethel Park||12||3||Pitt|
|Ross, Jack||North Hills||10||1||N/A|
|Thorne, Alex||North Hills||11||3||N/A|
|Washburn, Bennett||Wichester Thurston||11||3||N/A|
|Wilson, Greg||Fox Chapel||12||1||Allegheny|
Perhaps the most noticeable thing about this list is the amount of talent coming out of North Hills. Sending ten players, many of whom have already played on the YCC team, there was a reason why North Hills made a name for both themselves and Pittsburgh Ultimate. Led by PHUL Finals MVP Alex Thorne, this team accomplished a lot over the season. From finishing 2nd at the Paideia cup and PA States to a repeat of PHUL champions, North Hills has gained the experience, respect and talent needed to be a force in the Juniors Ultimate scene. Using the momentum and motivation of this past year allows for these players to bring everything they have to a team with a YCC championship on their mind.
The other two powerhouses in PHUL send 6 players to the field: Hampton (4) and Mt. Lebanon (2). With PHUL MVP Julian Hausman (Mt. Lebanon) and PHUL standout Lukas Truckenbrod (Hampton) on the team, the handling game on Impulse has really opened up. Both of these players posses the poise, control, arm strength and talent to make any throw and make it right.
Aside from how the team is comprised, something that may or may not be overlooked is where the seniors are going to college; half of the the seniors will be attending the University of Pittsburgh. This just goes to show the community involvement and integration that is Pittsburgh Ultimate. Recruitment comes a little bit easier when your friend and teammate in another league (Winter/Summer/Spring) just so happens to go a college near you. I know this is a high school website, but the amount of talent that will be pouring into Pitt in the next couple years is amazing and will continue to move Pitt and the Metroeast up the College Ultimate ladder.
I could go on for pages about how each and every one of these players will contribute to the team, but I simply do not have the time to do so. However, before I finish, I just want to say that each player on this team has the talent and field awareness to make a name for himself on the national level. This is a great team and as high as my expectations are for them, I'm sure they have just as high (if not higher) expectations for themselves.
Writers note: I'll have another one or two articles about this team before YCCs (most likely after their tournaments) and I am hoping to have a Pittsburgh girls YCC preview up as soon as I receive some information on the team.