Thursday, May 29, 2008

Open Thread - Looking back, looking ahead

Last weekend...

Coming up this weekend...

Any chit chat about any of that? Any upset predictions? Comments?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

New commenting policy - and an open thread

You may have noticed that in the Easterns/Westerns aftermath anonymous commenting has been turned off.

We felt that it was necessary to keep the conversation at some level of civility going forward. So, now, to comment you need to log in - this doesnt mean you need a google account, you can also use AIM, WordPress, TypePad, LiveJournal or any other OpenID compatible account.

Hooray accountability!!

If you are still aching for anonymous commenting should be able to satiate your desires - you can comment there on any topic relating to ultimate, post links to ultimate content and rate content as it comes in (the best posts filter to the top so you always have access to the best ultimate content on the web).

Consider this a new and improved open thread...

NUTC 2008

I'm a math teacher by trade, so writing coherent posts sometimes takes me a while ;)

So, to streamline the process this time around, I'm just going to quote myself:

The National Ultimate Training Camp is an overnight Ultimate camp for kids aged 14-18. Orchestrated by Tiina Booth and George Cooke, NUTC runs over the course of three very active sessions on the beautiful Northfield Mount Hermon campus in Northfield, MA. Each day kids from around the world receive training, play Ultimate, and socialize in the most Ultimate-centric environment on the planet.

You can read all about the camp in the post I made last year right here.

Here's the latest 2009 update from Tiina:

This is the fourth update of NUTC Registration 2008. Registration has been open since the beginning of March and here is the status of the sessions:

Session A July 12-17

plenty of room

Session B July 19-24

40% sold out, so plenty of room, but less than Session A

Session C July 16-31
Fewer than 10 spots left-almost sold out!!

Register now if you want this session.
I am confident that we will sell out this summer, so if you want to attend NUTC, you need to register pretty soon. Prices go up after June 6, but at this rate we may be sold out by then.

To register, go to For more info about the camp, visit Please let me know if you have any questions.

Hope to see many of you this summer!

Tiina Booth
Camp Director

National Ultimate Training Camp

"Ultimate for the Next Generation"

So... sign up now to get into your first choice spot.

In addition to a super full summer, a new NUTC position has been created. Throughout each of the three sessions, someone will be taking lots of pictures and video which will be posted each day to the camp blog. There will also be a daily NUTC publication which will be distributed every morning at breakfast.

Cya in Northfield.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Some notes from PHUEL...

Some notes from PHUEL:

The city championships were last Saturday, and besides a minor upset of LM Babaganouj at the hands of Cardinal O'Hara Waste, it went to seed, with the Pennsbury Falcons capturing the #1 seed, defating Haverford HUDA 15-11 on the back of outstanding play by #19 Denny Beaches. The top 7 teams will be heading to Pittsburgh for States next weekend.
Open results

On the girls side, #6 Katie Erikson led Cardinal O'Hara's GirlSquad to continued dominance of LM and Haverford, finishing their regular season 4-0 against LM and 3-0 against Haverford. After a disappointing winless performance at Easterns, they won their two games in PHUEL to get back on track. All three teams will be heading to states next week.
Girls results

This week, PHUEL gets a nice treat as #2 seed Haverford HUDA hosts LM Babaganouj under the lights Thursday night, for a rare night game before both teams head west for States.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Photographs from Easterns or Westerns?

Not sure if anyone out there has their's up yet, but if you have photos from this last weekend, I'm sure people would love to see them. post a comment with a link.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Westerns 2008: Video of NWSvsCretin-Derham

This is the only footage I recorded that was non-Churchill girls, but it shows the great universe point between the Northwest and Cretin-Derham girls in the semi-finals of the 2008 Westerns.

Westerns Girls Division 2008: Semi-Finals Northwest vs Cretin Derham from luke johnson on Vimeo.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The UPA and Seattle HS Ultimate


I have put together a plan to re-organize Seattle youth ultimate. There are several different pieces of the plan. The UPA and DiscNW were the first to see the plan when I got done writing it a couple of weeks ago. I also e-mailed the plan to some of the organizers and coaches I know around the country. One piece of the plan involves the UPA and Seattle HS ultimate. I figure some of the people who read this blog might find this interesting. (When I use the word "we" in the plan I mean the "we" as in the Seattle youth organizers who agree with the plan and help make it happen. All that said I'm not sure this will happen.)

1. We would probably take all of our Seattle HS teams out of the UPA for these reasons:

  • Scheduling - The UPA schedule doesn't really work with what we need to do.
  • Championships - We can run our own state and regional chamionships for HS teams. And we feel as if the UPA will not be able to get the growth accomplished that we can accomplish in our region. (i.e., Why won't Vancouver come on board with the UPA, how do we make the sport more accessible)
  • Double organizing - Our coaches and admins are spending way too much time trying to get kids signed up for UPA and taking care of rosters. We can come up with a better local system. We completely understand why a national roster system has to be in place though.
  • Cost per kid is too much with the UPA. We want to have 5,000 kids playing in ultimate leagues in our area by 2015. There is no way we would send the UPA $100,000.

2. We would stay in the UPA with a UPA youth club league as described on the UPA page concerning YCC guidelines: "Category 1 - UPA Youth Club Leagues: Sponsored by a UPA sanctioned Youth Club (non-high school based) League that occurred during the previous calendar year. Within Category 1, one bid is guaranteed in each division for which the league applies and can support a team for the event. The UPA reserves the right to determine that a league can adequately and safely support a team."

3. We would be willing to discuss the affiliate model with the UPA but that is probably further down the road when we see how our Seattle Youth Ultimate Association plan plays out.

4. Hopefully we can still figure out a way to continue our interactions with Alameda and Minneapolis HS ultimate. Maybe Alameda could come to our regional tournament? And possibly there could be some interaction between Minneapolis and WA/OR in HS invite tourneys.

I'd also like to point out that this plan is not due to some dissatisfaction with the people running the UPA. Sandie, Will, Melanie, Meredith, and the board are all top-notch. This is a systematic thing. It is an "addition by subtraction" type of thing. In the long run I believe my plan to be a win/win/win for Seattle Youth Ultimate, DiscNW, and the UPA.

Thanks - Mike

Westerns: Open Official UPA Write-up

The UPA has released their official write-ups from the Western Championships. They are well written (in both the open and girls divisions). As I'm sure there are thoughts and feelings post-westerns, let each of these posts (one for the open and one for the ladies) serve as the place you can offer your feedback on the experience whether you were there or not...


Here is the official write-up of the 2008 Westerns Open Division according to Aaron Schieber


The teams from the Northwest must have been wondering why they needed to travel halfway across the country to play in weather that felt like home. With temperatures in the 50’s and a damp wind blowing, the 6 teams out of Washington and Oregon weren’t ready for some of Westerns’ surprises. Something besides rain was different today. 2007 champion The Northwest School graduated a large group of its core and teams believe the Championship is possibly up for the taking.


The first game of the day for the overall 2 seed Seattle Academy was against 7 seed Lakewood. Seattle, behind the great play of #3 Peter Bender and #9 Simon Montague and a supporting cast sporting fantastic haircuts, showed why they were seeded so high by mowing down the outmatched Lakewood (15-4).

The Cretin-Durham vs. Monroe matchup looked to be going the same way with Monroe jumping to an early 6-1 lead. But a scrappy Cretin-Durham team decided that they didn’t want to hand the game to Monroe. Behind some great play by #17 Peter Tschida, Cretin-Durham mounted a comeback that brought them to half down 8-4. They continued to close the gap, but the huge grabs by Monroe’s #18 kept them at bay with Monroe pulling off the upset and their first Westerns victory (15-12).

Perhaps the game of the round was The Northwest School facing off an under-ranked Eden Prairie team. After a close first half left Eden Prairie down 8-6, the big game experience of The Northwest School came through in the second half as they held off Eden Prairie and pulled away to a 10-6 lead. Eden Prairie wasn’t out of gas and clawed their way back into the game, falling just short in a (9-10) loss. In pool D, the local KC Rockhurst team lined up across from a very impressive Cathedral team and was completely leveled. Cathedral never looked back as they marched to an 11-1 victory.


The next round opened with Alameda facing off against Minneapolis South. It was hard to say whether it was the wind or lingering morning jitters but both teams started the game with numerous drops. After falling behind to the lower seeded South 3-1, Alameda decided to put the game in the hands of their go-to guys. Nick Rafter (#25), Pierre Retrayt (#28) and Tyler Boyd-Meredith put together great catches, cuts and throws to pull even at 5’s and eventually earn the win (11-9).

On the adjacent field, Rockhurst was taking on defending champion The Northwest School in a rematch of the 2007 quarterfinals and hoping for a better result. The game was hard fought and the teams essentially traded points to 8-8. Rockhurst was relying heavily on big grabs by Junior deep receiver Paul Jensen (#4) while Northwest didn’t seem to have a player on the field who didn’t contribute. But after the tie at 8’s Rockhurst lost their steam and Northwest knocked out 3 in a row for the (11-8) win.

Nathan Hale and Hopkins were both ready to play after their first round byes and equally came out firing. Hopkins proved way too deep for Nathan Hale and laid an 8-1 whooping on them in the first half. The second half was more of the same with Hopkins only giving up a couple more points and closing Nathan Hale out (15-6).

On the adjacent field, Cathedral and Eden Prairie played an almost identical game as the Hopkins v Nathan Hale game. Cathedral made short work of Eden Prairie behind the great play of #5 Eric Johnson, winning the game (15-4).


With threats of heavy rain, the round began with all teams having at least one game under their belts. Unfortunately rest and re-focus during their bye didn’t spell success for Lakewood. Cretin-Durham once again jumped on the shoulders of #17 Senior Tschida and avenged their first round defeat to Monroe by handing Lakewood a (15-5) loss.

Minneapolis South’s bye proved no less fruitful as they drew a tough 3rd round draw against 1 seed Lakeside. Multiple players for Lakeside including #96 Julian Childs-Walker and #3 Justin Norden helped to lead Lakeside to a waxing (15-3) of the Squall.

Cathedral continued their trend of mopping the floor with their opponents, this time behind the stat page-filling play of bandana-wearing #5 Matt Vik and #3 Pat Nickelson. Cathedral continued to impress and make their case to be the next Westerns Champion by laying waste to Haus (15-4) and ending their Saturday with only 9 points scored on them.

After watching a number of blowouts, it was time to see two teams duke it out. Nathan Hale and South Eugene were ready to oblige with a great first half that saw #44 Jake Coate of Nathan Hale and #1 Jacob Jannin of South Eugene trying to out-do each other as best player on the field. In this game, Jannin’s desire and ability to go deep at any time, from anywhere on the field, proved the more potent skill as he led his Raiders to the (12-9) win.

The freestyle offense of Monroe matched up against the gritty defense of Seattle Academy. Monroe’s stackless offense is a sight to behold when it is flowing but when it falls apart their players end up needing to make outstanding plays where normal catches and throws would be rudimentary. Seattle Academy was able to force Monroe into this scenario and their offense sputtered allowing Seattle Academy to win (13-7).


The first match-up of round 4 pitted a Lakewood team, down from their lack of success in earlier rounds against a riled up Monroe squad, fired up from their recent loss. The connections were back on for Monroe as #6 Manny Jimenez and #13 moved the disc at will, point after point. This combined with the huge play of #18, allowed Monroe to cruise to a (15-2) victory.

As the day progressed, teams began to hit their stride and play the Ultimate we all knew they could, evident in the Lakeside v Alameda game. It is rare to see a game where the first 4 points of a game are unbelievably hard fought. Layout D’s and second-effort catches abounded for both teams as Lakeside scratched out an early 3-1 lead. The score extended with Lakeside up 6-4 and both teams seemed to have settled in to a high level of play. Behind a multitude of amazing layouts by Alameda’s #81 Kumi Hodge, Dark Meat tried to keep pace but Lakeside’s roster was too deep, pulling away in the second half and securing the (13-9) win.

Rockhurst was primed for their first win but Eden Prairie thought otherwise. Rockhurst fell behind early but didn’t let it get in their heads. With #2 Everett Arruda and #11 Vinnie Ciaramitaro unloading huck after huck, Rockhurst made a run and pulled within one at half. But the hucks wouldn’t fall in the second half and to Eden Prairie’s delight, Synergy didn’t make the proper adjustments, leaving the door open for a (11-8) Eden Prairie victory.

Perhaps the game of the day and certainly the game that indicates how far high school Ultimate has come, took place in this round as South Eugene and Hopkins faced off in a heavyweight bout with a Pre-Quarters bye on the line. One observer on the sideline referred to this game as “Huck City” – both teams were fearless with their throws and completely trusting their receivers to haul in every put. The teams traded points to a 9-8 South Eugene lead at half. The second half was more of the same until at 13-12 Hopkins made a crucial mistake and left a streaking South Eugene player completely unguarded for an easy South Eugene score and 14-12 lead. Hopkins proved resilient and continued to fight, getting the next point and keeping the game within reach at 14-13. The soft cap horn had blown, so the battle was to 16 and South Eugene would receive. A fearless Jacob Jannin would not be denied and unloaded a bomb to the endzone for a quick score and the 15-13 lead. After a Hopkins turn, a savvy #10 Dylan Freechild for South Eugene burns a timeout to guarantee the easy score near the endzone. But out of the timout Hopkins #50 decides he’s not quite ready to be done playing and makes an amazing layout D to keep HURt’s hopes alive. Unfortunately his teammate who picked up the disc hastily proceeded to huck it, and turn it over. South Eugene wouldn’t be denied a second time and on an incredible layout catch Freechild clinched the victory and the pre-quarters bye for South Eugene (16-13).

The round closed with another nail biter. In a game of runs, Cretin-Durham took half against Seattle Academy 8-5. Seattle Academy came out after half on fire and pulled ahead 10-8 with a 5 point run. After soft and hard caps are blown, Cretin-Durham puts together the final string and grabs the victory (11-10).


The crossover round saw The Northwest School in unfamiliar territory. Facing elimination from the Championship Bracket on Saturday of Westerns, and to their misfortune of standing on the other line was the upstart Monroe Cobras who had been playing all day with fire and a chip on their shoulders. Monroe would not be denied in the first 7 points of the game and Northwest had no answer as Monroe commanded a 6-1 lead early. But a short rotation and only 3 subs all day started to take their toll on Monroe as Northwest dug into their stores of championship experience and began to hack away at the lead. One Northwest player on the sideline was prophetic when he yelled “Come on Northwest. We’re still in this!” Point by point Northwest whittled away at the lead closing the gap before half to 7-5. Fortunately for Monroe they had built their lead early and were able to stave off the Northwest onslaught and under the soft cap pull out the victory (10-8).

Would Hopkins would be able to rebound from the heart wrenching loss in their last round to South Eugene and get their head into their next match-up against Minneapolis South? Luckily one of their strongest team traits is positive energy and they barely blinked as they switched their focus to the next opponent. Minneapolis never recovered from an early case of the drops that gave Hopkins an 8-3 half time lead. Like great teams will do, Hopkins continued to pull away in the second half and handily won the game (15-7).

Eden Prairie and Cretin-Durham faced off and played pretty evenly to 5-5. After a C-D turn, their coach made the call for them to set up in a zone defense near Eden Prairie’s upwind endzone. It proved a genius move as Cretin-Durham’s #10 Joe Ryan was able to get a Callahan score which gave C-D the lead and a huge energy boost. Cretin-Durham took the opportunity and didn’t let off the gas getting one more break and securing their spot in quarter finals with the (10-8) win.

The final pre-quarters game saw a tired Alameda team running against what looked like a much fresher Nathan Hale squad. Alameda’s #81 Kumi Hodge again kept his team in the game with layout after layout which was all but matched by the very strong defense of Nathan Hale’s #44 Jake Coate. Nathan Hale pulled ahead 8-4 at half and though they fought hard in the second half Alameda didn’t have the reserves to get back in it. The game was called due to lightning with Nathan Hale ahead (10-7) final score.


With Saturday’s pool play out of the way and the first section of the elimination bracket over, it was time for the final 8 teams to get down to the business of deciding who would take home the trophy this year. The remaining teams were South Eugene, Monroe, Cathedral, Hopkins, Lakeside, Cretin-Durham, Seattle Academy and Nathan Hale. The noticeable absence of The Northwest School meant it could be anybody’s day. Late rain on Saturday softened up the fields even more, and if teams had struggled in the previous days light winds they were in for trouble today with winds gusting up to 20 mph.


With Northwest missing from title contention, #1 Lakeside looked poised to make a run for the championship. But first, they would have to take on a strong Cretin-Durham team. Early on in the game it became apparent that Lakeside players were working with a superior skill set. Despite Cretin-Durham’s strategy of “punt and zone”, Lakeside time and time again worked it both directions in the wind for scores. Lakeside pulled ahead 5-0 before Cretin-Durham would even find a receiver in the end zone. Lakeside ran a zone that was very effective and continually got the turns they needed. They continued to score points on Cretin-Durham and pulled ahead 9-4. Cretin-Durham made a run late in the game but it was too little too late as Lakeside sent them home under the soft-cap (10-7).

If anybody still had doubts about Monroe’s ability after their performance on Saturday they were in for more surprises on Sunday. South Eugene who had played fantastic on Saturday had the misfortune of drawing the Cobras for their quarterfinal game. From the outset, the South Eugene players seemed to be having difficulty with keeping their footing and wind. Their huck game, led by #1 Jacob Jannin, faltered in the wind and they couldn’t adjust to the underneath cuts. Monroe’s short game mentality adapted much better to the wind and against man or zone defense they were able to move the disc into the wind very efficiently and take an amazing 6-1 lead. #13 Hugo Rojas was spectacular for the Cobras, not only was he one of the two offensive player who touched the disc every 2-3 throws, he also repeatedly marked up on defense against South Eugene’s best players. South Eugene made a short run late in the first half to close the lead to 8-4 but their time was running out. In the second half South Eugene couldn’t put together the plays they needed to catch up with Monroe. Jannin never was able to fully get into a rhythm and Monroe just kept punching in scores to finally close out the game (9-6).

On the far field an all too common match up was taking place, Nathan Hale v Seattle Academy. Like the other teams in this round, both Hale and SAAS had a rough time adjusting to the strong winds and sloppy conditions. Throughout the game both teams found player after player slipping and sliding only able to score downwind. Seattle was the only team able to get a break in the first half and it would prove to be all they needed. With the cap on coming out of half, Seattle got the final score they needed and dashed Nathan Hale’s hopes with a 9-6 win. It was refreshing to see two rivals, in a game that easily could have been contentious, play with such spirit.

Perhaps the game of the day, and what could have easily been the finals game, took place in the Quarters between cross town rivals Cathedral and Hopkins. The local fans were in for a treat as the struggle for dominance in the Minneapolis High School arena was played out in Independence. These two teams had played no less than a week prior to Sunday’s game with Hopkins pulling off a tight victory and Cathedral was ready for a rematch. Though the winds were as strong on their field as any, Hopkins opted to play man defense versus Cathedral’s strategy of running a cup. Initially this worked in HURt’s favor as they were able to pull ahead 3-1. But Cathedral’s energy was high and they would not let an early deficit bring them down. Behind the wind cutting puts of #5 Eric Johnson, Cathedral clawed their way back into the game 3-4. The next point was a marathon, with turn after turn neither team seemed like they would be able to punch it in, but Cathedral was able to out-endure it and finally grabbed an upwind score to tie the game. Surprisingly, the next 6 points were all scored upwind leaving the game knotted at 7-7 before Cathedral got a stop and were able to score and take half 8-7. Cathedral received coming out of the half and were able to squeak a score past a bidding HURt player for a 9-7 lead. Any other team in this round would have been devastated by a 2 point deficit this late in the game but Hopkins is not any other team. They are made of steel and brick on the inside and in games like this, that comes in very handy as they stood up and took two points right back from Cathedral to tie the game at 9’s in a game capped at 11. But in great games, great players step up and once again Senior Eric Johnson, with his jaunty black bandanna, decided that a play needed to be made. His, irreverent of the wind, hammer on the next point landed perfectly in his receiver’s hands giving Cathedral the lead and put a huge gust of wind in their sails. All it took was one turnover on the next point and Cathedral took advantage scoring yet another up-winder to secure their spot in the semi finals and their victory over their bitter rival.


In the fist semifinal game, a senior-deep Cathedral would be pitted against perennial powerhouse Lakeside. Early on it seemed like the game would be a nail biter with the teams trading points. Both were playing zone and again Cathedral’s Johnson, unaffected by the wind, seemed to be able to put the disc wherever he wanted on the field. At 3-3 #1 Andy May of Cathedral unfortunately made a critical error and turned the disc over near the upwind end zone and Lakeside took advantage. Lakeside took the momentum from there and behind the great defense of #12 was able to pull away to an 8-4 halftime lead. Cathedral couldn’t recover and Lakeside did what great teams do and never let up the pressure. More layout Ds by #12 and solid offensive performances by standout #96 Julian Childs-Walker and #3 Justin Norden helped Lakeside shut out Cathedral in the second half and grab their spot in the finals game with authority (15-4).

In the other semifinal, Monroe drew a rematch against their pool play opponent Seattle Academy who had handed the Cobras their only loss in Saturday play. Monroe came out chomping at the bit, ready to prove that the 13-7 loss they had taken was a fluke, and that they were as good a team as any at Westerns. They proved it by marching to a 6-1 lead over SAAS and surprising one more team with their unorthodox offense. Content to, again and again, take the short under throws and never panicking regardless of pressure, Monroe made short work of the Seattle defense. With their offense synching so well, Monroe’s defense needed only to patiently wait for Seattle to turn over the disc and then could have complete confidence that another score was coming. Seattle’s defense had absolutely no answer for this methodical attack by Monroe and with their offense struggling to score frustration quickly set in. After scoring two goals in the first half, Seattle was only able to get one more in the second half before Monroe slammed the door on their Westerns hopes at 15-3.


Monroe’s coach Ken Brown said on Saturday that he believed his team had been under-seeded coming into the tournament, but he may have been the only one to have picked his team to make it into the finals. Monroe had slain giant after giant on their journey and now perhaps they had their biggest task of the tournament, attempting to knock off the #1 seeded and heavy-favorite Lakeside. It was easy to see the differences in the two teams, Monroe had 3 subs, Lakeside had 12. But low numbers had yet to cramp the Cobras style and their game plan would be the same as before, make the short throws and take advantage when the other team made mistakes. Lakeside’s early strategy was to play zone to disrupt the short movement of Monroe’s handlers and to send receivers deep to take advantage of Monroe’s fuel tanks that had to be nearing empty. This strategy worked well, the wind losing some of its steam and a seemingly endless number of players who were able to put the disc deep allowed Lakeside to run up a 5-2 lead on Monroe and make them play from behind, a position they hadn’t been in much this weekend. Having so few subs turned out to be Monroe’s downfall, with the tiring of bodies the Cobras started to make mental errors, catches that had been easy in earlier games became drops and deep cutters off turns weren’t picked up fast enough leading to easy Lakeside scores. This exhausted Monroe team was ripe picking for Lakeside’s #22 Sam Keller as he kept the offense moving with his crisp throws and threw a monkey wrench into Monroe’s offense with his smart, explosive defense. In the end, Lakeside would not be denied and after winning the first half 8-3 closed the book on Monroe’s incredible Westerns run by winning the game 15-4 and taking home their first Westerns Championship.

Westerns: Girls Official UPA Write-up

The UPA has released their official write-ups from the Western Championships. They are well written (in both the open and girls divisions). As I'm sure there are thoughts and feelings post-westerns, let each of these posts (one for the open and one for the ladies) serve as the place you can offer your feedback on the experience whether you were there or not...


Here is the official write-up of the 2008 Westerns Ladies Division according to Christina Wirkus.


Saturday welcomed 11 Western’s girls’ teams to Independence, MO with clouds, wind and a slight drizzle. Despite looming thunderstorms, these high school girls were excited to play and take on the competition in hopes for a Championship title.


The first round kicked off with the familiar matchup of Cretin-Derham and Minneapolis South. Cretin-Durham had lots of good hucks and their depth and athleticism proved to be a tough match for South. Emily Regan tried to make things happen for South on both offense and defense, but it was not enough to stop the solid handlers on Cretin-Derham and they closed it out effortlessly (13-4).

Nathan Hale emerged victorious over Alameda (9-6) with their tough zone defense taking away the easy dump. Alameda did a great job of swinging the disc but Nathan Hale showed their strong fundamentals were the key to their success.

In Pool A, Seattle Academy faced off versus Cathedral in a game of big hucks. Seattle was too quick on transitions for Cathedral to stop and Talia Shulman took the Cardinals to half with a huge layout score. Cathedral’s Cami Nelson also had some big catches in the air but Seattle had already found their flow and ended their first game of the day with an upset (11-4).

The Northwest School held seed over Hopkins with Sarah Benditt (NW) making plays all over the field. The Hopkins offense ran primarily through Erica Baken’s crisp and accurate throws. Both teams showed up with intense layouts on offense and defense but The Northwest School dominated HERt Force (12-4).

Lakeside beat Lakewood by playing intense from the start. Lakeside came out strong early in the game and kept the field spread out. Mackenzie Ruoff was a scoring machine and Sally Landefeld and Arianna Vokos came up with some big D’s. Christina Mickle was Lakewood’s go-to player, but she was not enough to stop the Big Cats as the marched on to a convincing victory (13-3).


In Pool B, Cretin Derham matched up against a frustrated Lakeside. Cretin Durham’s Kelly Wild ran down huck after huck for the score. Lakeside made a great run in the second half relying on the solid throws of Junior Lucy Williams. Raging Safari regained the momentum and came out with the win 11-7.

Nathan Hale beat Minneapolis South in this round by patiently working the disc right past their zone. Minneapolis struggled upwind and could not quite connect on their throws, falling 4-13 to the Raiders.

In Pool A, Hopkins eked out a win over Cathedral in a hard fought game. The wind was taking its toll on both teams but Hopkins’ Elise Rasmussen was open on her cuts all day. Ali Lanz of Cathedral had some huge hucks and proved her patient throws upwind could work. But the Crusaders could not get it together before hard cap and lost a heartbreaker 8-9.

Churchill came out against Seattle Academy in their first game of the day with a very dominant cup. Seattle had a hard time swinging the disc against Churchill’s zone, and relied on some big hucks by Senior Bailey Zahniser. The Lancers get their first W and end it 10-6.

Alameda versus Lakewood was fairly close most of the game with lots of hucks, and both teams relying primarily on advantageous field position. Alameda breaks to take half and won (10-6) with their offense this game running through Maya Chapman and Marisa Rafter.


In Pool A, The Northwest School and Seattle Academy faced off in a rematch from the State Championship this year. Seattle came out fired up, and traded points to tie it at 3-3. Northwest gained the momentum on a marathon point to go up 4-3, and could not be stopped the rest of the game. They didn’t let Seattle score again and won out (11-3).

Churchill faced off against Cathedral showing off their effective cup once again. Their crisp forehands in the wind and their quick high release backhands were too much for Cathedral to handle. Cathedral relied on their punts in an attempt to gain field position but Churchill’s handlers looked strong and their cutters looked quick as they dominated the field (15-3).


In Pool B, Nathan Hale beat Lakeside with their suffocating defense. Their experienced throws and calm in the wind was a tough match for Lakeside and the Raiders went on to win 11-7.

Cretin-Derham won out against Lakewood after coming out a little slow. They soon found their rhythm, using every player on the field. Molly Geske made some big catches to keep Raging Safari’s momentum. Lakewood’s Julieanna Rusnak had great D’s and Liên Hoffman had a huge sky in the endzone, but too many of their big hucks were not connecting and they lost big 5-13.

Alameda played Minneapolis South in an exciting game. Alameda went up 5-2, but Minneapolis answered back to tie it at 5’s. Alameda’s #9 made a big catch in the endzone under tough defensive pressure to start the second half. Sweet Meat finished the game with a tough layout catch by teammate Maya Chapman (10-6).


In Pool A, Churchill matched up against The Northwest School in a hard fought and highly-skilled game. Churchill’s upwind throws were solid, but The Northwest School played each point like they wanted to prove something. Defensively the teams were evenly matched, but Churchill won by capitalizing on all Northwest’s turnovers, turning nearly every one into scores, winning 11-5.

Seattle Academy surprisingly upset Hopkins in this round (4-11). Seattle was making big plays on both sides of the disc, playing with a tremendous amount of heart in a game with lots of long points. Hopkins had trouble finding their flow, and had no answer for Bailey Zahniser who was unstoppable with outstanding offense and defense.

Lakewood finally earned a win in their match up against Minneapolis South. Minneapolis’s Frieda Manthei had some great D’s and good cuts, but Lakewood capitalized on their turns and won the long battles. Lakewood’s tall receivers were also trouble for Minneapolis and the Tigers won soundly (13-5).

Lakeside held seed against Alameda using their four person cup to contest every throw. Neither team played timid upwind but Lakeside’s patience and swinging led them to victory. Alameda frequently held the disc for too long, waiting for a deep shot or a difficult break side cut to materialize and would usually result in a turn. The Big Cats go on to win 9-7 in hard cap.

The girls’ showcase game (Nathan Hale v Cretin-Derham) was rescheduled for bright and early tomorrow morning due to strong storms and intense lightning Saturday evening. Wet weather conditions should improve tomorrow but the wind will still remain a factor for the early morning pool play rounds.


Sunday morning kicked off bright and early with the showcase game scheduled for Saturday night’s last round. Nathan Hale and Cretin-Durham faced off on a muddy field in 20-30 mph winds. Cretin-Durham won the flip and chose to pull downwind. With the score tied 4-4, Nathan Hale patiently moved the disc upfield, bringing it within 15 yards of their endzone, but couldn’t convert. Nathan Hale was much more skilled at moving the disc upfield than Cretin-Durham, who just relied on hucking for field position in the downwind end zone. Cretin’s throws into the wind were really not impressive. Ultimately, this game was decided by the flip, with neither team being able to score upwind. (6-5) Cretin Durham wins in hard cap.


The final round of pool play was also played Sunday morning. The Northwest School played Cathedral in a game that started out with a lot of deep puts and zone defense. Northwest’s experience in the wind is not affecting their throws as much as Cathedral and they have no problem moving on with a decisive victory (12-3).

Churchill faces off against Hopkins and immediately puts an upwind score on the board, looking like they might run away with the win. Hopkins answers right back, and the teams trade upwind points to tie it 2-2, making things interesting. Churchill goes on a run proving their talent and sound fundamentals were too hard to stop and never look back (10-3).

The other three games paired up Nathan Hale versus Lakewood, Cretin-Durham versus Alameda, and Lakeside versus Minneapolis South. Each of the games were low scoring and the winner determined by who won the flip and chose to pull downwind. Although each of the teams came close to scoring upwind, the strong wind proved to be the dominating factor in these early rounds and was too hard to overcome. Lakewood, Cretin-Durham, and Lakeside all emerged victorious.


Seattle Academy had never looked more fired up to play against Nathan Hale in their first game of the qualifying rounds. Seattle pulled, got the D, and then scored upwind. They quickly repeated the same steps again downwind to bring the score 2-0. Nathan Hale finds their composure and takes the game back after a few points and take the lead 6-5. But the big hucks from Bailey Zahniser and big plays by Talia Shulman, Katie Reynolds and Sierra Evans are causing some problems for the Raiders and they had a difficult time shutting their connections down. Nathan Hale finally settles down and shows that their patience pays off, coming out on top (11-8).

Alameda comes out against Churchill showing a lot of patience upwind. However, Churchill’s Kimber Coles sneaks in and comes up with a big D. Churchill gets the first score downwind followed by an upwinder the next. Alameda’s freshman Marisa Rafter is playing amazing defense, but it is not enough to stop Churchill’s smooth O. Alameda’s Loren Diesi-Palmer finds some luck throwing blade hucks, but Churchill still dominates. Churchill’s tough man D posed problems for Alameda and Churchill easily wins 11-2.

Cretin-Durham plays Hopkins in a familiar matchup of last year’s state championship. Erica Baken is looking solid for HERt Force, but Cretin-Durham is contesting every throw on defense. Both teams are punting it downfield, but Cretin-Durham is finding more connections. The last point of the game lasts 30 minutes, through both caps, but Cretin Durham winds up with the win, final score 7-1 which earns them a spot in semifinals.

Last up, The Northwest School plays Lakeside and the score is soon tied 2-2. Northwest has some good opportunities upwind, but they just couldn’t convert. Northwest worked it patiently upwind, but get too excited just outside the endzone and their throws have too much on them. At 6-4 Northwest, Lakeside has a big opportunity to score upwind with the disc on their goal line. They turn it over on a missed throw and Northwest punts it downwind. Lakeside is being very patient with their upwind throws with the solid handling of #32, and is doing a great job of using everyone on the field. Northwest finally scores it downwind and wins the game, but Lakeside plays with immeasurable heart and refuses to give up. Score: 7 to 5.


The first semifinal pairs up Churchill and Nathan Hale. Churchill went up quickly on Nathan Hale, who seemed to be catching some unlucky wind gusts. Churchill is looking impressively crisp early on with only 10 players and comes out in a zone. They soon switched to man defense after Nathan Hale had no problem punching it through. A few turnovers later, Lisa Neyman puts a beautiful huck upwind to find CJ Jost in the endzone, bringing the score to 4-1 Churchill. Nathan Hale starts to get a little impatient after gaining a few yards and sends it upwind out of their receivers range. After another turn, Nathan Hale regains composure and scores upwind, bringing the score to 4-2. Hale gets another D and Zina Hurd throws the score downwind to Barbara Hoover in traffic, 4-3. Churchill turns up the heat as Claire Neyman has a sick tailing edge catch in the endzone to regain momentum. Nathan Hale loves throwing to space and keeps the game close but Churchill manages a 9-6 win and a chance for the [Westerns] title.

Cretin-Durham played The Northwest School in the other side of the bracket in what proved to be the most exciting game of the tournament. Northwest wins the flip, but the wind has started to die down. Northwest scores first and relies on the solid handling of Julia Snyder to run a successful zone offense, often finding Sarah Benditt as the receiver. Northwest’s Anna Reed is also all over the field, hungry for every disc on offense and defense. Cretin Durham has found their rhythm this game and Katie Godfrey’s backhand breaks are trouble for Northwest. Cretin-Durham scores a hard fought point to take the lead 5-4 with a huge upwinder, but The Northwest School answers back. They go on a three point run, and take half 7-5. Northwest is playing a stifling zone, but the game is far from over. Cretin-Durham starts the second half with fire in their bellies, and #32 has a nice layout grab in the endzone. Cretin scores again downwind to tie the game at 7s. Cretin gets the D and Natalie DePalma has a hot toe drag for her catch and converts it into a huge upwind score. Raging Safari regains the lead 8-7. Northwest turns it up and Julia Snyder finds Anna Reed for an upwind score. The game is now at universe point with Cretin-Durham going upwind and the cap on. Both teams have great opportunities to score, playing lights-out defense and neither is ready to give up anything. Northwest’s Anna Reed makes a huge layout catch and finds Lindsey Miller for the quick score. Northwest wins 9-8 and moves on to finals against Churchill.


The finals is a rematch of last year’s game with Churchill versus The Northwest School. Both teams have had long days and have to find that inner fuel for this game. Northwest seems to have the momentum in this game from their hard-fought semifinals game and gets a D in the zone as the[y] first step on the field, walking it in for a downwind score. Northwest is looking very composed hitting dumps, swings and then continue for a big upfield gain. Sarah Benditt connects with Angela Parisi for a sweet upwind score. It’s clear that Churchill could use some fresh legs as they aren’t looking as solid as they were earlier. Their small roster size was definitely wearing on them. Churchill tries to get her team back in a winning mentality with a nasty layout D by Claire Neyman. On a fast break, Churchill’s Lisa Neyman finds Kimber Coles in the endzone with a great toe drag catch. Northwest turns back up the heat and is fighting for every disc that goes up. The Northwest School is looking strong and deep and start to take over the game, abusing Churchill’s tiredness. The Lancer defense is not tight and most are jogging from fatigue setting in. A few easy passes later, Northwest’s Anna Reed is wide open in the endzone and catches the final score. Northwest wins, (15-4).

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Westerns: finals

Lakeside over Monroe - [14-04]
Northwest over Churchill - [15-04]

Both finals seemed to be decided before the first halfs were over.

The Churchill girls lost christine Wilson the last point of the hale
semi-final and the girls were down to 9 players. They will be the
first team in the history of westerns to make it to the finals with
only 10 players and played with only 9 against northwest.

Northwest deserved the game though in every way. 4 years of being in
the finals... And they now have a championship title to go along with
the three the their boys got in the previous westerns.

On the boys side, lakeside simply dominated this weekend and proved
that they did deserve the number one seed.

The greatest disappointment was probably south eugene and Hopkins who
both exited the tournament way earlier than expected.

Hale and Cretin on the ladies side also lost in heartbreaking fashion.
Hale against Churchill knew that they'd give northwest a better game
in the finals, but a determined Churchill squad wouldnt give it up. As
for cretin, their semi final against northwest was decided on universe
point after NWS forced it just before hard cap went on.

Congrats to lakeside and northwest!

-luke johnson

Columbia Boys and Paideia Girls Win Easterns

Defeating Amherst in finals, 12-10 in Open and 13-8 in Girls.

After Columbia took half 8-5, the final was capped to 12 at 10-8, and Amherst crawled back with Columbia captains Brian Walter (broken foot) and Zander Padget (hamstring) out of the game due to injury. At 11-10 CHS, junior Tim Morrissy threw the game-winning goal to senior Jonah Sprung.

Northwest Girls & Lakeside Boys Win Westerns

Northwest Girls beat Churchill 15-4

Lakeside Boys beat Monroe 15-6 (or maybe 5).

Congrats to all!


Westerns: Championship Games

Was told:

Open: 7-2 Lakeside leading Monroe.
Girls: 2-0 NWS leading Churchill.

Westerns: open

Cathedral vs Lakeside. - [06-15]
SAAS vs Monroe. - [03-15]

-luke johnson


Chs vs amherst finals

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Westerns Semi-finals: Halftime scores

Halftime Open :
Lakeside 8, Cathedral 4
Monroe 8, SAAS 2

Girls not halftime yet:
NWS 4, CDH 4

Not sure about Hale v Church score


Westerns: ladies

This morning the Churchill ladies took on Hopkins in the last pool
play game in the A pool, while the B pool played both their last two
play games early where cretin beat hale in 20mph winds 6-5.

The quarters were then set as:
Churchill vs Alameda - [11-02]
Hale vs SAAS - (11-08]

Northwest vs Lakeside - [07-05]
Cretin vs Hopkins - [05-02]

Semis: (starting in less than 10min)
Churchill vs
Cretin vs Northwest

Westerns: Open - Quarter Final Results

Update from a NWS Admin/Chaperone.

Apparently very windy and muddy.

All final scores.

Lakeside 10
CD-Hall 7

Hopkins 9
Cathedral 11

Monroe 9

Hale 6

Semi matchups:


Nobody from Seattle is surprised by Monroe. Monroe has been a competitive team here for years. A strong indicator of success is our MS leagues and the state tourney. These same great Monroe kids won the MS league two years running when they were 7th/8th graders. SAAS finished 2nd. Lakeside did well in MS and picked up some great 9th graders. In state last year Lakeside and Monroe played a 10-9 game or something like that for 3rd place.

These past two years public school teams that don't feed Nathan Hale have won the MS league. Don't be surprised if in a couple of years there are some more Seattle Public HS teams that are very strong.


Westerns Girls - Quarter Final Matchups

Here is the update I received from an NWS admin/chaperone in Missouri:

Girls Quarter Finals Matchups:

(Cretin-Derham Hall beat Hale this morning 6-5)

(Winner plays winner of SAAS v Hale)

Seattle Academy
Nathan Hale

(This game was apparently 2-2 after an hour of play)

(Winner plays winner of NWS v Lake)

I also hear that it is very very windy and very muddy.

Westerns: open

Final. Monroe 9 sehs 7

Westerns: open

Quarterfinal update. 13 seed monroe is beating 3 seed south Eugene
6-1. The ridiculous missouri wind is hurting south as Jacob janin
seems to be inches away from every throw. The cobras though can't drop
anything as the swilliest throws fall into their laps. How is the same
team that beat Hopkins 16-13 losing to a team that has never finished
in the top 4 in their STATE. Could it possibly have something to do
with 35 mph winds and playing on a field of mud? Sounds like an
equalizer to me...

-Trevor Smith

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Westerns: Quick round up

I am back now in my hotel and reflecting upon the day. I spent most of it with the Churchill girls team, but during the first and fourth round I ventured out to see the other talented present. Most of the morning I posted updated with my iphone, but just before the end of the 4th round the battery died, and for those who I left with the cliff-hanger, I am sorry.

As state already, I was wrong in my first game predictions, but here is the basic run down in the Girls Division A Pool:
Churchill - [3-0]
Continuing their dominance, the Churchill ladies stepped up play in their early pool play games against Seattle Academy and Cathedral. But it was in their game against the number 3 overall, Northwest, which was impressive. Taking half 8-3, the Eugene ladies were simply clicking like they did last year and ended up taking the last pool play game of the day 11-5 (before the lightning struck and everyone bailed out).
Northwest - [2-1]
Seattle Academy - [2-2]

This was the story of the day in the girls division (unless something happened in the B pool I didn't catch). SAAS started their day against Northwest and Churchill who both handed them a pretty difficult loses, but would bounce back and upset both Cathedral and Hopkins. Their last round game against Hopkins was a killing as Hopkins simply could not get clicking and self destructed.
Hopkins - [1-2]
Cathedral - [0-3]

I unfortunately don't know what took place in the rest of the girls division other than what was already posted. And in the boys division all I watched was the South Eugene vs Hopkins game that ended up going to South in cap 16-13.


Paidea over nashville prequarters
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Woodside over beacon
Longmeadow over holy

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Yorktown over ridgefield 15-13
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Westerns: open

Soft cap rang at 14-12, south. Hopkins put it in and it would be a
game to 16.

Jacob would put the bricked pull in, a couple fakes, and then Charlie
again would be five steps off his guy and take the huck down. 15-12
south. Game point south.

-luke johnson

Westerns: open

Hopkins after a few turns and a stupid jack deep again put it in and
we are at 13-12 south.

South's charlie immediatly after the pull streaked deep, and seconds
later on the goal line put the disc to Dylan for 14-12.

-luke johnson


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Westerns: open

South was up 11-8, but just let hopkins run another 2 off to bring it
within 1, but as I was writing Dylan jacked it deep to Janin again for
12-10. The junior worlds player is earning his keep.

10 minutes to softcap and I think my phone will be dead after this
post. I'll try and put the final score up, but not sure I'll be able.

And robbie Shapiro (#4) just scored on a sweet layout making it 11-12,
but south again answered in seconds making it 13-11.

-luke johnson


Chs over memorial 15-10
Pennsbury over longmeadow 15_11
Nhills over woodside 15-3
Nmh over holy 13-12
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Westerns: open

Calling a time out, south immediatly put the disc back into play and
after a failed greatest, south would throw it back to freechild on a
stall nine hammer throwaway and take half 9-7

Westerns: open

The south/hurt game is the game to watch with blazing fast disc
movement. South scores again on a Jacob (#1) to Charlie (#2)
connection with a timeout called immediatly after by SEHS.

-luke johnson

Westerns: open

Hurt gets the break back, but south answers back with a swilly O point
making it 5-4.

It is 3-1 Cold front over rockhurst and the same in the Cretin game
over SAAS.

-luke johnson

Westerns: open

In a great poach D by #3 jake, south Eugene just earned the first
break and are up 3-1. This is going to be a great game!

As I was writing, hurt moved the disc through the starting line of
south and scored past a bidding Dylan freechild or SEHS making it 3-2

-luke johnson

Churchill finally closed it out on the new and upcoming Cathedral 15-3
(so I was wrong before). And Northwest just took it to SAAS 11-3 in
another of many games that will go to cap.

-luke johnson

Westerns: ladies

Northwest just took half 8-3. And are about to start the second. And
Churchill on horrible form just allowed two points including an upwind
break. Churchill is just playing slope even though it is now 13-4.

-luke johnson

Westerns: open

South eugene gets the first break up wind and now has hale at 7-5.

Cathedral and Seattle academy are both ip 9-3 on Northwest and Monroe

-luke johnson


Beacon over martinsville 15-9

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Westerns: Open

South Eugene is currently even with Hale at 3-3 with the wind slowing
things down.

Cathedral is up 5-3 on Northwest on a game of huge importance for both.

-luke johnson


13-6 final score amherst over pai
12-8 nmh over memorial

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Westerns: ladies

The B pool all have a bye round. So the action is just in the A.

Seattle academy is currently doing battle against Northwest and is on
pull down 2-3. Northwest is looking too good to be beat, but the SAAS
upset first round is something the seem to be riding and they are
making Northwest work much harder than they want to.

Churchill just ripped through Cathedral 8-0 to take half in definitive
fashion. The second half is about to start back up, so more coming

-luke johnson


Chs over holy 15-5
Nhills over urbana 15_3
11-5 amherst over pai , still going

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Nhills over nashville 15-4 final
Woodside over urbana 15-7
Penns over ridgefiel 15_4
Paidea beats beacon
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Westerns: ladies

Churchill up 2-1 on SAAS with first break up wind.

-luke johnson

Westerns: open update

Northwest won over Eden prairie in a close one, 10 - 9 at
hard cap.
Cretin beat monroe in a game that was also tighter than expected 15-12.
SAAS beat Lakewood handily as did cathedral over rockhurst.
The next round just started.

-luke johnson


9-3 penns over ridgefield , right after half
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15-1 amherst over martinsville
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Paidea over beacon. 8-1 @ half
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8_2 longmeadow over yhb half
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Westerns: Open

Everyone is keeping seed thus far, but the exciting game is Northwest
vs Eden Prairie. Only up 8-6, the defending champions are struggling
or maybe just Eden is playing great.

-luke johnson

Westerns: Ladies

Northwest just took it to Hopkins and easily dominated the first half
8-1. I will be wrong in my prediction I suspect, but it has had much
less to do with Hopkins not playing well and much more more to do with
Northwest playing some of the best ultimate I've seen from them. They
moved the disc with ease around the Hopkins cup and by the third point
Hopkins was hanging their heads...

SAAS is also dominating well over Cathedral despite letting them score
three times. SAAS is up 6-3 and should take half soon.

Hale just took half on Alameda in dominating fashion as well. The wind
does not seem to be a factor for them. Alameda had managed to score a
couple times and are down 3-8. These games are only to 13 and this
game should get there.

And in the final girls game going on, Cretin is dominating Minneapolis
South 9-2, but the South girls have the more muddy jerseys!

-luke johnson

Westerns: Ladies

I was wrong in my scoring before in the northwest game, but Hopkins
just made their first score 1-5 against a very, very good looking
Seattle team. That said it was a down winder and they got a ways to go
before giving Northwest the game they planned to.



Paidea over team from indiana 15_3 final
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Westerns: Ladies

Raging Safari up on Minneapolis 4-2
Hale up on Alamada 3-1
SAAS up on Cathedral 4-1
And Northwest up with another up wind break 4-1 on Hopkins



15_13 holy over memorial final
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15_6 chs over nmh
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15_6 amherst over beacon : final
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Westerns Ladies: SAAS

The SAAS ladies just got the first break in their game up wind against
Cathedral and are now up 2-0. With only an hour and 15 minute rounds
and gusty winds, these games are not going to be even close to getting
to 15.



Pennsbury over yhb 15-4
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Partial updates

8-7 memorial over holy family
8_4 amherst over beacon
8-1 chs over nmh
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Westerns: Captains Meeting

The captians meeting took place without a hitch and under the noise of
two loud charter buses.

Games start in less than 45 minutes!

(on a side note, I'm hoping that score reporter keeps updated, but
I'll do my best to keep total scores up by taking a shot every now and
then at tournament central)


A supposedly dry saturday is starting off wet and cloudy.
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Friday, May 09, 2008

Western: Field Site Preview

Not sure what is going on with the field site, but I suspect the storms of a few weeks ago were pretty serious and are the reason why things in Independence are not looking that ready...

The field complex has piles of sand and dirt in the parking lot in a process that typically precedes the use of the grass. We walked the girls fields first, played a little hot-box, and then took a quick gander at the boys fields. The guys fields were much worse and I'm not quite sure why. You can see Ciera Bishop (#12 from Churchill) in the photo to the left showing off a nice section of dirt on field 4. The fields were covered in this sand/dirt and small wood-chips which I suspect are some sort of fertilizer. Not the best timing when 25 of the top HS programs are converging to crown a Western Champion.

Other observations we made while there, included only 4 port-o-potties, but I am hopeful that there are some other bathrooms on site or potentially more port-o-potties being delivered. The tournament central tents were being put up as well while were there and though looking like a circus was coming to town, will hopefully provide shelter when the storms come tomorrow.

As for lines on the fields, when we arrived there had been nothing done yet. We met two individuals who seemed to be in charged that told us they were a bit behind schedule and were in the process of getting things lined. When we left around 4:30, there were 4 people out on the girls fields (1-4) that were pacing back and forth with cones and and old school paint liner. Needless to say, I was less than impressed considering this is Westerns. There seemed to be no measuring equipment to keep things accurate and no string to keep things straight. Again, this is Westerns, right?

I don't want this post to be negative and a bash against those organizing this year's Westerns. From what I heard, the Kansas City Ultimate Organization is hosting the event and did so last minute as there were no bids this year (though I could not find any information about this off the UPA westerns page). I am sure they are doing what they can, but I suspect they were both overwhelmed by the last minute weather as well as an event of this magnitude. The reality is, if tournaments like Westerns and Easterns are not run with perfection. Run with excellence. And simply stand out as the best experience of the spring for High School programs, then teams will not be attending these UPA events in the future. Everything has be better and more well done than the tournaments attended earlier in the season. Otherwise, why should teams shell out $300-500 to attend something less well done, regardless if it is called the Western or Eastern Championship.

I am hoping that tomorrow morning I am pleasantly surprised by a transformed field site. That the lined fields look better than they do this afternoon. That the tournament central doesn't look like a joke. That the amenities are plentiful and more than tasty.

Westerns: Weather Concerns

I'm here in Chicago's O'hare Airport enjoying the brisk and sunny
morning as I wait for my flight to Kansas City. With some time to
kill, I realized I never looked at the weather report foe the weekend;
something I always checked and paid careful attention to in my
preparations as either a coach, captian, or simply a player. But this
time around, I simply forgot. And wow... The weather report currently
available off of is going to frustrate nearly every team
this weekend!

80% chance of rain
65 degrees
15mph winds from the NW

The temperature is going to be nice, but the later afternoon rain that
is nearly guaranteed is going to be annoying for teams not prepared
for the moisture. I suspect the west coast teams will be completely
comfortable with this, but any time you get the disc wet it means two
things: first, it is another factor that helps equalize teams and
bring better parity. Some argue the opposite, but those people that do
are often club or elite college players. I tended to see the
equalizing factor much more in the high school scene. The second
factor is the increased tendacy for some sloppy ultimate that can also
be much more exciting to watch as players are more comfortable bidding
and discs tend to go places not originally intended.

But it will be the wind that I believe will most effect games (or is
it affect, cause I never learned that). At 15mph and more than likely
not being that fast at the first rounds mean that teams will have a
chance to adapt as the afternoon develops. I suspect teams that play a
lot of zone D will be thrilled, and teams that dread playing against
the cup will already be one step closer to defeat.

20% chance of rain
62 degrees
25mph winds from the SE

You will immediatly notice the spike in wind speed, and this is going
to be something that will give the edge to the most experienced teams.
The first team to get the break up wind is nearly guaranteed the W.
After playing this last fall at a college tournament in the Midwest
with gusts between 25-32mph, I hated ultimate for a good week or
so... The teams with the most solid set, and I repeat set, of
handlers will be in the finals come Sunday afternoon. Wind forces
teams to grit out a frustrating experiences as a team effort more than
without wind. Mental focus, patience, and positive attitude are a must.

So, in conclusion, my predictions for this weekend are going to be way
off. I suspect low scoring games on the ladies aide of things due to
near exclusive zone d. I suspect if the lady hale continues with their
4 person cup, they will be the team to beat. But, one cannot forget
how well the Churchill girl zone dominated last years westerns. That
year allowed those teams to more easily convert the turn though with
only 5-10mph winds. That said, I do not want to count out the other
ladies who could have been preparing for this wind. Not sure the
weather at the Hopkins hustle, but I'd venture to guess there was some
wind to get those Minnesota teams ready.

On the boys side, I suspect the team who will relish in the wind is
south eugene if they are at all like last year. It was their junk zone
that frustrated team after team that propelled them to the finals over
the very powerful Churchill squad. And I'm sure there will be a few
teams on the bottom who force an upset or two with the confidence of
their frustrating zone defense. Nothing at this point is guaranteed
and there will be more games going to cap and decided by less than 3
point than those that are not.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Western Girls Division Prediction

Though the girls division write-up I completed last Saturday for Westerns has only generated 14 comments in comparison to the 75 comments the boys divisions has bloated to, the is little denying that the action will be sweet and the competition just as good. And even though the discussion has centered around the top 4 teams; Churchill, Nathan Hal, Northwest, and Cretin-Derham, these teams will be in a serious world of hurt if they look past the teams rounding out the remaining 7 spots...

With less than 48 hours before the first disc will be pulled in the little known city of Independence, what can we expect? What match-ups are going to be the ones to write home mom about? Though missing the high school scene for the first time in 4 years, I suspect I will get a bit of this wrong, but I'll offer my predictions none the less.

Please know that I offers these predictions as a way to generate a conversation. I come into this conversation with an obvious bias and that should be considered. Offer your thoughts as you see fit.

Round 01: Pool A - Northwest vs Hopkins
This game is going to be sweet. Both squads have been preparing not just this week, but have been thinking about having to play one another again. The last time they played was in the previous Westerns where Hopkins' run was ended at quarters of the Championship bracket 5-15. After taking their tournament last weekend in Minnesota, I'm sure Hopkins is looking to be the top team from the Midwest, but Cretin-Derham elected to stay home and play an easy game against Twin City Academy (15-0). Though Northwest has graduated some of their talent, you'd be an idiot to think they are not talented. That said, I give the edge to Hopkins in this match-up and see the game going 15-11 Hopkins for the first upset of the weekend.
(Score Reporter estimates 15-12.9 for Hopkins as well).

Round 02: Pool B - Alameda vs Lakewood
I had a hard time picking this round because the other 2/3 match-up between Cretin-Derham and Lakeside will be taking place. There is no question that the 2/3 match-up game will be crucial for Cretin-Derham as they make their run at upsetting the B pool, I believe that this game is heavily in their favor and thus it is the 4/5 match-up that will be the most exciting. Here Alameda will have rested nicely after a more than likely beating up by Nathan Hale. Lakewood will have just finished their closer game against Lakeside, and maybe, just maybe overcome the Seattle school to secure the second upset of Westerns (first was Hopkins in the 1st round). If Lakewood was even close in their first round game, I give the edge to them in their second round game against Alameda. Alameda will have had the most time to prepare and if they're smart they will have ventured over to field 6 to do a bit of strategy against Lakewood (and eventually for Lakeside). Though this game will be close, it won't go to universe point, and will end up in Lakewood's favor 13-11. This will be the second upset of the tournament.
(Score Reporter is way off on this one and put is as a 15-6.4 in Alameda's favor)

Round 03: Pool A - Churchill vs Cathedral
The entire B pool has a bye round and thus there are only two games to choose from here. The other is the 2/5 match-up between Northwest and Seattle Academy. But that game was already played two weeks ago at the WA State tournament and went in Northwest's favor 11-5. The Churchill game won't be anything amazing, but I do believe that Cathedral will bring some talent and get a couple points on the Eugene ladies. More than anything, this game will give the 6 B pool teams a chance to see both Northwest and Churchill in action despite it not being against each other. I see Churchill taking out Cathedral 15-7.
(Score Reporter gives Cathedral a few more points and puts the game at 15-10.2)

Round 04: Pool B - Nathan Hale vs Lakeside
The entire A pool has a bye round and thus the only three games to choose from are the 1/3, 2/5, and 4/6 games. I honestly think the closest game of these will be the 4/6 with Alameda and Minneapolis South in what I could see going to cap. But, it won't be the best game to watch as that will be reserved for the all Seattle action in the Nathan Hale vs Lakeside game. These two met two weekends ago at the WA State tournament where Nathan Hale took out Lakeside in the semi-finals 13-6. I'm sure that Lakeside is looking forward to this game and hoping for a much better showing. This showing will be so dependent upon the previous rounds, especially the Lakeside/Cretin-Derham game. If Lakeside manages to muster an upset win here, which is possible, but unlikely, then I would not be envying Nathan Hale in the fourth round. I give this game to Nathan Hale still, but with Lakeside forcing the game to be much longer and harder than Hale will have hoped for in a score 13-9.
(Score Reporter gives this game to Nathan Hale 15-9)

Round 05: Pool A - Churchill vs Northwest
In what could be the most anticipated game of the tournament, Churchill and Northwest have been imagining this game, in this setting, since last year's brutal final where Churchill emerged the new Champion of the west. Churchill has been thinking about this match-up, knowing full well that Northwest will be different and much, much more prepared. Northwest has also been thinking about this game more than I'm sure they'd admit. The loss they took in the finals the year before was as embarassing as South Eugene's loss on the open side, and those kind of games stick with a team. The interesting thing will be whether it has stuck to provide the necessary motivation to beat the defending Western champion. These two programs did see each other at the college PLUBBQ tournament earlier this spring, but that game was no where as close to as important as this one. And as I have things working out, Northwest will be entering into this game already with a loss to Hopkins and thus has the chance to force a three-way tie if Churchill would then take out Hopkins... But, enough about all the "what if's"... I see this game going 15-12 in the closest game Churchill will have had all tournament, but Northwest will again suffer the fate of losing to the Churchill program.
(Score Reporter has this game going 15-10.7 in favor of Churchill)

Round 06: B Pool - Nathan Hale vs Cretin-Derham
As this is the only round that is taking place, it WILL be the only game to watch, but it should be a great one. With all the talk that Cretin has gotten, I suspect that some of this talk is true (as risky as that can be at times). This will be their chance to make a name for themselves, but I'm confident that Hale will be more than ready. The crowd of people that could center around this game might be a factor against Cretin, as Hale is no stranger to the big stage. Though I see Hale as the obvious favorite, I see Cretin keeping this very interesting by forcing more than a few lead changes and big break points. As both teams will push the pace of this game, I see the game pushing past 13 as Cretin foces universe point. But in the end, it will be Hale punching it in for the 14-13 win.

Round 07: Pool A - Churchill vs Hopkins
As I see Hopkins getting the upset the day before on Northwest, this game will be for the number one see in the A pool and thus the number one overall. Hopkins will have their work cut out for them, but both teams are no strangers to one another. Most of these players met this last summer during the 2007 YCC tournament and even before that there was the crazy universe point game that these two played at the previous Westerns. Both teams will be rested, and this will serve as an advantage to Hopkins who could be easily argued as the most in shape team as so many of their players come from other sport backgrounds (and I suspect are varsity players on those other sports teams much like the Northwest girls and their soccer team). Though Hopkins will keep this game gritty and maybe even inch out an early lead, the depth and history of the Churchill program cannot be ignored. Sure the team no longer has the ridiculously talented Autumn Tocchi and Aubri Bishop, but those are the only two players who graduated. I see this game ending 15-11 in Churchill's favor, but it will not be easy.
(Score Reporter has this as a 15-12.4 win for Churchill)

Sunday Championship Bracket:
Quarter Finals
1) Churchill vs Lakewood
After their upset of Alameda, Lakewood earns the right to play into the Championship Bracket. This won't last though as they will be handled by Churchill 15-2 as Churchill gears up for another road to the finals.

2) Northwest vs Cretin-Derham
This will be the game to watch at 10:30am as both of these teams have something to prove and going out this early is not an option. As one of the hardest games to call, I put this game into Cretin-Derham's favor 15-13.

3) Hopkins vs Lakeside
I think the upset the previous day will give Hopkins the confidence it needs to push past Lakeside in convincing fashion 15-7.

4) Nathan Hale vs Cathedral
This game will be over after the first half as Hale cruises to a 15-4 win.

Sunday Championship Bracket: Semi-Finals
1) Churchill vs Cretin-Derham
I see this game being fierce, but in the favor of Churchill again as they will have played an easier game the round before. If Cretin has the kind of depth needed for the crazy 11 team format, then I see them keeping this game way closer than Churchill expected and nearly toppling the defending champion. But in the end I see Churchill taking the game 15-11.

2) Nathan Hale vs Hopkins
I see this game going to nearly universe point as Hopkins does everything in their power to stay with the highly talented and veteran Hale squad. I see this game getting capped at 16-14 in favor of the Hale girls.

Sunday Championship Bracket: Finals
This will be an amazing game... Of which I will offer no prediction.

Pre-Weaterns Test

Just checking to see if I'll be able to mobile update with photos...


Yhb wins finals
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

2008 College Ultimate National Signing Day - THE LIST

And now, without further ado - the 2008 College Ultimate National Signing Day final list....

Click here to view

Thank you to all who submitted your college choices. This year's list is a little bit smaller than past years [i think] because we moved the deadline date up so it was before Easterns and Westerns - so that people going to those tournaments could connect with other recent grads heading to the same schools.

A reminder: all information is provided as is, I merely retyped it into the spreadsheet, if people were lying about their height or school etc, we can't help it. I think there has been a certain level of respect and professionalism for the past few years though and this year appears no different.

You can view the 2007 list here, and the 2006 list here.

Seniors - Congratulations on the college decisions.

2008 College Ultimate National Signing Day - List to be released before 9pm

The list has been compiled and is almost ready to publish....

More than 50 players submitted their choices to more than 30 different colleges, check out who picked up the young talent later tonight.

While you wait with bated breath, check out the lists from 2007 and 2006 to see if you can figure out any trends. Is high school ultimate having an effect on the college scene? Do colleges need to recruit at this point to build top programs?

Love to hear the thoughts.

Check back tomorrow for a rundown of our anticipated Easterns and Westerns coverage - including information on our team of contributors sending live information to the site.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

College Ultimate National Signing Day - LAST DAY TO SUBMIT!!


For the past two years (2007, 2006) PlayUltimate has compiled a list of high school seniors and their college choices. It has grown into the College Ultimate National Signing Day. Now everyone will be able to see which colleges have the best recruiting classes and maybe even begin to look into the crystal ball a bit.

This year we will announce the list on Wednesday, April 30th May 7th, so the deadline to submit college choice information will be Sunday, April 27th Tuesday, May 6th.

There are two ways to submit your information - you can post a comment on the site (to one of the posts regarding college choices - there will be roughly 1 every 1-2 weeks) with the following information...

Last Name, First Name
High School
Right Handed / Left Handed
HS State
HS League
Worlds Tryout?
Worlds Team?
or you can send an e-mail to with the same information. Any information sent to the e-mail address before the deadline will be kept secret until the signing day.

We would love to see some more announcements from the Midwest and West Coast.


Saturday, May 03, 2008

Westerns GIRLS Preview (updated)

Western GIRLS Teams
Previous Champions:
2007 - Churchill HS over Northwest - [15-03]
2006 - Nathan Hale over Northwest - [14-07]
2005 - Nathan Hale over York House - [15-05]

Churchill will be the team to beat this year. Though they haven't been able to get as diverse a tournament schedule as last year's team, they did attend PLU BBQ and ended up in the finals, or as close as could be determined to be the finals. It should be noted that they did have two non-CHS players with them on this weekend that included former CHS player Aubri Bishop now at OSU. But on Saturday because of a missing UO team, they played a mini scrimmage against the Northwest Girls team before the weather turned and got ugly. Though this game was only played to 7 and was done very early in the season, it ended 7-4 in the favor of the CHS girls team. This along with a single game at the Oregon State Championships against Summit that ended 15-0 in Churchill's favor are the only two HS girls teams the Eugene ladies have faced. CHS is led by senior phenom Kimber Coles (#5) who made the Juniors World's 2008 team. Christine Wilson (who made alternates), also helps lead this team, but she along with the others are so much more than just a supporting cast.

The number three overall will be the Northwest School who dominated well at the WA State Championships until the finals with Nathan Hale. This 7-10 lose to Hale is something I'm sure the Northwest program evaluated and disected and are determined not to let take place again. Last year the Northwest program was given the number one seed overall and in their pool who included Cathedral, South Eugene, SAAS, and Cretin-Derham, they allowed only 10 points in pool play when compared to taking 52. They handed Hopkins a 15-5 loss in quarters and then gave Nathan Hale a great game that got capped 13-10. This game has been given as a significant reason why Northwest entered last years' Western finals and was unable to score until the second half when they had their first rest in over 2 hours. In the same pool with Churchill, and having already had one small loss to them earlier this season, will NWS be able to perform the upset of the tournament and give the Churchill girls their first loss to a high school girls program since 2006? This game will take place at 4:45pm and will be one of the best games of Saturday to watch. They'll need to fend off a very hungry and tough Hopkins team in the first round though, and this could end up being the best game of Saturday in at least my opinion. NWS is led by Anna Reed, and Julia Snyder (little sister of Anna Snyder of Carleton College), all of whom have made the 2008 Junior World's team.

Hopkins will take the 6 seed overall, but they could be the best sleeper team at the tournament. With a solid returning squad, the Hopkins team has developed out of a great Minneapolis community of players with a tradition they are forming of excellence & toughness. They will be led by Erica Baken, who is one of the most talented HS female players to play the game thus far and also another Junior Worlds 2008 player. She will bring the Hert squad into each game with focus and desire that rivals nearly every squad playing today. Also on the Hopkins squad is Elise Rasmussen who turned some heads at Junior World's tryouts and earned a spot as well. Hopkins is currently at their own hosted Hopkins Hustle, that includes Cathedral who will also be present at this year's Westerns. Or are they at the 4th Annual East Invite? They are listed on both tournaments, and to my knowledge it is impossible to play in both MN and CO the same weekend...

Cathedral will take the 8 spot overall, and sadly have to be in the same pool with what I can only assume is becoming a rival in Hopkins. It will be interesting to see what scores come in this weekend from the
Hopkins Hustle and whether Cathedral is able to topple the mighty Hopkins who has earned a higher seed them at Westerns. The last time these teams played was at the MadisonMudBath, where they took Hopkins to universe point in the semis. Hopkins would lose horribly in the finals to Cretin-Derham (13-2), and it is a wonder if it was Cathedral who simple exhausted Hopkins too much for them to play all the way through to the finals.

The final team in this first pool is Seattle Academy, who lost in the semis of their States and thus tied for 3rd with Lakeside. They will have a serious challenge ahead of them on Saturday and will need to take their first round game against Cathedral if they want to build the needed momentum against Churchill, Northwest, and then Hopkins. But, no one should count out this program as they always come to play and as all Seattle programs, have fundamentals most teams haven't heard of. They also have the talented Bailey Zahnister who also made the 2008 Junior Worlds Team.

Some questions to consider for the A Pool:
Now in the A pool with longer games, will the Churchill ladies be able keep from letting teams like Nathan Hale and Hopkins get as close as they did last year in the dreaded B pool? Will the loser of the first round game between Northwest and Hopkins end up tanking it the rest of day? Especially if this is Hopkins, will they be able to rebound in the following round and be able to play against a talented and hungry Cathedral who will be looking to upset? And finally, what damage can SAAS do as the lowest seed?

Earning the top seed on the B side is none other than Nathan Hale. Earning this spot after taking down Northwest in the finals of the State tournament 10-7, Hale has a huge monkey on their back from the previous year's disappointing finish. Though Churchill has earned the 2 spot last year, they were considered an early favorite. In the last round of Saturday, they simply could not put the disc in and lost 8-9 to a very tired Churchill program. They then had to play Cretin-Derham the following morning and only nearly moved past them in a 12-13 game. They then had Northwest and couldn't topple that giant, but did take a huge bit out of them that helped contribute to NWS poor performance in the following final. This year is different though, and Hale will be looking to take the championship back as they had before.
Though they had none of their current players make the Junior Worlds 2008 team (Elizabeth Arakai is currently at Carleton), they are powerful and deep.

The next in the B pool will be Cretin-Derham, a highly talented program that nearly took out Hale at the previous year's Westerns. They will be remembering this match-up come the showcase game at 6:30pm on Saturday. This will be a game to watch and with no other games happening, it will be my guess that most following the girls' action will be on these sidelines. Cretin-Derham has gone 9-0 for the season with 3 wins over Hopkins and one over Cathedral (teams attending Westerns). They also are led by Emily Depalma who made this year's Junior Worlds Team.

Earning the 5th seed is Lakeside from Seattle. Going 3-2 at States with loses to Hale and Northwest put this Seattle school in the background once again. Lakeside will someday have their chance to take the stage, but it doesn't look like that will happen this year. But, that said, never count any school from Seattle out. They are simply too talented to ever give an inch to, as before you know it, they have broken you and you're looking at hole you cannot climb out of. Though no longer having the talented Maggie Fisher, they do have Sara Scott who also made the Junior Worlds Team this year.

Earning the 7th seed overall is Alameda, the only team from California in the last three years that anyone has heard of (sorry to those cali teams who we don't know about). Alameda is a K-12 school that is able to build talent at a very early age and this might be the year that Alameda is finally ready to take the stage and regain some confidence in the California programs that have always been second fiddle to Oregon and California as long as this writer has known of juniors ultimate. They are a smaller but faster squad than most people are ready for, and this could serve them well. They have zero games recorded this season and a very interesting roster that includes only 1 senior. This team could be very dangerous next year if they've been able to bounce back from a poor showing at last year's Westerns.

The 10th seed over all will be Lakewood from Denver, CO. In their first showing at Westerns, I hope that the Colorado ladies have a great experience with the best talent on this side of the Mississippi. Like Alameda, they currently have zero games recorded, but the 4th Annual East Invite is taking place this weekend that these ladies have chosen to attend.

The team earning the lowest seed will be the Minneapolis South girls who have thus far gone 5-4 before this weekend's Hopkins Hustle. They will have their work cut out for them, especially considering the B pool games are much shorter and give much less time for teams to work out a strategy to beat their opponent.

Some questions to consider for the B Pool:
Can Hale keep focus on the games at hand and not get too future focused on a finals with Churchill? Can Hale keep Cretin-Derham from making a name for themselves and upsetting the Hale giant in the 6:30pm showcase game? Can Lakeside come from behind the curtain and upstage Hale who has always handed them losses? Can Alameda do something this year, or are they doomed to be on the bottom because of low level competition (or none at all) from their region? Can new comer Lakewood generate some noise and start things off with an upset over Lakeside first round?

I will let the comments flow before I give my predictions, but for now know that I've got more than a couple upsets taking place and some giants falling...