Friday, May 02, 2008

Westerns OPEN Preview (updated)

Due to a couple frustrating events, this years' Westerns will not have the full 16 team program it has had for the previous 3 years since it was created in 2005. That said, there will still be some of the best talent in the West coming to Independence, MO.

Previous Champions:
2007 - Northwest over South Eugene - [15-04]
2006 - Northwest over Hopkins - [14-09]
2005 - Northwest over Churchill - [15-07]


Update: This last weekend, the Hopkins Hustle took place. As has already been commented on, the results from this weekend contradict the seedings already set in stone for Westerns for two of the teams attending. Also of special note is how well the North Hills and Memorial teams did; both of whom will be attending this year's Easterns. Eden Prairie went 2-1 on Saturday and took out either Edina or Washtenaw Technical in pre-quarters late that same afternoon. Eden Prairie would then lose to Cathedral 7-15 as was expected. Cathedral, who had gone 4-0 up until this point would then lose to Hopkins 9-12 in semis. This game should not have gone this way according to what was expected this coming weekend (Cathedral is the 4 seed overall, where as Hopkins is the 6). Hopkins would then lose to North Hills in the finals convincingly 7-15, in a game I am sure will be used to again spur on the argument that Eastern teams are better than Western teams... That aside, it will be interesting to see how Cathedral will bounce back from this loss to Hopkins only one weekend before.

Western OPEN Teams:

POOL A:
The lakeside crew has never made it past semis at this premiere event (if my history is correct), but this year they are the number one seed overall. Taking a backseat to Northwest I'm sure has taken its' toll, but this year the Lakeside team has recorded already 2 wins over the previously dominate Northwest program. Though I'm not sure who is leading the Lakeside program this year, the fact that Lakeside only shows 2 seniors on their roster should be something that scares teams for next year if they take this year's championship. As there are only 14 teams this year, the pools are a bit funky. In both the A and C pools, there are only 3 teams and thus they have the most interesting pool play game times. Lakeside doesn't have their first game until 1pm, and should have one at 6:30pm if they stay 2-0 earlier in the day. Those two other teams that will be trying to knock them off are Alameda and Minneapolis South.

Alameda has gone 15-0 in the two tournaments they've attended (Slopfest & CA States) with their closest game against Downtown College Prep 12-8. They enter into Westerns with the highest RRI, but we all know that this is not a good indicator for how good you really are, especially when you've not played anyone else attending...

Minneapolis South has only attended Madison MudBath, and there went 3-3, but with two earlier wins in regular season games, they are 5-3 for the season. They did attend the Hopkins Hustle this last weekend, but as of my second update to this post, their scores have not been reported. They will have their work cut out for them with both Alameda and Lakeside, but never count out the Minnesota teams as they continue to expand and grow faster than Seattle (at least by some people's standards)...


Pool B:
The number two seed overall, Seattle Academy, has also always been forced to fight with other Seattle schools for the scraps after Northwest has had their fill, but not this year... The Academy has a great shot this time around, if they can avoid costly mistakes (like losing to Bellevue in the WA State quarter-finals 9-11). Maybe it is just me, but earning a 2 seed overall at Westerns seems a bit generous considering their performance at the States, but seedings are set and they'll simply need to stay 3-0 on Saturday to avoid the dreaded 2/3 cross-over.

The top competition in their pool will come in the form of Cretin-Derham, who gave Eugene's Churchill team a great game in the quarter-finals at the 2007 Westerns before. They will be the number 7 overall, and though they only have MadisonMudBath on their record (3-3 for the weekend), they have historically always come ready to play at the big show.

Lakewood comes in as the number 12 seed overall and has traditionally stayed with teams at least in the first half. This year might be a less than glamorous showing if their scores from the Fourth Annual East Invite are any indication (especially the 1-13 loss to Heritage HS). Hopefully Lakewood will come with some better performance to make the B pool a bit more interesting.

Last in this pool is new comer to Westerns; Monroe HS (the Cobras). They are an intense team that has left an impression on most opponents, if not with their talented players, then with their loud and untraditional coach... Their showing at the WA States was nothing less of impressive, with a double-game point loss in the quarters to Nathan Hale. They would take 7th place, and I'm sure this frustration will fuel their desire to avenge their pride at Westerns. Watch out Seattle programs. Those of you who have wronged these Cobras are not to be envied as you will have your hands full.


Pool C:
The third overall will be South Eugene. Now that Churchill won't be making it this year (first time since 2005), these boys will be representing the fine city of Eugene. They took the OR State tournament easily and are now ready for the big stage. Led by ridiculously talented players (Jacob Janin & Dylan Freechild), these boys have more than just serious depth and if this year is anything like previous years, they will more than likely show up with talent never seen before and surprise more than a couple programs with solidly executed offense and frustrating defense. In the funky C pool, they like Lakeside have the potential to have a crazy late Saturday afternoon game at 6:30pm that will serve as a great showcase game. This game also gives the winner the top spot on Sunday morning. Expect this game to be one of the best, if not THE best game of the weekend. My prediction is that these two teams will meet again in the finals and the edge will be on the team who losses the cross-over...

Hopkins takes the 6 seed overall, and will again be a team no one wants to face. If they're anything like they've been in the past, these boys come with a militaristic playing style that never, and I repeat, never, gives up. They had the unique position of attending Paideia Cup back in mid-April and in doing so racked up some nice experience points despite getting beaten up. Forced to play in the 5th place bracket after taking losses to Amherst and Columbia, they would win a sweet universe point game over Heritage and then lose at universe point to Paideia in the 5th place bracket and thus took home a 6th place finish. And then this last weekend, they attended their own hosted tournament, the Hopkins Hustle, where they lost in the finals to the North Hills team attending Easterns 9-15. As mentioned above, the big upset here was taking out Cathedral 12-9 in the semis; a team seeded above them here at Westerns. Hopkins will make this pool a nasty one for South Eugene come 2:45pm when they go head to head.

Nathan Hale rounds out the number 9 seed overall, and the third in this ridiculously talented C pool. Nathan Hale might have gone 3-3 at States, but this team should never be looked over. Historically, this program has never come in anything less than 10th place since 2005 (3rd, 10th, and 3rd). They are a highly developed team that continues to grow and gain a hunger for something more than always being kicked out before the finals...


Pool D:
Earning the 4 spot is something no team really wishes as it means the top spot in the pool of death. I'm not sure what to say about Cathedral, other than that these guys are currently 10-1 in the only 2 tournaments they attended this spring. At MadisonMudBath, they took the championship game, but no score was reported. The second was the Hopkins Hustle, where already mentioned above, they lost a very important game to Hopkins who is currently seeded below them here. That said, they could be a sleeping dog ready to pounce on competition not ready to face their MN style of play. If they want to earn a chance to play more on Sunday, they got to bring it against some great talent in their pool.

For the first time since Westerns was created back in 2005, the Northwest School will not be entering in as the favorite. Having been to the finals 3 years in a row and taking it each time in a definitive manner does not look to be Northwest's fate this year. But, that said, losing games is something this program must go through as it rebuilds after years of dominance. And they are actually in the best pool for a chance at upsetting. This will still mean they'll need to to go through Lakeside in the semis if things hold (a team they have yet to beat this season). Going 7-4 thus far in 2008 has been something new to this program, but no one should count this program out. They simply have too much history for their early season results to be seen as the definitive measuring stick to their abilities. As stated above, it will be their game against Cathedral at 1pm on Saturday that decides whether this program is going to challenge anyone on Sunday or whether they will simply fade into the background of the 9th place back-bracket.

Rockhurst takes the 10 spot overall and will bring a 5-2 2008 season record with them. Their only losses came from Regis Jesuit HS and Colorado Academy at the 4th Annual East Invite. Though this year's Westerns tournament will be happening in their back yard, they won't be the tournament hosts, but that shouldn't stop teams from respecting how far this program has come. Rockhurst also has some of the best spirit I've seen in HS ultimate (with memories that still hold clear from 2005 when I coached against them in the early rounds of Saturday)

And last, but not least, or maybe actually least... Eden Prairie will be making the trip to Westerns for the first time and earn the beloved last spot overall at 14. They will be the third team from Minneapolis this year, as MN continues to develop and expand at rates that compare well to Seattle's development. For Eden Prairie, coming in as the bottom seed means they cannot go home with anything less than they came with. Playing in this place can be beautifully empowering as it gives a team a 'nothing to lose' mentality. It sadly can also be defeating as everyone also believes you won't get a single "W" all weekend. It is a long and expensive trip for the team who ends up without a single win...

83 comments:

Anonymous said...

nice write-up luke, but try not to make your eugene bias too obvious. but you're right, south does have some "ridiculous talent" with dylan freechild, charlie wilson-moses and JACOB JANIN.

-trevor smith
-Churchill

Anonymous said...

I love saas, but if they came in 5th in states why are rank 2nd for westerns. It seems like states means nothing because northwest and hale both did better than saas, but got a lower seed. Did saas do that well during the season and don't say PI cup, cuz that wasn't saas.

Anonymous said...

were they missing people at state?

Anonymous said...

the 1-13 loss of Lakewood (colorado) to Heritage was actually the Lakewood mixed team which has no open players on it, we'll see how they do at state this weekend though

Anonymous said...

saas probably got the 2 seed for winning paideia cup (even if they also had nws, roosevelt and lakeside players with them)

Anonymous said...

that was in no way SAAS at the pi cup, no way, and they all know that, in the finals they would have been nothing without Rehder

Anonymous said...

SAAS still went undefeated on day 1 of state, beating NWS and Nathan Hale. They're not a fluke 2 seed

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying saas doesn't have the skill to be the 2 seed, but coming in 5th in your state should make you drop in seed.

Anonymous said...

i think it's rather stupid that some states dont play before seedings because hopkins (the 6 seeds) just beat cathedral (the 4 seed) in hopkins hustle

Anonymous said...

So who taking the gold home?
predictions....
I want to see the julian c-w and jacob match up, finals or whenever.

Anonymous said...

Jacob would/will destroy Julian.

Anonymous said...

julian is a very good player and deserving of a spot on worlds but jacob is in another class, i think it will be very apparent at westerns that janin is the best player there.

Anonymous said...

hey luke -

the prequarters did not happen at the hopkins hustle due to weather. our initial fields were pulled on saturday morning because of too much remaining standing water, so games did not get started until noon at our alternate fields.

Scores are updated on the Score Reporter now.

mike
Hustle TD

Anonymous said...

Cathedral is way overrated, although I think they are probably the best team in MN.
There placing last at Westerns was a mistake.

Anonymous said...

No way can it be said that Cathedral is the best team from Minnesota.... as they have only beaten Hopkins once in the last two years, and it was on universe point.... what Happened to Cretin and why arent they talked about... they won the state tournament, and neither Hopkins of Cathedral made the finals... I would expect a big westerns from them.

Anonymous said...

Cretin and cathedral are garbage, so is hopkins, but not as much as the others, i heard that cretin lost all their good players outside of korz or whatever his name is, cathedral and hopkins are both typical midwest teams...never will compete for a west chamionship

Anonymous said...

i dont think minn. has had their state tourny yet?

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 8:41.... I wish you would of signed your name and team so we would have the great oppurtunity to learn spirit of the game from you at westerns, if you are even going.... Cathedral is a fantastic team with great athleticism, and a dominate player in Erik Johnson and #56 no idea who he is, although Cretin did lose a key player in Luke Dwyer who was one of the best players at westerns last year, I think they will still give teams a run this weekend...as for us we will just have to see what happens this weekend, but thanks for giving us something to disprove anon 8:41

Asa Gotlieb
#50 Hurt

Anonymous said...

SAAS deserves the two seed, they ran Lakeside before State, beating them 15-10 i think? If Lakeside deserves to be the 1 seed which no one seems to be questioning, then SAAS probably deserves to be the 2 seed? Besides, is Lakeside really deserving of the 1 seed? From what i understand they faced a very underpowered schedule on their road to winning State, and the Northwest team that they had to beat this year isn't nearly as powerful as it once was. So who is on the teams that make them rated as such?

Anonymous said...

the real question is which saas team is going to show up at westerns. the one who beats lakeside and the number one seed by 5 or the one that loases to bellevue and earns 5th at state?

Anonymous said...

cretin lost 3 superstar players from lsat year and now Matt Kortz is running the team. Cathederal is a really really talented team. they are super athletic and rarely turn the disc over. But how can you guys say a Minnesota team will never win westerns when you probably have never seen a Minnesota team play?

Simon Gottlieb
24 Hopkins Hurt.

Anonymous said...

Cause they haven't won anything ever, the midwest has necer had anything good come out of it in the ultimate world outside of the CLUB team sub zero, never once have they produced a good team outside of hopkins in 06 who didnt even win...prove me wrong!

Anonymous said...

Why is Lakeside the number 1 seed? I get they have J C-W who is undoubtadly good since hes on westerns, but hes no JJ and so if they have one world's player, why are they ranked so high? theyve only beaten bad teams, and the one good team they played the got killed by, what makes them good? because 1 player isnt gonna get them far

Anonymous said...

Quit all this Minnesota hatin'. Don't forget last year Cretin took Northwest to nine, which was the most points scored on them in the past two years by a high school team, more points than even South Eugene posted in the 'ship.

Although Hopkins and Cretin teams lost good players. Cretin lost 7-8 solid players, 6 of them from the starting line. Cretin does have good players outside of Kortz (who is amazing by the way), plus some youngins waiting in the wings. Hopkins lost 3 of it's best players. I don't think Cathedral or EP lost anyone major. This might be a bit of a down year for MN at westerns, but all the teams have a lot of young talent.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kortz

Anonymous said...

who was the kid from minnesota at worlds tryouts who wasn't from hopkins? was he from cathedral/cretin? i think he had blonde hair...?

Anonymous said...

talk about the top seeds, namely Seattle Academy, Lakeside, Hopkins and South Eugene, who are going to be the premier players and whos going to win

Henry said...

To anonymous 12:29-
Was it Ben Schmit from South?

Anonymous said...

could've been...that sounds right. thanks.

Anonymous said...

Why is lakeside the one seed? Because they won the state championships in the state that has pumped out the best teams year after year.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't churchill get a bid?

Anonymous said...

they got a bid but unfortunately couldnt go due to expenses which turned into not having enough number.

dylan freechild
sehs ultimate

Anonymous said...

I think it will be interesting to see Hopkins at Westerns without Greg Arenson... he was talked about as one of the best high school players this year and now he is gone... will Hopkins step up or flounder in their injury.

Anonymous said...

I think that hopkins proved this weekend that they can still be a national contender even with Greg Arenson being out.
Cathedral is an extremely solid team who rarely drops discs and has a great player in Eric Johnson.
As for Cretin having lost most of there best players a 7 seed seems a little high but watch out for them they are always solid and could make some noise.
Also E.P. is a very senior heavy team and being that they all have played together for multiple years they could make an upset or two in their pool

Anonymous said...

Question: How many great players do you need on your team to GUARANTEE at least 1 win on Saturday at Westerns?

Dtown said...

Whoever the idiot is who said the midwest has NEVER produced a good team besides Sub-Zero..... have you ever heard of a college team name Carleton.... oh yeah and lets not forget The Hodags..... retard

Both of with have Hopkins players on them

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of either of those teams, poor argument.

Chris Pigott #15 Lakeside

ps: Hi Casey!

Anonymous said...

that is not a poor argument at all...

Anonymous said...

i really think a south eugene lakeside game would probably be the best game that can be played at westerns this year

Anonymous said...

who are the best players on those teams? or is it just because we'd get to see JCW go against JJ

Anonymous said...

don't forget Hopkins beat Lakeside last year at nationals

Anonymous said...

i am not sure about lakeside and south does have jacob but south has a solid team with no real weak links in it and i think that they will be able to use their depth incredably well

Anonymous said...

but has any team from the midwest ever won a championship in high school? wont happen this year too, i heard that at the hopkins tournament this last weekend that hopkins was scored on 9 times by a second year team...east something or other!

Anonymous said...

TO ANON 12:11

you obviously have no idea what you are talking about. Hopkins did not graduate any best players from last year. They lost Greg Arenson earlier this year, he was there best player. They are led by Juniors and Sam Brickwede and #8 (sorry don't know his name)

and chris pigott.

The Hodags won the UPA college series last year. With Hopkins player from 2006 Ben Feldman. So how can you see midwest doesn't produce anything?

Anonymous said...

chris plays for lakeside...

Anonymous said...

midwest freshman of the year michael arenson came from hopkins too...

Anonymous said...

He's a douche, Pigott, I mean

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:00

Their handler and #2 were pretty good. I'm not saying their current roster isn't good, but those two players weren't small losses. Best player on a given team is usually an opinion. Greg was a injured at P-cup right?

Anonymous said...

#2 last year was Brian Wilson.... a good teammate but not a significant loss to the team.. the other players from last year that we lost was #00 Carl Peaslee, #26 Steven Rubini, #17 Andrew Kelley, and #66 Zach Alter....again all great teammates, but not significant losses...Greg went down in the beginning of the Amherst game as Amherst went up 3-2... Greg is a fantastic player and an even better teammate... Hopkins would also like to take the time and thank all of the anonymous posters who have added gasoline to the fire... we hope to see you at westerns, and we will be ready to "give you nothing but take from you everything." (Got(t)lieb family code)

Asa Gotlieb
#50 Hurt

Anonymous said...

the carleton / hodag argument is actually not that valid. both teams have 1 hopkins player who is very solid but not a go to playmaker on their team, after that carleton's starting lines mostly come from the coasts and the hodags have a huge program that recruits and trains athletes from their giant school. so i would say that the argument in favor of midwest schools is more the fact that minnesota is producing a large youth movement with at least one competitor that can challenge the best every year. a minneapolis team has scored the most on the champion at westerns for the past two years running (9 points on nws by hopkins and then c-d), so that is a more legit argument for minnesota youth than carleton and wisco which are surprisingly lacking in the mn baller departement.

Anonymous said...

i dont think it was an argument for the youth program it was an argument saying that the midwest has good ultimate (whether it be youth college or club)because the post was referring to some idiot he said that there is no good ultimate in the midwest (referring ot everything)

Anonymous said...

the hodags have 2 hopkins players on it
ben fledman and evan klane

chris, if you have never heard of of the hodags then I think you might want to pay attention to college ultimate a little. They won college nationals last year

Anonymous said...

I will not be attending Westerns this year because of recent problems with the school (Seattle Academy.)

Jimmy Hooper
#2 Seattle Academy

Anonymous said...

And there's Jimmy Hooper getting into trouble...Well, obviously doesn't bode well for SAAS. Will be fun to see if they can still pull it off.

Anonymous said...

Jacob Janin is a little bitch

Anonymous said...

what did you do? is it that bad? how can they keep you out. are you a varsity sport

Anonymous said...

Someone anonymously posting calling out one of the best high school ultimate players......... Sounds like a little bitch

Jake Gelrod
SEHS

Anonymous said...

jacob janin is the best high school player in the nation. there is no question. if you question it than you are a fool who doesnt know jack shit about ultimate frisbee. and im sure whoever said that he is a little bitch wwould be tooled in about 5 seconds.

Anonymous said...

hahaha i was hatin on jacob sorry

stefan
south eugene

Anonymous said...

Janin is by far the most know player in high school ultimate. I am not saying he isnt the best, but I would like to see him against Zander Padgett from Columbia... as some one who guards a lot of people, none have been as hard to guard this year as Zander...... but I will have the oppurtunity to guard Janin this weekend, and I will gladly share which player tooled me more then the other:)

Asa Gotlieb
#50 Hurt

Anonymous said...

hahaha nice asa...
i knew taht was a south player.
stefan you suck. man though somebody was ragin on you.

dylan freechild
sehs

Anonymous said...

anybody got a report on eden prairie? any ballers? any competition from them? i just don't know anything about them

Anonymous said...

I know someone who is better than Jacob, he will kill Jacob at the tournament, and of course everyone else that attempts to guard him.

Anonymous said...

Asa, hahahahaha
adding gas to the fire. wow and you thing you are a spartan too. we will see about your fire this weekend when you WILL absolutely get tooled by the best players on every team at westerns. hopkins will beat cathedral and cretin but will lose theri seed and finish last in the champ bracket. no championship for the "Spartans"

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:21

if there was somebody better then Jacob then we would obviously be talking about him. are we?

no we are not


stefan o'neill
sehs

Anonymous said...

ouch... to dis my team is one thing, but my spartan family is another... me and simon take offense to your disrespect for spartan values, and would like you to know Anon 10:25 that you would have been disgarded at birth( thrown over the cliff because weak baby) because you arent very nice.... but I wish I knew what team you played for so you could come play us and destroy Sparta with your landslide victory as you seem very confident, and Dylan, if Jacob embarrasses me some how, you must promise you will not write about it on play ultimate....as you can see people already find ways to laugh at me.

Asa Gotlieb
Spartan General
Hurt #50

p.s. who is this player anon 10:21 who is better then Janin?

pp.s. who would win in a foot race, Ben Feldman or G-d


Trick question Ben Feldman is g-d ;)

Anonymous said...

you're so lame.

Anonymous said...

i promise i will not laugh at you he tools me at practice everyday...and i laugh at everybody so your not the only one. and to anon 10:21 even IF there is somebody more athletic than janin he knows that game so well that they will crumble in defeat because he makes everybody around him better.
cant wait to play an intense game against you guys asa, should be fun.

dylan freechild
sehs ultimate

Anonymous said...

Duh, ROSS SMITH is the best high school player in the nation. He smoked me going deep every time.

Anonymous said...

yeah he's hella good, by the way he is on lakeside

Anonymous said...

so what you are saying Anon 12:24 is that you are really slow. hes a freshman which is not bad but he hasn't had the experience that Janin has had which makes Janin a better player right now.

Anonymous said...

so everyone agrees that ross is better

Anonymous said...

Re. Eden Praire
They have 2 or 3 really solid handlers and are overall an athletic team that's played together a lot. They may not really be in contention, but look for them to surprise some people and play tight against good teams.
-Henry Spruth
South

Anonymous said...

i totally 100% disagree. Their best players are "ok" Their best players would take up the last roster spots on a team that wins nationals.

Insight on Players:

Craig Tebbe - super big forehand from discgolf. does nothing else for his team. Not fast, doesnt play defense. their go to guy

Zack Kasdan - gets way to muuch credit. For a handler he doesnt have good enough throws. He trys to control the game but totally fails

Roland ??? - i think a reciever. not good drops the disc, once he gets it he freaks out.


EP should not be at nationals i can name over three hundred teams in the country that should be their before EP.


It doesnt help to have a coach that doesnt know what he's doin.

Anonymous said...

Ouch. Big talk about a recognized player and coach (Winona, Sub, Surly)from a guy who's scared to sign his name.

Technically, that tubby from Hopkins would be the one who doesn't know what he's doing. Enge's got his shit dialed in.

DFJ

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't discredit EP they aren't bad but at the same time I can't see them winning more than maybe 1 or two games at westerns. Hopkins is overratted-they have a some really talented handlers but tend to huck to nobody, and in the semis at the hopkins hustle Cathedral choked and lost by 3 but had 8 unexpected drops in the end zone with 3 of them in the upwind end zone. They have a huge senior class so if they are going to do anything it has to be this year or they are done.

Anonymous said...

if pool play doesnt happen due to weather, how will the seedings in the championship bracket be decided

Anonymous said...

What does the weather look like? Any possible thunderstorms???

~Eric Johnson....Cathedral

Anonymous said...

Who does this Jacob Janin kid play for? how bout Club?

~Johnson

Anonymous said...

he plays for south and he played with rhino

dylan freechild
sehs ultimate

Anonymous said...

if there are 300 better teams than eden praire why dont we even have 4 pools of 4?

Anonymous said...

weather i dont think will be a huge issue

satuday-66-10 mph of wind-partly cloudy-30 percent chance precip.some thunder

sunday-68-15 mph wind-cloudier-20 percent precip or so- no thunder

Anonymous said...

i'm excited for our game against south eugene, it will be a intense day one game that will go down to the wire...but no one can look past nathan hale

-colin "tater" camp
#35 hopkins