Bird Is The Word: Colorado Goes Undefeated, Wins Club Division At New Year Fest

A Colorado Mamabird player lays out for the disc at 2014 New Year Fest.
Photo by Alex Rentzis —

Three college teams started their season by winning a major college tournament. Colorado started theirs by winning a club tournament.

Colorado, ranked second in Ultiworld’s power rankings, won New Year Fest in Phoenix, AZ, this weekend. Mamabird’s 13-11 final win was against The Recruits, a team of both Truck Stop and Philadelphia Spinners players. Philadelphia Spinners Coach Billy Maroon was using it as a tryout tournament, according to Brent Zionic, Colorado’s assistant head coach.

The game was decided by Colorado’s familiarity with one another and The Recruits lack thereof – that, and Stanley Peterson’s defensive sky in the end zone at 12-11 that led to the game winning score.

“While our pressure and effort on defense were high, the Recruits also gifted us with a number of drops and turnovers of miscommunication, probably caused by mixing up their rosters for different tryout players and unfamiliar combinations,” Zionic said. “We were able to capitalize on them with players who have been together for two, three, sometimes five years.”

The Recruits provided elite one-on-one match ups, and their throwers allowed them to use the entire field effectively. The Recruits also threw junk defensives and implemented poaches. It was the kind of game that Mamabird players drove 15 hours for. The older, more experienced club and semi-pro players challenged them mentally and physically.

“We always approached the event as an opportunity to compete against clubs not far removed from the UPA/USAU Club Fall series,” Zionic said. “Teams with talented rosters, savvy and skilled veteran players, and overall a high level of play.”

Led by defensive standout Peterson, Colorado (6-0) spent much of the tournament on defense as they had only one tough game in pool play against Utah’s Killjoy, a team the Zionic said was efficient in limiting turnovers. Otherwise, Colorado made the club level look easy, beating Tempe’s Hot Lava 13-3, San Diego Gentlemen’s Club 13-6, and Calgary Ghost 13-6.

They also won the semis handily against the Phoenix Monstars 13-6. Colorado’s B team lost in the finals of the College division to Utah 13-10.

“Given that we have a mostly veteran roster, our expectations were high for all of our players, and they did not disappoint,” Zionic said. “… I think our depth and stamina shone through for us, as well as chemistry.”

  1. Henry McKenna

    Henry McKenna is a reporter for Ultiworld. An experienced sports journalist, he played ultimate for four years at Colorado College while pursuing a creative writing degree. He played for Inception and has coached in China and Spain.

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