August 19, 2016 by Fred Wolf in Analysis, Opinion with 5 comments
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We’ve already talked at length about the competition at YCC. Here are some assorted thoughts on the weekend, as well as the All-Tournament Line.
– The format this year worked pretty well with few exceptions. The scheduling of 2v3 games at the end of pool play led to a number of exciting pseudo-pre quarters matchups. Texas v. Minnesota and a double game point thriller between Cincinnati and Nashville were great examples of that. Additionally it gave teams more meaningful pool play games. Last year, with only one team advancing, a loss on Friday could derail your whole weekend. In pool D this year, there were five teams that were realistically fighting for the two bracket spots throughout most of Saturday. The down side was the level of competition faced by top seeds. Seattle and Triforce, in particular, had to play six games to prove that they were the top of the pool when none of them were very competitive. In an ideal world, the tournament could grow further from 27 teams to 32 which would open up all kinds of better formats.
– A great thing about YCC is the contrast in styles between youth ultimate scenes throughout the country. For example, Atlanta has a very practiced and methodical system of dumping and swinging the disc all the way to the endzone. They ran into trouble when they faced in the huck-happy Indiana system that rode big plays and momentum to an early round upset.
– Another great thing is the addition of new youth programs every year getting the chance to play against national competition for the first time. Charlotte and Milwaukee were the newcomers this year. Milwaukee took home the spirit award for the tournament.
– There are very few other tournaments that match the level of emotion and intensity on display at the highest level of youth ultimate. It also has its fair share of shenanigans from teams making the most of the culmination of their summer. I wanted to take some time to commend the best of the on and off field at in the boys division:
Best Meme: When I first showed up to the fields on Friday, I caught the end of the game between Indiana and Atlanta. They closed out their spirit circle with a collective cheer for Harambe. I then walked over to the DC team who ended their spirit circle in the exact same way. However, no team embraced the ape like Texas Two-Step who came prepared with a large cardboard cutout. #RIP
Best Throw: There was no shortage of scoobers and clever throws at this tournament, but sometimes the best throw is a straight up bomb. In the quarterfinals, BUDA’s Javier Poznar came down with a D in the endzone and without hesitation ripped an 80 yard backhand to a receiver in stride.
Best Sideline Antics: Building on HB Woodlawn’s “pool party” at Southerns were the Foggy Bottom Boys and their “slumber party.” The team brought about 10 pillows that were used for all out pillow fights with themselves and sometimes the other team during timeouts. It was great fun.
Best Jerseys: The Chicago boys team based their dark and light designs off the Cubs and the White Sox.
Liam Searles-Bohs (Triangle): Searles-Bohs might be the most hyped male high school player ever. He has been in the national spotlight since his he appeared on the 7 stars line at Tidewater Tuneup in the fall of his freshman year. The buzz is real. He is the definition of a five tool player and is a top competitor at every aspect of ultimate.
Mac Rushing (DEVYL): Might have been the most valuable player to his team at the tournament. Nobody was better getting open in small spaces and single-handedly driving an offense. Every team knew that the disc always wanted to go back to Mac but nobody was able to stop it.
Dillon Lanier (Triangle): The perfect role player in an offense full of stars. He’s willing to grind out unders repeatedly and make plays on defense. He also made the biggest catch of the tournament on double game point against Seattle. He is committed to Carleton in the fall.
Cole Jurek (Minnesota): One of the best deep cutters at the tournament. When Minnesota was struggling, their go-to play was a huck to Jurek. He didn’t have a huge size advantage over most of his defenders but with excellent timing and athleticism almost always won the matchup.
Jordan Monnin (Cincinnati): Jordan is a player that makes the entire defense adjust to him. He poses a big enough deep threat to get wide open unders practically at will. From there he has a large arsenal of throws that he uses effectively.
Zach Jackson (Seattle): It’s hard to pick out one player from Seattle but Zach Jackson consistently lit up the stat sheet in Blaine. He took the top matchups on other teams and churned downfield as a cutter.
Brian Street (Texas): Sometimes a good stat sheet tells the whole story for an elite performance. 21 assists paired with just 5 turnovers is insane. Street was a leader for the Texas squad all weekend.
Honorable Mention: Stan Birdsong, Grant Waldron, Colby Gordon, Gus Norrbom, John Randolph, Nick Hirning, Ethan Bloodworth, Luke Webb