AUDL Update: Cross-Division Games, Player Signings

The New York Empire v. the New Jersey Hammerheads in the AUDL, Week 11.
Photo by Sandy Canetti — UltiPhotos.com

Throughout 2017, we will periodically publish a recap of the latest news from the American Ultimate Disc League. This will serve as a supplement to our standard news reporting and will offer a high-level look at the latest happenings.

Major Headlines

East Division

  • The New York Empire have signed Ben Jagt, Jeff Babbitt, and Conor Kline, along with a slew of returners.
  • The Montreal Royal have re-signed Kevin Quinlan and Antoine Daigle as co-captains for 2017. Former star Yoland Cabot has retired.
  • Adrian Yearwood, Andrew Carroll, Isaiah Masek-Kelly, Jonathan Martin, Remi Ojo, and Cam Harris have re-signed with the Toronto Rush. The team is also adding the talented Benjamin Burrelle from Vancouver.
  • Nate Castine, David Cranston, and Jonathan Neeley just re-signed with the DC Breeze, and last week they added former MLU standout Delrico Johnson. There are now 14 players on the 2017 roster.
  • After signing Nicky Spiva last fall, the Philadelphia Phoenix have added a new head coach, Eileen Murray, and signed Matt Esser, Marques Brownlee, and others.
  • The Ottawa Outlaws just held their final tryouts this past weekend, but have yet to announce any 2017 signings. Their 2016 coach, John Haig, won’t return this season.

Midwest Division

  • Andrew Meshnick is returning to the Madison Radicals. Jay Froude will not return after signing with the Dallas Roughnecks last week.
  • The Minnesota Wind Chill will be under league ownership this year after the AUDL bought out owner Santiago Escobar. Ben Feldman will take over as general manager and Phil Bowen will coach the team in 2017.
  • The Pittsburgh Thunderbirds have selected a final roster and already held the first practice of the 2017 season.
  • The Chicago Wildfire, Detroit Mechanix, and Indianapolis Alleycats all held their first round of tryouts this month.

South Division

  • The 2016 AUDL champion Dallas Roughnecks are adding Jay Froude and Joel Clutton to an already formidable core of Jimmy Mickle and Kurt Gibson. Tryouts have been completed and more signings should be announced soon.
  • The Raleigh Flyers are expected to retain most of their core, including Justin Allen. Former Charlotte Express player Shane Sisco will be joining the team this year. David Allison will join the coaching staff as an assistant to head coach Mike DeNardis.
  • The Jacksonville Cannons have been one of the most active teams this offseason, re-signing many of their key contributors from last season and adding Jakeem Polk, Chris LaRocque, Jeremy Langdon, and Mike Hickson.
  • Ryan Purcell, Jeff Loskorn, Chase Cunningham, and Michael Matthis are all back with the Austin Sol.
  • The Atlanta Hustle have yet to announce player signings; tryouts are upcoming. Greg Swanson returns as head coach.
  • Tryouts just finished up for the Nashville Nightwatch. The buzz is certainly surrounding whether or not the team will sign 2016 Women’s College Player of the Year Jesse Shofner, who would become the first female to legitimately make an AUDL roster.

West Division

  • Greg Cohen and Lucas Dallmann are returning to the San Francisco Flamethrowers, which is not a surprise after the team signed a partnership agreement with area club team San Francisco Revolver.
  • The San Jose Spiders have signed six players to contracts from one to three years long. Tyler Grant will take over as head coach.
  • The Seattle Cascades have signed Mark Burton and Khalif El-Salaam. Rumors suggest that many players from last year may not return to the Cascades.
  • Kevin Smith and Sean Ham have left San Jose and signed with the San Diego Growlers. With tryouts completed, more signings are expected soon.
  • There have been no signings announced by the Los Angeles Aviators or Vancouver Riptide. The Aviators’ tryouts are completed; Vancouver’s are this weekend.
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