The award goes to...
June 6, 2017 by Charlie Eisenhood in Awards with 2 comments
Ultiworld’s 2017 Men’s College Awards are presented by Spin Ultimate and the National Ultimate Training Camp. All opinions are those of the authors. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Ultiworld possible!
Ultiworld is pleased to announced our fourth annual College Awards. The criteria for each award can be found here — we consider both regular season and postseason performance in our selection of awards. Though the input of Ultiworld reporters is weighed heavily, final decisions for awards are made by the editors.
2017 Men’s College Player Of The Year
Ben Sadok (Massachusetts)
A year ago, all of the buzz around Massachusetts ZooDisc focused squarely on their pair of formidable bigs: Jeff Babbitt and Tannor Johnson. The former was ever-so-slightly edged out in the 2016 POTY race and everyone was already preparing themselves for the possibility that the latter might enter the POTY race as a sophomore. While Johnson did have a strong season, it was instead the fiery lefty handler Ben Sadok who burst onto the national scene as the team’s emotional leader and best player.
Sadok was everywhere for UMass this spring, slicing up defenses with both his throws and his legs. Equally dangerous as a backfield distributor or in outright attack mode, Londish1 churned both downfield and in the dump space, putting his defenders through the spin cycle and leaving them hopelessly chasing their tails. With his impressive arsenal of throws and lightning-quick release, Sadok zipped the disc around the field with an outsized confidence and swagger that belied his stature. And when an opponent tried to limit the damage Sadok could do with the disc in his hands, perhaps no handler in the country was more likely to leak out behind the defense, turn on the jets, and catch goals.
There was little doubt that Sadok was the country’s best player during the regular season. His play carried UMass to titles at Centex and Easterns, setting them up for the #1 overall seed at Nationals. In Cincinnati, he maintained his level of play, finishing the tournament with 30 assists (second in the division behind UNCW’s Jack Williams’ 34) and 14 goals (T-11th). Even in the team’s 15-14 loss to Carleton in the National semifinal, he showed up big, putting up six goals and four assists as the team tightened its rotation.
Sadok’s throwing skillset was never in doubt. He showed off the toolkit during last club season when he served as center handler for Boston Dig, making it to Nationals past Toronto GOAT and almost shocking Seattle Sockeye in prequarters. But it was the rest of his game taking the leap that made the difference this spring. He found ways to come up with uncanny blocks in big moments. He bombed pulls whenever he crossed over to the D-line, pinning opponents in their own endzone and forcing them to work a full field against UMass’ ferocious defense. He made not just the big throws, but the technically difficult ones in tight lanes. More than that, he was the bellwether for ZooDisc’s emotional state — his infectious energy and boundless intensity never let Massachusetts’ effort flag. He did all these things with a consistency throughout the season unmatched by any of his Player of the Year award rivals.
Taken as a whole, Sadok’s season was the best in the College Division in 2017.
Runners-up: Jack Williams (UNC Wilmington), Khalif El-Salaam (Washington)
As he’s known to his teammates. ↩