Club Regionals 2022: Mega-Preview (Men’s)

All the favorites, contenders, and sleepers as the regional championships begin.

SoCal Condors vs. Seattle Sockeye at the 2022 Pro Championships.
SoCal Condors and Seattle Sockeye will each vie for their respective regional championship against higher ranked competition. Photo: Brian Whittier

Ultiworld’s 2022 coverage of the club men’s division is presented by Spin Ultimate; all opinions are those of the author(s). Find out how Spin can get you, and your team, looking your best this season.

The regular season and Sectionals are now behind us. We can finally get down to business. After a regular season where incentives and motivations were constantly in flux, teams are at the point where their goals are on the line. After this weekend, labels will be slapped on their accomplishments, evaluating their season for better or for worse. We take a look at who is on track to get a good grade, and which teams could surpass expectations and upset the order.

Great Lakes

Competition Schedule
Dates: October 2-3
Location: Zeeland, MI
Number of Bids: 2
Excitement Level: 🔥🔥🔥

The Great Lakes Circle Tour is the route connecting the scenic roads that circumnavigate the five Great Lakes. Like the famous road, #7 Chicago Machine has been permanently circling the Great Lakes region and their dominance shows no signs of changing this season. Through all of the twists, turns, and potholes, Machine will make it to Nationals. Whether they are playing like a team capable of nearly pulling off a miraculous comeback in the national final (like 2019, or the first day of the 2022 US Open) or suffering unexpected early elimination in the bracket (like 2021, or the second day of the 2022 US Open), Machine was all but guaranteed to act as the sole representation of the Great Lakes at Nationals. Chicago’s status isn’t in any doubt–Machine is as close to a lock to advance out of their region as there is in the country–but with #15 Cincinnati Omen earning the region a second bid, suddenly the competition becomes more interesting.

With a combination of the key players from the Detroit Mechanix (Jake Kenniv, Joe Cubitt, Bryan Walsh), Indianapolis AlleyCats (Rick Gross), and Ohio State (Noah Krumme), Omen stormed through Elite-Select Challenge earlier this season, upsetting Austin Doublewide and Toronto GOAT on their way to an unlikely victory. At Sectionals, they gave up just seven goals combined from pool play all the way through the semifinal, before beating Kentucky Colonels 11-9 to win the section and cement their regional pecking order. Nobody can argue that Omen won’t have earned their way to the big show if they are able to hold on to the strength bid that they earned, even if few will expect much of them should they be in the field.

With much of the rest of the AlleyCats roster, including 2022 breakout stars Lucas Coniaris, Jeremy Keusch, and Xavier Payne, along with veterans like Nick Hutton, Colonels is the most likely opponent to contest Omen for second place. Colonels has just five losses on the season, but two of them are at the hands of Omen. With a likely game-to-go matchup, they’ll have to hope the third time is a charm to advance to an unlikely Nationals appearance. While Colonels does have a solid win against then-21st ranked (by Cody Mills’s frisbee-rankings.com algorithm) Tennessee Tanasi, the gap between them and Omen is big enough that their close losses to Omen actually earned Colonels rankings points.

We’d be remiss not to mention Lombard Trident I, the Chicagoland developmental team. With a tournament win at Heavyweights, and solid wins over Philadelphia Phantom and Houston Clutch already on the docket, Trident I has enough firepower to take down any of the non-Machine teams at Regionals. With plenty of players who have experience playing in must-win games for the AUDL’s Chicago Union in recent seasons like Cal Tornabene, Scott Hearne, Will Frolich, and Reid Martin, Trident I won’t be phased by the magnitude of the moment.

Mid-Atlantic

Competition Schedule
Dates: September 24-25
Location: Frederica, DE
Number of Bids: 3
Excitement Level: 🔥🔥

Well, it finally happened. The Mid-Atlantic finally got that third bid, thanks to the excellence of Truck Stop, the rise of Vault, and the losing-a-bunch-but-not-too-much of Temper. That’s great news for these three teams who are almost certainly Nationals bound, but puts a dimmer on the chance for serious drama in Delaware.

The stakes for #1 Washington DC Truck Stop will be whether they can avoid an upset and hold onto their status as the presumptive no.1 overall seed at Nationals. This is unfamiliar territory for Truck on a national scale, but they are right at home as the team to beat in the Mid-Atlantic. The DC squad has won every Mid-Atlantic Regionals since the redraw in 2012, and lately without much fuss. Over the past three seasons Truck has won the regional final by a combined score of 44-24, leaving no doubt about the pecking order in the MA.

This season, with Truck sporting a 19-3 record and looking like potentially the best team in the country, you’d have to expect we will see more of the same. The lone wrinkle here is that one of those losses came at the hands of Vault. There are a million caveats you can throw on that – it was early in the season, Truck was missing David Cranston and other key pieces of their D-line – but it’s a crack. And when you’re looking to end a decade of dominance, you take your cracks where you can get them.

Even if #13 Virginia Vault isn’t able to repeat the upset, they likely won’t care too much if they end up in one of the Nationals places at the end of day. Formed in 2019 from bits and pieces of the DC area’s Select Flight teams who were tired of not making Nationals, Vault are on the doorstep of fulfilling the team’s reason for being. But it’s a new cast of faces leading the charge, as few of the team’s founders remain in key roles at this point. Truck Stop defectors Lloyd Blake and Max Cassell are making a big impact with the disc, and DC area products like Jeremy Knopf are entering their prime and giving the team the depth in talent that allows Vault to compete up and down the roster with elite teams.

The heavy lifting of getting Vault to Nationals was mostly accomplished in the regular season; pulling out a few big upsets early against Truck and Temper, then taking care of business at Select Flight level tournaments the rest of the season. All they have to do now is not blow it. No pressure!

It hasn’t been a banner season for #17 Pittsburgh Temper, but they did what they needed to in the regular season to earn the region a third bid. A 1-6 showing at Pro Champs did include close losses to Truck and DiG, but looking at the roster you can see why this team doesn’t seem to posses the upside it did a few years ago. There is a huge burden on Thomas Edmonds and Pat Earles to create offense for the team, even with the return of Max Sheppard. There are plenty of young faces you may remember from Pitt’s run to the semifinals of college Nationals this past Spring, and while a season of investment in them may reap rewards down the road, Temper’s roster looks topheavy in the here and now.

The good news for Temper and the other bid winning teams is that no other Mid-Atlantic team seems like a credible challenger. Philadelphia’s men’s scene is in shambles and Phantom were not competitive with Temper at Founders Sectionals. Bethesda Red Wolves, a neat talent incubator for the DC Breeze, came in behind Vault and Truck at Capitol Sectionals, and while they have some really exciting young players like AJ Merriman, those pups are years away from having paws big enough to take down one of the big dogs.

Having a third bid does provide a little extra intrigue at the back of the Select Flight play-in bracket, as a bunch of teams have a shot at finishing in the top seven places that confer Select status. Citywide Special? Sure. John Doe? Who knows. Virginville Rumspringa? We can only hope.

North Central

Competition Schedule
Dates: September 24-25
Location: Hartland, WI
Number of Bids: 1
Excitement Level: 🔥🔥

The clear top two in the North Central are #21 Madison Mad Men and #23 Minneapolis Sub Zero. If anyone besides them is able to win this bid to Nationals, it would be a huge upset. However, it is not out of the question. Madison La Raid S.C. and Minneapolis Mallard both played close games with Mad Men and Sub in the Northwest Plains Sectionals Semifinals, each falling just one point short.

Mad Men cemented their position as favorite in this region by winning the Northwest Plains Section, including a 14-12 win in the final against Sub Zero. With a strong second place showing at Select Flight where they lost to only Vault, they finished a disappointing sixth at Elite-Select Challenge after losing to GOAT in pool play and Doublewide in the quarterfinals. A regular season like that might leave them looking vulnerable in the one-bid North Central but the Sectionals matchup with Sub was likely a preview of the Regionals Final/Game-To-Go this weekend.

The year-over-year decline of Sub Zero has been a clear story this season. When you lose players like Andrew Roy, Cole Jurek, and Charles Weinberg it is going to be hard to maintain the level you were at the previous season. To put it bluntly, they haven’t been able to keep up with the elite teams, evidenced by winning only one game at the Pro Championships in early September. Luckily for them, to get to Nationals they don’t have to. All they have to do is beat Mad Men. 14-12 is not too far off – can this young squad continue the long-storied Sub Zero tradition after learning from their most recent square off with Madison?

The North Central has some other contenders who have a few things to prove and Select status to fight for.

Minneapolis Mallard: Mallard looks to be the favorite to pick up the third spot in the region. They had a rocky early season with poor showings at Select Flight East and the Elite-Select Challenge but they put it together for a strong Sectionals. If Mallard are at their best they will put themselves in a place where one bad decision from Sub or Mad Men could lead to a pretty big upset.

La Raid are a new team out of Madison anchored by Kevin Petitt-Scantling alongside a few other Madison Radicals players and some products of the Wisconsin Hodags college program. While they have strong results from their one recorded tournament at Northwest Plains Sectionals, including their close 13-12 loss to Mad Men, the paucity of official competition makes them a mostly untested prospect.

Lounar is a new iteration of St. Louis men’s ultimate, combining a strong core from last year’s CaSTLe team with big pickups from the St. Louis mixed team Chalice. As a section champ, they have earned some measure of respect. Knights of Ni, Smokestack, and DeMo have all shown some competitiveness, though they lack the upside to knock off one of the big two.

Northeast

Competition Schedule
Dates: September 24-25
Location: Devens, MA
Number of Bids: 2
Excitement Level: 🔥🔥🔥

The Northeast is always the deepest region in the country, but this year the numbers are eye-popping. Boston Lantern, the tenth (!!!) highest ranked team by the USAU algorithm in the Northeast is ranked 35th in the country. The tenth highest ranked team in the Northwest? Utah Hate, at 71st. How about in the two bid Great Lakes? That would be Chimney all the way down at 120th. Top 25 teams? The Northeast has five of ’em, more than any other region.

Yet despite all of that depth, the teams of the Northeast find themselves staring at a mere two bids to Nationals, largely thanks to #14 Toronto GOAT’s capitulation to Omen at ESC that shipped a bid over to the aforementioned Great Lakes. That momentous 15-10 upset in the tournament final could prove terminal for GOAT’s Nationals chances, as they and the rest of the region now find themselves having to pry a bid out of the hands of #2 New York PoNY or #6 Boston DiG in order to extend their seasons into October.

It’s a daunting task, with both PoNY and DiG rounding into excellent form just in time for the postseason. Both were semifinalists at Pro Champs and faced off for a spot in the final, with PoNY emerging the winner of an entertaining 15-12 contest. The newly crowned World Champions, PoNY are the clear favorites to repeat as regional champions at Devens, which would mark the first time in recent memory that the Northeast champ came from outside of Boston in consecutive years. PoNY look ready to make history, with Jimmy Mickle commanding an enormous usage rate on the offense and Ben Jagt showing his value flexing over onto the D-line. There is one damper on PoNY’s sunny outlook: they may be without Jeff Babbitt and the extra dimension he brought to the O-line for this weekend and perhaps longer.

DiG don’t have PoNY’s talent ceiling, but they are an incredibly consistent team, and have avoided any upsets this season with a stingy D-line that converts it break opportunities at a very high rate. There aren’t a ton of obvious first or second team All-Club players on DiG, but they have an exciting cadre of young players from New England colleges finding their sea legs at the elite club level, and in the case of players like Orion Cable and Leo Gordon, thriving as the level of competition rises.

GOAT will need to beat one of these teams if they want to redeem letting a bid slip out their hands at ESC, and while they aren’t the favorites, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time a Canadian team underperformed in the regular season only to show up at Devens all sharp knives and tough as nails.

Toronto isn’t the only team with Nationals experience trying to make it back to the big show, 2021 qualifier #25 Amherst Sprout are waiting in the wings, ready to catch a favorite sleeping. Sprout are a uniquely constructed team, seemingly everyone on the roster is either an unimpeachable legend from 2012 or a college kid you’ve only vaguely heard of; Dylan Tunnell, Russell Wallack, and a crew of reliable old Ironside hands paired with a bunch of rising juniors at UMass. Are they going to make Nationals? Probably not. Are they are deeply interesting proposition? You betcha.

Of course, a team that even more probably won’t make Nationals but are an even more interesting proposition are the heroes of Sectionals weekend, #24 Amherst TireBizFriz. Sort of like Sprout, but take away all of the dudes who played back when it was still the UPA and add in a creeping sense that this team doesn’t properly exist but is in fact guerilla marketing for… something. Whatever they are doing it’s working, as they upset Sprout to win the West New England Section and sent Mephisto packing. So what’s stopping them from pulling an even bigger upset this time around? Well…

A two bid Northeast regionals is poised on the point between chalk and absolute chaos. There are two clear favorites who should take the two bids, but the region is so deep with talent that one upset can turn the whole tournament on its head.

Northwest

Competition Schedule
Dates: September 24-25
Location: Lacey, WA
Number of Bids: 2
Excitement Level: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Hold on to your hats, because Northwest Men’s could pack as many thrills as a Saturday at Silverwood. With just two bids to parcel out among five contenders, we are looking at a potential conflagration of intensity in the bracket. The situation is so tight that half of last year’s Nationals semifinalists – #8 Seattle Sockeye and #4 Portland Rhino Slam! – might not even return to San Diego in 2022.

Of course, it might not turn out that way at all. Sockeye and Rhino are still really good, and they enter the tournament as the odds-on favorites to emerge from the scrum. Rhino are always ready to punch, in large part thanks to having one of the division’s punchiest players in 2021 PoTY runner-up Raphy Hayes. The team is far deeper than Hayes’ obvious cutting-edge talent, however. David Sealand, emerging as one of the most athletic players of the year and whose field sense is quickly catching up to his physical prowess, joins Leandro Marx and Daniel Lee as players who will punish opposing mistakes. Sockeye still have a driven and fiery Dylan Freechild in the prime of his career flanked by AAA-rated stars like Trent Dillon, Matt Rehder, and Nick Stuart. Beyond those A-listers, they’ve spent the season trying to jumpstart the newer recruits into the team’s top-end: Garrett Martin and Xander Cuizon Tice look excellent on the O-line; Zeppelin Raunig and Declan Miller have started making big plays for the defense.

So, yeah, the top seeds are stacked. But there’s plenty that can go wrong. Rhino have been inconsistent this season, largely on account of their team-wide tendency to get a little loose with the disc from time to time. Sockeye, meanwhile, might not have achieved the planned polish with the newer half of the roster before they need to perform.

If either of the favorites slip up, even a little, three challengers will be ready to swoop in and steal a bid. This teams-in-waiting line unquestionably begins with #16 Vancouver Furious George. In the first place, they already own a win over Rhino this season (albeit back in June), as well as a narrow loss to Sockeye at the same tournament. Furious can boast plenty of world class talent: Toly Vasiliyev, Morgan Hibbert, and Kevin Underhill all have extensive Team Canada experience. Tim Tsang, meanwhile, is playing like a man possessed. In a pit fight against either Sockeye or Rhino, Furious will absolutely get their licks in.

When Furious elected not to play the series in 2021, it left an opening for a brand-new Orem Killjoys team to qualify. The Killjoys were pretty good at their Nationals debut; they’ve rebranded for 2022 as #18 Utah Pando with mostly the same roster, trading out one-time BYU star Jordan Kerr for one-time BYU star Joe Merrill. With Jacob Miller, two highly explosive Yorgasons, and some of the top U20 talent in the country, they have a decent shot at a return trip. Right alongside Pando are #19 Seattle Emerald City Ultimate, who have quietly built up their best roster in years. Max Ramstad and Spencer Lofink both rose to the occasion at the US Open and will present a problem for the rest of the Northwest at Regionals. Zack Smith has long been a presence in the region for them, and Brandon Li is a solid pickup. In terms of results, ECU have a late August win over Furious.

And that’s not even getting into the potential spoilers in Eugene DarkStar and Boise Sawtooth. Whether it’s the chalk, the underdogs, or some combination of the two who come through in the Northwest, nothing is going to be easy.

South Central

Competition Schedule
Dates: September 24-25
Location: Tulsa, OK
Number of Bids: 2
Excitement Level: 🔥🔥

The first thing you need to know about the South Central is that Boulder Lotus were a 2021-only affair. Now that they’re gone, the path is clear for the game-to-go after the traditional regional final of #5 Denver Johnny Bravo against #10 Austin Doublewide to be a formality on the road to San Diego.1

Most of the suspense derives not so much from who will make Nationals as who will hold regional bragging rights. Bravo and Doublewide always make for primetime viewing. The two longtime finalists split the most recent two regional tournaments, with Doublewide taking advantage of Bravo’s temporary downturn in 2019 before Bravo stormed back ahead in 2021.

Heading into Tulsa this year, Bravo will be favored to wear back-to-back South Central crowns. Through two difficult tournament fields at the US Open and Pro Champs, they have held their own against some of the best units in the division, pushing both Truck Stop and PoNY to the brink in bracket games. Cole Wallin and Will Lohre have both taken major steps forward to become O-line linchpins. Both Cody Spicer and newcomer Chance Cochran have been playing the best ultimate of their careers – they lead a D-line that has often been one of the division’s most efficient offensive groups. Under a new coaching staff of Joe Durst, Mike Lun, and Tim Kefalas, Bravo are playing well enough that they could even compete for a National title.

But let’s not hand the South Central to them just yet, because Doublewide, in spite of the somewhat late start to the season that has become customary in recent years as many players manage AUDL commitments, pack enough firepower to take down their Colorado Rivals. Joey Wylie is a menace on the D-line; Kyle Henke’s skillset is an absolute dream; Henry Furuta is probably the closest player in the world in terms of backfield build and style to Jimmy Mickle. They finally started to gel at the end of Pro Champs, rattling off three straight victories by healthy margins to close the tournament. The fact that they managed it without ice-cold power cutter Vinay Valsaraj and highlight-waiting-to-happen Kaplan Maurer stands them in good stead to take down Bravo in the region.

As far as the rest are concerned, it’s hard to pick a contender from them. Denver Inception are still together, but they aren’t the same team who lost in eight consecutive games-to-go in the 2010s. This year, at least, the mantle of second-best team in Colorado appears to have been taken up by Golden Fungi. On the Texas side of the equation, Houston Clutch have been the most consistent performers. With a pair of 2021’s breakout college performers on the roster – Texas’ Aaron Barcio and Carleton’s Cullen Baker – they could have a bright future. The ceiling this season, however, is most likely a game-to-go loss as they make a bid for the leftovers of the pre-ordained Doublewide-Bravo fracas.

Southeast

Competition Schedule
Dates: September 24-25
Location: Decatur, AL
Number of Bids: 2
Excitement Level: 🔥🔥🔥

As you’re filling out your 2022 regional predictions, write down #3 Raleigh Ring of Fire in permanent ink. The defending national champions return almost their entire 2021 roster for a crack at a repeat. They have Anders Juengst and Alex Davis to burn any defender you throw at them, Ryan Osgar to put hucks on a platter, Ethan Bloodworth to bully the opposition’s every-other-pass guy, and Jack Williams to take over in the late-and-close – and that hardly scratches the surface! The talent and the coaching are as good as any in the country; they have a deep top end and deep depth; they have the most robust youth-to-club pipeline in the game. While none of that guarantees that they’ll get another set of gold medals this season, it absolutely guarantees that they’ll be in the mix to earn them in San Diego. Take it to the bank.

Curiously enough, that certainty about Ring’s chances doesn’t quite extend to the Southeast regional title. Though Ring will be favored, #11 Atlanta Chain Lightning are quite capable of knocking them off in the regional final. Chain have gone through a lot of roster turnover since last season, when they lost in quarters at Nationals to Ring. But they may be a stronger team for the changes. The addition of Melbourne Ellipsis and Team Australia frontman Tom Tulett gives the the O-line a backfield rock that can help let Parker Bray, Bobby Ley, and Aidan Downey stay dynamic. Nicky Spiva and Max Thorne are another pair of additions who give Chain some of the pop they lost with the departure of Austin Taylor. Chain may not have the track record of Ring over the last decade, but through the kaleidoscopic spectacle of their roster moves, you can see the bones of a top-shelf squad. They will push the champions.

And unlike the South Central, the Southeast is not a foregone conclusion after the final. #22 Raleigh-Durham United own a win over Chain Lightning during the regular season. While the circumstances of the win don’t quite inspire belief – it took place during a round robin event that both Ring and Chain needed to hit the 10-game minimum – the RDU roster is legit. Tobias Brooks is one of the best players who hasn’t yet aged into college-level play; Albert Yuan and Marc Rovner have been major young figures in the North Carolina scene for a couple of years now.

Perhaps even more of a contender than RDU are #20 Tennessee Tanasi, who have been hanging around the fringes of Nationals contention for a couple of years now since the reboot of the team. They have taken the season seriously and earned some good results. Zach Avello, Fletcher Hare, and Carter Rae have all been known to flash big play ability. And don’t sleep on Jacob Lipford, one of the key pieces of a very good 2020 University of Alabama team whose chance at glory was washed away with the pandemic. File them under: Just Maybe.

For the rest, Columbia Lost Boys and Kennesaw Delirium have had some nice moments, but it’s hard to see either of them giving Chain a game.

Southwest

Competition Schedule
Dates: September 24-25
Location: Tucson, AZ
Number of Bids: 2
Excitement Level: 🔥

We were so close to having the stakes at Southwest Regionals be immeasurably high. Were it not for an otherwise nondescript ninth place game at Pro Champs between Minneapolis Sub Zero and the SoCal Condors, the region would have returned to a single bid tournament and pitted the Condors against their regional rivals in San Francisco Revolver. Instead, the Southwest has two bids, and the odds of an upset over either team would only tickle the fancy of the more cavalier gamblers in the betting world.

For any team to pull off an upset over #9 San Francisco Revolver, it would take a full-on implosion from a squad that has been consistently great for over a decade. Even though we keep saying Revolver is in the middle of a rebuild, all that means for the team is that they don’t make semis at Nationals every year like they once did. The team still consistently makes the bracket, and has only fallen to the Condors once at Regionals in the last decade. Granted, that loss did happen last year, so Revolver now has a lot more to prove at this tournament. If their regular season record is anything to go by, they’ll likely reclaim the title of Regional champs again this year. They’re 2-0 in games against their southern adversary so far, and have beaten most of their in-region opponents by an average of seven points. It helps that they have the best throwers in the region by a mile. Eli Kerns, Markham Shofner, and Adam Rees have been stellar behind the disc this year, and downfield they have an abundance of riches, too. If there’s any concern to be had, it’s that they are still a young team that’s not yet hit their peak, but that hasn’t stopped them yet.

Speaking of a young team, the SoCal Condors have retooled this year, allowing a new core of capable players to join their ranks. Gone are the likes of Travis Dunn, Sean McDougall, and Steven Milardovich. In their stead, the team has asked a lot of up-and-coming stars like KJ Koo, Sam Cook, and Matt Miller. So far, that has kept them in contention, although a close game at Sectionals has raised some eyebrows. Los Angeles Hazard managed to take the team to 15-12, a fact that did not go unnoticed by the rest of the region. Still, the Condors took care of business, and the leadership of vets like Jonathan Helton, Michael Kiyoi, and Samuel Fontaine helped them right the ship with a 15-6 victory over Phoenix Drought to take the SoCal section. For the Condors to lose a bid, it’ll take a lot more than a single close game to get them off their throne.

Determining who’s next in the line of succession is about as complex as an HBO show. Four teams sit right behind them, and they’ve traded off wins and losses with each other throughout the season. Phoenix Drought, Berkeley Zyzzyva, East Bay OAT, and San Diego Streetgang all are champing at the bit for a chance to play the Condors and prove their worth. So far, only Drought and Zyzzyva have had the honor, and it didn’t go well for either team.

The new team out of Arizona has relied a lot on powerful downfield athletes, like Zac Petty, Kellen Potocsnak, and Ryan Blackman, to reel in hucks from handlers such as Mark Mendelevitz, which has served them well no matter which line they have on the field.

Zyzzyva has to feel confident if it’s Drought they’re going through to get a shot in the game-to-go, but they can maintain that confidence against most teams, despite some blowout losses to top competition this season. The team is very disciplined with the disc, and throws zone whenever they can to disrupt the flow of their opponents. Matt Burke has helped marshal this team since their inception, but this year has seen a lot of production from Ben Elliott, Gavin May, and Dexter Clyburn.

East Bay OAT is the wild card in the challengers group. They keep trading out wins and losses with the others in the cohort, going 1-1 against Streetgang and 1-1 against Zyzzyva. Veterans like Ryan Shephard, Alvin Feng, and Conor Bauman help them keep the disc moving downfield in their swing-based offense. The team was last in the game-to-go in 2019, but it wouldn’t be too surprising to see them return after only being point away in 2021.

The last of the contenders is San Diego Streetgang, the team that most recently had the chance to play into a Nationals berth, losing to Revolver in 2021. The team has seen a lot of turnover since 2021, losing many players to the SoCal Condors, which has placed them in more of a rebuild year than some of the others on the list. Their egalitarian offense lets a host of players take shots, but they clearly rely on Michael Tran, Boris Li, and Joseph Huppert to keep the disc moving.

Outside of those four, Los Angeles Hazard, with Christopher Cogswell and Everest Shapiro starring, and Orange County Crows, led by Ethan Falat, also stand a chance of surprising teams in Tucson.


  1. The Colorado Mamabird-centric Lotus upset Doublewide on universe point in the game-to-go in 2021 to break up the perennial Denver-Austin duumvirate. 

  1. Graham Gerhart
    Avatar

    Graham Gerhart is a Senior Staff Writer at Ultiworld, focusing primarily on the Women's and Mixed divisions. Graham graduated from the University of Cape Town in South Africa after playing 4 years with the UCT Flying Tigers. He now lives and works full time in San Diego. Follow him on twitter @JustGrahamG

  2. Patrick Stegemoeller
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    Patrick Stegemoeller is a Senior Staff Writer for Ultiworld, co-host of the Sin The Fields podcast, and also a lawyer who lives in Brooklyn.

  3. Edward Stephens
    Edward Stephens

    Edward Stephens has an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. He writes and plays ultimate in Athens, Georgia.

  4. Alex Rubin
    Alex Rubin

    Alex Rubin started writing for Ultiworld in 2018. He is a graduate of Northwestern University where he played for four years, but now spends his time playing pickup and coaching de Toledo High School in Los Angeles. You can reach him through e-mail (rubin.alex14@gmail.com) or Twitter (@arubes14 or @dthsultimate).

  5. Jesse Strod
    Jesse Strod

    Jesse Strod started playing ultimate his freshman year of high school in 2014 and has been hooked since.

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