Ultiworld’s Club Awards 2022: Offensive Player of the Year (Mixed)

The players that left defenses stumped in 2022.

Ultiworld’s 2022 Club Awards are presented by Breakmark; all opinions are those of the author. They have given away almost 1000 reversibles this year and want to get to 2500 and beyond. Find out how you can help and get yours at Breakmark.com!

Ultiworld is pleased to announce our annual Club Awards. While we consider both regular season and postseason performance, because of the nature of the Club Division, we weight success in the Series and at Nationals above all else. The Club Awards are voted on by Ultiworld reporters, contributors, and editors.

Our awards continue with the Offensive Player of the Year, recognizing the individual, and two runners-up, who we felt had the most impactful and productive seasons helping their teams score. They set up goals, finished off points, and produced yardage at consistently high levels against the top defenders.

Player of the Year Award
All-Club First Team
All-Club Second Team
Offensive Player of the Year Award
Defensive Player of the Year Award
Breakout Player of the Year Award
Coach of the Year Award
Club Awards Voting Breakdown

2022 Offensive Player of the Year

Kelly Johnson (Seattle Mixtape)

Seattle Mixtape’s Kelly Johnson. Photo: Kevin Leclaire — UltiPhotos.com

Kelly Johnson knows when to hold them. She’s spent a long season with the best defenses of the ultimate world in the palm of her hand. She was the burning standard around which Seattle Mixtape marshaled their attack, a balanced, relentless offense that has taken many forms and all comers throughout Seattle’s double peak season summation.

Johnson knows when to fold them. Great offense is not about creative throwing and athletic moves1, it’s about consistently making the right decision. Johnson is perhaps the most reliable key decision maker in the sport, let alone the division, as she quickly yet carefully balances options and assesses odds before making the next move.

Johnson knows when to walk away. A benefit of Seattle’s deep roster is that despite her regularly definitive role, she is not always required. Whether deferring to Billy Katz, Qxhna Titcomb, or one of Mixtape’s other 20-odd world class weapons, Johnson can step off and on the pitch without missing a beat, her form an assurance Seattle can keep in their back pocket should they need to turn to their ‘”break glass in case of emergency” late game playbook.

Oh, you best believe she knows when to run. It was defense that first put Kelly Johnson’s name on our site.2 In fact, with this award she becomes the first club player to have won both the OPOTY and the DPOTY. That experience has shaped her vision, helping her to predict gaps before they appear by recognizing the thought processes of opposing players, diagnosing the ambitions in their eyes and timing her attack – on both sides of the disc – to perfection.

-Lorcan Murray

First Runner-Up

Mac Taylor (San Francisco Polar Bears)

San Francisco Polar Bears’ Mac Taylor at the 2022 US Open. Photo: Alex Fraser — UltiPhotos.com

For years, Mac Taylor has been tearing up the field and the story remains the same this season (with a different team, however) for him on Polar Bears. Of course, PBR welcomed him in with open arms and as a result, Taylor may have helped raise the team’s ceiling, helping them achieve success and rise up the Power Rankings to land a top eight seed at Nationals. Taylor impressive performance this season included play-saving grabs and the wide-ranging break throws he has become known for in his illustrious career. But his real accolade was his magnet-like attraction to the end zone. He led the charge for assists at Nationals with 27 throughout the weekend and collected 11 goals for good measure.

Taylor’s long and storied career still has plenty of highlights left in it, and he still is able to carry a central and usage-heavy role for an elite club as well as any player in the game.

-Laura Osterlund

Second Runner-Up

Danielle Byers (Minneapolis Drag’n Thrust)

Minneapolis Drag’n Thrust’s Danielle Byers. Photo: Rodney Chen — UltiPhotos.com

Few could find ways to contain Danielle “Buckets” Byers this season, though many tried and were found wanting. If her opponents did their homework, they would know immediately that Byers specialized in going deep and, despite their better efforts, she could not be stopped. As one of the fastest — perhaps the actual fastest — players in the mixed division this year, Byers was absolutely lethal in that deep space, creating enough separation from her defenders to become one of the division’s top scorers. It is easy to see where her nickname comes from.

With only three turns in the entire TCT series, as well as excellent reads and closing speed on her cuts, it’s clear that Byers liked to play clean. There was also a certain style and grace that Byers played with, as if she knew she was putting on a show for spectators and teammates alike.

-Laura Osterlund

  1. Okay, not just about that. 

  2. Second Team All-Club selection for Seattle Riot 2015, her first of three with Riot 

  1. Ultiworld

    Ultiworld is the premier news media site dedicated to the sport of ultimate. This article includes the work of a number of our staff or contributors that have been identified within the piece.

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