Centex 2024: Day Two Centering Pass (Men’s Div.)

Two undefeated teams remain as lightning canceled an anticipated final.

Texas' Jake Worthington releases a backhand at the ultimate frisbee tournament Smoky Mountain Invite 2024. Photo: William "Brody" Brotman - UltiPhotos.com
Texas’ Jake Worthington releases a backhand at Smoky Mountain Invite 2024. Photo: William “Brody” Brotman – UltiPhotos.com

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Welcome to Centering Pass, Ultiworld’s articles covering tournament news and event stories you need to know.

Rain and lightning conspired to cancel the final round of play at Centex, but the games that did get played were illuminating for the teams that played. With bad weather in the forecast, the tournament organizers opted to slot teams into just two games because of expected rain, with teams playing brackets based on their finish in Pool Play which ran in full on Saturday. Credit is due to the tournament organizers for their active communication and for finding a way for every team to get at least some play in on Sunday despite the adverse conditions.

Texas TUFFs It Out

Coming in as tournament favorites, #15 Texas TUFF was expected to win their games at Centex fairly handily. Though they went undefeated, TUFF really needed to grind out some challenging wins. Starting their tournament with a three point comeback against #22 BYU CHI and ending it with a gritty come-from-behind semifinal win over Texas A&M Dozen, Texas’ offense looked almost as congested as Interstate 35. John Clyde had some standout moments as a thrower, carving up the inside break lane, but Texas is going to need to work out the kinks in their overall system if they’re going to succeed as well as they did last season when they had more traditional handlers like Zach Slayton and Matt Chambers in the backfield. Xavier Fuzat and Jake Worthington are both capable as disc movers, but they’re more traditional fits as cutters in the lane rather than the backfield roles they took on for much of the tournament. With their close wins, Texas is likely to still be around the bid cut-off line when rankings are released; they don’t want to face a winner-take-all showdown with a strong #6 Colorado Mamabird team at Regionals so shoring up those systems and getting ready to play higher level offense will be paramount.

On the other sideline, Texas A&M really made life tough (sorry) for Texas. Alongside Mark Henke, Timothy Mosher stood out for his composed backfield play and penchant for the spectacular. Though they weren’t able to pull off a legendary upset, Dozen deserve credit for finding spaces to attack through Texas’ rarely seen zone defense and for holding their own through multiple upwind scores. This team might be a year or two away from Nationals contention, but that’s definitely in the realm of possibility down the road. And, Texas’ less-than-dominant performance opens the door for a team like WashU Contra to enter the end of the regular season and the series with confidence that they can hang in a game-to-go situation.

Great Lakes Rising?

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  1. 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. After a stint in Los Angeles coaching high school and college teams, they moved to Chicago to experience real seasons and eat deep dish pizza. You can reach Alex through e-mail ([email protected]) or Twitter (@arubes14).

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