By: Ben Visser, Bri Gerke, Alex Connor, Kelly Schiro
Blue skies, sunshine and the exuberant chanting of teams as they warmed up started day two of the High School Central Championships in Ames, Iowa. Warmer weather, less wind and the added excitement of championship play provided an excellent day of ultimate. What follows are highlights from day two of play in the boys’ division.
Neuqua Valley A vs. York
Neuqua Valley A really attacked the disc which helped them score throughout the game. York was cutting deep but had trouble completing those passes and seemed to rush the disc at times. Neuqua Valley A’s Ben Swiatek was strong in this game. Swiatek was able to catch quite a few throws and had some Ds that kept York from scoring. York put up a good fight; it seemed like they had very strong handlers, but it just wasn’t a match with Neuqua Valley A who was stronger in all aspects of the game. Most of the Neuqua Valley A players have played the game since they were young which could have had a hand in their progression throughout the tournament. Neuqua Valley A won the game with a final score of 13-2.
Minneapolis South vs. Hopkins
You could feel the electricity in this game right from the start. Both teams were very strong and determined to win. The two teams had a lot of patience and handled the disc well. Right off the bat, Hopkins Sam Stillman caught an impressive huck in the end zone and got his team the first point of the game. South didn’t let that affect them. Maxwell Hansen raced against a Hopkins player, used his agility to jumping ability to catch the disc in the end zone for a goal. South used discipline to score three points in a row and put the score at 7-4 right before half. Another key player for South was Sam Kleven who had some impressive layout bids and handled the disc well. Toward the end of the game, the score was tied at 10-10. Everyone was on the edge of their seats, South was starting to throw deep, but Hopkins intercepted, so South adjusted, throwing to shorter cuts to move them down the field and won on double-game point. The final score was 11-10, with South moving on.
Edina vs. Robbinsdale-Cooper
With their seniors back for Sunday play, there was no stopping Edina. Wystan Duhn had a great save when the disc got deflected but was able to snag it back. Both teams showed strong determination and good teamwork. Edina just seemed to have a stronger team and often rotated out players as to not tire them too early which seemed to be a good move. Cooper was a very talented team that never slowed down, however, they had a few small mistakes which Edina was able to take advantage of. Edina won the game with a final score of 13-3.
Great River vs. Holy Family Catholic
Coming into this tournament seeded second, Holy Family Catholic had their eyes set on making it to the finals and definitely had the skills to get there. Well rested and ready to win, Holy Family Catholic faced Great River in their quarterfinals game. Great River didn’t play as many opponents in the tournament because they were in pool C (a team from the pool dropped out late) on Saturday. Great River and Holy Family Catholic traded the first couple of points at a fast pace before Holy Family Catholic went on a six-point run. Great River could not recover from the deficit, and the final score was 13-5 Holy Family Catholic.
Neuqua Valley A vs. Minneapolis South
Minneapolis South really wanted to get into the semifinals and played their best players in the quarterfinals, tiring them out for the semifinals. From the beginning, Neuqua Valley came through as the stronger team. They were confident they could win after yesterday’s victory over South (13-6) in the wind. Without the wind, Neuqua’s throws were even stronger. Handler Alex Jacobson really shined throughout the game, making excellent handler cuts and good decisions on his throws. South put on a zone defense but found themselves tired from the previous game and couldn’t answer Neuqua’s scoring run. Despite the lopsided score, South kept working hard. Final score: 13-1.
Edina vs. Holy Family Catholic
Holy Family Catholic and Edina were well-matched. It was easy to see why they were in the semifinals. The intensity was high from both teams, with huge skies, several layout grabs and layout Ds. Both teams threw zones, but it took a couple of points before Edina’s became effective against Holy Family Catholic. Holy Family Catholic’s zone frustrated Edina at first and often made them throw the disc away over the cup. Several players from Holy Family Catholic were able to throw hammers to wide-open players in the middle of the field when Edina’s cup had them trapped near the forehand sideline. Holy Family Catholic had a smaller team, but they also had great chemistry, especially handlers Ben Reutener, Luke Monnin and Mark Schuster. Holy Family Catholic took an early lead at 5-2, but Edina came back to tie the score at 8-8 after halftime. They were able to take the lead and keep it to win the game. Edina’s Sam Hammar had some great skies during the game, and Daniel Brunker had great hucks. Final score: 10-9.
Neuqua Valley A vs. Edina
With the sun shining bright, the boys’ High School Central Championship came to a close as Edina Green Lantern Varsity faced off against Neuqua Valley’s NV Ultimate A in a match that started off strong, fast-paced and loud. Reid Martin scored the first point of the match for Neuqua Valley. Turnovers happened for both teams, but Edina wasn’t as tight on their defense, making it easier for Neuqua to open up a lead. The teams were tied at 3-3 before Neuqua opened up a lead. Driving Neuqua were Ben Swiatek and Dylan Power who handled and moved the disc with skill. A key player for Edina was Sam Hammar, who was impressive in the air which helped his team score. At halftime, Edina was behind 3-7 and was losing motivation. As tension between the teams rose, Neuqua kept punching in goals. They handled pressure well, which was key in this game. About an hour into the round, Neuqua was up 10-5. Edina tallied two more points with better offensive possessions. At 12-5, with chants of "one more" ringing out from the sidelines, Neuqua scored to take the 2016 Centrals title 13-5.
York vs. Hopkins
Hopkins should have been tired after their last big game, but that was clearly not the case. They seemed to have a good idea of what they wanted to do with the disc and were able to handle it well. York is new to Centrals, and they certainly proved to be a talented team. After halftime, York scored a few more points to tighten the gap, but Hopkins came out on top with a final score of 13-8.
Robbinsdale-Cooper vs. Great River
Robbinsdale-Cooper loudly rang in the start of the match by chanting and screaming in support of their team. After scoring first, Great River played a tight defense throughout the game, led by Cole Zielske and Ben Fjetland-Souza. Cooper played efficiently throughout the match compared to Great River who had a higher turnover rate. By halftime, Cooper was up by six at 7-1. However, Great River wasn’t going to go down without a fight. Despite their effort, they weren’t able to close the gap, and Will Johnson and Grant Jones carried Cooper to a 13-7 win.
Cathedral vs. Fishers
Fishers set the tone for the match from the beginning. They took the lead early, but Cathedral rallied to keep the game close with both teams showing plenty of endurance. Fishers was up by one at halftime, with a score of 7-6. In the second half, both Cathedral and Fishers had numerous turnovers, making it anyone’s game for a while. But Fishers finished strong, closing out the game against Cathedral 13-9.
Memorial vs. Center Grove
Memorial seemed tired at the beginning of the day. They fought through it, but Center Grove just seemed to dominate. Center Grove used good decision-making skills and had more variation in their throws. Alex Henderson had some strong hucks that helped move his team downfield. Johnson, the only girl playing with Center Grove this weekend, had some good Ds in the game. Center Grove also seemed to utilize the field more effectively which helped them score more points and pull out the win with a final score of 13-4.
Fishers vs. Center Grove
As the wind picked up at the beginning of the match, Center Grove score first and maintained their lead throughout. While Fisher fought hard and remained strong, they couldn’t quite catch up to Center Grove, despite a small bounce back when they led 6-4. By halftime, Center Grove had retaken the the lead at 7-6, and carried it through the rest of the match. Zach Padgett and Conner Henderson, Jr. helped carry Center Grove to success, with Jimmy Phillips throwing the winning point. Center Grove wins, 13-6.
Cathedral Griffin vs. James Madison Memorial (11th Place)
James Madison Memorial beat Cathedral 11-8. Right from the beginning, James Madison Memorial looked strong. Ryan Yee was key for Memorial. He scored their first three points and, later in the game, managed to tack on two additional goals.
Ames vs. Neuqua Valley B
Ames team never slowed down in this game. Joey Kosterman is a very talented handler who had a hand in a lot of Ames’ goals. He seemed to work well with Ryan Helton who has great height and was able to bring in the high hucks. However, Neuqua Valley B was very fast and controlled the disc well. Alex Diener has some impressive skills and strong athleticism which helped his team move the disc. Neuqua Valley B had more depth and never ran out of steam; they finished the game with a final score of 13-7.
St. Paul Central vs. Neuqua Valley-B
Neuqua Valley jumped to an early lead against St. Paul Central, but both teams maintained strong morale as a wide gap between points developed. St. Paul Central kept the score close near the beginning of the game, up to 3-2, but Neuqua Valley, with a beautiful Callahan, jumped ahead. They took the half 7-2. Both team committed turnovers, giving St. Paul Central chances to come back, but Neuqua Valley held strong. Sam Swiatek and Alex Diener led Neuqua Valley with four assists each in the game, taking Neuqua Valley to a 13-2 win.
St. Paul Central vs. Ames
Ames Parallel took a lead from the beginning playing more conservatively through a vertical stack. St. Paul Central took a different approach, trying to use their deep game. Ames had established a solid lead by halftime and with Joey Kosterman and Ryan Helton leading the team, Ames went on to win 13-6.