2016 Youth Club Championships - Day 1 Boys' Recap
Posted: August 12, 2016 11:55 PM
2016 Youth Club Championships - Day One Recap
By: Cole Edgell
Day one of pool play for the U-19 boys started off this morning with the host team, Minnesota Superior, playing the Foggy Bottom Boys – previously Deadrise – hailing from the Washington, D.C., area in Pool C. The game started with a grueling 15-minute point due to countless hucks that never found their receivers. Minnesota pulled ahead after a big D from Cole Jurek; Minnesota’s junk zone caused some trouble for Foggy, creating several crucial turnovers and Ds that resulted in consecutive breaks for the host team.
Pool C supplied another dominating performance from Seattle Inc. against Carolina Sky. Seattle got off to a quick start with some long shots that were pulled down in the end zone. Smart hucks and solid defense won the game for Seattle Inc., along with solid play from their three U.S. World Junior Ultimate Championships (WJUC) team members: John Randolph, Aldous Root and Ivan Lee, who are fresh off their gold medal.
The top two seeds in Pool C, Seattle Inc. and Minnesota Superior faced off later in the evening. The increasing rain and wind forced each team into some turnovers, but made for some interesting ultimate. Cole Jurek had yet another big game for Minnesota, along with Sam Hammar and Daniel Brunker. The score was held quite even for most of the first half until Seattle pulled ahead by three points, a lead they were able to hold for the rest of the game.
Over in Pool B, Triforce (Triangle Area, N.C.) faced DEVYL (Delaware Valley, N.J.). These two teams proved to have quite a bit of talent. Triforce’s Ethan Bloodworth and Peter Barry were threats on offense, while Tyler French launched some incredible pulls. Both teams had incredibly active and vocal sidelines that kept the game tight early on, helping the teams try out their zone defenses. Triforce was able to break through to a substantial lead just after half with consecutive break points. Russell Moy from DEVYL had a couple really solid defense layouts during the second half that gave his team a couple more points, delaying the win for Triforce by a couple minutes.
INferno (Indianapolis, Ind.) produced the first upset of the weekend, beating the ATLiens from Atlanta, Ga., during the first round of games in Pool D. The ATLiens looked to avenge the loss against Pittsburgh Impulse in the third round of the day. Atlanta was able to capitalize on some of Impulse’s poor decisions and dominated right away, moving quickly out to a 6-1 lead. Noah Li had some impressive pulls and played great defense for the ATLiens, while from Impulse’s Jared Weber was quick threat on offense.
Pool A, and defending champion Boston BUDA, started later in the afternoon. BUDA will be a threat yet again this year with Oliver Fay and Sam Gagnon coming up big for Boston on day one. BUDA plays incredibly smart and well-polished ultimate. They showed their skill against Charlotte Flight who is making their debut at YCC this year. BUDA started the scoring on a drop just short of Flight’s end zone. Boston also got some expert pulls from Javier Poznar that allowed his team to apply defensive pressure quickly. The two teams ran vertical stacks for most of the game, which led to some timing and communication errors on Flight’s part. BUDA continued to dictate play for the rest of the game, resulting in a 15-2 final score.
Pool A continued play with a match up between the Nashville Nashvillains and Connecticut Insomnia. Nashville used a zone defense early that created some trouble in communicating and moving the disc for Insomnia as the wind started to pick up. Nashville’s solid defense and smart throws helped them to a commanding 5-0 lead. The teams played through long points in the second half as Nashville struggled to handle the disc in the wind and drizzling rain, resulting in some points for Insomnia. Sam Fisher played very well for Nashville offensively and produced a couple defensive layouts that were key to Nashville’s lead.
Look for teams like Seattle Inc., Minnesota Superior, Atlanta ATLiens and Boston BUDA to continue to surge tomorrow in the second day of pool play this weekend. They are smart teams that play really solid ultimate and should be the teams to watch out for on Sunday.
By: Mason Arneson
The first day of the Youth Club Championships kicked off at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn., this morning. The best ultimate teams from across the nation have come together for a weekend of thrilling competition. Cloudy mid-seventies Minnesota weather set up a great day of ultimate for the 15 teams looking to call themselves champions. But to make it there, they would have to start by making it through pool play. Here is some exciting action from the first day in the U-16 boys’ division.
Bay Area Aftershock looked to get off on the right foot at their sixth overall YCC against the hometown Minnesota Superior. Action kicked off with an 8:30 a.m. pull on Friday morning. Aftershock head coach Valerio Iani said that being the higher seed in the tournament didn’t put a lot of pressure on his team, and he just wanted his team to play hard and have fun in Blaine. He also said he liked the grass conditions, as there was still residue from heavy rainfall earlier in the week that would be optimal for layouts. The first-half action was very intense, with Aftershock and Superior trading goals throughout the first eight points, including two Minnesota goals from Jack Rosenthal and a wicked layout Callahan by Haakon Rondestvedt. In the end, though, the Bay Area team ran away with the game, going on a nine-point run starting at the end of the first half. Aftershock pitched a shutout in the second half and finished their first game of pool play in convincing fashion, walking away victorious by a score of 13-4. Jake Thorne finished the game with one goal and two assists for the winners.
In the afternoon games, YCC’s four-time defending champion, Seattle Bonzai took to the field in their first pool play game against Naperville’s Déjà vu. One of the Bonzai coaches said he had "no expectations" as the reigning champs. But Bonzai lived up to their definition anyway by bolstering a huck-heavy attack that paid off in multiple goals. Déjà vu did the opposite, swinging the disc around and working up the field more precariously. Bonzai went on a late-first-half and early second-half run, racking up five goals in a row, including a ridiculous leaping grab by Chackgarin Brown which started the run. Naperville scored three goals in the second half, but they couldn’t catch the defending champs, as Bonzai started their weekend strong with a win by a score of 13-6. Some standout performers include
Achilles Abella with two goals and two assists and Kimitake Inoue who led Seattle with three assists.
Aftershock and INtensity wrapped up their day at the National Sports Center in Blaine with a highly anticipated match up. With these two teams being so evenly matched, the fans were in for a classic match up. INtensity used a lot of cutter motion to swing the disc around and move up-field, unlike Aftershock who threw the disc downfield more often, looking for big plays. INtensity took a quick 2-1 lead, but that was the closest they would come. Aftershock went on a quick four-goal scoring run near the end of the first half and scored six out of the last seven points, including one from an incredible continuation play that was capped off by Patrick Bauman connecting on a break throw to Martin Hytonen and one from a spectacular Calvin Brown save into a Jackson Allen goal. Aftershock took the win 13-6 and the top spot in Pool C with an undefeated 3-0 record. INtensity coach Jake Phillips said after the loss that they were going to put their 1-2 pool play record in the rearview and focus on their crossover game to get into the top eight and having a shot and winning it all. Dustin Baird turned in quite a performance from the losing team though, scoring two goals and assisting on the same amount.
The final round of the day took place under a steady stream of rain. One of the round’s most important match ups was between NC Hammer from the Triangle Area in North Carolina and ATLas from Atlanta, Ga. These teams were the overall four and five seeds, but the game did not have the same outcome. Right from the get go, the Atlanta-based team took three easy points and then scored five of the last six points. Some highlights of this intense match up were Jake Powell’s Callahan and a layout goal by Justin Burnett. In the end, the lower seed won out as ATLas took the "L" out of "Atlanta" for today, winning this one handily by a score of 15-4 in the rain-filled match up.
Except for ATLas winning their pool, which was always a toss-up between them and NC Hammer, across the board, the highest seed stayed atop their pools in the U-16 boys’ division. Check back tomorrow for the Saturday crossovers to see if teams can break their seeds and then bracket play to determine who will be called champions.
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