2011 YCC U-16 Open Division Champs - TYUL

Posted: August 15, 2011 01:18 PM

YCC 2011, U-16 Division
Sunday Recap


All weekend, Team Illinois had struggled to gain momentum against more experienced teams. Coach Doug Ishikawa emphasized the positive: “We’re excited, playing top competition. When these kids flow up to the next level, they’ll be ready.” Their quarterfinal matchup pitted them against the Triangle Area’s One Huck Wonders. While the Chicagoans were able to move the disc better than they had most of the weekend, they were unable to convert in the clutch, and One Huck advanced with little need for late heroics. For Team Illinois, Chad Fahrenbach played well, and Jack Shanahan led the way with several layouts on D.

In a much tighter game, Pittsburgh’s Pulse and Minnesota Superior went on a series of runs, see-sawing back and forth. Going into the game, Pulse coach David Hogan identified his keys: “We want to get more patient on O and stay aggressive on D.” Superior went on the first run, going up 5-1, before Pulse roared back to tie. The game’s intensity ramped up in the second half, and both teams got big efforts up and down their rosters. The second half stayed close, but the home side made more of the breaks overall to advance. Pulse parent and de facto motivational coach, Ron Crowe, Jr., noted that they would learn to “stay strong mentally, then everything falls into place. We are looking forward to the next challenge.”

DeVYL coach Ryan Belline identified his team’s priorities for their game against DiscNW’s Doughboys: “Build off yesterday, develop as a team…active marks and movement on O.” Since their first round loss, though, movement had been hard to find against the Doughboys. The athletic D of Makhi Sanders and Lito-Prevost-Reilly had begun to click Saturday, and they looked to continue. Early on, DeVYL stayed close, getting good reset under cuts from Sadie Jezierski. After a tight first half, however, the Doughboys opened up their long game, and DeVYL’s shorter bench could not keep up.

Cincinnati Flying Piglets might have had the youngest roster in the U-16 division, with seven twelve-year-olds. They also had the largest roster, and wanted to focus on “playing non-sloppy, efficient Ultimate,” according to coach Pete Luttmann. Their opponents, Bay Area Angry Birds, had a difficult time staying consistent on Saturday. In the words of coach Valerio Iani: “We showed yesterday that we can do well and we can do poorly. We want to stay cohesive and stay together.” The game was close in the first half, with each team putting together a couple points in short runs. Angry Birds got good contributions from Kevin Ruttenberg, Kainoa Chun-Moy. On the Flying Piglets, Steven Babcock and Dominic Schuster were always at the center of the action. After half, it again seemed to be a matter of depth and experience, as Cincinnati scored a couple of breaks to put the game out of reach.


One Huck Wonder and Minnesota Superior’s semifinal matchup maintained what had become a common theme in the division over the weekend: playing zone even in calm conditions. At this level of experience, even a good offence could be undone by the prospect of stringing twenty passes together. The team with the ability to break a cup or keep hold of the disc would often win, and One Huck’s slightly more polished squad pushed out to an early lead on Eli Miller and Sol Yanuck’s possession game. In the second half, the vaunted 1-3-3 “puppy fence” came out, and yet Superior managed to thread several inside-out throws through the wall, giving them life. It was to be short-lived, however, and the game ended after Terrence Mitchell ripped down a high huck that he quickly converted to Marc Rovner.

Doughboys semifinal against Flying Piglets was a classic game of contrasting styles, with the taller, more athletic Seattle side looking to force the Piglets to the sideline, while dominating on long hucks, and the Cincinnati team trying to set up precision unders and side-to-side possession. The team that forced its opponent to play it game would likely come out on top. Early on, the game featured lots of zone. Noteworthy play by the ever-dangerous Makhi Sanders and Hieu Phan of Doughboys was matched by key plays by Matt Shefcik, Ryan Luttmann, and Dominic Schuster. Flying Piglets looked fantastic when they kept to the patient short game, but still forced a few impatient hucks that proved to be the difference in the first half. In the second half, that impatience blossomed into still more long turns, which Doughboys would convert on their way to the finals.


As the Doughboys prepared to face One Huck Wonder, they had to be thinking they were being given a chance to erase the memory of their first round loss. All the way through the rest of their games, they played with a little chip on their shoulders. One Huck, on the other hand, seemed to have settled down to play some pretty consistent Ultimate for their age. The team that was able to put their stamp on the game’s style looked likely to be crowned champs.

Doughboys started in match-up, sprinting down on defense, while the One Huck O moved smoothly to open scoring, Kevin Mateer to Marc Rovner. Doughboys immediately fired long, and after a couple of turns, Cameron Stanish sent a laser to the end zone that Hieu Phan nabbed at full extension. These two points were to be a microcosm of the early action, as One Huck Wonder, contrary to their name, worked the disc to set up the medium throws, and Doughboys sent huge hucks at the slightest provocation.

Offensively, both teams had a style, while defensively, they were both of one mind: fling yourself at the disc at full speed. Huge layout
Ds and point blocks became almost commonplace in this game. On Doughboys, Makhi Sanders was everywhere on D and David Ngo was a monster on the mark, while Nathan Kwon for One Huck spent nearly as much time flying horizontally through the air as he did standing. The first half was close until a crucial moment when Doughboys switched to a zone look that actually seemed to calm down the One Huck O, giving them the breathing room and confidence to take half.

Still, One Huck was tired, having “had our top seven in for most of the half,” according to coach Cate Foster. Doughboys assistant coach Doug Sumi also felt his players were “a little iffy energy-wise, but they really came out and cranked it up.” Indeed, their intensity seemed to rattle the North Carolina side, and two quick points led to a One Huck time out: “We told them, we aren’t mad or anything; we just have to get our momentum back,” said coach Foster. The teams traded to 9-6, One Huck. Doughboys would prove to have more in the tank, however, and Hieu Phan snagged another ridiculous layout score, while Lito Prevost-Reilly added two assists in an amazing run to tie at nines in cap. On double-game point, following a huge layout D for each team, by (who else?) Makhi Sanders and Nathan Kwon, respectively, and one contested foul, One Huck Wonder became the first YCC U-16 Open champions on a Sol Yanuck to Eli Miller score.

Coming into the weekend, I was intrigued by what kind of games this division would offer. By the end of it, I had seen a title game that rivaled any of the games I have seen in seven YCC tournaments. The future of Ultimate’s future is bright indeed.

PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Kotvis [f/go]

Final Standings

1 - Triangle Area
2 - Seattle
3 - Cincinnati
4 - Minneaoplis
5 - Delaware Valley
6 - Pittsburgh
7 - Bay Area
8 - Chicago

Full results