2015 HS Central Championships Preview – Boys

Posted: May 15, 2015 03:31 PM

This year’s field of 14 teams is quite similar to 2014 Centrals, with seeding close to last year’s results. Last year’s champion, Hopkins HUrt returns strong, even though they suffered a loss last weekend at their home tournament. The 2014 Centrals runner up, Holy Family Catholic, however, has seen considerable turnover. Neuqua Valley comes in as the top seed, but there are plenty of questions across the division since teams are just starting to peak. Teams are excited to face out-of-state opponents as well as match up against long-time rivals. This is sure to be an exciting weekend with plenty of tight games and impressive match ups.

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The Teams

2015HSLogos Ames Boys


Ames Parallel - Iowa

The only team representing the tournament’s home state of Iowa, this will be their second year at Centrals. They finished solidly in the middle of the field last year and come in seeded sixth overall in 2015. Only two players graduated after last season, and the team has deepened and strengthened their roster since last year. Players to watch include Peter Miller and Jack Swanson, who can load up the highlight reel with their athletic play, and Bryan Hall who distributes the disc with skill beyond his years. Bids and polished throws could come from any number of players within their ranks. They have dominated the Iowa League but have not matched up against many of the teams that will be competing in Ames this weekend. They are eager to test their mettle and hope to make semifinals, maybe bringing home some hardware.


2015HSLogos Cathedral


Cathedral Griffin – Minnesota

Cathedral is excited to be coming back to Ames. Last year showed them a great time with a well-organized tournament and excellent, varied competition. Their graduating seniors were big impact players and left a void that Cathedral struggled to fill, but this year’s seniors and a number of sophomores have stepped up to take over those roles.  

Players to watch: Captain Owen Berg-Arnold’s smooth throws and huge bids make him fun to watch. Sophomore handling duo Aidan Brew and Grant Marolf use quick throws and great chemistry to impress on offense and go all out on defense with plenty of big bids.


2014HsLogos CenterGrove B


Center Grove Holy Mackerel - Indiana

This overall young team is led by a core of returning seniors that inspire hard work and lead by example, demonstrating outstanding work ethic and intensity. Center Grove’s goal is to make the semifinals, and they look forward to facing perennial powerhouses Neuqua Valley, Hopkins and Holy Family Catholic. Last year, they had an intense game against Edina in the quarterfinals with tension on both sides. Center Grove looks forward to the intense and spirited rematch in pool play this year as an opportunity to play a challenging and respected opponent.  

Players to watch: Playmaker Phillip Simcox’s versatility makes him dangerous in the air, with the disc and in crunch time. Connor Halloran will often serve up the deep shot for Simcox or initiate the break to set up the huck. Ryan York has made his name on defense, using his size and natural aggressiveness with devastating results to his opponents.


2015HSLogos Edina


Edina Green Lantern - Minnesota

Edina has performed well in the Minnesota youth league, with two one-point losses (Hopkins and St. Paul Charter). They tied for fifth at Centrals last year, losing a tight quarterfinal game to Center Grove, but defeated 2014 Centrals Champion Hopkins at the 2014 Minnesota State Championship. They graduated a whopping 20 seniors from that team, but this perennially strong program has multiple junior varsity teams and, while perhaps not as experienced or cohesive as last year’s squad, athleticism and roster depth keep them in the running for the gold this weekend. The team is eager to meet new opponents and grow both individually and as a team.
Players to watch: Impact player and sophomore starter Sam Hammar; sophomore rookie Jack Lokowich, who makes plays on both sides of the disc; and captain Tom Rhoades, who moves from handler to cutter, adding versatility to the cutting roster.

2015HSLogos Geneva Boys  

Geneva Vikings - Illinois

Geneva has seen considerable turnover since last year and hopes to continue developing their team this weekend. They have seen action against Ames, Neuqua Valley B and Naperville Central this year and are looking forward to rematches to gauge their improvement as well as anticipating great competition from other teams.  

Players to watch: Athletic cutter Mike Wagner bidding high and low and Adam Vial shutting down his defensive assignment. 


2012YouthLogos Hopkins O



Hopkins HUrt – Minnesota

Last year’s Centrals champs, they enter the tournament with both a target on their back and an impressive season résumé. Their record includes two losses at Paideia Cup to the finalists and a loss to Harry D. Jacobs in the final of their home tournament, Hopkins Hustle. Hopkins rises to the challenge that Centrals brings where the level of talent excites these boys, knowing they will have to bring their best every game. They are eager for the opportunity to improve.  

Players to watch: Creative and savvy handler Sam Kaminsky uses his craftiness on defense as well as offense to fill up the stats sheet. Jacob Elias is the renaissance offensive player who will be taking key match ups and is likely to produce some photo-worthy results. Trey Taylor will be hitting the ground frequently and sparking energy in his teammates.

HolyFamilyCatholic O  

Holy Family Catholic Revolution – Ohio

Only three starters graduated last year, but those three are U-19 U.S. National Team member Dom Schuster, defender Nick Bissonnette, and University of Cincinnati (D-I USA Ultimate College Championships qualifier) player Steven Kenny. Already this spring, Revolution has played teams from three different regions and six different states. The team is excited to face the big teams in the competition field this weekend and has an eye on redemption – striving for wins over Hopkins, after a loss in the Centrals finals last year, and Neuqua Valley, having lost twice to them this season.

Players to watch: The photographers will want to pay attention when Jordan Monnin is on the field since he has a habit of getting discs that just shouldn’t get gotten. James Morris’s experience shines in his crafty cutting. Evan Bissonnette will be dishing it out and leading the handling team.


2015HSLogos Memorial


James Madison Memorial Ultimate – Wisconsin

Despite graduating a talented class in 2014, Memorial still boasts an experienced roster in 2015. The team is looking for redemption: Cathedral edged them out by just one point in last year’s crossover game at Centrals, and Ames beat them this year at their home tournament.  They hope to make this season and tournament especially memorable for team founder and current coach Dan Raabe as this will be his final season with the team.  

Players to watch: Rami Paust’s cool-under-fire handling is the lynchpin to the Memorial offense. Quick handler Ted Schewe impresses sidelines with his monster backhands.

2014HSLogos MinneapolisSouth G B  

Minneapolis South Squall – Minnesota

With Centrals being only their second outdoor event of the season, the team is eager to have a good showing prior to their state championships. While losing only two of their starters for the 2015 season and getting a slew of talented sophomores and juniors to fill the ranks; injuries and illness have plagued Squall. They look forward to new match ups from the out-of-state-teams, but really are gearing up to face their in-state opponents in a couple weeks.  

Players to watch include field general Cole Wallin, who may be leading from the sidelines due to a knee injury; Oscar "Big Smooth" Leinbach who puts it deep or around regardless of mark; and rookie of the year Walker Nelson.

2014HSLogos NapervilleCentral B  

Naperville Central Redhawks – Illinois

While four seniors graduated from last year’s team, none of them played at 2014 Centrals due to injuries. This year’s roster comes in healthy and more experienced. Like many teams, they are eagerly anticipating playing the out-of-state teams. Danny Drinkard was a major playmaker last year at Centrals and leads the team this year along with co-captain Kyle Hersma. Billy Giger’s explosive speed and defensive prowess will make for exciting match ups throughout the weekend.
2015HSLogos NeuquaValley  

Neuqua Valley NV Ultimate – Illinois

Neuqua Valley has a deep and solid program with a competitive B team, focusing on developing players to move up in the system. Despite graduating 14 seniors and having only four returners, this team comes in as the overall one seed, with their four losses on the year coming at the hands of out-of-region teams. They have their sights set on last year’s champion and perennial powerhouse Hopkins. Captains Parker Alford and Dylan Power helm the team with hard work and solid decision making, while athletic phenom Jake Marrapode is the full package: thrower, playmaker and defender.
2015HSLogos NeuquaValley  

Neuqua Valley NV Ultimate B – Illinois

As with most B teams, personnel turnover is significant and viewed as a positive result of improvement: all members of the Neuqua Valley-A roster, save one, have seen time on Neuqua Valley-B in the past two years. The team has strong core values that generate long-term success: always be improving; performance over results; if the disc is in the air, it's yours.  They are looking forward to a rematch with Naperville Central as well as seeing how they match up against Hopkins. 

Players to watch: Playmaker Alex Diener; Nick Burril, whose shutdown handler defense and inspirational cutting on offense fuel the team; and primary handler Phuoc Vo’s short game and timely big throw


Robbinsdale-Armstrong Falcon Punch – Minnesota

The team has experienced significant turnover, losing athletic, handling and spirit leaders as well as role players, but they retain a core group of seniors with amazing chemistry. They look forward to facing the out-of-state teams and seeing how they measure up.  
Players to watch are Grant Schroeder who brings a game-breaking skill set from the handler position, Brennan Jaeger who is instrumental to the Robbinsdale defense, and Tom Duret who brings top-line athleticism to every game.
2015HSLogos StPaulCharter  

St. Paul Charter Stars – Minnesota

The Stars return to Ames this year having lost only one graduating senior from their 2014 roster. St. Paul Charter is excited to see how they match up, especially against bigger schools and out-of-state teams.  

Players to watch: Lucas Bulger’s handling skills run the gamut; Ben Fjetland is one of the best freshmen in the country (per his likely unbiased coach); and top defender Joshua Eufinger, who is always ready to sacrifice life and limb to get the disc, will be shutting down match up after match up.


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