2016 Youth Club Championships - Day Three Boys' Recap

Posted: August 14, 2016 09:41 PM
Triangle Triforce Wins Their Second U-19 Boys' Division Title
By: Cole Edgell
Today was a day full of incredible ultimate yet again in the U-19 boys’ division. The amount of talent has been absolutely amazing, and it showed today as play in the championship bracket continued.
The morning started off with two really close semifinal match ups that led to double-game points. The first was Minnesota Superior and Delaware Valley DEVYL. The game began with two deep shots to space for each team to keep the score tied at 2-2. Minnesota’s Jack Lokowich, Oscar Leinbach and Daniel Brunker, as well as Cole Jurek, showed really good movement all game. DEVYL’s handlers continued to run an offense that looked deep after a few good touches and swings. DEVYL also kept up the tenacity on defense that we saw yesterday in their game with Boston BUDA. Russell Moy and Eric Li had really solid defensive games, as did Alexander Cretella. Minnesota forced the game to double-game point late in the match, but DEVYL put it away 13-12 to move onto the final.
The next field over hosted Seattle Inc. versus Triangle Area Triforce. Seattle went up by four in the first half before Triforce got themselves back in the game in the second half by going on a six-point run, led by Dillon Lanier. Triforce’s defense was able to hold Seattle deep in their zone off a couple good pulls, resulting in a Callahan score by Carolina’s Ethan Bloodworth to tie the game at 11. Triforce pulled away with the win 12-11 to secure their spot in the final against a surging DEVYL.
The third double-game point of the morning came in a spirited match from Texas Two Step and Bay Area Red Dawn. The wind was just beginning to pick up for the day when the two teams began the game. Texas started with some very risky throws upwind, but recognized the wind just in time to score and go up 2-0. Two Step used a tight cup zone during an upwind point that was abandoned quickly when California was easily able to break it and score 2-1. The wind was causing trouble for both teams going into half at 7-5. Texas’ offense was reliant on play from handler Connor Olson, who ended the weekend with 16 goals. Red Dawn’s Jonah Taylor had an all-around solid game, with really well-timed cutting and play on defense. Foul calls and long discussions delayed play late in the game, but they were resolved with good spirit from both teams. Texas took ninth-place with a layout catch from Connor Olsen to end the match at 13-12.
Colorado Cutthroat, the team that was originally seeded at seventh to start the tournament, ended their weekend with an 11th-place finish over Nashville this morning. Cutthroat moved to an early 5-1 lead in the first half that was the product of some smart throws and communication from their offense against a Nashville squad that was short due to injured players. Cutthroat’s offense was led by Quinn Finer and Hector Madrigal. Nashville showed some life with big defensive plays from Grant Waldron and Mathieu Agee. The two also made a couple connections on offense when Waldron assisted Agee twice in the first half. Nashville was able to put a few points on the board before Colorado took the game 13-6.
In the championship game between the DEVYL and Triforce, the teams traded points back and forth early on. DEVYL had more dominating play from Mac Rushing and David Voychuk. The two have great communication and are able to make really hard cuts to open up space for each other. Receivers Grant Shapiro and Colby Gordon were also big on offense for DEVYL, providing hard unders and explosive deep cuts for hucks from their handlers. Triforce’s Matas Zdanavicius and Andrew Mouw connected multiple times on offense for Triforce. Each of the teams had some really amazing pulls all game, especially from Triforce’s Liam Searles-Bohs that allowed their defense to get down and establish a mark. Defense for DEVYL was big, yet again. Eric Li and Russell Moy displayed incredible defensive play all game, challenging the Triforce offense. Triforce was able to bring themselves into the lead and hold on to become national champions for the second time in three years with a final score of 13-10.
Congratulations to Triforce and the rest of the teams that competed this weekend. The tournament was nothing short of entertaining over the last few days, which should excite everyone for the future of not only youth ultimate, but for the sport as a whole. Keep an eye out for teams like DEVYL, BUDA and Triforce for next year’s tournament, which should be even more exciting than this one.

Seattle Bonzai Wins Their Fifth-Straight U-16 Boys' Title
By: Mason Arneson
(full results)
When Sunday comes around during an ultimate tournament, the stakes get raised. Today, just four teams were left competing for the ultimate (pun intended) goal of winning the Youth Club Championships. On a cool and sunny Minnesota morning, bracket play continued in the semifinal round; the field had been cut in half after yesterday’s quarterfinals.
The two semifinal games going on simultaneously on adjacent fields. After impressive showings yesterday, Seattle Bonzai went head to head with Delaware Valley DEVYL in a rematch of the 2015 final. The top two seeds put on a show in Blaine and had the fans on the edge of their seats until the final goal. Delaware Valley head coach Ryan Belline said he tweaked his team’s game plan after pool play by looking at what was and wasn’t working. He also added that he didn’t feel any pressure for the rematch. After DEVYL took two of the first three points, Bonzai picked it up a notch and won six out of the next seven. Co-captain Adam Jemal picked up a goal and an assist during this stretch, and Otis Williams dropped two assists. Early on, both teams threw different defensive patterns at one another. DEVYL was trying to force Bonzai into mistakes with an interesting poachy look, going with a modified zone, and Bonzai was going with a full-on zone with a three-man cup that was staggering DEVYL’s offense. Midway through the game, both teams switched from their starting coverage to man-to-man looks.
Bonzai looked to have the game in the bag, out in front 12-7 in a game to 13. DEVYL fired back with three straight goals to cut the margin to only two points on three James Kenelly assists. But on the next point, Bonzai sealed the game with a beautiful huck by Jasper Dean to make the score 13-10, securing their spot in the 2016 YCC final. Other notable performances during this semifinal match up came from Bonzai’s Tony Venneri (three assists), James Kenelly (four assists), and Chackgarin Brown – the only player on Seattle with multiple goals.
The other semifinal match up between Bay Area Aftershock and Atlanta ATLas ended with the latter earning a 12-9 victory. The stage was set for the championship final, which would get underway after both teams had some time to rest up for what might have been the biggest game in their lives.
The highly anticipated final started off with a goal from the connection between the Bonzai captains: Tony Venneri on the assisting end and Adam Jemal on the catching end. From there, the teams traded goals all the way through the first half, as Bonzai went into the break leading by a score of 7-6.
On the first point of the second half, there were many big plays that got the crowd on their feet cheering, and in some cases, gasping. Two incredible layout Ds by Otis Williams, who snagged a sure-to-be point out of the air, and Achilles Abella started off the point with a bang for Seattle. But the biggest highlight of the point was still to come. ATLas handler Aidan Downey lofted a hammer down the sideline, and both Jaden Medley-Fowlkes of Atlanta and Raymond Chan from Seattle bid for the disc while they were airborne and collided with each other. Medley-Fowlkes got the worst of the impact and sat the next three points to catch his wind. 
The last several points drew a crowd from teams who wanted to see who would emerge as the 2016 champ and fans wandering over after other finals finished up. With Bonzai leading 11-10 late, Jake Powell a caught a pass and continued the play by hucking it toward the end zone. Seattle’s Achilles Abella made an amazing layout D bid and actually made contact with the disc, but to no avail. The disc landed right in the hands of Atlanta’s Ben Dameron to tie the game up at 11 all. On the next point, just after the original hard cap horn sounded, Aidan Downey threw a 50/50 disc into the end zone that was mercifully pulled down by 6’5" cutter Matthew Dacey-Koo to give Atlanta the lead. After the injury to Medley-Fowlkes, the teams had agreed to add injury time to the end of the game. As a result, the game wasn’t over, despite the hard cap horn having sounded. Atlanta was finally ahead, up one, and one point away from becoming first-time champs and knocking the four-time winners off their throne. But it all fell apart. Bonzai’s next score knotted up the game at 12s and sent it to universe point, Seattle broke the Atlanta defense, and a pass landed in Achilles Abella’s hands in the end zone to end the game. What followed was pandemonium, as both the boys’ and girls’ teams from Seattle stormed the field and lifted Abella off the ground, while an emotional Atlanta team left the field without the championship. 
After a long and emotional spirit circle, an also emotional coach Joey Shea from Atlanta said he was overjoyed with how his team performed this weekend, repeating from an interview yesterday, "We just wanted to see our team play up to their potential." He also stated that he thought his team had played their best game of the tournament in the final and that they played better than, "any blowout they’d had." Despite the heroic efforts, Atlanta couldn’t pull off the victory they had come to Blaine looking for.
After a captivating weekend of ultimate here at the National Sports Center, it is finally time to say goodbye. So many memories were made and great ultimate played over these last three days. But there is always next year.

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