Hopkins HUrt Takes Home the 2014 Central Championship

Posted: May 18, 2014 09:39 PM
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Another beautiful day in Ames, Iowa, was in full swing at 8:30 a.m., kicking off the final day of the 2014 High School Central Championships. The wind picked up as the afternoon progressed, which attributed to some less desirable outcomes for a few teams. Before the day began, ultimate players and coaches were highly anticipating how the rest of the tournament would play out. Here are today’s highlights.

Championship Bracket (Scoreboard)

The quarterfinals started as the wind was just beginning to pick up and move from a crosswind to a more upwind-downwind direction. This was not as big a factor as in the semis and finals, where it was even windier and strictly upwind-downwind.  Holy Family, Neuqua Valley-A and Hopkins all rolled to fairly easy victories in this round, while Center Grove and Edina ground it out. 


Holy Family Catholic vs. Cathedral

Cathedral tried a zone against Holy Family, but it didn’t phase the calm, disciplined throwers from HFC who used quick passes coupled with short, over-the-top throws to get ahead of the cup. Revolution’s Jordan Monnin made it look easy. Cathedral tried to keep the disc moving to prevent the defense from setting up, but while a solid strategy, it created a few miscues as players weren’t ready to receive passes or throws were rushed. Holy Family was quick to capitalize on miscues. As a side note, during this game, some kids between the ages of eight to 11 were playing a pick-up game on the sideline that included stall counts and hammers. The future looks bright for the Holy Family Catholic program. Final Score: 13-5 Holy Family Catholic.

Hopkins vs. Armstrong

Hopkins handled Armstrong with tight defense and aggressive hucking. Hopkins spread the disc around to a number of receivers, but Michael Lieberman stood out with his impressive grabs, as well as helping individual younger players improve their games. As usual, Hopkins brought a big, loyal and loud crowd, and had very active sidelines. Armstrong was simply overmatched, though Marty Adams played impressive defense, including uncanny speed to cut off open lanes as well as a sick, high layout grab to prevent a score.  Final score: 13-7 Hopkins.

Neuqua Valley-A vs. Ames

Neuqua Valley-A went up on Ames 5-2 to start the game, but Ames rattled off three in row to tie it at 5s.  Neuqua Valley adjusted, and Ames just couldn’t keep up, though there were abundant big defensive plays by both teams. Neuqua Valley seemed just a little cleaner and a little more focused and played relentless defense to force high stall counts. Final score: 13-7 Neuqua Valley-A.

Edina vs. Center Grove

Edina versus Center Grove was the most exciting game of the round. They played neck and neck in an intense game, at times getting a bit chippy, though individual displays of high spirit were always visible.  Center Grove had big defensive bids, and Edina was making their typical impressive grabs in the air.  Center Grove had more trouble going upwind, but their defense held Edina. Each team earned two breaks, with Center Grove breaking to take the half 7-6. With time running out, the intensity increased. There were bids everywhere, and Center Grove got another up-winder out of the half.  Final score: 10-8 Center Grove.


The semifinals looked like they could be tight match-ups, but in the wind, each game had a clearly superior team.

Hopkins vs. Center Grove

Hopkins came out hard, with energy on offense and defense, and just could not be stopped. They took several upwind breaks, which Center Grove just did not have the disc skills to manage against Hopkins’ athletic defense. Hopkins’ Max Wolk was a monster in the air, playing great defense, coming up with seemingly uncatchable discs, and keeping it alive horizontally as well as vertically. Hopkins rolled to the win. Final Score: 13-4 Hopkins.

Holy Family Catholic vs. Neuqua Valley-A

On the other side of the bracket, Holy Family Catholic started out dominating Neuqua Valley-A. However, Revolution made a few errors when pressured by Neuqua Valley’s tight defense and frequent layouts. NV-A truly gave 110 percent, but their upwind offense struggled more than Revolution’s. Late in the game, the energy on the field and the sidelines created the opportunity for a comeback. After being down significantly, NV-A brought the game to within two at 9-11 and seemed to have enough momentum to make a run. But they couldn’t score the necessary two upwind breaks. Holy Family liked the up-line throws but didn’t get locked into it, having the discipline to look it off for the swing to open up the field. The speed and sticky hands of Stephen Kenny and the general disc skills of Dominic Schuster were central to Holy Family’s offense, while also contributing on defense. Final Score: 13-10 Holy Family Catholic.


Hopkins vs. Holy Family Catholic

The finals brought the two undefeated teams head-to-head. Hopkins had been challenged by Neuqua Valley-A in the crossover but rolled in the quarters and semis. Meanwhile, Holy Family had been using a fairly tight rotation to hold off a comeback from NV-A. Hopkins was all high-energy from the first pull, rattling off six breaks in a row, including three up-winders, until Revolution finally got on the board with a down-wind score. Until the last point, Revolution only played nine players. The wind was going strong which, coupled with possible fatigue, played a role in Holy Family’s unforced errors. Hopkins was quick to capitalize. There were still huge plays from HFC, but Hopkins matched them and did the little things necessary to be successful. Holy Family’s Dominic Schuster continued to impress with perfect end zone-to-end zone hucks to space and acting as the go-to guy in every situation, but Hopkins seemed to have an endless rotation of guys that were hungry for plastic. Final Score: 13-4 Hopkins.

5-8 Placement Games

Ames vs. Cathedral

Ames Parallel had a few quality hucks and some good handler movement, but the Cathedral Griffin zone defense forced too many throws without allowing the disc to advancing up the field, eventually yielding turnovers. Similar to previous games, Charlie Schuweiler was a true playmaker for the Griffin, assisting in many goals and throwing some good hucks. Final Score: 13-3 Cathedral.

Edina vs. Robbinsdale Armstrong

Both teams were fairly aggressive and had many long hucks. Edina was confident in their disc control and had many fast runners, which worked with their ability to rip it deep. Armstrong Falcon Punch didn’t work the disc up the field as well as Edina’s Green Lantern, and after hard cap went off, Edina’s Peter Rundquist scored the game-winning point, after receiving the assist from Blake Otterlei. Final score: 11-7 Edina – tied for fifth place with Cathedral.

9-12 Placement Games

Minneapolis South vs. Geneva

The South Squall quickly proved that creating and finding open space for passing wasn’t a problem. With their strong disc control and fearless bids, the Squall was able to come back after half time, in particular with some help from Cole Wallin, who was their main handler and also had a lot of big defensive plays. The Geneva Vikings played aggressive defense and had successful hucks, but in the end, the Squall prevailed. Final Score: 10-9 Minneapolis South.

St. Paul Charter vs. James Madison Memorial

This was a pretty evenly matched game, although Madison took a 3-0 lead early on. The St. Paul Stars called a timeout to regroup, which proved effective. The Stars went to a zone defense, and with the winds picking up, the zone was made more effective; they ultimately made a comeback for the win. Final Score: 12-11 St. Paul Charter.

Ninth-Place Game: St. Paul Charter vs. Minneapolis South

South Squall scored two points right off the bat, and thanks to Cole Wallin, who had a number of goals and assists, the team was able to hold that lead throughout the game. St. Paul Stars players Lucas Bulger and Leo Sovell-Fernandez were responsible for many of their goals and assists. It appeared that both teams were keeping open subbing rotations, giving younger players some field time. Final Score: 13-5 Minneapolis South.

11th-Place Game: Geneva vs. James Madison Memorial

Early on, there were some missed passes from both teams, the windy conditions likely playing a role. Madison Memorial appeared to be the more experienced team with standout players like Rami Paust, who had multiple assists and defensive plays, and Sam Brooks, who scored three goals. Final Score: 13-4 James Madison Memorial.

13th-15th Round Robin

Naperville Central, Pritzker College Prep and Neuqua Valley-B played a round robin to determine 13th through 15th places, with all teams looking forward to more play and with the hope of notching a win.  Naperville Central and Neuqua Valley-B each played Pritzker College Prep, who was missing some key players, then opted not to play each other. Naperville’s Danny Drinkard brought a lot of action to the field, including five goals, one of which was the game-winning point. Neuqua Valley-B’s Alex Biskis had five assists and a D, while Taran Moy proved himself to be a fearless hucker. Pritzker’s lineup was younger and less experienced than those that took the field yesterday, and they had some trouble when getting trapped on the sideline. 

Photos by CBMT Creative

2014 High School Centrals - Images by CBMT creative


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