Mixed Preview - 2011 Club Championships

Posted: October 26, 2011 02:36 AM


2011 Club Championship Previews:





Pool A


The Ghosts

Polar Bears

7 Figures

Sabre Corp
The pool with last year’s champ is always interesting. And just because they got third at Regionals doesn’t necessarily mean much (Last year Polar Bears lost to Mischief in the game-to-go and got second place at Regionals, then won the National title). 7 Figures adds some flavor to the mix, considering they’ve only faced one other team in their pool early in the season. Though they didn’t face the Bears at Labor Day, they did place higher than them, losing in the finals to Pool D’s Slow White. Still, The Ghosts have been so dominant, that even with a close game against PBR and potentially a loss, they’ll likely win their power pool games and end up in the Semis. 


Pool B




With a regional rematch between Wolverines and Blackbird, this pool gets really tough to call. Overhaul and Mesteno might have a good game but probably won’t make a huge dent in either of the Northwest teams. Hopefully Blackbird has spent the recent weeks modifying strategy in a way that will enable them to beat the Wolverines (we should hope the same from the Polar Bears). Right now, it’s a toss-up between Blackbird and Wolverines, but I think we’ll see both in the Quarters. 


Pool C

District 5

Drag'n Thrust


Jacks and Jills
District 5 and Drag’n Thrust are going to have a great matchup here. Though D5 is seeded over Drag’n, Drag’n has beat them earlier this season, and has probably spent a lot of practice time focusing on how to repeat that result. AMP is probably going to beat Jacks and Jills, but still neither of them are likely to beat the top of their pool. Still, I would expect to see District 5 in the Semis, and wouldn’t be surprised if Drag’n Thrust gets knocked out in quarters. 


Pool D

Chad Larson

Slow White


Termite's Entourage
Not surprisingly, Pool D is going to be chaos. Not only do we have some close matchups in seeding (this pool has the 4, 5, 12, and 13 seeds), but the grapevine is full of chatter about the underseeding of Bucket. The Atlanta team could likely take down Slow White, and give Chad Larson a tough game. If Termite’s Entourage comes away with any win on Thursday, it’ll be against Bucket in the third round, after Bucket has played two tough games in a row. But don’t count on it, this pool could easily have three teams finishing 2-1, with point differentials determining the power pool placement. Or CLX could stomp on the rest. Either way, Pool D is one to keep an eye on on Thursday. 

Seven To Watch

The USAU Club Championship showcases the best of the best. At this level, every team is stacked with amazing players that have huge layouts and sky opponents. Here are some players to look out for, but keep in mind that any game is going to be a display of great talent and athleticism.  (Note: the author was unable to limit this list to seven, thus there are eight names):

Rob White
A main handler for Chain Lightning and a big part of their Championship win in 2009, expect his throwing skills to be a significant part of Bucket’s offense. 
Brian Stout
The Ghosts
This ex-Truckstop captain is a beast at whatever he’s doing. He gets D’s in ridiculous ways and has extremely precise throws.
Chelsea Putnam
This feisty woleveriness is talented, athletic, and spunky. Her skills with the disc come from years of experience, and watch out for her big plays on D.
Aaron Richards
One of the top Northwest Ultimate players, his teammates refer to him as "the best not-known player that exists." Expect this athlete to show his dominance in the air.
Eli Janin
This guy makes ultimate look easy. Watching him is fun no matter where he’s playing.
Becky Malinowski
Slow White
Becky was a huge player for Michigan Flywheel, leading her team through a tough run to the championship game at this year’s College National Championship. Look forward to seeing her D some guys. 
Michael Liu
Chad Larson Experience
A founder and playmaker for last year’s National champs has moved home to Iowa. Watching how he’s integrated into a new squad is going to be nothing short of awesome. 
Brian Garcia
Previously a strong cutter on Revolver, Brian has lent his dominant Open experience to big wins for Blackbird this year.


Dark Horse(s)

Bucket: The Atlanta natives are underseeded and with a roster full of Open and Women’s talent, they’re ready to make some trouble for the teams above them. Their low seed stems more from a lack of games played due to the cancellation of Chesapeake, and definitely does not take into account the skills of players like Rob White (previously of Chain Lightening) and Shanye Crawford (Ozone).

Upset Watch

7 Figures: They lost a close game to Polar Bears at Labor Day (10-11) and is full of determined players and strong athletes. With a handful of their roster playing at Beach Worlds together, they also know what it’s like to play, and win, at the highest level.

Games To Watch


  Round 1, Thursday:

Bucket/CLX: Bucket vs. CLX will be a great matchup. Either team coming out with a win here will boost their momentum through not only the rest of the day, but probably the rest of the tournament. A loss for CLX could be hard to fight back from on a mental level.

The Ghosts vs 7 Figures: 7 Figures is ready to prove the strength of Southwest Mixed, and will be gunning for this game above all others.



  Round 2, Thursday:

Slow White/Bucket or Polar Bears/7 Figures:  In other words, the games most likely to see upsets.  Both Bucket and 7 Figures want wins here to break seed, as they are very likely to win their last round.


Round 3, Thursday:

Wolverines vs Blackbird: A rematch of the Northwest finals is guaranteed to be exciting. As with the Bucket/CLX game, this is a mandatory game to watch on Thursday.

The Ghosts vs Polar Bears: Polar Bears have a National Title to defend, and a win against the top seed will help them start off the four days in Sarasota strong. 


Inside Look

  • Teams that haven’t played a lot of games against other great opponents may be used to not using their women as much and getting away with it. At Nationals, this gets recognized earlier by a team and the girls start poaching a lot. Expect poach Ds to come on throws from guys to guys, by girls.
  • Whoever wins the tournament goes to Worlds but the top 4 get bids to the US Open. As a fan, if you thought you could sleep in on Saturday and not miss anything, you’ve got another think coming. All the Quarters games determine bids to the US Open.
  • Last year’s Polar Bears took the second seed out of the Northwest, came in to Nationals seeded 7th,  and went on to win the Championship. This year, they come in to Sarasota seeded 8th. Can you say déjà vu? 
  • This year, many teams have pulled some top Open and Women’s division players. What happens when you put these people together? Watch teams like The Ghosts, Wolverines, Blackbird, and Bucket to find out.
  • The second round on Thursday could make a big difference for a lot of teams, especially Bucket and 7 Figures. Look to these games for awesome matchups and likely upsets.