Newcomer Southern Idaho Makes Waves at YCC

Posted: August 15, 2010 09:00 AM


Saturday morning at the National Sports Center in Blaine greeted the assembling teams with sunshine and a gentle breeze. This year, we decided to hold our severe weather in advance of the tournament, and our reward was a gorgeous summer day for Ultimate. This season’s open division featured many familiar faces, with squads from Nebraska and Idaho pushing the field to ten teams.
Round 1:
The story of Saturday’s play was really a tale of two pools. In pool A, many of the games played to seed. Certainly the first round went that way. Newcomers Nebraska Youth Club squared off against old YCC hands DiscNW in the first game, and, while the boys from the plains had their moments, coming as close as 3-6 after Sean Rock found Joe Castillo, in the end, Seattle’s veterans maintained control of the game.
Pool B did its best to shake things up. As I watched BUDA warming up, the lads from Swordfight from Idaho had yet to arrive. As they finally trickled in, I wondered how this seeming lack of preparation would affect them as they opened the tournament against one of the longest standing youth clubs around. But I suppose I should have read their bio, where they claim to “love to move the disc quickly.” This certainly proved to be the case, as they shredded BUDA’s zone frequently, moving the disc often through Camron Newton and Andrew Stevenson. Taking half on a Rylee Cone Callahan, they seemed poised to pull away entirely. BUDA began to right their ship late in the game, but it proved not enough in the end. When I asked Idaho coach Kris King for her key to the win, she replied, “We got into the airport at around 1 am, so it must be delirium, since we haven’t really slept yet.”
Round 2:
Cincinnati’s Pig came off their first round bye for their shot at taking down DiscNW. The game stayed tight early, with both teams trading points in the steady breeze. DuscNW’s Jesse Bolton put his team up 3-2 on a completed Greatest to Max Sutton, which was counted only after an involved but civil discussion on whether he left from in bounds and got the throw off before landing. Pig kept the game close, often keeping the disc in Dan Schuster’s hands, while DiscNW got two scores on Louis Cohen hammers. While they kept the score close all the way, Cincinnati couldn’t seem to get the crucial break to get ahead, and DiscNW held them off to the cap.
Idaho continued to be the story of the day, and their matchup with riDISCulous of Triangle Area, NC continued that tale. riDISCulous had also taken their first game to the wire, and were looking to get a win after a tough loss to Pittsburgh’s Impulse. Tucker Owen, Christian Johnson and Sam Schopler in particular laid it all on the line for riDISCulous, while Josh Gomez and Matt Bennett added solid contributions for Swordfight. With cap on and the score tied at 11-11, Idaho once again found the endzone and the upset, while riDISCulous watched another win slip just out of reach.
Round 3:
Colorado Cutthroat, after losing to Devyl early and winning their game against Nebraska, came into their matchup with Pig looking to define their day and get themselves into the upper bracket for Sunday. Pig, too wanted to establish some momentum as they finished the day with four straight rounds. Pig came out strong, taking the first two points quickly. Cutthroat needed something fast, and it came in the form of a two-thirds field hammer score from Carlton Halaby to Max Schein. This one play seemed to give Cutthroat the momentum they needed to get back into the game, taking half 7-6. Pig was still right in it, of course, with Brian Leachman and Jack Teller pouring it on for Cincinnati. Still, with both sides trading upwind goals, Cutthroat edged ahead bit-by-bit, outlasting Pig for the win.
North Carolina’s riDISCulous came into round three’s match with Minnesota Superior still looking for a win. In every game, they had kept neck and neck with their foes, only to fall at the last second. Both teams seemed to spend the first half sizing each other up, with Superior eking out the half 7-6. Daniel Schopler and Kevin Laubscher for riDISCulous stood out in the early going. The second half, however, saw Superior begin to pull away, led by the play of Matt Burkhardt, Josh Klane and Ben Swanson-Hysell, and the home team stayed unbeaten on the day.
Round 4:
All day, as is often the case in Blaine, the wind picked up slowly and steadily. DiscNW’s game with Cutthroat looked early on like it might be decided by the first upwind break. After DiscNW got that break, though, both teams proved their mettle by trading upwind almost to half. Solid play by Colin and Andrew Featherston for DiscNW and Cutthroat’s Matt Bubernak and Matt Gleason kept the game interesting as Cutthroat closed the gap in the second half. Still, it proved too late for them to make up the difference as they fell short at the cap, 9-11.
Pittsburgh’s Impulse had looked solid in wins over riDISCulous and Swordfight, while Superior had handled BUDA and riDISCulous. With what looked to be the pool on the line, the game started lopsidedly in Superior’s favor. Taking half 7-3, they suffered a few key injuries and seemed to be searching for someone to fill the void. Unfortunately, the first several people into that void were in the other jersey. Impulse rattled off six straight, taking the momentum right back and draining precious time from the round. Superior seemed to find their rhythm a bit after slipping behind, and the teams traded messy, high-pressure points to 11-11. With the cap on, the next point was winner takes all, and both sides had their chances. In the end, Superior went back to the Matt Burkhardt well, with Burkhardt hitting Ben Swansen-Hysell to close out the round.
Round 5:
Devyl and DiscNW had established themselves as the teams to beat in pool A. Not without difficulty, they arrived at the final round of the day each undefeated and each ready to stake their claim to the coveted first round bye. Early on, both teams seemed content to trade downwind points, each unable to get the first break. When DiscNW finally hauled in the upwinder, it looked to be the game, and they pulled away as Devyl pressed to get back into the game. Still, as the game wore on, Devyl would not cede their place at the table. Fighting back in, Devyl brought the game to tens as the cap went on. But DiscNW was not to be denied, and the game ended with the defending champs holding their number one seed.
On the other side of the open division fields, another game was going all the way to the very brink. Minnesota Superior entered their last round undefeated and having just won a barnburner at hard cap. Swordfight had had their entire bye to think about their tough loss to Impulse. With BUDA having completed their afternoon resurrection by beating Impulse, a Minnesota win would create a three-way tie in the pool, while Swordfight would win the pool from the fifth seed with a win. The game moved in fits and starts, as both teams dealt with wind, fatigue and relentless D.