Open Preview - 2012 Club Championships

Posted: October 19, 2012 11:58 AM
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2012 Club Championship Previews:



Open Scoreboard  

Pool A



Furious George


Boost Mobile

Ironside’s deep and talented roster will be the biggest challenge for the rest of the teams in Pool A. While Boston can’t simply waltz through Thursday, an upset of the top seed is unlikely. The Northwest Regional rematch in the 2nd vs. 3rd game will be a barnburner and will decide which of Rhino and Furious George advance to power pools.


Pool B



Ring of Fire

Madison Club
The defending Club Champions and World Champions Revolver got a favorable draw as the two seed and should take the pool with ease. After faltering in their Sectional final, Ring of Fire put together a strong Regional performance. Their odds of Ring pulling an upset against Machine are high, as Machine hasn’t faced top competition since Labor Day. I predict that they will take second in Pool B.

Pool C


Chain Lightning

Sub Zero

For those who like to designate a "pool of death", this is it. Sockeye is peaking after winning Labor Day and Northwest Regionals. Chain Lightning is a deep, experienced squad that underperformed this regular season but has a penchant for being in top shape at Club Championships. The #4 seed, GOAT, have the potential to knock off any team in the pool thanks to their patient, yet formidable deep game. While I expect the top two seeds to advance to power pools, every game will be a nail biter. 


Pool D


Johnny Bravo

Truck Stop

In the #1 and #2 seeds of Pool D we see another Regional rematch, this time between Johnny Bravo and Doublewide. Johnny Bravo put together their most impressive regular season in years, I predict that they will be the only team to figure out Doublewide and pull out a win. As for the lower seeds, both PoNY and Truck Stop fought off stiff competition at Regionals and will give Johnny Bravo a run for their money. I predict that the third seed in this pool will be eyeing a Pre-Quarters bid on Friday.

The Bracket

After mapping out predictions for pool play, power pools and bracket play my semifinal matchups are Ironside vs. Chain Lightning and Sockeye vs. Doublewide. This prediction includes Chain taking down Revolver in what would be an incredible Quarterfinals. I believe Chain’s big play potential could trump Revolver’s more balanced approach provided that Nick Lance, Asa Wilson and Chain Lightning’s other stars are clicking. In a semifinal matchup against Ironside I think that Chain Lightning would meet a rested defense that would give them all kinds of problems on offense and allow Ironside to advance to finals. On the other side of the bracket Doublewide and Sockeye’s contrasting styles would be an interesting semifinal. With Doublewide boasting a number of talented deep throwers and tall receivers, Sockeye’s smaller, quicker roster would be tested. I think the Sockeye zone will slow up the Doublewide offense, but the loss of Matt Rehder will leave them without an answer for Doublewide’s height. Doublewide moves on in this one. Provided this all plans out I pick Ironside to win a close game over Doublewide and bring home the title. Ironside’s handlers will no doubt have trouble maneuvering against defenders like Tim Gehret, but their experience as an offensive unit will allow them to move the disc downfield with ease once the cutters are involved. On defense Colin Mahoney, Will Neff and Seth Reinhardt will try to defend Doublewide’s large, athletic threats. While it won’t be easy, I predict that Boston’s depth and experience in big games will help them capitalize and pull out the win.

Seven To Watch

This is a list of seven players that I am excited to watch perform at Club Championships, it is by no means an attempt to rank the best players at the tournament:

George Stubbs
The 2011 Callahan winner has been the keystone to Ironside’s efficient offense this season. He is one of the most dangerous throwers in the game and nightmare to guard out of the cutting position.
Joe "BJ" Sefton
Based on pure excitement and big play potential Sefton will be on the radar at Club Championships. At Labor Day and Northwest Regionals alike he proved that he has a nose for the disc when the game is on the line.
Chase Sparling-Beckley
This seems like a no-brainer. After years of being a force in the Open and Mixed divisions, Chase has been absent for a few years. Now he is back with a new team and rumor has it that he’s just as explosive as ever.
Jeff Lindquist
Lindquist proved at Northeast Regionals that he is a dangerous deep threat, causing serious problems for Ironside’s defense in the finals. The experienced cutter will be the key to GOAT’s big play opportunities.
Jimmy Mickle
Johnny Bravo
Big pulls, big hucks and big skies, the Mamabird and NexGen star does everything big for the surging Colorado team. He is a complete player who brings energy and explosiveness on both offense and defense.   
Asa Wilson
Chain Lightning
The 5’10" lefty is dangerous even whether he has the disc or is in the cutting lane. Teams have to respect his speed going deep, allowing him to get big gains under and set up his teammates.

Ashlin Joye
  Joye has been a stud for Revolver all year long. Often acting as the first cutter in the offense, his pinpoint throws make him a dynamic compliment to Beau Kittredge and Robbie Cahill.

Dark Horse(s)

GOAT was a mere point away from toppling the eventual one seed, Boston Ironside. While they ended up dropping to the third and final bid from the Northeast Region, their potential should not be underestimated. No team is safe from their deep game and their shifty handlers. Adrian Yearwood, Cam Harris and Jeff Lindquist are all experienced veterans that have could drive GOAT to an upset of one of the top seeds in their pool.

After a couple of mediocre midseason tournaments DC Truck Stop grabbed the only Championships bid over a number of other Mid-Atlantic contenders. Even if they can’t pull off an upset on Thursday, two wins on Friday could put them in a Pre-Quarters matchup against Portland Rhino. Truck Stop has the potential to break into the Quarterfinals if their star players are in peak form.

Games To Watch



12:15 Thursday – Portland Rhino vs. Vancouver Furious George

In this rematch of the Northwest Regional 2/3 game, we will see a re-surging team go up against a long time Championships contender. Furious George is loaded with experienced players like Oscar Pottinger, Nicholas Menzies and Morgan Hibbert who know how to win big games. Rhino is making their first trip to Nationals since 2007 on the strength of an impressive regular season anchored by solid handling and big play defense. This, their 4th matchup against Furious George, will be a test to see whether the hungry young team can upset the seasoned competitors.



3:00 Thursday – Seattle Sockeye vs. Atlanta Chain Lightning

The Atlanta team’s motto of "chicks dig the long ball" makes for an exciting contrast to Sockeye’s small ball strategy. Sockeye will look to move the disc upfield through their handlers and slow Chain up with a number of zone looks on defense. If Chain Lightning can’t run with Seattle, they may find themselves fighting from behind. However, if the Atlanta defense is able to slow down Sockeye’s offense and covert breaks early they will be successful. 

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Inside Look

  • In the past 4 years only Revolver and Ironside have held the top seed going into the Club Championships. 2011 was the only year that that top seed ended up winning the tournament. 
  • Sockeye and NexGen playmaker Matt Rehder will not play at the Club Championships after suffering a broken arm.
  • Raleigh Ring of Fire will make their 16th straight Nationals appearance – the longest streak in the open division.
  • Each pool on Thursday will feature at least two members of the 2012 NexGen team. All but Pool A will pit these former teammates against each other. 
  • Only two finalists from the past ten years are not represented in the 2012 field – Jam and Condors.
  • Pool B is the only pool missing a Callahan Award winner. Pool D, on the other hand, has 3. 
  • It appears that San Francisco Revolver may be playing with the addition of offensive star Bart Watson at Club Championships. Watson has not played with the team since the WFDF World Championships but is listed on the team's roster.