Surly GM Takes 2012 Grand Masters Championship

Posted: September 4, 2012 01:30 PM

Event Website

Score Reporter Page


Let me begin with a bit of errata: Le Grande Tigre’s #21 should be read as Stuart Brock rather than Jim de St. Germain, and I apologize for any stats that were misattributed as a result of that confusion. I also apologize for any other mistakes of this nature that I was not made aware of. Okay then: Disclaimer boilerplate section successfully written.

For many of the people participating in Grandmasters Championships, there is a certain familiarity with winning one of the big ones. Everywhere you look, and on many of the rosters, there is often someone who has won it all in college, open, mixed, masters or grandmasters. Not for this reporter, however. Though it hasn’t entirely sunk in yet, I am humbled by the experience, and grateful to all those I have known along the way who have helped me get to this point. Much love to all my teammates past and present. 

Enough about me. How did we get here? Good question. It all started in the semifinals…


  2012GMLogos Scrapple vs. 2012GMLogos GeorgetownBrewing  

With Georgetown Brewing’s convincing win over DoG, the stage was set for a morning match against a hitherto untested Scrapple. The game began with both teams taking advantage of the lighter winds to showcase their throws and athleticism. The first half featured few turns, though Scrapple’s intense under D netted them a couple of breaks going into the second half with an 8-5 lead. The second half brought a bit less polish and a lot more athleticism as Georgetown pressed to get back in and Scrapple responded to the faster paced game. At one point, Georgetown forced three Scrapple turns with their increased pressure in one point, each time giving the disc back until Scrapple finally put it away. 

As each of Scrapple’s opponents to that point had, Georgetown struggled to contain Scrapple’s cutters, and Len Magargee, in particular, found the end zone against them often.  Timely handler cuts and a solid ability to break the mark kept Scrapple rolling throughout the weekend, and this type of flow put throwers into power position for long strikes to their speedy and powerful deep cutters. As the defending champs brought their potent play to bear, Georgetown Brewing found it hard to keep up, and Scrapple booked their second consecutive trip to the finals. 


  2012GMLogos BGC vs. 2012GMLogos Surly  


In the other semifinal, both Surly GM and Boulder Gun Club were looking for their first consistent test of the weekend. While some opponents, especially Georgetown Brewing during their pool game against Surly, provided moments of stern competition, the sheer depth (Surly) or intense athleticism (Boulder Gun Club) of these teams had weathered those moments and pulled away for comfortable wins. As warm-ups began Monday, it was apparent that both teams were preparing for something a bit more intense from their semifinal opponents. 

In addition to the reduced wind, Monday was also a bit hotter than the rest of the weekend. While certainly not uncomfortable, the increased heat definitely was noticeable on the field, sapping the top speed of cutters and defenders. Still, these teams both had speed and endurance to burn. While the game remained tight early, Surly was able to grab the first break, and added two more to take half 8-4. Solid defensive efforts from Surly, especially Don Tom and Ricky Eikstadt, poaching in the throwing lanes seemed to disrupt Boulder’s flow and kept them from having the clean long looks that they had been thriving on all weekend. 

At 9-6, however, Surly began to lose focus and Boulder pounced on the opportunity presented. Boulder’s switch to an aggressive posture on D took Surly out of their comfort zone, and they fought back to 11-10. Matt Krei and Dan Carson led a balanced throwing counterattack, with Aaron Brown coming down with his share of discs. Surly suffered a nasty injury in a collision, as Marc Furigay’s clavicle lost a fight with the ground after a defender hit him mid-layout. As time ticked on, however, Surly began to work more effectively against the zone, and Johnny Hock found Don Tom to make the score 12-10. With one timeout to burn, Surly ran out the clock to cap, and Boulder’s last long huck scored in vain as Surly held on to book their ticket to the final. 

All weekend long, the implementation of the cap seemed to confound teams, and the lack of a soft cap, or pre-cap warning of some other kind, created a few disappointingly anticlimactic endings. This isn’t to say that soft caps don’t have their share of problems, but the consensus that I noticed people reaching was that the sudden and abrupt endings of games were an issue. Perhaps a clearer communication of what time standard we wish to adhere to is needed, though it is anyone’s guess as to what that will look like. As it stands, with a rigid hard cap applied abruptly, time management will continue to be an element of the game that will be open to tactical use. 


  2012GMLogos Scrapple vs. 2012GMLogos Surly  


Heading into the final, Surly was amped for a rematch of last year’s close semifinal loss to Scrapple. Scrapple, for their part, had been largely untested on the road to the championship game, and looked confident and ready to repeat. The teams both threw the gauntlet down early, with Arnold Sanchez’ D answered by Surly’s Ricky Eikstadt. As had been the case in earlier games, Scrapple’s intense under D forced Surly to their second and third options often, and a switch to zone gave them the disc back for William Maroon to find Len Magargee for their second break to make the game 6-4. 

Surly was not done yet, however, and two big hammers from Mark "Paco" Enright to Mike Fritz lit a fire under the home side. Surly took half, 8-6, and pushed the run to seven straight after a Mike Fritz D and assist. At this point, Surly not only looked like they might run away with the game, but their exuberance earned them a couple of team misconduct fouls for rushing the field before the observers had a chance to signal the goal. When Scrapple’s Magargee found Trey Katzenbach to end the run, the game tightened up considerably. Still, the defending champs could not find enough time to make a run of their own, and the teams traded points to cap, where Scrapple’s Paul Minecci nabbed the D and the score to give his team the last point of the game. Anti-climactic as it was, Surly had held on for the championship, nabbing the Grandmasters title that had eluded them the three previous years. 

2012GM Mon Kotvis
PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Kotvis (f/go)

Other players of note in the final:

  • Patrick Vennebush, Scrapple, whose deep throws often found Katzenbach for crucial scores.
  • Dave Boardman, Surly, who remained a constant threat in all facets of the game after missing the first two days of the tournament. 
  • Jeff George, Scrapple, who kept the pressure on and the disc moving, accounting for two crucial scores. 
  • Keith Allen, Surly, whose bookend scores on either side of half kept Surly’s telling run going at critical times to keep the team focused. 

Besides the shoulder injuries to Surly’s Marc Furigay and Chris Reynolds, the weekend also included an Achilles rupture for Georgetown Brewing’s Jeremy Clark, a concussion to one of the Old Milwaukee’s players, and doubtless other injuries that I was not aware of. I am sure you all join me in wishing those folks a speedy recovery and good health going forward. Grandmasters is, as always, a war of attrition, but it is always a bummer when one of us goes down. 

Well, that wraps it up from Labor Day Weekend here in Minnesota. I’d like to thank all the players from each and every team for their willingness to talk with me, an erstwhile opponent, as I tried to get the info for these reports (incomplete as they must necessarily be). For some of us, the season is over, while for others, it is time to shift focus to Masters and the fight to get to Sarasota. Either way, Grandmasters 2012 was a blast. 

  Team Spirit Scores:

5.00 - Sick Hammers*

5.00 - Iron City Ultimate
4.88 - Old Milwaukee
4.86 - T-Rex
4.83 - Age Against the Machine
4.71 - DoG
4.71 - Le Grande Tigre
4.63 - Man Down
4.63 - Grandmaster Trash
4.50 - Surly GM
4.43 - Thirst n Howl
4.38 - Ozark Hillbillys
4.29 - Old Line
4.25 - Moscow State
4.14 - Georgetown Brewing
4.00 - Brooklyn
4.00 - Boulder Gun Club
4.00 - Scrapple

* denotes won tiebreaker