USN Wins 2012 HS Southerns Open Division

Posted: May 21, 2012 05:00 PM

2012 HS Southerns - Saturday

Chattanooga, TN – As captain’s meeting approached early Saturday morning, everyone could feel the southern humid air lurking. Players not only fought high temperatures, cramps, and dehydration but also other great teams from across the south.

Upset City

When seeding was announced some teams coming in felt confident with their place and others wanted to come out to prove everyone wrong. Many teams today finished with a better record than projected: noticeably Independence (Tn.) Flight, Fayetteville (Ark.) Darkside, and Lakeside (Ga.) High School.

  • Independence, the 7th overall seed, started off in Pool A with a forfeited win over Cypress Bay (Fl.) but gave up a hard loss to Madison Central (Ms.) Slow Bros. Then something clicked while beating their in-state rivals Blackman HS, 3rd seed overall, after just last weekend losing to them in the HS Tennessee State Tournament. Continued with their high intensity and good zone defense; Flight continued their break out day by beating the favorite to win Southerns, Grady (Ga.) Gauntlet. Senior Captain Foster Foy led Flight to their last win with 5 assists and 1 goal scored. 
  • Coming into the tournament most of the tournament staff and other coaches have never heard of the Darkside from Fayetteville Arkansas; who was seeded third in Pool B and 5th overall. They had a strong showing against University School of Nashville, 2nd overall seed in tournament, but ended up losing on universe point to USN. Then during their game against Brookwood (Ga.) Inferno, the Darkside was down but climbed back to win. They won with smart handling by Junior Abe Gambert who had 5 assists and good cuts by Clayton Adams who had 4 goals and 1 assist. With the hard first loss Darkside, with only 9 players on their roster, got into their groove winning the rest of their games going 3-1 and setting up a good position for tomorrow.
  • Lakeside coming into the tournament knew they were major underdogs. The Vikings were seeded 5th in Pool B and 9th out of the total 12 teams; they responded and let the presence known quickly. Right out the gate they won over the higher seed and state rival Brookwood then won a close game against Carolina Friends School. They finished Saturday 3-1 by also beating LC Bird (Va.) and their only loss was to a stout Fayetteville team.


A ‘Brutal’ First Day

USN, or Brutal Grassburn, last weekend won the HS Tennessee State Championship and looked to continue their success against a strong pool. They started with a close win against the Fayetteville Darkside, but finished strong rolling 4-0 for the day. Brutal, led by countless amounts of great junior year players, were the only team to not lose a game Day 1 of Southerns. With their school starting a team in 1995 under coach Mike Lutz, USN has many former players at higher levels of the game. Current Junior Eli Motyka, to name one, is a prime example of the standard USN sets. Motyka made the US junior national team who will play in Ireland this summer at the Junior World Tournament.

Brutal Grassburn will definitely be a tough team to face comes Sunday, a day that USN always kicks their play up a notch.

Day 2: Up for Grabs

With one round of games left in pool play the start of Sunday will be crucial to where teams end up bracket wise. In Pool A it is a wide-open race for both spots in the Championship Bracket. Two teams finished Saturday at 3-1, Grady and Independence, one team already finished at 3-2, Blackman HS, and Madison Central and Yorktown High School/HB-Woodlawn, or YHB, sit at a quite 2-2 record. Point differentials more than likely is a deciding factor of who gets what seed in the Championship Bracket later that day. In Pool B USN will look to finish and take a 1 seed in the next bracket with playing Lakeside, record 3-1, Sunday morning. Lakeside will look to get the 2nd spot with a need to win matchup against USN. Fayetteville, who is also 3-1, will play Carolina Friends School to try and get their chance at a berth to bracket play. With Day 1 in the books and having multiple upsets in both pools, Day 2 looks to be just as competitive and nerve racking. Who will clinch the four berths to the Championship bracket, and more importantly who will win the first inaugural HS Southerns Championship.

Looking forward to see all the teams continue to play their best and stay hydrated!

2012 HS Southerns - Sunday

As the second day of Southerns continued the Open teams finished the last round of pool play. With multiple teams still able to reach the semifinals, players came to Camp Jordan Park ready to fight to finish their seasons strong.

Tennessee Teams continued Strong

With three schools from Tennessee competing (University School of Nashville, Independence, and Blackman) all three had a chance to finish in the Top Five going into Day 2.

  • Despite the disappointing 3-2 record in Pool A, Blackman had to focus in with having a forfeited win as their last win of the pool and waited for their next opponent. As the first round ended they faced a solid Lakeside High School team, who also finished with a 3-2 in Pool B, for 5th place in the tournament.
  • USN maintained their perfect record beating Lakeside and clinching the one of the #1 seeds in the Championship Bracket. In the semifinals they met Grady who finished 2nd in the opposite pool despite the 4-1 record. Brutal kept up their smart and fluid offense by beating the once favored team to win Southerns and reached the title game.
  • Independence Flight kept up their underdog spirit with a hard fought win over the Virginia State Champs YHB. With the 4-1 record and the better point differential, the 4th seed in Pool A took the second #1 seed going in to Championship play. Fayetteville Darkside, 5th seed overall coming in, is yet another team who proved to be ranked higher by receiving the #2 seed in the semifinals to face Independence. With certain players fatigued and being down by four goals after a long first half, Flight kept up their hard work for one last push and attempted to win the game. The score was tied at eights when Independence Sophomore Carter Reed threw a bending forehand as the hard cap horn blew, and in the end zone teammate Cody Allem caught the disc for the game winning score. Flight completed a 6-1 run in the second half and clinched their spot in the finals against USN, an all Tennessee championship game.


Jerseys For a Great Cause

YHB, Yorktown/HB-Woodlawn, has a proud established Ultimate program out of Arlington, Va. for both boys and girls. Both squads since 1999 have won 5 Virginia State Titles and made plenty of noise to other big youth tournaments. As I walked to the field of the first round today I noticed YHB warming up and wearing different jersey’s than the day before. I walked over by players and noticed some sponsor logos on their jerseys for an organization called Team In Training. I was curious and YHB players told me it is a part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and how athletes can promote research for cancer and continue their normal lives training as athletes. One of their players, Junior Ned Seiverts, was diagnosed with tumors inside his neck last summer. According to the players doctors say Ned has made a much speedier recovery than normal which is great to hear, but if you like to help and donate look up Team In Training for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Hope Ned makes a full recovery and gets back on the field for YHB next year!

Final Games/Thoughts

Both YHB and Brookwood came into the HS Southerns Tournament pretty confident and both had high seeds in their respective pools. Earlier in the season Brookwood Inferno made a very strong showing at the Deep Freeze Tournament, also held in Chattanooga, against similar teams that competed here in Southerns. YHB went on to win their 5th State Championship and wanted to test them among the rest of the south. Unfortunately both teams ended with 2-3 records in pool play, thus setting up a 7th place game between each other. The game was close and had good spirit between each other, but Brookwood finished the game and their season with a win.

5th place game was a match up Blackman was looking forward too after losing to teams they felt like they should of beat. Lakeside could also argue they were just close with their losses. Blackman and their 10 seniors truly showed they wanted to finish in the top five at Southerns while crushing Lakeside High School. Both Grady and Fayetteville just got done with losing in the semifinals and both seemed a little out of it mentally at the start of their game. Getting over the last game quickly, Grady wanted to take 3rd place and they did. Grady was truly one worth noting of their great spirit, as shown by winning the Team Spirit Award for the Open Division.

The final game was a rematch, USN vs. Independence, that not only decided who wanted to take first place at HS Southerns but who truly the best team from Tennessee was. Earlier in the season Flight played USN in a one regular season game to 15 and in the four years Independence has had a team they never once truly beat USN. Flight won their first ever game against USN that day on Brutal’s turf but when it came time to State Tournament, USN avenged their only loss in-state with a 13-10 victory. Both teams knew each other’s game plans it was just down to who had more juice left to bring a victory. USN took a strong lead at half and Independence never got back within 3 points of the lead. USN Brutal Grassburn is your first HS Southern Champion with a final score of 13-7 and a perfect record all weekend.

Between the two teams in the Championship Game and during the whole tournament there was a lot of mutual respect and good spirit throughout the games which is a great example of how Youth Ultimate should be played. Thank you volunteers, Spin Ultimate, Discraft and USAU members for making this tournament enjoyable and a fun environment for all. Cannot wait till next year!

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Photos by Christina Schmidt of