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All Region 2016: Great Lakes (D-I Men's)

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Who are the best players in the Great Lakes region? This is an open thread to discuss All-Region nominations, All-Freshman nominations, coaching awards, and more. Stay positive and keep it civil.

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Freshman for this region should be Joshua Sanabria. He is from Illinois state and has the best lefty breaks of any one in this region. The dude is sick in the air and is not afraid to throw his body around on defense. Huge asset for the Gnomes. Another guy to watch out for for freshman stuff is Big bad Ben Sabourin. Handler for U of I!

Ben Sabourin should be one of the front runners for FOTY. Very good all around player for Illinois and stepped into a huge roll on their D and O lines. Hes got great size, huge throws, and decent athleticism to make him a very dangerous player.

Machine/Hi5/U23 players still playing (D1) college in this region: Ben Spielman (Northwestern), Noah Backer (Michigan), Sam Greenwood (Michigan). You should probably vote for these guys.

All Region:
Michigan: Noah Backer, Sam Greenwood
Illinois: Prayag Patel, Nick Pro (debatable given him being injured for much of the year, but the kid’s real good), Johnny Santiat
ISU: Jack Shanahan
Northwestern: Ben Spielman, Nathan Yeazel, Micky Koho
ND: No clue. Haven’t seen them this year at all.
Purdue: Bobby LeRoy? Haven’t seen much of them this year.
Chicago: Michael Pardo, Percy Stogdon, maybe Mike Liu or Judah for a spot on 2nd team.
Eastern Illinois: Nate Page. Clearly their best player, probably a 2nd team selection.
MSU: Jay Andreani. Probably a 2nd team selection.

Ben Sabourin (Illinois)
Illinois #95 (Didn’t get a name, they gave him some tough matchups @ sectionals and he did okay)
Joshua Sanabria (ISU)
Kyle Rutledge (Northwestern)
Jeff Holm (Northwestern)
Tucker Born (Purdue) (I’m pretty sure that’s his name, at least- smaller dude who’s pretty explosive, played YCCs and has a pretty good game IQ)
Again, haven’t seen ND this year so they might have somebody who should get mentioned here.

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As a player in the Illinois section; there are a lot of great players that should be recognized;

Illinois: If you say one, you have to say the other, Nick Pro and Johnny Saniat are a powerful dynamic duo which allow their offense to flow smoothly. Other names that should be recognized are Prayag Patel, a tall athletic lefty thrower with incredible upwind throws, and Chris Buchta (sorry about spelling), a tall defensive minded handler.

Northwestern: Ben Spielman is an obvious name to know, a lefty with very strong throws. Although he seemed to be running his team as a handler, he’s a very dangerous player downfield as well. Notably a Chicago Machine player last season.

UChicago: UChicago has a lot of players that work very well together, they have two big guys who are both deep threats as well as HUGE throwers (sorry for not knowing names, if someone does feel free to comment). Another name that was thrown out earlier was Judah Newman, a quick, athletic handler who had a good read of the field and can drop dimes. Definitely a name to remember. Another player they have is a tall athletic red head, he’s got decent throws but has mad ups (again sorry for not knowing names) if someone knows his name let us know because he’s deserving of a regional team spot.

Illinois State: I would say James Tunney for an all regional team spot but I haven’t seen him at any tournament despite being rostered, so I assume he is not playing. Jack Shanahan and Jeremy Burril are the two names to know from this team. Shanahan is a tall athletic cutter who has been dominant in the air as well as a dime dropper all season. With his experience he Is a hard player for anyone to cover. Burril, although being smaller, is no less of a threat deep (coming from experience, he’s gonna get up over you), he also has very strong throws and has a natural ability to get open anywhere on the field. Both players are deserving of an all regional team spot.

Eastern Illinois: The easy name here is Nate Paige, an athletic, tall player who can get WAY up. Not to mention he’s a strong lefty thrower and an active Allycats player (I believe). Although easily being the best player on his team, there are a couple more tall threats on this Eastern team that help Paige succeed. Even though I do not know their names, they are worth noting if you ever play this team.

Loyola: Loyola is a lot more impressive this year then they have been in the past. Some key players for this team are; Ryan Shea, one of the main handlers for Darkwing, the offense seems to run through him. He’s quick, and has the full set of throws to go with his offensive mindset. #81 Who they call Tron, has been huge for them all season. He’s a sophomore cutter who is huge in the air and has decent throws to go along with his natural cutting ability. Other notable names are Evan Sabado, a strong handler who plays to his strengths and has huge breaks. And Tony Andreshak, a very strong defensive player for the team.

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Your info seems a bit out of date- Tunney is not rostered (according to ISU’s USAU roster- I’d link it here but I apparently can’t put more than 2 links in a post). Perhaps Jeremy from ISU (first post) could clarify?

Eastern: Nate’s last name is Page, no “i”. He played Alleycats last summer and is currently listed on their website roster. He played for Indy Brickyard last summer as well.

Didn’t see too much of Loyola this season, so your comment about them got me wondering. I checked, and they received the last bid to regionals out of the Illinois section this year, same as last year. If you compare their sectionals results between 2015 and 2016 they’re pretty similar. Obviously this is no substitute for having watched them during games this year, but I find it hard to believe that they’ve taken gigantic steps forwards and then gotten very similar results at sectionals.

In regards to Loyola, a couple injuries late on Saturday put them in an unfortunate position during the rest of the tournament. Wouldn’t surprise me if they came out looking strong at regionals. As for misspelling Nate Page’s name, don’t think that was too much of an issue. And James Tunney was rostered at some point during the season, should’ve checked before stating that. My apologies, as for everything else, my opinion doesn’t change.

From Illinois State, Josh Sanabria (coming out of Pritzger High School) deserves a spot on the All Freshman team, if not the Great Lakes FOTY. He’s been a super strong player with and immediate impact for the Gnomes. He’s a lefty with incredible break throws and isn’t afraid to drop a dime huck. Not only does this kid have stellar throws he has a natural defensive instinct to lay out and earn a D, and you can’t forget to mention how much of a beast this kid is in the air.

Also as a player on Illinois State, James Tunney was suppose to play with us this season, so we initially rostered him. After a lack of attendance at practices and being incapable of communicating with the team, he was dropped from our roster. So GLPlayer5 was technically not wrong. But confirmed that he is not playing this season.

yeah like jack said, we originally thought James Tunney would be playing but we lost contact with him so we dropped him off the roster. Could have been a nominee for player of the region had he played.

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The UChicago players you’re talking about are Michael Pardo and Percy Stogdon. They’re two of Chicago’s captains and are absolute studs on both sides of the disc. Pardo guards the other team’s best player and consistently shuts them down, and he runs the show on the turn. Percy is the o-line’s initiating cutter and has huge throws; he has by far the most assists on the team this season. Both of them also play for the Chicago Wildfire.

The redhead you’re talking about is Jeffrey Weis - he’s a rookie and has been a huge contributor to the d-line, taking on the toughest match-up whenever Pardo crosses over to the o-line. He’ll sky just about anybody in this region. Judah Newman is also a baller - he’s got great give/go moves and a deadly flick huck, especially upwind.

While he didn’t play for a team that qualified for Regionals, DePaul University’s Matt Finley deserves an All Region nod. He is one of the most spirited players that I’ve ever had the chance to play with. His disc skills and athleticism would earn him a starting O-line spot on any team in the Great Lakes region. He utilizes his height and crafty throwing ability to frustrate any mark he comes across. His straight-line speed gets him open seemingly at will, which, combined with a high motor and strong field vision, means he is constantly getting the disc in a dangerous position.

I would have to agree With Andrew. along with all the obvious choices in the Great Lakes playing for regionals bound teams, there’s always that diamond in the rough that deserves his due. That player is Matt Finley. I’m sure if you asked most upperclassmen in the state of Illinois / region they know who Finley is when they get to the field. Great spirit, Great all around game, and a high ultimate IQ. Maybe not a sexy first team pic, but he should definitely be thrown into any conversation

Although this player’s team didn’t qualify for Regionals, Elliott Perez from University of Illinois at Chicago should be looked at for an All Region Nod. Out of the 41 goals our team scored during conference, He caught 27 of them (almost 70%). He was also a team captain and was a positive role model in a mostly learning season for our team.

Illinois- Nick Pro and John “Ducky” Saniat were critical to Illinois offense, often finding each other in packed defenses

Northwestern- Kyle Cordon was a huge defensive player for NUT and deserves recognition for it

If you couldn’t tell from the paragraph it should be said I am a player from UIC
-Akbar Jaffery (#5)

Some Purdue players deserve mention as well, as our schedule prevented us from playing much within the region this Spring until the series:

Jacob “Specs” Fella - dominant defender who has taken it to the next level this year. Tall, speedy, and incredibly motivated defender who also has well developed throws. He will take the toughest matchup on any team and shut him down or bait the layout D. His drive is a key aspect of Purdue’s success so far this year.

Bobby LeRoy - Fiery handler who is the centerpiece of the offense. Besides the hucks, quick lefty backhands, and throwing through the legs, he also works hard to get the disc back on defense. He is the type of player who demands the disc when the game is on the line, and that is where you want it.

Nick “Tuba” Loughran - quick cutter with great agility and an even more impressive vertical. A wide range of throws with a fast release, he is a threat wherever he is on the field.

Joe Byerly - when a Freshman shows up with some of the best throws on the team, you know he is going to make an immediate impact. His huge hucks resulted in many of our quick breaks this season, but it was also his sure hands and consistency that often kept the disc alive for D-line. When your rookie handler is playing every point towards the end of a close regional semifinals game, I’d argue he could be All-Region, not just All-Freshmen. (Overheard on the sideline during semi’s: “He’s a rookie?!”)

Tucker Born - Aggressive cutter who earned a starting spot on the D line, has clear chemistry with Joe. These two will be a pair to watch in the coming years.

~Purdue Coach

I won’t add much to what hasn’t already been said for other teams in the region, except to say Nate Page of Eastern Illinois is definitely deserving. He is blazing fast, and his lefty hucks even in the miserable Saturday weather kept them in the game against Purdue.

Full Disclosure: I am an Illinois section player, so I know those teams slightly better, but have a pretty good grasp on the region. Regionals teams I have not seen in the past two seasons: Louisville, Kentucky, & Notre Dame.

Two of the best players in the section came from MagnUM: Noah Backer and Sam Greenwood. Backer anchors the backfield with a multitude of throws. Greenwood does a great job downfield for them. These two players are seasoned with plenty of good club experience and should both be locks for 1st team.

Purdue had a breakout year with a senior heavy class. Senior Bobby Leroy gets a lot of the hype for them after some ultiworld recognition for his through the legs throw, but he does a lot of other good things for their OLine including lefty breaks which are deadly in short distances near the end zone. Additionally, I wanted to recognize Mike Kobyra who has stepped up huge for them this year. He is a player who improved immensely this summer after spending it with up and coming mixed team Tequila Mockingbird and has continued that this year with Undue. He plays smart D on poaches and has the quickness to play hard man as well. Additionally his offensive style is throw and go. One of his most effective parts of his game is his pulling ability. He helps set up Dlines particularly well with his pulls which were the best I saw all weekend at regionals.

Illinois has a number of talented players who are seasoned in the club season. The two I think deserve the most recognition are John “Ducky” Saniat and Nick Pro (everyone seems scared to even attempt to spell his name). A really dynamic duo who play with a lot of fire. They are special players who deserve recognition.

Northwestern is an interesting team who often get a lot of recognition for being a high quality ultimate team, but you don’t always see their individuals get recognized. Northwestern was one of the most disciplined teams in the region in their playing style, but when recognizing individuals it is tough because they play unselfishly and have a lot of contributors. The one name here is the obvious one Ben Spielman, who got his first season with Machine under his belt this past summer. He made a transition from downfield (which is likely his strong suit) to handler to help the O-line. A lefty with a very patient playing style, he was the main reset to a lot of NUT’s strong cutting core.

UChicago had a solid year this year behind senior leaders Percy Stogdon and Mike Pardo. Percy is rock solid downfield and can throw as well. Pardo is the total package who is about 6’4" can get up in the air with about anyone in the region, he played in the backfield as well and also has a solid set of throws. UChicago has a handful of other solid pieces that will be back and in this discussion next year. Those names to look out for are Judah Newman and Willem Longendyke. They both got a taste of the Chicago club scene last summer and expect to get some more this summer.

Loyola had a quality showing at regionals this year and there were a few main pieces that helped propel them to that finish. On the OLine Jackson Prepolec is the big name. Most of the region just knows him as Tron, the 6’4" cutter has a top 2 or 3 air game in the region and is only a sophomore. He plays high quality D and also chipped in a few assists this weekend. He is one of the best players in the region and still has two more years to develop. Caden Canavan and Will Hsieh help anchor Loyola’s Dline. They are two quick experienced players that know how to get open, get Ds and expose defenses with devastating inside out breaks. They may not get love as all region players, but deserve a shout as they impacted the region with their play in their careers.

Illinois State doesn’t have a deep roster, but there a few names that deserve some recognition here. Let’s start with the youngest of them Josh Sanabria. Josh took on tough assignments throughout the year and certainly deserves a spot on the freshman team. He has a great lefty release and will absolutely develop into a handler stud the following sophomores will need as this ISU team gets older. Jeremy Burril and Jack Shanahan are sophomore studs. They are destined for first team nominees by their senior year, but their contributions this season warrant them at least second team all region nods. They helped lead this ISU team on their Oline as the middle cutters. Both of them can come under with good hands, both of them can go deep and get up and both of them can throw. The disc gets dangerous when it gets into one’s hands and then he looks for the other. Jack and Jeremy have much different body types, but can still play the same style of game which really helps diversify ISU’s offense. Jeremy specifically has very quick feet which helps turn defenders hips on a dime and Jack Shanahan has broad shoulders and great height and gets up quite nicely on deeps. These two really were the driving force towards the Gnomes’ top 10 finish at regionals.

In terms of the rest of the region, Nate Page is a stud on EIU who spends his time on the field skying people, commanding a strong zone defense on windy days, and tossing hucks. His combo of size, speed and throws predictably makes him an excellent ultimate player. He should be a first teamer. Echoing some of the chatter on here about Matt Finley. His hindrance is playing on a team that is starting to develop and therefore he is asked to do a lot. He also has great height and speed. He is a lefty as well who has a great high release to the break side and can travel downfield given the right thrower. Seeing as if these are individual awards for the region, Finley should not be punished for the lack of team performance, a spot on the second team would not be unwarranted.

Lastly, I apologize to Notre Dame. Clearly there are players that deserve spots on our two all region teams, however I just have not seen enough of Papal Rage or played enough of their guys in the club scene. So, cheers to them for a great season and I hope someone from their team or section brings their names to light.

Illinois #95 is Tat Shing Thum. He is a transfer student from Malaysia, I think he is technically a Sophomore as far as standing at the University but is a rookie to our team.

I would also like to add to the list of freshman #97 from Illinois: Jacob Cuthbert. He is a true rookie with no experience playing ultimate prior to coming to Illinois. This kid has really stepped up and found a place on our D line as one of our top handler defenders. He was our go to match up for guarding the other teams top handlers (notably Noah Backer from Michigan and Ben Spielman from Northwestern). He was also on our universe line against Northwestern in Quarters at Regionals and ended up catching the game winning goal. I dont know how many other freshman in the region would be able to step into that role, especially those who had no prior highschool or YCC experience. I think Jacob should be seriously considered for FOTY and is definitely deserving of a spot on the All Freshman team.

-Chris Buchta
Illinois Ultimate

Congratulations to Magnum for winning the region.

While I’m aware that our 5th place finish isn’t turning heads, Northwestern has a couple players that I hope you all will consider recognizing.

Ben Spielman (#2): Yes, Spielman played for Machine this past summer but that’s not why you should vote for him. Despite being our best downfield cutter, we moved Ben to the handler position this year due to some injuries and frankly because he’s the best thrower on the team. Whether it’s breaking marks or skying packs of players, Ben is up to the task. He’s the most dedicated player I know and he single-handedly won plenty of games for us this year. Please, please vote for him for all-region.

Other people to consider:

Nathan Yeazel (#17): NUTs true “big man”, I hope other players know of Nathan by now. He’s a really tough cover and is dominant in the air. Very soft-spoken, but his play on the field speaks volumes.

Micky Koho (#29): Micky has been taking the tough matchups for NUT for three years now. He pulls, defends the other team’s best cutter, generates turns, and is responsible for many of the breaks for the NUT D-line. We will be facing a tough challenge in replacing Micky on defense next year.


There’s only two and they are both good. Kyle Rutledge (#12) is one of our best defenders besides Micky and has a very high ceiling. He’s great in the air and guarded plenty of all-region talent this year in the series. Jeff Holm (#11) is quite quite tall and his athleticism is superb for someone of his height. His throws will be very good very soon.

Other people I will be voting for:

Sam Greenwood (Michigan)
Noah Backer (Michigan)
Zach Goulson (Michigan)

.#73 (Jeremy? Maybe he’s #75. My apologies to the other one who is also quite good) and #7 (Beetle?) from Notre Dame. Sorry guys, hopefully we see you at some point next year.

Nick Prozorovsky (Illinois)
John Saniat (Illinois)

Bobby LeRoy (Purdue)
Mike Kobyra (Purdue)

Michael Pardo (UChicago)
Percy Stogdon (UChicago)

Ryan “Butters” Shea (Loyola-Chicago)

-Edward Speyer, NUT #27

I play for UChicago, so I only know people from our section (Illinois). Sorry to everyone else in the Great Lakes.

UChicago: I mentioned this in an earlier comment, but I’ll say it again here. Michael Pardo and Percy Stogdon are two of the best players in this region and should absolutely be considered for first team. They are excellent in all facets of the game - running handler sets, grinding big unders, breaking the mark, boosting it, and getting up in the air. On top of their offensive abilities, they both take on difficult matchups defensively. Pardo especially is our go-to guy for shutting down the other team’s best player. Most great all-around players have one thing that they are especially good at, and it’s no different with these two. Percy’s flick huck is spectacular - he can boost it from anywhere on the field, even in stiff winds. And Pardo can outrun just about anybody in the region. It’s really hard to overthrow him. Obviously, I know these guys best because I play with them, but don’t mistake my praise for simple homerism. Pardo and Percy are special talents and deserve to be recognized as such.

A few other guys who made big contributions to our team and should at least be considered for second team: Mike Liu, center o-line handler and defensive workhorse. His around backhand is smooth af and he gets a ton of layout d’s. Judah Newman, d-line handler. He plays great handler defense and often goes every-other after a turn. Anthony Davis (no, not the dude in the NBA), o-line cutter. He’s 6’6", so he’s an obvious deep threat, but he’s also always making the right cut at the right time. Led the team in goals and plus/minus this season.

Lastly, I gotta shout out Sean McSweeney. He’s a freshman and needs to be in the discussion for FOTY. He has a very distinguished pedigree already, leading his YCC team (DC Swing Vote) to a national championship, and at Chicago he immediately became one of our o-line handlers. He already has a very polished arsenal of throws, including break throws and upside-downs, that will only continue to improve. He also has a great head for the game and impressive vision. Sean will certainly be someone to watch for all-region in the coming years.

Side note - this is kind of irrelevant, but Lisa Albano has by far the best Twitter game in the region. She started live tweeting our games a little over a month ago and has killed it at every tournament. Follow us at @UChiUltimate for a great time.

Northwestern: Ben Spielman is far and away NUT’s best player, and they would be such a different team without him. He anchors their o-line as their center handler, even though he’s probably a more dangerous threat downfield. He’s a very crafty thrower and really athletic, often coming down with throws that he has no business catching. He also plays for Machine, so that’s pretty cool too I guess. Nathan Yeazel is Northwestern’s best deep threat - he’s a tall, athletic guy who can get way up. NUT’s best d-line player is probably Kyle Condron (they call him Hair, for some reason). He seemed to match up with the other team’s best player and more than held his own.

Illinois: Nick Prozorovsky is one of the best (if not the best) cutters in the region. He tied for the most goals scored at Nationals last year, which should tell you something about his talent. He’s amazingly fast, he’s dominant in the air, and he gets open at will. Moreover, he’s probably the nicest person I’ve ever played against. Dude’s really cool. A couple other guys on Illinois who deserve some recognition are John “Ducky” Saniat and Prayag Patel. They’re a couple of rock-solid handlers but I don’t really know enough to say more.

Eastern Illinois: Nate Page is a fantastic player who does it all for his team. He’s fast, has great throws, and can sky pretty much anybody. He would probably be on the top 7 of any team in the region.

Illinois State: Jack Shanahan and Jeremy Burril are the two ballers from this team. They are both great cutters who can also throw.

– Jeff Zhao

As an IU player, I can attest to Jacob Fella’s ability to bait layout D’s, as he had more than a few against us at conferences.

As for the two freshmen mentioned:
I agree that Joe Byerly should be in consideration for FOTY and possibly all-region. He has some of the biggest throws in the region already, as evidenced by an 80-yard bomb of a backhand from the front cone of his endzone to the middle of the opposing endzone during pool play at conferences. The kid has about any throw you could ask for in a star handler role.

Tucker Born was also an important piece for Purdue, as he was a consistent defender and showed flashes of a high ceiling with big layouts and physical defense. I wouldn’t be surprised seeing both of them on all-region teams in the years to come.

Full Disclosure: I played in HS with Joe and Tucker, and still claim to have taught them everything they know in the sport.

I haven’t seen any mentions for IU players on this thread, so I thought I should plug a few teammates who I think deserve a nod.

Mac Conrad was an absolute force at both conferences and regionals, playing tons of points in three Universe Point games at conferences against Purdue and Notre Dame, both semifinals teams in the region. He was a dominant downfield threat, at times demanding hucks go up to him and consistently bringing them down. He also forced many turnovers, either in the air, or by huge layouts on in cuts. It was hard to even measure his impact on those games, both as a captain and as a playmaker.

Will Kasprzycki is a true physical freak. He routinely picked up the opposing team’s best deep threat and diminished their impact on the game. Along with his defense, he also routinely makes possession saving catches on offense that amaze all of his teammates, even those that have been watching him do it for years. Throughout the season teams have struggled to find someone that can match him athletically, and he has proven to be a player that helps IU win games.

Jake Friedly was as consistent as it gets on the O-line. It seems that he was always able to get open, whether it was an in cut or a deep cut. When he got the disc, he also had a cannon that opened up the field for his fellow cutters to make any cut they wanted, because they knew he could get the disc to them. He made big throws look easy, and kept the offense grounded against the best competition we faced.

Eric Hannan played a major role on both offense and defense as a cutter. He had a constant motor, defending big deep cutters and then turning around and streaking deep himself on a turn, usually blasting by defenders. He found himself in the endzone plenty and when he was short of the goal line he had the awareness to call timeouts, a sign of a rookie that knows the game well.

Adrian Golay was an ultra-consistent freshman that was used as a jack-of-all-trades. He was used on both D and O lines and was asked to contribute just as much as any upperclassman, and did so without missing a beat. He was the definition of a player you could plug in anywhere and not have to worry about him doing his part.

Kip Curtis found his way onto the starting O-line during the season and never looked back. His combination of size and speed meant he was open often and brought down almost all the discs sent his way. He was calm with the disc, and showed patience beyond his years to find open teammates. Expect to see him gain more recognition as his career unfolds.