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All Region 2016: Ohio Valley (D-I Men's)

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Tom Fry, freshman from UPenn, deserves some recognition for his play this year. He has played nearly as many points as our top vets this year switching between O and D and thrown the has the highest completion percentage on team. Rarely does a freshman come in that is as trustworthy with the disc as Tom. For a specific example, this past weekend our other O-line handlers had thrown a couple bad turns, so Tom became the main O-line handler and we went without a turnover for the rest of the game. While his play is not flashy, his steadiness is extremely impressive.

Also, for anyone who played us (UPenn) this past weekend, you know that Doug Roman (Skeeter) got open at will and often all but removed the other team’s best player for the game.

I am a player at Case Western. We just won the region, and I’m seeing very little discussion of our players, outside of one or two guys. This is understandable, as prior to this year Case has not been a very high profile team. I’ve written up some information about our dudes, because I think people need to know about the best team in the Ohio Valley. I’m not necessarily advocating that all of these guys make an all region team, however I think that every single player on this roster deserves recognition for what they accomplished this year. If you look at ultiworld, or reddit comments, or whatever in the coming weeks I think the narrative that you’ll see start to form is that Case was a mediocre program that lucked out by getting a superstar grad student and was basically handed a path to nationals. The truth is that several months ago the players on this team recognized that we had a chance to do something truly special, and as a team decided that we would put in the work necessary to accomplish our goals. I am tremendously proud of everyone on this roster, and think that they all deserve recognition. If you don’t feel like reading a giant wall of text, I have bolded the players names who I feel are legitimate all region candidates.

Joseph Marmerstein #3 (Gr. Pittsburgh Temper, Cleveland Smokestack, Pittsburgh Thunderbirds):

Pretty short. Loves throwing turnovers on universe. Only 1-4 in games to go. Had to rest for more than one point against OSU. Trash at Beer pong. Over hyped by Charlie Eisenhood and Ultiworld. Sometimes doesn’t get open when I stare at him for 8 stall counts. Hasn’t even played a game yet for the thunderbirds. Rarely updates his blog. Couldn’t win High Tide before coming to Case. Has an unhealthy obsession with cats. Extremely grumpy at 5 in the morning. Should be a lock for first team.

Tarik Akyuz #23 (Sr… Cleveland Smokestack, Detroit Mechanix):

Tarik is the absolute work horse of this team. This entire season, we did not once play a single team who could even remotely contain him deep or keep up with him under. He has truly elite speed, crazy hops, and a giant body. I’m honestly very disappointed that we didn’t get the chance to see him matched up against Pitt’s best players. Almost all our wins this year could be summed up by “they didn’t have anyone who had a chance against Tarik.” Game point against Ohio at conference finals, and universe point against OSU at regionals he game up with insane, game saving defensive skies where he was at least 15 yards back when the throw went up. All regionals Case ran a very simple side stack offense that worked simply because teams were so terrified by Tarik that every time he went deep he’d take 2 or 3 guys with him. In addition to his physical dominance, Tarik also has DIME throws. His flick hucks are nasty, but he’s such a chilly player that he basically only ever unleashes them at stall 9, at which point they almost always result in scores. Its honestly impossible to overstate the burden that Tarik shouldered for this team, and after the season he had I think it would be criminal to place him anywhere other than first team all region.

Jacob Lunn #33 (Captain) (Sr. Cleveland Smokestack):

If you’ve played against Case at all over the last four years you remember Jacob Lunn. Stockier handler who has all the throws. Rips huge flick hucks, and seems to take a perverse pleasure in breaking marks around right as the sideline yells “No around!” Case had a pretty steep drop off in throwing talent after Joe and Lunn this year, and so we relied heavily on Lunn making things happen with the disc on offense. In addition to his throws, Lunn is an absolute master at utilizing his build and sneaky athleticism. I can’t tell you how many times I heard his defender, after getting torched upline for a score/huck, say “wow that guys a lot faster than he looks.” He’s also so good at using his big ol’ booty to seal out his man after getting a tiny bit of separation. It is so incredibly frustrating to think you’re in perfect position for a layout d, and then just bounce right off this man’s butt. Lunn is absolutely deserving of an all region spot, and you’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the weeks to come :wink:

Anthony Dario #18 (Sr.)

Anthony Dario is so god damn fast. So. God. Damn. Fast. Like Tarik, I never once this season saw a defender who was able to keep up with him. He is literally always open, even when our stupid handlers can’t seem to look at him. Dario also starting laying out all the freakin time in the second half of this season, which took him from being an all offense speedster to a two way force, getting a massive layout D down the stretch in the Semi’s against OSU. In addition to his considerable talent, Dario plays with a beautiful joy that is truly inspiring to watch. He never stops smiling, and his hands up elation after his (numerous) scores is a huge source of inspiration for our team. Dario should definitely be considered for an all region team, as anyone who has ever tried to guard him can attest.

Milo Korman #26 (Gr. Chicago Beachfront Property)

This is me. It feels a little weird singing my own praises, but I consider myself one of the better defenders in the region. I was usually tasked with guarding the other teams primary initiation cutter, and I think my work denying that first under was a big part of out success. I was also generally a big part of the offense after the turn, or when I was moved to O line in certain big spots. If you’re into super physical shutdown under defense, then you might think I’m worthy of an all region spot.

Matthew “Taco" Tedesco #25(Captain) (Sr. Cleveland Smokestack)

An incredibly well rounded offensive player. He makes gorgeous in cuts, gets huuuge skies, can rip flick hucks, throws great breaks, and is very capable of filling into the handler set. He is especially deadly against the zone; many times this year teams would completely abandon the idea of playing zone against us after 1 point of watching Taco crash through the cup again and again. In addition, he showed incredible determination and leadership, constantly playing through injuries for his team.

Kyle Rogers #14 (Sr. Cleveland North Coast Disc Company)

An absolutely crucial part of Case’s O line. Kyle has height, speed, and excellent timing and cutting mechanics. He’s the perfect continuation cutter, always in the right spot to take advantage of the space created by Tarik and Dario. He gets huge layouts, both on offense and defense. He is supremely comfortable with the disc in his hands, has both forehand and backhand hucks, and is very smart about when to use them. One of the premier cutters in the region.

Steven Her #17 (Sr. Cleveland Smokestack)

Steven is a super tough and explosive defender. He also takes the hardest matchups, and almost always shuts them down. His nickname is “Steven Universe” for his ability to come through with a huge play in a big spot. At only 5’ 9”, he was given the task of guarding the other teams main deep threats with Smokestack due to his physical gritty play. He is one of the rare defenders capable of both playing super tight denial defense where his man will never even get looked at, and also of playing poachy helping defense where he lures his man into thinking he’s open, before flying in for a layout d. On offense, he makes super fundamental grinding in cuts and is capable of both filling in as a handler as well as torching his man deep. Definitely an all region caliber player.

Nathan Olszowy #22 (Sr. Cleveland North Coast Disc Company)

Another key offensive piece, Nathan’s precision cutting, especially against the zone was huge for our team. He also came up with a ton of big play layouts and skies. Unfortunately he was injured for a large portion of regionals, but look for him to be a featured piece on Case’s O line at nationals and next year.

Jake Rovner #43 (Jr. NC Cash Crop, NC Triforce)

Jake is an absolute spark plug, on offense and defense. He is by far the most explosive player on this team, flying in for absurd layout d’s on the other teams most athletic players. He’s been a stud all season long, but his play at regionals was absurd. First, he got a layout D bookends on universe against OSU to win the semifinals, after shutting down their second best player all game long. Then in the finals, he got a score for a break on the first point, bookends for a break on the second point, and then at least 2 more ds and another score in the first half alone, to lead Case to the commanding half time lead from which we would never look back. Beyond all these big plays, perhaps the most impressive part of Jake’s game is his motor. The kid simply never stops running. Every single time someone catches a huck, Jake is guaranteed to be flying past them, ten yards past his defender looking for a continue. In the middle a brutal grinding defensive point, after the other team turns if for the 5th time, while everyone else has their hands on their knees hoping for someone else to make a play, Jake is already wide open for a deep look or an under. There is no one like him in the region.

Matthew “Chinz" Chin #31 (Jr.)

Our primary D line handler, chinz is a very well rounded player. He plays cerebral, physical handler defense, and is often given some of the toughest match ups. He is also an absolute rock up front in all of our zone looks. On offense, he does an excellent job of tailoring his play to the situation, deferring to Joe when Joe is on d line, and stepping up to take shots when he is the primary thrower. His backhand around break is unstoppable, and his hammers are slightly better than mediocre.

Buck Baskin #12 (Jr. Cleveland North Coast Disc Company)

Buck unfortunately had his season ended early by concussions. However, he’s been a terrific hard worker all year long, and his hard bodying defense in tight spaces is second to none.

Steven “God” Tokar #15 (Jr.)

An O line handler, Tokar’s chilly decision making was so important for our team all season. He never once ran the wrong cut or looked at the wrong cutter. In addition, he was literally the only person who ever knew what time and where our next game was. Its not an exaggeration to say we would all probably have died without him.

Brian “Wiz” Ward #30 (Jr. Cleveland North Coast Disc Company)

A fiery d line handler, Wiz is equally adept at throwing his body around guarding his man as he is as shutting off throws up front in the zone. His gun slinging offense got us upwind breaks in huge spots throughout the season. In addition, when the o line is out there, Wiz is by far the loudest on the sideline, absolutely refusing to let any of his team mates do anything other than keep their full focus and attention on the field.

Kevin “Bit” Talbot #37 (Jr. Cincinnati Hustle)

Bit is a real utility player. He’s played every role for us, from o line handler to d line cutter. As a handler he plays smart possession oriented offense, and as a cutter he plays hard man defense. He is also supremely dedicated, always coming early to practice to work on his game.

Jordan Liff #7 (So.)

Jordan is a big boy who makes big boy plays. A former basketball player, Jordan’s field instincts and awareness are miles above everyone else. He constantly comes through with huge skies, on both sides of the disc. On offense, his awareness and timing make him an excellent end zone threat, and on defense he is a dominant force as the deep deep in the zone.

Michael Kasper #85 (So.)

A terrific O line handler, who also plays some of the best defense on the team. On offense, Kasper played his role perfectly, consistently getting open for resets for Lunn and Joe. However, it was on defense that Kasper truly shined. Being the best defender on the O line is such an important, but often overlooked role, and Kasper played it perfectly. He constantly put his body (and brain) on the line by making huge defensive plays to prevent the o line from being broken. So many times this year Case came out sluggish on a saturday morning, and by shear force of will Kasper prevented us from going down 4-0 to a far inferior team. I listed him last here because of his youth, but Kasper is absolutely one of the most important players on this team, and deserves serious attention for an all region spot.

Freshman:
Case had 4 freshman, all of whom I believe deserve consideration for a spot on the all freshman team.

Mark Fertal #81

A D line handler from day one, Mark played a huge role on our team, always seeing the field a ton in big games. He had a layout d in the upwind end zone for a break against Ohio State in the semis. It is truly rare to have a freshman who you trust with the disc in the biggest games of the season, and Mark’s natural composure makes him that player for us. Mark should be a lock for the all freshman team, and I believe is a strong candidate for freshman of the year.

Dima Estrin #0

Dima is a true athlete, of a caliber that you rarely see playing frisbee. He is so fast and so explosive. He is already getting huge layout ds and skies as a freshman, and his backflip celebration after catching a score is on point.

Kunal Rath #8

What can I say about Kunal that you haven’t already seen in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuFyMu8RGxg? In addition to Kunal’s success as a downfield cutter, his energy and work ethic make him a natural leader; he has already been selected as a captain for next year.

Nick Longo #72

Nick Longo almost died on the field at Huck Finn. I am completely serious, when we took him to the hospital his platelet count read 0. The doctors told him he was definitely done for the season, and that there was a very good chance he would never play sports again. 1 month later he was getting layout D’s at regionals. His play is stellar due to his natural athleticism and field sense, but all of that is secondary to the determination he showed just to be in the position he is today, to put on his cleats and take the field at nationals.

Coach:
Dan Young should be the coach of the year for the Ohio Valley. This was the first year in team history that Case even had a coach, and the job that Danny did cannot be overstated. I think our victories over OSU were as much about coaching as they were about talent. Danny prepared a detailed game plan for every single opponent that we faced, based on film, his own scouting, and talking to other teams. To completely change the culture of a program and accomplish what Case accomplished this year is a coaching accomplishment that deserves recognition.

Nick “Falcore Moonblood” Mathison, and James “JZ” Zhang were also extremely valuable as assistant coaches. JZ’s contributions on twitter alone would make him one of the most valuable people on this team.

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Fun fact: Both of your All-Freshman nominations came from the same high school program

Another Case player here. As someone who’s seen the program take tremendous steps the past few years, I’d like to highlight the coaching jobs done by Dan Young and “Falcore” Mathison.

Dan’s dedication to the team this year has been phenomenal, and he’s introduced plenty of new zone and junk looks, helped the the O-line develop a deep repertoire of set plays, and brought an overall cohesive mentality to the team. His bold coaching decisions (line calls, changing defensive looks, etc) in the most important games of the season at conferences and regionals have almost single-handedly won us those games. I don’t think there is any other coach in the region that has controlled success in tight games as well as Dan, and he’s now brought this team to Nationals.

Falcore has been instrumental with individual development of players. His personal work ethic and approach to the game has rubbed off on every Case player. Because of him, we can confidently put out a line that knows they can win every matchup they face. Case used to be a team that thrived off success within our established system. With Falcore, we’ve developed players that take the field to play ultimate and win in any scenario.

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Playing devils advocate here, as I don’t have a dog in the race. But just saw this and was curious if others see the same thing as me… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmKXnAqeP1A

Looks to me like he drops the goal… Thoughts?

I’ve watched that clip at least 20 times already. When I saw it live, I thought it might have been down as well. However, the OSU player was in a great position to call it down if he thought it was and didn’t.

That being said, from talking to Jake (who caught the goal), and from rewatching it, I think you can kind of see that he goes for the pancake and bobbles it, but ends up catching it just in his left hand. I’ve watched it basically frame by frame and you can see the fingers of his left hand over the rim of the disc before it hits the ground. Of course, it’s still basically impossible to tell if he had full “possession” of the disc before it his the ground.

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Yeah I had the same thought in the moment (I’m the other case cutter in the hat) but I talked to Jake after and he said that he went to clap catch it but ended up catching it with his left hand. So while it looks like he bobbled it and regathered, the truth is that he was holding it in his left hand the whole time. If you look at the video in slow mo you can see that when the disc hits the ground it doesn’t really come lose at all, which is because he’s already holding in his left hand at the time. If he had dropped it there would be a moment where has to regather it. Also the OSU defender was right there and had a pretty clear view of the catch easily could have sent it to the observer if he had thought it was down.

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Guys I think should be locks for first team:

Trent Dillon
Paul Arters - not only is he a baller, but he is just incredibly fun to play against. OSU is a very competitive but spirited team and I think Paul’s leadership is a big part of that.
Tarik Akyuz - one of the best players nobody knows in this region. If you’ve played against us or on a field near us, you’ve heard our “too big to fail” cheer for when our offense gets tired of running and just floats something up to Tarik instead. He had a great weekend at regionals, being our first option on just about every offensive possession, getting open nearly at will and dropping dimes all over the field. I took the liberty of throwing together this quick regionals highlight video for Tarik just to show what kind of impact he had. I’m sorry it’s not my best video, but I haven’t had a lot of time to put it together. You’ll see much more of him in our end-of-season highlights.


(look for the orange cleats)

Not pictured in this video: All the times he just shut down one of the other teams’ best players; all the times he made a deep cut and drew 2-3 defenders, giving our offense easy throws; the fact that in 4 games, he only threw a single turnover (we didn’t film one of our games), despite being one of the higher usage players on either team. I sincerely believe that Tarik can win any matchup in the region and is deserving of a first-team selection.

First/Second team selections (could go either way), in no particular order:
Max Thorne - should be a lock for first team, except I heard he didn’t play the series because of injuries? Personally I’d put him on first team but I think not playing the series doesn’t make him a "lock"
Pat Earles - any time you have to plan your defense around a specific thrower, that really speaks to the ability of that guy to make plays. Also spent part of the season injured, hope he is back to full strength now
Shields - had a pretty big impact in our game against UPenn, getting a couple clutch D’s and running a lot of their offense.
Codi Wood - great throws and great decisions, was the centerpiece of the Penn State offense
Marcus Thaw - Great utility player/defender for Penn State
Anthony Dario - another case guy that nobody has heard of. On top of being the nicest guy you will ever meet, he has next-tier speed to go along with his great hands and solid throws. For Tarik, you can just float it up there and he will get it, but for Dario you just throw it as far as you can.
Milo Korman - Case Grad student from Uchicago, Milo brought a lot of leadership into our team this year (which is why he is a captain next year). Milo consistently takes the opponents primary cutters and gets D’s on them. He also spent a lot of time this year improving his throws and has become a threat with the disc in his hands
Jacob Lunn - if you’ve played Case, you’ve been frustrated by the fact that Lunn continues to throw breaks, get open upline, and throw bladey hucks on a dime, no matter who you put on him.

Freshies of the year: I’ll be honest, I’m awful at knowing people on the other team, especially since I’m new to this region. I don’t actually know who is and isn’t a freshman, but I want to nominate:
Mark Fertal for first team all freshman. Mark came in with no ultimate experience, but has quickly become a staple on the D-line. He can lock down and get D’s on handlers, and is deadly on a turn with quick cuts and pinpoint breaks.

Coach of the year: I have to imagine that Dan Young, Case’s coach, is the frontrunner for COTY this year. His ability to make strategical adjustments, manage lines, and structure our season was a huge part of our success this year; it’s no coincidence that Case suddenly started to win high-pressure games this year, and Dan was a big part of that.

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