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All Region 2016: South Central (D-I Men's)

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

Two nominations from University of Texas at Dallas DTEX:

First, Travis Bieda for all-region. DTEX has yet to see a team this year with better handles than this guy. If any other players from the conference are reading this thread I’m sure they can attest to the fact that Travis is the reason DTEX wins games.

Second, DTEX has a first year coach in Eric (Mouse) Wilkins. In the first year of working with the program, Mouse has lead DTEX to their first ever regional bid. On top of the instant impact of making regionals this year, Mouse has been integral in solidifying the largest ever rookie class in DTEX history.

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Best players out of the Ozark region. I only really played against these teams at Sectionals, so my knowledge isn’t too extensive.
Jason Finklestein sp?
Probably a top two handler in the section, tied with Karson out of Wash U. Great break throws and hucks
Trent Kuhl
Kansas’ other big player, pretty sure he handled most of the year. Takes some of the tougher matchups as well.
I know Kansas has another big athletic cutter, not sure of his name though. Really fast and good in the air.
Jay Froude
Been one of the best players in the region for a while
Jesse White
Big downfield cutter for Mizzou, also very very good on the defensive side of the disc.
Mike Brooks
Top defender for Mizzou, takes the other teams best cutter. Strong in the air and very athletic.
Wash U
Ben Krupp
Super tricky lefty handler, very quick, with a big range of throws.
Evan Karson
One of the best handlers in the section. Has played a defensive role on Wash U for years. I believe he is stepping into more of an O-line role with Joe leaving, but I may be wrong. Very solid all around, especially on handler defense.
Fast athletic cutter, very good in the error. Also one of the better throwers on the team. Played with PF last year.
Plays almost every point for Arkansas. Has been the main handler in the past, but was starting downfield more this year when we played them. Very safe with the disc.
Kai Marshall
Didn’t play against them this year, but I have heard good things about him. Tall good in the air, plays with the Roughnecks?

I’m sure I left out some good players, but that’s who jumped out to me when I saw them play this year.


I haven’t seen every team in the region but here would be my guess, It’s hard to place the Colorado guys since many were injured for some major portion of the season. A & M still seems to be mostly Dalton and while there was a lot more hype on teams 3-5 in the SC this year CSU and Mizzou seemed to underperform against top talent.

1st team:
Jay Froude (Mizzou)
Dalton Smith (A & M)
Wesley Chow (CU)
Mark Rauls (CU)
Dillon Larberg (UT)
Joel Clutton (UT)
Jason Finklestein (KU)

All these players general carried a heavy load for their team. Froude, Rauls, and Smith are really the top tier for the region and all have a case for POTY in my opinion. All known for being generally unguardable in the region along with Rauls and Froude playing a lot of time on the D-line. Texas had a good year and top talent is well known. Lastly went with Fink due to the sectionals upset over Mizzou over some of the up and coming CSU Talent.

As for second team not sure, I know CSU had two guys other than Servarty that were pretty good, I think they’re called Spicer and Wheels though not sure. One was an every other handler and the other wore a red hat and seemed just as talented handling as going deep. Putting Pawel on second team because he was hurt so much. Still think he’s a top 3 player in the region though.
2nd team:
Jake Servarty (CSU)
Mike Brooks (Mizzou)
Spicer & Wheels (CSU)
Kaplan Mauer (Arkansas)
Pawal Janas (CU)


Dylan Hanel. Never played ultimate before and starts on CU’s O-line. They’ve got players with 5+ years of experience on their b-team so I don’t think much more needs to be said. Very athletic makes play in the air and on d and is just starting to learn the game.


All-Region Watchlist:

I just reiterated names that were already said, and then added some of my own. There’s a ton of guys on this list, and there’s no question in my mind that they all at least deserve to be apart of the discussion.

Tim Kefalas (Colorado State), he’s been building a solid program and is the major reason that CSU is on the rise.

Pawel Janas (#8)
Mark Rauls (#0)
Wesley Chow (#21)
Erik Hotaling (#6)

Colorado State:
Cody Spicer (#34)
Luke “Fitz” Doyle (#7)
Scott Wheeler (#37)

Kai Marshall (#14)
Sam “Suds” Ward (#12)

Evan Karson (#1)
Ben Krupp (#22)

Jay Froude (#2)
Jesse White (#24)
Mike Brooks (#99)

Jason Finkelstein (#4)
Trent Kuhl (#11)

Kaplan Maurer (#2)
Brian Trussell (#4)

Andrew Lord (#16)

Travis Bieda (#4)

Dillon Larberg (#21)
Joel Clutton (#77)
Michael Hays (#6)
Logan Kinney (#29)

Texas A&M:
Dalton Smith (#13)
Ben Lewis (#7)
Carson Smith (#21)

FOTY Watchlist:
Jake Marrapode (Colorado State) (#16)
Hudson Martin (Colorado State) (#22)
Dylan Hanel (Colorado) (#5)


Kai Marshall is everything you’ve never heard. Kai can and will work any defender you put on him. You cannot force him anywhere with just one defender. Once Kai has the disc, he works through OU’s system; dominating the disc up the field, or throwing a beautiful pinpoint Huck to a receiver. Kai is superiorly athletic to anyone I have seen him match up against this year. He’s much more than just 6’5" and incredibly fast. Kai’s throwing ability rivals that of top handlers in our region. His defense is impeccable, and his on field demeanor is very pleasant to play against.

Also, two words… Dallas Roughnecks

#11 Trent Kuhl for KU has to be talked about more in the All-Region First/Second team talk. Kuhl has improved every aspect of his game in his fifth and final year in collegiate ultimate. Kuhl is the heart and soul of a young, scrappy KU D-Line and will always take the assignment of guarding the best player. Kuhl played on both sides of the disc during sectionals and showed off his polished “hybrid” skills of being able to be the best cutter and reliable thrower.

#13 Alex “Red Headband” Dennis should also get some Second Team All Region Talks. Freak athlete and human highlight real. Consistently draws defenses best defender and still makes plays. Still new and learning ultimate, could be one of the better players in the region next year.

COTY: Jack Colichio, KU
Colichio helped lead the University of Kansas (womens) Betty’s to their first nationals bid in years last year, as a first time coach. Colichio took his talents to the Men’s side of frisbee starting in the Fall and has immediately made an impact to the Zontals. Credit Colichio for the impressive Zone (which he created), harassing Man D mindset, and a solid two-offensive OLine. The Zontals have had their best season since 2012, largely thanks to Colichio.

@SoDakHibida summarized the top talent of the region very well and i would agree that all the names he mentioned all deserve a spot on an All-Region list, incredible talent.


Might get overlooked, but Mike ‘Squeak’ Youngs and Alex Kalin, coaches for Texas A&M’s B and C teams (Dozen Matter and Dozen Exist) have gone above and beyond to build a high-level program that feeds into an elite-level, nationals caliber team, Dozen.

Both B and C Teams have consistently broken seed at every tournament they attended this season. The program is at such a higher level than any other B/C program that both teams ended up playing each other in the game to go at South Texas D-1 Sectionals.

Many might not think that B teams matter in the grand scheme of things, but to have a program where your B and C team play each other in the game to go to Regionals says alot about the coaches and players’ hard work thats been put in this season. Texas A&M’s B/C program is a force to be reckoned with in South Texas, and will continue to stay that way with the way the program is run currently.

I’ve watched all these guys play first hand and thought I’d do a little write-up of each of them. All these

players have had an immense impact on their respective teams and deserve to be considered.

Texas A&M:

Dalton Smith- there is no real argument here why Dalton shouldn’t be on the All Region team. As being a

leader of the team, he has been able to help A&M have a strong season without Matt Bennett and earn

a bid for the South Central. Since he first started playing, he has constantly been on the rise with being a

core to Doublewide and has recently played a significant role on the Dallas Roughnecks D-line.


Dillon Larberg- Even though TUFF isn’t as strong this year as they have been in the past, Dillon has

helped keep Texas in the running for a bid for the South Central while being a strong leader on the team.

He continues to be an integral part of Texas’ systematic offensive structure all while making athletic

plays on defense. As a player for HIP and the Roughnecks, he continues to shine as one of the great

players of this team.


Baxter: This kid has had some talent since he first joined the Stonewall program. He stepped in at a

young age and became a leader for the team while improving the team over the past years. He is a

quick and elusive handler with great throws that has lead his team to a Sectionals title this year. I see

him as a player that has potential to make Baylor a mentionable program in the coming years.


Andrew Lord: As a captain of High Noon, he was able to help lead his team to tournament wins at Dust

Bowl and Big D at a young age. Although the team has had their fair share of struggles, Lord has

transformed the program at TCU and made it a formidable force. He was on O-line handle for Plex this

past year and an All-Region freshman before that. He will continue to make a splash in the Region and

make a name for himself.


Kai Marshall- Since I have been a part of the Apes of Wrath, this guy has been a player that teams in the

South Central should have paid attention to. This year, as a leader of the team he has helped the Apes of

Wrath secure strong finishes at Pres Day Invite and Big D. He is the type of player that you have to pick

your poison: would you rather have him cut or handle? Give him the under or give him the deep? Either

way he is a dangerous player with or without the disc that has made big plays for the Dallas Roughnecks,

Plex and the Apes of Wrath. It’s time that some players who are not necessarily from top college teams

get some recognition. Kai has put in the work and does his best to bring success to Oklahoma.

Sam Ward (Suds)- Most players in the South Central Region know this guy as Suds or the person with the

big concussion helmet on his head. Whether you know him as Sam or Suds he is one of the most

versatile players that teams constantly underestimate, partly due to his compact size. On defense, he

makes tall players look silly with his ridiculous vertical. On the disc, he has a unique style with solid

break-mark throws, crafty lefty throws, and amazing bombs. Look for the headgear at regionals. If you

do get a glimpse of it, it’ll probably be from behind.

Cameron Bock- Another Oklahoma player on the D line that has helped the Apes of Wrath in close

games with his tight defense and ability to put his body on the line. As a D line player, he is willing to

play every point with the enthusiasm to lay out and make plays for the team. He also has the ability to

take over a point in the handle position if needed, making use of his raw speed and knowledge of the

game. Although it’s only his third year on the team, Cameron is a great all around player who specializes

in defense.

I’d also like to put forward two names that merit serious consideration for freshman honors - Nirek Sharma and Cole Atkins, both out of WashU.

* Nirek (#55) quickly and seamlessly made the jump from D to O-Line. He is an incredibly dynamic cutter, tenacious defender and has a lot of ultimate prowess.

* Cole (#41) came in never having played ultimate and set himself apart from his rookie cohort and many other vets immediately. He is a monster cutter, getting open on in-cuts by 10+ yards and skying people taller than him for breakfast.

I marked up on and was guarded by Nirek, and would definitely attest to his ability as a player, let alone a freshman. Definitely someone who should be on the All-Region Freshman list. Great player with great SoTG

Harper Stanfield from OU should also get some praise and discussion for Freshman. He is asked to do a lot for the Apes, and consistently will win his matchup on D, but also is a main handle to the O-Line. Lots of pressure on him, and he handles it all with great poise.

I am involved with TUFF, so I am by no means unbiased but there was one name that I hadn’t seen thrown out there yet that I definitely think should be.

Michael Hays - Member of Austin Sol and HIP. Main handler on TUFF and HIP. TUFF 2015 Captain. Fifth year guy. Great character. Competitive for first team nomination, absolutely worthy of second team.

Here’s a clip of him throwing. Watch at 3:18


Just my impressions from the Ozark section and the teams that we played against at Regionals. Disclaimer: I am a member of Arkansas.

To start off, I will nominate players from my own team.


Kaplan Maurer - He was an invaluable part of our placement (4th place) at Regionals and if it weren’t for him, we certainly wouldn’t have placed as high as we did. He’s a great defender, cutter, and very good thrower as well. In the games we won, he outplayed his match-up and in our games against Texas, he matched up evenly against Dillon Larberg from Texas. I think if there’s any player who should be 1st team all-region outside of the Big 3 schools, it’s him.

Brian Trussel - Just as instrumental to our finish. He was our main handler all weekend long and vert good downfield as well. He was a rock on offense with very few turnovers and also took the toughest match-ups on defense in most of our games. I would say between him and Kaplan, they had about 70% of our goals and assists.


Jared Hines - Great athlete who is playing his first year of ultimate. He started on our O-line and was one of our main cutters. Will be a great player in the years to come.
Sheldon Shinn - Hardest worker on the team. He is our designated puller, has improved immensely since the beginning of the year, and was one of our most valuable defenders at Regionals.

As far as other teams, I just wanted to throw out some names I haven’t seen and give a couple observations on players I played against. I saw that #3 from Mizzou (Mitch?) hadn’t been mentioned and wanted to give him a shout-out. He was the other guy that we focused on shutting down besides Jay Froude because he was a key distributor for them. Also on Texas, #29, (I think Logan Kinney is his name) was a very good player. My list would be as follows.

1st Team:

Wesley Chow (CU)
Mark Rauls (CU)
Dalton Smith (A&M)
Ben Lewis (A&M)
Dillon Larberg (UT)
Joel Clutton (UT)
Kaplan Maurer (AR)

2nd Team:
Jay Froude (MO)
Logan Kinney (UT)
Brian Trussel (AR)
Spice (CSU)
Pawel Janas (CU)
Trent Kuhl (KU)
Whoever the third-best player from A&M is


As one of the captains of TUFF, I will do my best not to be biased. I’m not going to speculate who should be on what team, but I would like to talk about a couple of players for possible FOTY. I think that freshman are often overlooked on TUFF because there are bigger name players that tend to dominate the conversation. That being said, the impact that the following two players had on our team was huge, but might have gone unnoticed due to play from our top guys.

For starters, I would like to mention Vinay Valsaraj. He was a high school player in Louisiana that already had multiple years of competitive ultimate under his belt before coming to UT. This guy is always trying to be a better player and constantly pushes himself to reach his goals. I watched him get some monster layout Ds this year that I could have only dreamed about getting as a freshman. His throws are already developed well past where they should be as a freshman and he was a great teammate. Although this is an entirely different argument, he is the type of player that people would be asking again and again who he is if he is on a different team in the region. Vinay will be a force in the region for years to come.

The other player I would like to mention is Alex You. Alex is kind of the opposite of Vinay. He came in like most of us. Played some pickup and decided to show up to tryouts not sure what to expect. Alex is a workhorse. He constantly worked on his throws and continues to do so. Alex shined for us in man to man defense this year. He learned how to play smart defense very quickly and used his speed/quickness to shut down veteran cutters or handlers. He is a very versatile defender. He got two huge Ds on a much larger cutter during ultimate point against A&M at sectionals. He was the reason we got the turns we did on the point which led to us winning the game. It will be very cool to watch how he develops in the future.

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Disclaimer: I am from A&M and have bias towards this team obviously, however I will try to limit that bias as much as possible. After participating in regions this weekend, the following individuals were standouts and I highly recommend them. To be selected as a member of an All-Region Team, in my personal opinion, you are an individual who raises your level of play to help put your team in the best possible position to win a game, and influence the outcome of a game with your performance.

1st Team All-Region

Texas A&M:

Carson Smith (#21) – This is only his second year playing ultimate and he is a huge impact player. On top of being one of the fastest players in the region he is without a doubt one of the most athletic players. He makes highlight play after highlight play and locks down other teams top cutters. I have yet to see an opponent keep him from getting open. Makes very smart decisions with the disc in his hands as well.

Ben Lewis (#7) – He has been a consistent rock for A&M all year long and has some incredible hands. Lewis is another athletic monster always sacrificing his body to make big layout blocks and grabs. He is a defensive monster and nightmare on top of all of this. Ben runs defenders into the ground point after point and always seems to make a big play when our team needs it the most.

Dillon Larberg (#11)
Joel Clutton (#77)

Pawel Janas (#8)
Erik Hotaling (#6)

Kai Marshall (#13)

2nd Team All-Region

Texas A&M:
Zach Marbach (#22)

Michael Hays (#6)
Logan Kinney (#29)

Mark Rauls (#0)

Jay Froude (#2)

Trent Kuhl (#11)

Kaplan Maurer (#2)

Don’t really know much in this area but I know this individual made a bunch of big plays this weekend for our team and has done so throughout the year.

A&M – Timmy Robinson (#1)

COTY: Jose Cespedes – A&M is predominately made up of first and second year players, and has only around 5-6 players that have 3+ years experience in ultimate. He has helped keep A&M relevant, and even kept A&M considered as a top tier college team, despite this huge turnover.

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Disclaimer: I am affiliated with Arkansas so I may be a little biased. However, I did not play this weekend and really got the opportunity to just watch high level ultimate and take note of some standout players.

First Team:

Dalton Smith (A&M)
Ben Lewis (A&M)
Joel Clutton (UT)
Dillon Larberg (UT)
Pawel Janas (CU)
Mark Rauls (CU)
Kaplan Maurer (AR)

Second Team

Logan Kinney (UT)
Jay Froude (MIZZOU)
Trent Kuhl (KU)
Carson Smith (A&M)
Kai Marshall (OU)
Brian Trussel (AR)
Cody Spicer (CSU)

I didn’t get much of an opportunity to watch Colorado or Colorado State but the guys I have listed made noticeable impacts.

Some other guys who are not getting any attention but are outstanding players: Jason Finkelstein (KU) and Stephen Treanor (AR). Both guys deserve to be in the conversation for 2nd team.


Jared Hines #57 (AR) - Really impressive young player. Had very little ultimate experience coming into college. Extremely athletic and competitive. Great O-line cutter. A guy who can get the disc back after a turn too.

(taken directly from reddit and from my regionals write-up blog entry)

All-Region Picks

First Team

  1. Dalton Smith - Texas A&M (this is a no-brainer)

  2. Mark Rauls - Colorado (biggest impact player for Bird when we played them this year)

  3. Dillon Larberg - Texas (the offensive catalyst for TUFF)

  4. Joel Clutton - Texas (clutch player both downfield and behind the disc for TUFF)

  5. Cody Spicer - CSU (Cody was 2nd team all-region last year based purely on his defensive ability. He is an absolute lock-down defender and takes any match-up. Any team we played I’m sure can have their best player attest to the challenges they have against him. Cody has only played three years, the first at tiny South Dakota School of Mines, but this year his offensive game finally caught up to his defensive game. His incredible quickness for his size (6’2 with a 4.28 shuttle), makes him a nightmare match-up to guard from behind the disc. The only teams not talking about him are teams that haven’t played us. I don’t often hype my own players too heavily because I realize that everyone thinks their guy is the guy, but this should be a 100% lock, he is that good.)

  6. Texas A&M ______________ - I don’t know the team well enough and didn’t play them but clearly were the class of the tournament along with CU so they deserve another first team all-region nod here.

  7. Arkansas #1______________- Again, I don’t know the team well and we didn’t play them, but the fourth place finisher I’m sure has someone worthy of this spot.

Second Team

  1. Jason Finkelstein - Kansas (made their offense go, an every-other kind of guy)
  2. Trent Kuhl - Kansas (both an all-around stellar player and a standout personality on the team)
  3. Pawel Janas - Colorado (probably better than this, but slowed down a bit this season by injury it seemed)
  4. Arkansas _________ - (again I believe a team finishing 4th has at least two players worthy of all-region, I just don’t know this team)
  5. Jake Servaty - CSU (He’s only a sophomore but he is easily our best thrower and a huge part of our team. He keeps his teammates accountable, he works his butt off on the field and he’s comfortable downfield or behind the disc. The whole team held their breath when he got hurt Saturday at regionals and the team was incredulous when he toughed it out and played Sunday on a torn ligament in his ankle, STILL drawing some of the toughest match-ups and making all of the tough throws for us. Again, much like Spicer, if you watch CSU for any amount of time you will see what I mean about Jake. If we had finished higher than 5th I’d push for him on 1st team, but he’s got plenty of years left for that.)
  6. Kai Marshall - Oklahoma (In a vacuum, I know this guy is as good as anyone in the region, but I judge somewhat based on team result and Oklahoma struggled. I could easily be persuaded to change this pick to the next player on CU)
  7. Jay Froude - Missouri (Again, I know he is absolutely one of the best players in the region, in a vacuum. If these awards are supposed to be the best individual players, he’s probably first team. But just like Kai Marshall, I think you have to factor in team result.)


Jake Marrapode - CSU

Again, I tend to be the guy that tries to look at thing as objectively as possible, but Jake (Pode) is head and shoulders above the other candidates mentioned that I’ve personally seen play. If he hadn’t been slowed down by a hamstring injury and missed Huck Finn, Conferences and Sunday of regionals I think this would almost be a consensus pick.

He is a complete player. He’s got a wider array of hucks/break throws/gadget throws than any other guy on our team. He’s a physical phenom. He’s been starting O line since day 1. Watch his highlights from our President’s day video (shaggy blond kid floating above everyone else’s shoulders and throwing huge forehand hucks.)

Again, I know everyone loves their player and whatnot and I am certainly somewhat biased, but Pode absolutely is in the FOTY conversation.


I’ve been in the region for a while as ultimate is a passion of mine. I follow closely with the SC region year to year. I just want to mention that, in my opinion, the all region voting should be based off an individual. This thread starts with, as Eisenhood stated above, who are the best players in the region? I think it’s almost impossible to bash some of these names because their teams weren’t successful at regionals. For me, the players that are always talked about, studied by teams, and planned for, are the guys that exemplify their cases for all region. Typically, these are the most dangerous athletes and contenders for All Region. If you have to leave dashes for players because “they deserved it” or “their team played well at regionals so some name should fill here” doesn’t really make a case for an individual. However, I do think that some players of lesser known status can make a name for themselves with the accomplishments of their teams at regionals. Take people from KU, CSU, and ARK for example. All 3 of these teams did well and turned some heads, and all these teams have very good role players that aided in their success this last weekend. I think it’s hard to pinpoint 1 single player from each of these teams that took over each game they played and made other teams work diligently to shut them down, but rather their teams dynamic was that of which to battle. The core of guys that worked together to do well. I’m not saying they don’t have great players, because they absolutely do, but I think the team unit was the real aspect here. In saying that, I think these teams had the best cohesion, chemistry, and fluidity coming out of regionals (alongside TX, A&M, and CU).

As I said earlier, I think it’s the best individuals that should earn all region, so I’ll list my ideal universe point line:


Smith (A&M)
Froude (MU)
Rauls (CU)
Chow (CU)
Clutton (TX)
Larberg (TX)
Finkelstein (KU)


Marshall (OU)
Lewis (A&M)
Maurer (AR)
Kuhl (KU)
White (MU)
Spicer (CSU)
Trussel (AR)

My disclaimer: I did attend the SC Regionals as a spectator this past weekend and I’m a parent of a CSU player. I have the Ultiworld 2016 College Pass and I have watched every video featuring a SC Region team this season.

I’ll help fill in the blanks from coach TK’s recap with my opinion of who those missing players are.

First Team
6) Ben Lewis #7 (Texas A & M)
7) Kaplan Maurer #2 (Arkansas)

Second Team
4) Brian Trussel #4 (Arkansas)

I don’t think anyone would argue with these three being in the discussion for first or second team All Region.

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Certainly valid points Mr. SCGuru. If we’re talking the best players in a vacuum, that’s a great list. I think we just disagree a little bit about what all-region should be or perhaps about the definition of ‘best player.’

For the way I think about a player’s true value on a team, it also extends to their ability to bring the team around them up. Highlights and raw ability are unbelievable for some of these guys you’ve listed, but I just believe that consistency, mental toughness and being a good leader are absolutely a part of a person’s all-around ability (not to say those guys don’t also have those traits).

I get frustrated as an ultimate ‘purist’ if you want to call it that, that my young players consistently talk up all the big highlights they see from college/club/pro social media, when big highlights often are just a result of poor fundamental play (bad throw, cutting to limited space, etc).

“Best player,” for me, is someone who can both make crazy individual plays to cover up their teams fundamental flaws or exploit those of another team, but are also the guys that get their team performing consistently at or above expectations with a lot of the play that goes unseen in the highlight videos.

It’s all a little bit about perspective certainly, but this is why I specifically left spots open on my list for teams I wasn’t familiar with, giving their players the benefit of the doubt because of their team’s strong performance.