Who are the best players in the Northwest region? This is an open thread to discuss All-Region nominations, All-Freshman nominations, coaching awards, and more. Stay positive and keep it civil.
Garret Martin - deserves to at the very least be on the all-freshman team if not win rookie of the region. He is the main handler on Utah State, we aren’t one of the power house teams in the region but we qualified for regionals this year for the first time in 10 years, handing Montana State their only loss on the season (who was ranked 50 above us on USA ultimate), primarily because of him. He has the most touches every tournament for our team and our offense runs through him. He tried out for junior worlds alongside other well known names such as Colby Chuck and Trey Taylor, He played club while still in high school and matched up on Trent Dillon. He plays at a level far above his age and is one of the most impressive rookies I have ever seen in my 3 years of college Ultimate. I truly believe if we were a powerhouse team he would be in talks for Rookie of the Year, I have seem consistently destroy his match ups tournament after tournament this year. Look out for number 15 on Utah State this weekend at regionals.
Alex Walker - Alex is the coach of Utah State and he led us to an undefeated Fall season in the big sky section as well as Utah States first trip to regionals in 10 years. Almost winning the Big Sky section losing in the finals with a roster of 11 players. He has put an incredible amount of hard work into building this team for 3 years and it is finally paying off. He deserves to be in the talks for coach of the year.
Number 6 on Montana State is also a physical monster and the toughest matchup I have taken this entire year, not sure of his name but he makes huge skys and layout D’s, getting the better of both of our team’s 6’3 players several time.
Obviously the Cascadia section has more competition than Big Sky but I felt it worth mentioning some of the talent I have seen in the Big Sky section this year.
As the captain of Utah State I can attest that we would not be where we are this year without Garrett Martin and Coach Alex Walker. This is the first time that we have qualified for regionals in the last decade due in large part to both of them. Garrett will play every single offensive possession this week and makes decisions far and above is 18 years of age.
Also the monster cutter #6 from Montana State is Nathaniel Wiggins and he definitely deserves recognition. Look for him to tear it up on the d-line with scores while terrorizing whatever poor sap he is guarding.
Garrett Martin- Garrett Martin deserves to be recognized with All-Freshman honors. He has led our o-line the entire season, leading the team in both completions and assists. Garrett has had maturity well beyond his age and has handled pressure with poise.
Garrett Martin has led the usu o-line this year. He’s taught me a lot more about ultimate and has helped the team develop. At times I forget he’s a freshman because of how amazing he is.
Garrett Martin is an incredible athlete, who will no doubt raise Utah State to incredible heights. He’s definitely among the best players I’ve ever seen, and he has a lot of potential as a freshman.
IMO Bryce Merrill from BYU should be in the discussion for any coaching awards for the region. Coaching BYU to a 19-3 finish on the season with losses coming only from top 10 teams and beating the likes of UMass, Washington, Texas (pre injury Texas), A&M twice. Bryce coached BYU to #16 last year and wasn’t (still isn’t) satisfied. His vision and expectations are incredibly ambitious which can be attributed with the #10 ranking BYU now has.
BYU is known as a strong team with lots of depth, skill and athleticism among all 26 dudes. Coaches can influence the recruitment of super stars on their team, but the fact that the strength of BYU isn’t in any 1 or 2 super star players, but in all 26 players performing at an elite level has to be attributed to Bryce’s ability to coach and train players to reach a certain level.
I agree with a lot of the praise for Garrett Martin Utah State. He is very talented should be a first team Freshman. I hope people get to see his play at Regionals and take it into consideration when voting.
I’m going to throw Josh “Crow” Zdrodowski into the mix now. He started out on a Utah team that didn’t qualify for Regionals as a freshman, and took them to Nationals 3 years later. As a 6’7 player, you’d expect his game to revolve around skying people over and over. While he does that, it is his skills as a thrower that make him the teammate that makes the Utah offense go. He is the complete offensive package and will be representing the state of Utah at U24 Tryouts this year.
Michael “Tic” Affleck was another important piece of Zion Curtain’s Nationals run last year and has been a huge mentor to a new young core of Utah players. His abilities as a handler are among the best in the region.
Michael Giere has been asked to do so much for Utah’s D Lines. He is consistently making ESPN worthy plays wearing a silly Dalmatian dog-hat, and creating energy for the rest of his teammates. It’s easy to forget he is a second year player for Utah and has a very bright future as a leader.
Drew Shanafelt (Montana State) has improved immensely each year and has been a huge part of a core of Rum Runners that are always a pain in Zion Curtain’s ass… Watch out for him and his team this weekend in Walla Walla. The kid can ball.
Jason McKeen (BYU) needs to be a first team All-Region player. It’s sad that their team was left off of voting last year. He was a lock.
Coach of the Year: Bryce Merrill (BYU). Nobody can keep a group of guys focused and wear a dad bod like him.
-Asst. Coach from Utah
Lucas Chen of UW should be the freshman of the region. Lucas Chen was A starter on the US U20 junior worlds team, betcha didn’t know that, and has continued his success into college. When our third O handler was injured, he filled in, and when we put a slightly injured Khalif back in the handler set and unleashed Lucas downfield, he was almost unstoppable. Lucas is only 5’ 5", but has perhaps the quickest feet in the region already. He would run at you do crazy stuff with his feet, then go another direction and you couldn’t stop him. He churned out unders, roasted people deep, destroyed people upline, and was very consistent all season. His breakout performance was definitely conferences.
I haven’t even talked about his defense yet. Lucas is the definition of a shut down handler defender. When UW is fully healthy, Lucas primarily plays D handler and is a menace on defense. On a turn, he uses his outstanding quickness to be an effective reset and nasty break throws to keep the offense moving.
Lucas Chen should be the freshman of the region.
I’ll save my picks for after regionals, but something for everyone to keep in mind is that the bar is set way higher than you think it is this year.
A TON of talent returned from last year (12 current players have previously been all-region). There are many players who consistently play at or near an all-region level who aren’t actually good enough to be all-region because the bar is just set that high. Shout 'em out in this thread because they deserve the recognition, but know that if they don’t win it doesn’t mean the system is out to get you. You could easily make a third team this year, and maybe a fourth team, that would beat the second team from many other regions.
There should really be two all-frosh teams; one for newbies and one for kids who’ve played. Being invited to tryout for team USAU is a prestigious honor, but there are more freshmen in the region who were at those tryouts (because Ego somehow opened up a pipeline to Washington DC) than there are spots on the all-frosh team; it’s not an automatic qualifier. Freshmen just picking up the sport stand no chance in that environment. Shout 'em out, because they deserve the recognition, even if the bar is set too high for them.
Well said Coach. Looking forward to a great weekend.
Some names on my radar from teams other than mine…
24 Adam Rees, 1st team last year, strong do-it-all PotY candidate
55 Connor Matthews, 1st team last year, sky monster
26 Colton Clark, 1st team last year, not the best player in the region but might be the toughest to match up against
25 Leandro Marx, all-frosh last year, has made huge strides, next Chris Strub?
23 Xander Cuizon Tice, all-frosh last year, one of the best goal-scorers in the country
42 Will Lohre, 2nd team + FotY last year, good all-around game
There are a lot more good Ego players who would shine more on shallower teams, but on Ego they’re a little ways down the list.
3 Duncan Fitzgerald, USA U20 player, redhead, well-rounded game, takes a lot of the tough matchups for them, FotY candidate
0 Ted Sither, USA U20 alternate, gets burn on Ego’s O-line
9 Colby Chuck, USA U20 player, great defender for his size, good on the turn
59 Noah Coolman, D-line speedster
(it’s unfortunate that USAU requires regionals attendance to be eligible for all-region, as there’re some great BYU players missing out on recognition as a result)
64 Jason McKeen, the star who gets less recognition than he deserves because of the focus on BYU’s depth.
11 Bob Bodily
1 Tanner Yorgason
13 Seokhee Burningham
2 Taylor Caldwell
Bryce Merrill deserves CotY, even though he isn’t eligible to win it.
Hugh Knapp, U23 Canada, driving force behind their O-line
Nicholas Lin, U23 Canada, cutter with throws
Connor McFadyen, very athletic cutter
Victor Cheng, shame his season got cut short by injury
Allen Greer, big cutter for them
3 Jake Ramsey, 2nd team last year, can slang the rock
6 Eric Callahan, 2nd team last year
0 Aaron Peterschmidt, takes all the tough matchups for them
62 Quinn Buermeyer, U20 tryout, lefty, equally dangerous cutting and throwing, should be a FotY candidate
30 Drew Peterschmidt, USA U20 player, solid deep threat
I unfortunately don’t know these guys that well, but…
Drew Shanafelt, his Callahan video shows he can ball
Nate Wiggins, I’ve heard good things
3 Dennis Casio, 2nd team in 2015, easily one of the best O-handlers in the region
24 Zhi Chen, Dennis’s partner in backfield crime
21 Josh Kent, Dirt’s tall lefty
20 Daniel Mah, Dirt’s highlight reel
10 Adam Choi
55 Morgan Higgins, big throws, smart poacher
66 Josh Zdrodowski, 2nd team last year (should’ve been 1st), giant, PotY candidate
21 Michael Affleck, lanky handler who’s also a deep threat
17 Jeff Letsinger
10 Michael Giere
45 Malcolm Bryson, one of only 3 players on the continent, along with Khalif and Stubbs, to play for a legit senior national team,. That said, played 0 games in the regular season.
73 Ben Burelle, short but explosive cutter, one of the most talented individuals in the region
16 Trevor Knechtel, 2nd team in 2015, lanky thrower
24 Peter Galbraith, tall cutter does a lot of their dirty work
4 Dawson Pasin, tall and can play, if you don’t know who he is yet, you better figure it out
This is the one regionals team I haven’t been exposed to and therefore know very little about. Given the fact that Bryce won’t be eligible, and the lack of a truly transcendent regular season from any of the other programs above them, making regionals for the first time in a long time makes Alex Walker a legitimate threat to take CotY.
apparently Garrett Martin
Robbie Farwell, USA U20 and Cascades player, doesn’t get the love he deserves due to attending a small school.
Two Words: Duncan Fitzgerald.
This kid could be on First Team All-Defense for all of college. He gets the most PT out of all of the freshmen on EGO. He also has the assignments on defense of Stubbs, Rauls, and Hastings. The fact that he’s being assigned those players as a freshman says something. Duncan Fitz for FOTY/ROTY and All-Freshmen…and maybe Callahan.
Also Theodore Sither is the GOAT and should also be on the all-freshmen team.
Update on Lucas Chen for FOTY, he scored 7, count it seven, goals against Oregon in the finals. Once again, unstoppable downfield and especially in the red zone. What a monster, from where I’m sitting it seems like he should be the outright freshman of the year, not just for the NW but for all of college.
My post-regionals thoughts…
With Khalif missing a few games earlier in the season, there was perhaps an opening for someone else to claim POTY this year. Khalif slammed that door shut on Sunday when he led UW to the first regional championship in program history. Khalif had one goal and nine(!) assists in the finals against Ego and was clearly the best player on the field. No one else combines throwing prowess, elite athleticism, and pure will to win better than Khalif. I also want to shout him out for elevating his leadership this year; this was a big part of our team success.
Adam Rees would be the best player in many regions. He’s a true two-way threat (he doesn’t get enough credit for his defense; he should be a contender for first team all-defense nationally). 2nd place in the POTY race is lucky to have him.
3rd place to Crow from Utah. He’s an absolute nightmare to stop because of his combination of skill and height. Gets dinged a few points relative to Leaf and Adam due to not making nationals, but is still clearly in the POTY conversation, which is a big honor. Absolutely needs to be on 1st team this year instead of 2nd team like last year.
Additional locks for 1st team:
-If he had been healthy for the whole year instead of just most of it, Dongyang “DY” Chen would be in the POTY conversation. As it is, he should still be a lock for 1st team. His elite speed and quickness makes him a pest on defense (on Sockeye’s universe D-line) and allows him to consistently get open against any defender. He also consistently does damage with his throws while also keeping his turnovers very low.
-Dennis Casio is a walking clinic in O-handling. Too good to not make 1st team. Carries a ton of weight on his shoulders.
-Hugh Knapp deserves a first team spot as the best player on a bid-earning/keeping squad. Very well rounded all-around game.
Last 1st team spot/Locks for 2nd team:
-Connor Matthews, Colton Clark, and Steven Benaloh are all returning 1st teamers, and would all be worthy picks.
-Ben Burelle is talented enough to be on 1st team, though U Vic’s record this year might weigh him down to 2nd team in a field overcrowded with good candidates.
-OSU relies on a lot of good players instead of one or two great ones, but Jake Ramsey should definitely merit a spot. Hits tough throws against good defense as well as anyone.
-I’m going to go to bat for Tian Chuan Yen not only belonging in this tier, but potentially meriting that last 1st team spot. Tian has been a fixture on the UW O-line for years and developed a reputation as a steady, but not too flashy and not too fast, handler. He has put in an incredible amount of work since natties last year to elevate his game. He’s still slanging assists all over the place as he has in the past (5 assists in the regional finals against Ego), but he’s also in the best shape I’ve ever seen him in, and as a result he’s on UW’s top 5 list for both goals and blocks for the season, drastically expanding on his previous role. Tian also can fly under the radar because one of the things that makes him so valuable is his ability to avoid turnovers, which he did to an exceptional level this year. Tian doesn’t play highlight ultimate. Tian plays winning ultimate (top 3 in +/- for the season for UW), and he is a huge reason why UW are regional champs. He should be 2nd team at minimum this year.
Last two 2nd team spots/Top spots on the 3rd team:
-Reed Hendrickson (tall #99 on UW). Reed isn’t on many people’s radar because he was playing for Whitman prior to coming to UW this year, but he can ball. He does the typical big man things (blocks and goals), but is also a big time thrower and an intelligent cutter. He marked up against Crow when we played Utah at regionals and won the matchup (5 goals during a stretch when UW went from being down 1-3 to up 8-6).
-Xander and Leandro from Ego. Nicholas Lin from UBC. Eric from OSU.
The rest of the 3rd team:
-Michael Affleck, Will Lohre, Aaron Peterschmidt, Trevor Knechtel
All-region talents who didn’t quite play enough to win:
-Malcolm Bryson, Cooper Schumacher, Tomas Delgado
Frosh team Tier 1/FOTY:
-Lucas Chen. Was on the USA U20 team. Started the season as a D-handler for UW. Shifted to O-line cutter mid-season and absolutely blew up. 7 goals vs Ego in the regional final.
Frosh team Tier 2:
-Ted Sither, Noah Coolman, and Colby Chuck from Ego.
-Derek Mourad, #15 from UW. Derek was our primary puller and D-line handler this year. Took a lot of the tough matchups and thrived in them (getting blocks on players like Hugh Knapp). Top 5 on UW in both assists and blocks for the season.
Frosh team Tier 3:
-Garrett Martin from Utah St. The Cascadia section is often skeptical of heavily hyped players coming out of Big Sky, and for good reason. He’s not at FOTY level, but this kid is legit and worthy of being hyped.
-Morgan Higgins. Stepped up on O as Dirt struggled with injuries at regionals.
-Porter Jones, #6 for UW. Porter is without a doubt UW’s most improved player since fall. A D-line cutter in the fall, Porter put in a ton of work on his throws and became a starting D-handler for us, and progressed to the point he was playing some O-points in the regional finals.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t shout out Jake Steen (#5) and Nate Wipfler (#18) from UW. Neither had been on an ultimate team before this year, but both made tremendous improvements and will have big things expected of them in the future. If there were an all-frosh team for players without juniors experience, they’d be locks.
I agree almost entirely with what Alex has said on here. Most of his picks are spot on. Khalif absolutely deserves POTY after his performance this last weekend. Adam is right up there with him. I do disagree with him on Crow though. He plays some great offense-very knowledgeable cutter with some excellent throws- but his defense can leave a little to be desired. He is definitely an all-region talent (2nd team?), but I’m not sure he warrants POTY discussion.
Nicholas Lin absolutely deserves all-region honors and should be a lock for second team. Him and Hugh Knapp tore through the wind on sunday with their throws and put on a great performance all season for UBC.
I think Benaloh is probably the best handler in the region- he has every throw in every condition and is extremely difficult to guard.
Trevor on Victoria has not been given enough credit. He does a lot for them and has one of the best flick hucks in the region (country?).
One guy that doesn’t get mentioned enough is Sam Amaro from Oregon State. Dude has some of the biggest skies and best ups in the region. A great all around athlete and cutter that can drops some dime hucks as well. Definitely deserves consideration for all region honors.
I would like to put Quinn Buermeyer’s name into the discussion for FOTY. He does it all with his throws, athleticism, and intelligent cutting down field. You could argue he is Oregon State’s best player leading them in goals scored this season. He should be at the top of the short list for FOTY as he carries a heavy load for OSU’s offense.
While Utah State got 9th in the region and the Washington Coach is rating Garret Martin at 3rd team frosh, (admittedly our worst game of the season vs UW this weekend.) we took half 7-5 vs UBC and lost only by 2 while being the lowest ranked D-1 team at the tournament. (and arguably got short end of the stick as rankings were a little inaccurate with every team but us from our pool finishing top 6). Garret Martin deserves all freshman, when an 18 year old leads the 87th team in the country to a 12-11 game vs the 16th ranked in the country he deserves a shout out, whether or not its Cascadia vs. Big sky. And I can not stress enough it is Garret leading this team. No other freshman in the region is recording the most touches and points played for their respective team in the Northwest region like Garret does for Utah State.
I cannot stress enough, a team ranked literally 70 below them led by an 18 year old freshman almost ended UBC’s nationals run. Garret Martin deserves All-Freshman. As well as a big shout out to Utah ZCU’s defensive standout Mike Giere, out of sheer will power leading them to the game to go after being ranked 9th at the tournament.
It sounds like this Garret Martin kid is a god.