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All-Region 2017: Ohio Valley (D-I Men's)

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

This is probably happening in most regions, and I could be completely wrong, but looking at the all region selections from last year there seems to be a lot of turnover for the region. It seems that almost all of the spots will be up for grabs. The only names that I see on the list that are still playing are Codi Wood, Tarik Akyuz and Jacob Lunn. It will be interesting to see new names on the list.

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Coach of UPenn B here. Seen a number of teams play in the East Penn Section over the season and the final of the West Penn conference. (With film wherever possible).

I’m sure I will have more to add after Saturday. Due to personal beliefs regarding coaching I will not be nominating Penn folks, although I do believe there are deserving candidates.

All-Region Nominations:

Codi Wood
Should having Nationals-club experience make you a shoe-in for the All-Region team? Probably. This kid is so fundamentally sound it’s scary. His defensive footwork is impeccable, can place the disc anywhere on the field, and is a master of understanding the flow of an offense. Spank is deeper than just Codi (See Alex Liu, Nate Donaher, and the “righty who throws lefty hammers”), but damn is the kid good.

Ethan Fortin
Should having Nationals-club experience make you a shoe-in for the All-Region team? I repeat, probably. This kid put Nova on his back a year ago to drag them to the last bid to regionals at East Penn conferences a year ago. This year he took a step back to allow Nova’s new coach to develop the rest of the roster and is reaping the benefits with a conference title. He can still take over a game when asked, but he has been doing his best work this year initiating Nova’s offense with his excellent cutting and insane throws. Other guys for Nova you should consider are Chris Dixon (Smooth operator in the O-line backfield), John-o (absurd acceleration and great deep target) and Casey Vaughn (shut down defender).

Brian Doherty
Drexel won’t ever get much rep. They make regionals every year with varying results but aren’t going to be making national commotion any time soon. That being said Brian is still the best player on this team. Solid hucks combined with excellent decision making beget significant work with his legs on the offensive and defensive side of the disc. Drexel also has a stud freshman ya’ll should consider for FOTY.

Pitt
We all know Pitt is really good. You could probably make a case for All-Region for any of their top 10-14. So I’m just going to name 4 guys, 2 from the O and 2 from the D who I think have been standout contributors this year. If people really want elaboration on each player I can, but I’m tired of typing. Jonah Wisch, Michael Ing, Kevin Tang, Sam Van Dusen.

Coach of the Year nomination:

Dan Wickens
A year ago Villanova squeaked into regionals on the back of Fortin and friends. They didn’t have a coach. Their offense was…unique. They finished dead last at OV regionals. Then they brought Dan Wickens into the fold. Wickens brought in a new offense and worked on turning the athletes that Nova already brought to the table to true ultimate players. They went down to Florida Warm-Up and hung tough with Elite competition even walking away with a few W’s. They went from being ranked 135 at the end of 2016, to a top 50 program in 2017 (Literally they were #50). And two weekends ago they took home the program’s first conference title. If that’s not deserving of Coach of the year…well I don’t know what is.

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Couldn’t agree more with Dan Wickens as coach of the year. He has taken Villanova to the next level. Happy to see him finding so much success right away.

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For the Ohio Valley All-Freshman team, I’d like to bring one player to light who has been an absolute play-maker for Villanova this year. Jordan Ciccarone (Chicago YCC) quickly established himself as a starting D-Line handler after beginning college this past Fall. He is an incredibly reliable reset with great break throws and massive hucks (including this bomb from Warm Up), but also shows great athleticism through big plays on defense. He continually challenges himself by taking on top defensive match-ups, the most notable probably being an impressive showing against senior Billy O’Bryan from University of Florida.

Jordan also demonstrates impressive leadership and guidance on the field for a freshman, exemplifying Villanova’s offensive and defensive systems as if he’s been running them for years. I can’t end without acknowledging my own bias, having played with him all season, but I believe it would be an oversight to not consider Jordan for the All-Freshman team.

Can confirm. This kid was one of the toughest defensive matchups I’ve had all season

For the All-region team I’d like to suggest Lloyd Furuta from Ohio University. He was a captain this year and played both sides of the disc frequently. He always guarded the number one on the opposing team and was a threat as a hybrid on offense playing handler and cutter. Simply put, he makes plays.

The freshman Joel is talking about from Drexel is Nolan Boyle.

Hey, I’m one of the Ohio State coaches. Gonna write a bit about OSU, as that’s what I’m most familiar with. But first, I want to second Lloyd from OU. Definitely does a lot for the team. Quite fast, good throws, really all over the field. Keep an eye out for him at Regionals if you are playing OU. I’d also like to put Michael Kromer’s (#8) name out there from OU (prev commenter) for a spot on the Freshman team. We played them at sectionals and he was heavily involved in OU’s offense and displayed good break throws and handler movement, as well as bringing an intensity that added to the atmosphere of the game.

From Case, obviously Tarik (#23 I think) as a first-team selection. Real dual threat in my opinion. One of the best deep options I’ve seen the past few years, and can put up some nice shots downfield when he’s catching it under.

From Cincy, Keegan North (#15) is a great two-way player. Can fly around on defense, and is very good with the disc. He played High Five 2016 and was one of those players that would impress you more and more each time you watched him play.

Have only played against each of those teams once, so hopefully we get some more games at regionals and I can look out for other guys that people highlight.

As for OSU, two 5th year players stand out as deserving of some All Region consideration. Eric Schumacher (#4) is the main cog of OSU’s offense. He’s got really good break throws, is a strong cutter, and really slippery in the handler set. Played significant minutes with High Five 2016 where he really showed defensive skill and athleticism. He has also captained with Ben Whiteman (#23) the past few years and both lead by example with their play and spirit. Ben has missed time due to injuries for parts of this year, but has come into form for the postseason. As a primary cutter for the offense, his speed and quickness serve him well. He’s another player with a good range of throws who looks to capitalize on unaware defenders. He played High Five 2015, showcasing his constant defensive motor. He learns well from each interaction with opponents, and was noted as one of, if not the, most improved player on that 2015 team over the course of the summer. With OSU he often takes tough handler matchups and uses his quickness and positioning to frustrate opponents.

I’d also like to highlight Zach Braun (#98) for Freshman team consideration. One of OSU’s strongest throwers, has a good variety of throws for a freshman, and has become part of a fun-to-watch handler duo on the O line alongside Schumacher.

I am a player for Cincinnati and wanted to write about some players of note in the Ohio conference that I believe deserve recognition.

Cincinnati
Keegan North- He the defensive captain driving force of the defense taking the hardest matchup but he is also dominate after the turn. He can make a play when you need him and has big game experience from playing High Five in 2016 and getting a U24 tryout invite.

Jacob Turner- Main D line handler for Cincinnati, he plays shut down defense and goes every other after the turn. Jacob has absolutely insane around breaks. This year Jacob has received all tournament team mentions from the Santa Barbara Invitational as well as Tally Classic.

Justin Latz- Offensive captain and one of the most consistent offensive powers in Ohio, can play upfield or hang back in the handler set.

Ohio University
Alex Flamm- Plays both ways for the team getting insane layout Ds to get the turn and then throwing give and go’s all the way up the field for the score. Has a knack for getting open in the end zone.

Lloyd Futura- Strong lefty break throws and can play both ways, really a do everything type of player. Has the stamina as well to go out on the line almost every point.

Ohio State
Eric Schumacker- Runs the team, extremely smooth player just makes the game look easy. Great break throws and good defense

Case Western
Tarik Akyuz - Great deep threat with strong throws to match, an intimidating force in the back of Case Westerns strong zone

Hello. I’m the coach of West Chester University, so I have some bias. I’ll also talk mostly about the East Penn, since I haven’t seen too much of the other sections (Codi Wood, Alex Liu, Jonah Wisch and Michael Ng would be my nominations from the West Penn).

All Region
Ethan Fortin (Villanova)- the team’s offense revolves around him. While Villanova has many strong players, he’s unquestionably the main reason for the team’s showing this year. Should be first team.
Connor Boyle (UPenn)- a rebuilding year for Upenn for sure, but the team has made massive strides this year. Steady handler core led by him helped his team improve as players.
Rob Walker (Temple)- hardworking athlete who’s dedication and demeanor has been a big part of Temple’s improvement over the past several years.
Dom Bussanich (#2 West Chester)- was a swing handler for WCU in years past. Exploded this year adding cutting, hucking, give and goes and lock down defense to his game. Fiery passion led WCU to wins this year with a roster depleted by injuries. Could play every point in a tournament and never get tired. Extremely impressive.
Jonathan Anthony (#15 West Chester)- captain for WCU this year. Embodies the spirit and competitive spirit of ultimate. Superb handler defense, great backhand hucks and many catches that made every opposing player and coach do a double take. Sacrificed for his team in a big way.

Coach of the Year
There are really two guys who I want to highlight here- the aforementioned Dan Wickens and also UPenn’s coach Dave Baer. Wickens helped change the culture at Villanova and his ability was a huge factor in their win. Baer’s involvement with UPenn is as impressive; his team, comprised almost entirely of freshman and sophmores with little ultimate experience, made massive strides this year in learning the game and qualified for regionals.

Disclaimer: I am the coach of Penn State SPANK.
Here’s my takes on the 4 qualifiers from West Penn Sectionals.

Penn State

The Old Farts:
Codi Wood #21 - there’s not much to say here. He’s our callahan nominee. He’s one of two captains. It’s crazy to believe that he started playing ultimate 3 some years ago. Just an overall great teammate and player for SPANK during his time here at PSU. Look out for him at U24 tryouts in June.

Graham Walker #20 - Graham has been part of the backbone for SPANK for a few years now and has never really gotten any recognition. This year, though, I’ve seen him take his leadership and on-field ability to new heights. He may not have the most raw talent, but Graham is undoubtedly the reason why we’re still afloat this season. If he goes off at Regionals, give the man a nod.

Marc Sands #41 - Marc is another really special player. He has all the skills necessary to be an all-region lock but has been battling injuries all season. Off the field, however, his contributions speak volumes. He brings positivity, spirit and wisdom to a team of very young players. He’s the type of guy anyone would want as a teammate. Haven’t seen a player come through SPANK with this much heart in a long time - injured or not, you can bet he’s going to leave it all on the fields this weekend.

Alex Liu #17 - In his 4 years at Penn State, I would be surprised if Alex has missed a single practice. He’s evolved a lot since his freshman year and has finally become a cog for our defensive line. It is his commitment to his team and personal development that has gotten him to the level he’s at today. If you see him chasing down a pull this weekend, you might want to holster that centering pass in the end zone.

Young Guns on the Rise: they probably wont get the nod this year, but keep an eye out for these names in the future.

Fred Wolf #19
Matt Snyder #2
Matt Brenfleck #28
Nate Donaher #72
Tal Cohen #22
Nate Long #25

FOTY - Colby Gordon #28. This is the first year in recent history that I’ve seen a PSU freshman more talented & important for their team than any freshman on Pitt. Bright future ahead for Colby.

Pittsburgh
It’s interesting to think that only one of these guys (Jonah) has made OV all-region in the past. I can only speak on those that laced up at sectionals, so I’ll leave the hype to someone from the Pitt Program.

Jack Slevin
Carl Morgenstern
Saul Graves
Mike Ing
Jonah Wisch

CMU
Justin Abel - He’s been on the rise for a few years now. If CMU makes a run in bracket play this year, you can bet it’ll be on his back.

Edinboro
Max Shepard - as far as I know, this is Shepard’s last year. He has the raw talent, but if he can’t take Boro deeper into regionals this year, it’s hard to argue that he deserves a nod.

As always, I will follow up with my thoughts post-regionals. Shout out to the other coaches filling in on parts of the Region we may not be familiar with!

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PSU: Codi Wood, Marc Sands, Nate Donaher, Colby (FOTY)
Pitt: Jack Slevin, Bender, Morgenstern, Ing, etc.
Boro: Max Sheppard.

Codi Wood is one of the most talented ultimate players I have ever seen in six years of play. His kind hearted and upbeat attitude combines with raw talent to make the perfect player.

WCU coach, wanted to post thoughts on regionals having seen more players. We ended up finishing tied for 3rd, losing to Pitt and Lehigh and winning against Pitt B, Villanova and Ohio State.

Pitt
Obviously just about anyone on this team could make a case for all region. They were clearly the best team here this weekend. Carl Morgenstern was a guy I had never seen play but he really distinguished himself. Best of luck at natties.

Lehigh
Hard to pick out anyone on this team- they were all very strong and played team oriented. I had a feeling going into this tournament that they would make a run and were very impressive. They should definitely get a few players on the all region team but I’ll let someone more familiar with their team talk about who.

Villanova
I don’t need to rep Ethan Fortin anymore as anyone who plays him knows he is one of if not the best player in the region. Casey Vaughn and Chris Dixon killed it for them too.

Pitt B
Was not happy to see them in our pool. What a program they have over there that their B team is a scary draw at regionals. Stars of tomorrow are on this team.

Ohio State
This team had some athletes and played hard defense. Their offense was led mostly by #4 Eric Schumacher who was really, really good at frisbee. Threw over, around and through marks, hit big throws and physically dominated some of our best defenders.

West Chester
I think anyone who played us saw what a beast #17 Devin Foster was. He made huge catches and played fantastic defense, willing our team to victory in several close games. He was on fire and dominated most of his matchups all weekend, throwing dime hucks and registering an astoundingly low number of turnovers. His play was the biggest reason why WCU was able to upset a few teams and make the run that we did. He has a very, very strong case to make the first team all region and should be strongly considered. I already mentioned #2 Dom Bussanich and #15 Jon Anthony and they were also forces to be reckoned with, playing fundamentally strong yet still passionate. #85 Danny Monts played great man to man defense and operated extremely well as a zone cutter, often going every other. He was hospitalized earlier this year for illness so it was great to see him get his feet under him for a great weekend too. Austin Doucette, Dustin Henken, Nick Digiorgio (playing with a broken wrist) and Austin Lillis might not get the all regional recognition this year, but they are certainly played a huge role in the wins we were able to get and will be impactful on the club/college scene in West Chester for years to come.

Coach
I don’t know Lehigh’s coach but that program needs more respect. Nobody seems to know how to seed them. They’ve done tremendous work over the past few years and need some legit recognition. None of this “oh they’re good for a D3 team” BS. They’ve been a legitimate D1 title threat for years. Good work.

I am a senior on Lehigh and I would like to mention a few players that I think deserve all region. The first is Kyle “Teddy” Fischer. All season he has been the driving force on the D line, always taking the toughest match ups and usually winning them, and he is probably the best overall player on the team. The next is Kyle “Pumasaurus” Megathlin. He was the captain this year and the main cutter for the O line, and would consistently make big plays for us when we needed them. The last is Adam “Kzero” Kafka. He is the main handler on the O line and probably has the best inside flick break of anyone at the tournament.

In addition, to reply to the last post, Lehigh does not actually have a coach. The team is run, and has been run for at least the past 10 years, by the captain and two assistant captains each year. Our captain this year, Puma, did a fantastic job running the team from the coaching side and the player side. And finally I would also agree that our program deserves more recognition than it usually seems to get, and I think we proved that this year with the 2nd place finish.

Temple coach here.

I’ll talk mostly about guys that we played against, and slide in some of the others that I know from prior knowledge. I’m going to make a separate post to shout-out some of my guys.

Pitt
Didn’t get to see them play much this year, but guys like Morgenstern, Vandusen, and Wisch have always stuck out to me. I know they definitely have a bunch of deserving guys, but I simply did not get to see them play much this year.

Cincinnati
Jacob Turner #7 - One of the main D-line handlers and jumps over to play important O-points. Great throws, and not afraid to bid for anything. Always takes a tough matchup, and plays very strong tough D.

Keegan North #15 - The other main D-line handler. Plays important O-points as well. Super athletic, draws a tough matchup as well and can be a nightmare on a turn.

Ohio State
Eric Shumacher #4 - Main O-line handler that has great throws. He’ll carve D-lines up with precision passes, and has great hucks. Everything basically ran through him.

Ben Whiteman #23 (aka Tim Duncan jersey I believe) - Main cutter that gets open at will, a very tough person to matchup with, and will cause defenses problems.

Case Western
Tarik Akyuz #23 - Extremely tough to matchup against. He is big and athletic and will probably sky you. Very solid defender as well.

Jake Rovner - This guy is fast. Blazing speed, and is all over the field. Created big problems for us in our pre-quarter game due to his speed and athletic ability. He’s not afraid to layout and will make some big plays.

Villanova
Ethan Fortin - Offense runs through him and Dixon. His combination of size and speed make him a matchup nightmare and he uses that combo effectively in their isolation offense. He has great hucks as well. Suffered a very scary non-contact injury in the last game on Sunday. I hope that he’s alright, and I wish him a speedy recovery.

Chris Dixon #14 - Main handler for the O-line. Pinpoint throws and great breaks as well. Him and Ethan run the show for Nova.

Other guys on Nova that deserve some shout-outs - Jonathan Collins #28 and Casey Vaughn. Collins has blazing speed and will get open at will and then throw some perfectly placed hucks. Vaughn played a lot of D and makes some big plays for Main Line.

West Chester
Devin Foster #17 - Plays a large role for WCU. Didn’t get to see him play at Regionals, but I know from Conferences that he is probably a large reason why they were able to finish tied for 3rd.

Jon Anthony #15 - Very physical cutter that utilizes his body and athleticism to get open. He creates a difficult matchup for opposing teams. I’m sure that trend continued this weekend.

Penn State
Codi Wood #21 - Codi is insane. Beautiful throws and incredible athleticism. It’s crazy to think that he started playing only a few years ago, and now has a U24 tryout.

FOTY Colby Gordon #28 - I was lucky enough to play with Colby this past summer for a tournament or two. This kid is the real deal. He had just graduated high school and was holding his own against high-level club players. I’m sure that he continued that level of play into this season, if not elevated it.

Coach of the Year
Dan Wickens from Villanova did a tremendous job this year with those guys. They played in big, close games at Warm-up and looked great this season. They even took home their first Conference Championship this year. While they didn’t have the best weekend at Regionals by their expectations, they still played tough and hard all weekend, and had a great year overall.

Ken Wells from West Chester should also be looked at as well. Kenny has instilled a strong and aggressive playing style to his WCU team. They are a tough draw, and it showed this past weekend, as they were able to finish tied for 3rd, breaking seed dramatically.

Some guys on Temple that deserve some consideration:

Ryan “States” Coughlan #37 - It seems like he’s been here forever (probably because he has been), but he is a huge reason that the program at Temple is where it is today. He is the primary handler on the O-line, and we pull him over to the D-line when we absolutely need a break. He has huge hucks, and actually has some hops. He’ll probably sky you. He also is an ambidextrous thrower. A natural righty, he’ll occasionally set up a left pivot and rip a left handed full-field backhand (flick periodically) huck for a score. Incredibly useful during windy occasions like Centex.

Rob Walker #32 - Rob is our do-it all cutter. He’ll initiate our offense, and drop a dime-ball huck for a score. This year Rob was asked to take on an even bigger role, and he did not disappoint. Always had the opposing team’s best defender on him and was still able to get open at will. Historically he only played O-line, but this year he played some D as well. He took tough assignments and rarely got beat. He was a headache to cover off of turns as well.

Nick LaRue #20 - LaRue played both O and D, and huge for both lines. Shutdown defender, and literally always open on offense. Makes huge plays for us especially when we need them. Kid is a junior so watch out for him next year.

Adam Novak #18 - Unfortunately he injured his spleen (weird, right?) at Conferences and was unable to play in Regionals. However, after he gets his spleen out, watch out. He was another primary O-line handler that has all the throws.

Guys to keep an eye for the future:

Igor Smola #6
Jordan Clever #99
Adrienne Khon #10
Frankie Gomez #21
Jeremy Fus #33

Freshman Team:

Brandon “Wisco” Lamberty #23 - Basically ran our D-line as a freshman handler. He made huge strides from the beginning of the year now, and he was a big reason why our D-line had success this year. Injuries to handlers on O-line forced him to play on the O-line this past weekend, and he stepped in beautifully. This kid definitely deserves and All-Freshman nod.

Luke Greenley #13 - A true hybrid that played huge D-line points this year. He is incredibly dangerous after the turn and will be teams with his throws, or will go downfield and haul in a deep shot. Watch out for him in the next couple of years.

I am a Lehigh player.
Kyle Fischer and Alex Schlegel were absolute beasts for the D Line this year, matching up with the opponent’s best cutter and handler respectively. They were responsible for much of the offense as cutters after the turn as well, both being excellent deep threats and Fischer launching hucks in addition.
Kyle Megathlin was the rock for the O Line, usually initiating the offense as a cutter but handling when needed as well. He was the first guy over to the D Line when we needed a break. Megathlin did all this while essentially coaching the team, calling lines and making adjustments on the fly.

Hey my name is Lloyd Furuta I play for OU

From Ohio University I want to throw out Michael Kromer for freshman of the year he came in and took over a huge role on the offensive line with consistent break throws and strong deep throws throughout the year. He quickly rose to the position of primary handler in our offense. He also stepped up and played more aggressive on defense as the year progressed taking on the primary handlers in most of our the matches throughout the series.

I would also like to nominate Michael Kromer for Freshman of the year. He played nearly every point for OU, touching the disc every couple throws. His deep throws opened up our offense; Kromer played like a 4 year veteran all year and was instrumental to much of our success this season.

For All-Region nominations I would like to nominate Lloyd Furuta. Lloyd was the go to player on O-Line, both as a handler and cutter. His lefty break throws could not be stopped all season. In addition, he could step in and play lock down defense on the opposing teams best player when needed. All-Region for sure.

Cameron Haldin,
Ohio University Senior