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.
This is Brendan Carriel, current second year player for Miner Threat out of Missouri. It’s so hard to cover everyone in the region based on who we’ve played, but I figured I’d pop some names out there.
Air Force: Alan Villanueva is a pretty obvious name to include here. He’s the name you think of when you hear Air Force, and they stepped up to a whole new level this year. I can’t wait to see them play in person and get a better feel for what they have as a team, but I know Alan can put the disk relatively wherever he wants, even with a good mark. Add in his deep cuts from the handler set, and crazy general athleticism, and you can see why Air Force relies on him so heavily, even with a stacked team of athletes.
JBU Ironfist: Grant Bruner and Ethan Bolthouse. One has all the throws, one has all of the speed and catches, but there’s not really a box that either of them fit into. Playing Penner last year was rough because he would play a game of catch with whoever he wanted until he scored. I’m pretty sure he graduated, but maybe he dyed his hair blonde and changed his name to Bolt. Bruner continues to be very similar to Alan Villanueva, but less appreciated by most teams when he forfeits his deep cuts more often than taking them to keep the JBU flow going. I haven’t seen them since Harvest in person, but it looks like the fresh bodies have finally come into the structured flow that keeps JBU great every year. Can’t wait to see these guys at conference and hopefully regionals and nationals after it.
Tulsa: Okay, I kinda suck at names and I rarely ask for them afterwards, but all I remember is getting broken three times on the same point. I wouldn’t put it past bad defense, but your lefty handler had some good moves. For a team that doesn’t get a lot of respect in the region, I hope you can keep up the intensity we saw at Dust Bowl and really put some pressure on teams for their regionals and nationals bid spots.
Everyone Else I can’t wait to see some people that really pop! Sorry if I can’t remember any names or defining characteristics to call people out on their greatness, but I know you all have your stars and I’m looking forward to guarding them in the near future.
It’s so hard to put people on here from my own team. There are so many insane x-factor players that change the flow of the game, and it’s hard to pick favorites. Here are my choices, biased on graduation factor.
Kelly Mauntel is a cutter at heart, but if you think there’s a mark or zone that can hold his throws you’re probably wrong. The level of awareness he has on the field and the way his cuts are unpredictable even to his own handlers makes him one of, if not the most dangerous, dual threats we have. full field throws from a cutter on a dime are hard to come by, but he’s got them all. If only he threw them to receivers instead of the grass!
Justin Flynn is a born cutter. As fast as I’ve seen someone run in person, I think Justin could probably run faster if he needed to. When we need someone to get open, we browse the field for his white hat and put it to him, because we know he’ll come down with it somehow. He’s the chillest guy on the field at all times, taking spirit of the game beyond fouls. Like seriously, call a foul Justin. You were fouled.
Brody Johnson makes the throws and wow are they pretty. Keeping the disc moving at all times is a good way to beat defenses, and this guy makes it look as easy as anyone out there can. He’s got so much heart and he leaves it on the field, making crazy bids to keep plays alive. Breaks are nothing, and his fakes get more bites than anyone else on the team.
Louie Bertoncin is the rock of our defense. He is constantly taking the hardest marks and making plays on people much taller than him (we see you Minnesota-Duluth, that guy was 8’ easy). His awareness on the field keeps us in games, and he forces turns with intense defense. It helps that he can throw too, as he spearheads defensive breaks with his quickness.
I really hope these guys enjoy their last semester with the team, and I’m glad we’re sending them off with one of our strongest seasons in several years. Picks out! Now for some rookies.
I’d like to put Jared McKay in. He’s low key one of our best defenders as a freshman, and his years playing for Pi in Kentucky have payed dividends for us. He’s got sharp handles, but his real perks are his awareness and straight passion for the game. He goes harder than anyone on the field, and he does it every point. Bidding D’s are commonplace, and he looks like a seasoned veteran in all aspects of his game.
Lawrence “Carl” Eastman is another standout rookie. His throws are smooth as butter, and he fits perfectly with our offensive scheme. It’s hard to work against winds, especially as a new face to college ultimate, but he puts some dirty 50 yard throws straight against 25mph winds. If you’ve got a rookie that can do that, you know exactly how fantastic it feels.
Zeke Peterson is a lightning fast young player. Wow. I haven’t seen a defender that could keep up with him yet. His throws have developed so well from the first week he played, but he’s always had glue for hands. The level of frisbee IQ he has developed is insane as well, and I am completely confident in taking a stall 9 prayer deeper than anyone and watching him run it down.
Woohoo lots of words. Can’t wait to see some other posts!
Hey y’all! I’m stoked for regionals in a few weekends and it has been a shame that we haven’t had more connectivity, but here is what I’ve got.
Mines- They’ve got some solid players, but no one really stood out. They just run their system really well.
Grant Mitchell and Phil Korolog- Arguably CC’s two best players. Each have their own gifts and it always fun to match up with either of them. This season has been rough with both stars injured but I hope they both can get back into it at regionals and earn their spot.
Jason Bair- Short quick handles with some ridiculous throws. Did I say quick? Bair is a deserving talent and needs to be recognized.
Gerb- Stalwart defender. Often takes the hardest matchup on the opposing team. His over the shoulder bid at sectionals was something to see.
Pat, #52- I was impressed by him at sectionals. Often took the big man matchup, and I never saw him lose a 50/50 ball. Can’t wait to see more!
John Brown has put together a great season and I can’t wait to play them at regionals next weekend. We haven’t played them but from our previous encounter’s, Ethan Bolthouse, Spencer Patterson, and Grant Bruner were all rocks for this team. Hopefully I’ll have more words to say after regionals!
Here is where I have my bias but I think once you play us you’ll see what I’m talking about…
Trevor Browning- Arguably the fastest kid in D-III. Trevor often takes the other team’s stud, or should I say shuts down? He is our best one-on-one defender and his prowess through the air has only continued to improve.
Alan Villanueva- What more can be said of the “gangly” frame of Alan Villanueva? He has some of the most creative throws in the region. Zones please underestimate him so he can do some crazy things with 175 grams of plastic. While Alan isn’t throwing he is probably getting ready to sky you. Pleaaaase test him. Alan burst onto the national scene last year, but we all know has been making an impact on our region since day one.
Matt Moshea- Actually the leading goal scorer at nationals last year(it wasn’t a tie), USAU messed up their stats in the final game. What more needs to be said? He is a goal machine. Force him deep, get roasted, force him under he’ll take the yards. Coming into his throws this year Matthew “push pass” Moshea undoubtedly deserves the 1st team nod.
Matt Frierson- He really exploded onto the scene for us this year. He took the time to work out and work on his throws during the summer/off season and boy has it shown. Matt can take any defensive matchup we need him to and is a stalwart cutter on the d-line.
Mike Higgins- Mike “dad” Higgins has really developed into his role as an O-line handler. He has an amazing flick and uses that to his advantage. He also has stepped up in a big way with his defense this year.
Carl Chan- Our team has some extremely talented players, but Carl’s coaching allows them to unlock their potential. Carl came on as an assistant coach a few years ago and has been essential in this team’s development. In a span of three short years, he has helped take us from a team who did not make it out of conferences to the undisputed #1 team in the division. A large reason for that ranking is the depth that he created. In addition to his coaching duties, Carl has been extremely flexible in working with our team and school to help us get to where we need to be. If anyone followed the news this spring, both government shutdowns aligned with two of our tournaments and us traveling was in limbo due to our whole team “belonging” to the military. I could go on and on about his coaching and the sacrifices he has made for our team, but I won’t. Feel free to find me at regionals to talk more about this, but bottom line give Carl the award.
Kainoa (Noa) Chun-Moy
I look forward to this weekend and will update my post after Regionals with thoughts on players from other teams. However, I just wanted to highlight a few more Air Force players to watch out for.
Noa Chun-Moy- Humbly excluded himself in his post above. Tenacious defender with top-end quickness and intelligence. Drives the d-line offense with great effectiveness through throw-and-goes, attacking the breakside, and sending the deep ball. Noa’s a very cerebral player with the ability to break down what an offense is doing and identify matchups across the line. Though I usually relegate him to the primary handler role, he’s also a dynamic cutter utilizing his quicks to attack space a defender thinks he’s locked down.
Ted Jantscher- Commands our zones around the disc and provides a confident and calm handler presence to our d-line. Ted is an excellent facilitator with the disc to keep the offense flowing and can uncork a deep bomb at any time to a streaking cutter.
Michael Delatte- Patrols the backend as our primary deep-deep, blankets a tough matchup in man, provides another steady handler to the d-line corp, and is always ready to streak deep to come down with a deep ball. When everything is clicking, watch out for his arsenal of throws.
Justin “Blaze” Blasius- He just gets it. He earned a role on our o-line by being a smart, intuitive cutter understanding how to take advantage of a defender’s positioning. Although his throws are continue to improve, he understands his limits and his role on the line giving us solid cuts to gain yards and finding our handlers on resets. We’re excited for him to forget about the Academy’s parachute team and stick with Afterburn for 3 more years!
Connor Grant- Despite his coach moving him around from role to role throughout the season, he is always ready to do whatever the team needs. He can be a lockdown defender with speed and ups, a solid continuous cutter for our o-line, and has even dabbled with a little bit of handling. This kid is the real deal and I truly hope he finds himself in opportunities to showcase his abilities.
It’s hard to pick only a handful of players to highlight on such a stellar team, but there you have it. Looking forward to Regionals to see how we stack up. Good luck everyone and travel safely!
Air Force Coach
This is Abhi (#0), a Senior at Rice,
Just want to shout out two guys on our squad for all that they contribute:
Brian Walker (Captain): Long haired cutter on the O-Line pretty much gets it when he wants and has the ability to run his man to the ground. Accompany that with his ability to drop dimes off of an in-cut, and you have a really versatile player. He is arguably the most intelligent player on our team, and when asked to play defense, does so with great intensity and smarts. He plays almost every point, and plays as if it’s his first point of the day. Incredible competitor.
Avery Zaleski: Fifth year senior whom without, our offense wouldn’t have been much. He has total control of the offensive flow, dictating with his feet as well as well placed hucks. The quickest player I’ve had the pleasure of guarding every day in practice, Avery can get open whenever he wants and wherever. He will surely be missed next year.
Good luck to everyone at Nationals, and to everyone else it was a pleasure playing against you guys.
This is Brian (#3), a Junior cutter at Rice.
Few quick shout outs:
Spencer, Bruner, Bolthouse
Garrit Headley - Sophomore cutter. Athletic, smart, gets open at ease, and can play D too.
Avery Zaleski - 5th year. Center handler. He is naturally a cutter, but has handled the past two years for us and has been rock solid. Great thrower and sees the field really well, both with the disc in his hand and without. Team would not be anything without him. He’s really nice, so you sometimes forget how much of a bad ass he is in the air. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him not come down with a disc. Almost certainly faster than you.
Good luck at Natis to those who made it.
AJ, Coach of Mines here, wanted to give some Post-Regionals Shout Outs- I intended to keep it short but thats not really in my nature, so enjoy the essay.
Air Force- Alan Villanueva- very clearly worthy of all the praise he receives. Dude has every throw and uses the whole field to make himself un-guard-able. Can’t say enough about his game! Very impressive!
JBU - I forgot your name, but number 15. What a beast. Final game of regionals, both teams were gassed, and this dude is all over the field. His throws are sharp and really show the confidence he has in his teammates. He uses his frame well to get every cut/throw he wants. Real solid player and the kind of person you want on your team come crunch time. 100% confirmed baller.
Mines - Zach Cotter and Thomas Hennen.
Zach is just a gamer. Dude can line up anywhere on the field and have a huge impact on every game. I’m not really a “stats” coach, but I’m sure if you looked at our team’s +/- with him on the field vs him off the field you would notice a very clear trend. He uses his giant ogre-like frame to impose his will on defenses and kid can jump with anyone in the country. An absolutely dominant player on offense and defense and worthy of all-region honors.
Thomas is a fantastic leader and a coach’s dream. I could certainly talk about his decision making or his leadership, but really what sets Thomas apart is the fact that he plays defense with pride. He is always going 100% on defense with honey badger like intensity. This unassuming looking nerd is tough as nails and as scrappy as they come. His physical defense can disrupt even the most efficient offense. Kid has all the invisible intangibles and should be a lock for DIII All-Defense team (if such a thing existed.)
Freshman - You’ll have to excuse my ignorance but I didn’t find out what year other team’s ballers were. So, I just have Mine’s freshies to mention.
Jack Girard - Rarely does a freshman come in ready to handle. Even more rare is a freshman who comes in ready to be a top handler in the region. Kid was a kill-line handler for us from day 1. I’m sure ya’ll noticed Jack at regionals, kid probably played 80% of our points. At the beginning of games, I put him on the D-Line to make sure we can capitalize on turns. When our offense is slumping, I move him over to O-line, where he can dictate the flow of the entire offense. Kid is just that good. His whole team trusts him with the disc in his hand, and to me that speaks volumes for a kids first year. If he works hard and listens to his coach (hint) he will be a Donovan candidate in a couple years. Remember the name. He’ll be busting ankles in this division for years to come!
Lastly, a player of uncommon ferocity and strength. Half Frisbee Player, Half ManBeast. Legend has it that he was abandoned as a child, then raised by a vicious pack of wild wolves…then abandoned by the wolves and raised by a vicious pack of Florida United players. A looming, face-less figure…ready to feast on zone-defenses and sky women and children. His blood lust is legendary around Golden Colorado, where he lives in a cave off campus. His name is never spoken out loud, but fearfully whispered in passing. You hear his name whispered, alone at night, as if carried by the wind…softy…“Ice-Steve”.
A cold shiver runs down your spine and then, like a phantom, its gone.
Shout out to the coach (and players) of Rice. You were BALLIN OUT from the 7-seed and it is a testimant to your system and your buy in. Super disciplined play and great decision making is usually the mark of a well coached team so I tip my hat to you.
Air Force, you carry yourselves like the top team in the country. You got mad swag, but youre not cocky. It’s a fine line that says “I’ve been here before and I’m damn good at it.” I have nothing but respect for your program.
And JBU- your spirit is remarkable. In both games, you played super composed and with uncommon sportmanship. It was pleasure playing you. Our sideline had a discussion about how you played the game as it was meant to be played…so bravo. Also, shout out to Hawaiian shirt JBU-Superfan. Game recognize game.
And finally, I want to tip my hat to everyone we played at Regionals. The integrity and strength of character all our opponents showed was beyond admirable. No chippy play or BS fouls for an entire weekend? That’s unheard of. Seriously, super competitive and high level of play…but a remarkable showing of good spirit and sportsmanship. I would comment of every team if this wasnt already far too long of a write-up. Coaches and captains, lets curate that as a division. We know we have one of the most talented divisions in all of ultimate, and the craziness of this past weekend showed that, top to bottom, this division is ready to ball. Looking for to many years of battles with ya’ll.
Good luck ya’ll! Kick some ass at natties and we look forward to seeing you next year.
Post Regionals Input. Sorry that it’s late, but here we go.
Missouri S&T Solid contributions up and down the roster. Lots of guys were all over the place in their effective zone defense and they had relentless movement in their offense. Here’s a few standouts from our Finals against them.
#48 Justin Flynn. Endless energy, solid cuts all game long, kept their offense moving.
#78 Mitchell Zimmerman. Great handler, attacked the break side with a vengeance, drove the offense with…
#21 Brody Johnson. Another great handler, really worked well in tandem with Zimmerman to form a dominant
#36 Louie Bertoncin. Dynamic in the handler role, great defensive ability.
Rice As a team, they came out on fire with a ton of energy. They punched us in the mouth early and often and gave us a hell of a game. The top players that stood out to me:
#2 Avery. Made plays all over the field. Solid cutter, good throws, nice ups, composed and confident.
#0 Ahbi. Tenacious defender that grinds his mark.
Thanks for the season everyone and good luck to S&T and JBU at Nationals! Hopefully see you there… just not too soon!
Sorry for this really late addition, but I wanted to share my thoughts.
Brenner was their dynamic handle threat and their offense very much ran through him making plays with his throws. He is very talented and works hard on the field, the perfect recipe for a good player.
Bolthouse was their consistency in the back field they needed for when Brenner was taking the shots. His backhand was pure rotation that ignored the wind.
#99 is a rookie I heard. This is insane. He was a monster in the air and worked hard for unders and on defense. Craziness. He is an up and coming player in the region for sure. I am glad I am short and someone else will have to match up with him in the future.
Garret(? not sure on spelling or if I misheard his name) This man was very hard to guard in my experience matching up with him all game. He was their every other look downfield and got the disc eventually. His plan was really just to keep running and wear you down, which works in long tournaments like this. Very huge and athletic bids as well that really did impress.
There are more on John Brown but I can not remember names and want to give some time to other schools, apologies.
In my opinion, their best player is Will Imming. He is their every other look when he is downfield and makes plays with his throws. I was very surprised he was not mentioned in any of the other posts, since he has been making defensive and offensive plays in the region for years. His help defense shuts down a lot of the deep space.
Shout outs to Brody and Louie as well, they both serve their roles on the team well and obviously were very successful leaders in taking their team to Nationals this year.
An up and coming player for Rolla is Nate, he was a Sophomore this year and played and their D-Line as an anti-zone handle. I wish this boy would have come to Truman, but sadly, he ended up a bit South. He has great throws and athletic defense. Excited to see what he turns into as he gets more experience.
This team had 9 dudes and competed against all of us at sectionals. Jimmy and JD were their main two driving forces and they worked it up in the zone like masters. One of them deserved a nod here for their effort, they played to universe with Rolla I believe on day two of conferences. Very impressive work from them this year.
I am really sorry Harding, but I did not catch many of your guys names when we played you twice. One cutter really stood out, I think his number was 10. He made a bunch of defensive plays as well as skying people in the wind. He caught everything that was thrown to him that weekend. They also had a handle named Blake who had very good throws and great athletic grabs. He had springs in his legs as well.
Mines, Rice, Airforce: We did not get the opportunity to play them this spring, but others have talked about them a bit already.
I will admit here, I am a bit biased and upset. Not a single other post even mentions our team as a heading. I guess this is an Ultiworld forum, so they think the only frisbee team in Kirksville is Tsunami. It’s okay I guess, we got a lot of room for improvement, but I will make some suggestions to educate the people on our roster a bit.
Jacob Jackson: Senior, Captain, friend. Jacob stepped back to handle a bit this year in his final year. Just kidding he will be back for a fifth. Oh boy, this man put in work this year and was almost always open downfield. He finally developed a little bit of a flick huck which aided our offense. He gave his life for the team at conferences in a huge collision with a dude on Hardin, I personally thought he was dead when they rolled him over and his mouth was full of dirt. I almost started crying because I did not know how we were going to make it to regionals without him. Anyway, he makes plays on both sides of the disc and deserves a nod before he graduates for real.
Dane Bossert: He was our rookie that baptized a man on Rolla during our game with him. If he plays again next year and does not join the track team, he is gonna tear it up again. Be afraid.
Andrew Richter(Mittens): He was elected captain right after regionals and there is a reason why, he is the future our our team. He stepped back to handle from cutting this year because he can throw. He has some kinks to work out but he gets open almost at will and shuts his an down on defense. Watch out for him his next two years.
Me(Sean Eberle): Hey guys, its me, Sean. I am number 0 this year in homage to my favorite NBA player Westbrook. I will be captaining again next year so see you all in the flips again.