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.
Starting with players not on my own team (Swarthmore), Jordan Acker and Jake Murray (#s 24 and 14, I believe) on Haverford are an incredible 1-2 punch. They’re really the backbone of the Haverford offense, and they were such a challenge to contain at sectionals. Jake has improved so much, and his hucks have gotten incredible to match his great handler cuts. Jordan is an incredible iso cutter who will beat defenders to any space on the field.
We didn’t play Franciscan, but we got to watch them at Pigout and Dom Schuster is pretty good, I guess. Definitely hasn’t lost a step, his throws were great.
On my team, we have a lot of people that should be considered for all-freshman team.
Kevin ‘Frogger’ Stewart-Mercurio has had an immediate impact as one of our top handlers this year. He was one of our best o-line handlers from the first tournament of the season, and when injuries happened to other players, he crossed over to become one of our best d-line handlers. His athleticism and throwing versatility make him unstoppable.
Geoffrey ‘The Toast’ Cater has been one of the most consistently excellent d-line cutters. He takes on the hardest matchup every game and still ends up leading our team in blocks at each tournament. On a turn, he’s got fantastic speed and hucks.
Shane ‘Gritty’ Jones didn’t play at all until sectionals because of injury, then stepped on the field and was immediately our best d-line cutter. He’ll beat you in the air. He’ll beat you with amazing layout blocks. And he’ll just plain outrun you.
Finally, just to shout out some coaches.
Dr. Tom Crawford stepped in as our head coach this year and aside from giving us an unfair advantage in the USAU algorithm, he’s been a rock on our sidelines. We couldn’t have performed the way we did without his composure and expertise.
Also Charlie Hoppes. We’re all going to miss you in this region, and I hope you have a great last season with Messiah. You’ve been such a great presence to play against and learn from, thank you.
Chris Wurtz, or Riggs, #1 for Shippensburg here.
Wanted to shout out a few Messiah guys who were a pain to deal with at Conferences and should be looked out for at Regionals.
#94 Nate Harnish
Messiah’s go-to guy. He’s a cutter but seems to always have the disc in his hands. Their offense runs through him and his vast array of break throws and inverts. Phenomenal at putting the disc out in space where only his guy can get it even when the downfield defense is tight. Great in the air, too. Sick puller, huge IO pull that comes down halfway through the end zone every time.
#81 Zach Feister
Explosive cutter who seems to be perpetually open. Smooth cuts, effortless hucks. Real nice guy too.
#5 Matt O’Neil
This kid came out of no where. Had no clue who he was until the conference championship game when he killed us with his athleticism. Freak athlete, always a threat to sky you or make a huge layout grab. One of the fastest guys I’ve ever covered.
Hey everyone, Jacob “Morty” Schwartz #15 offensive handler for Ram Jam (Wooster).
I have a few people from my team and some teams we have competed against that I would like to nominate for the All Region team and All Rookie team. Sorry it’s so long but I think these guys all deserve the recognition!
Gabe Gerry #3 Offensive Handler (Wooster)
Gabe is one of the fundamental building blocks to our offense. He’s got a deep arsenal of throws. He is a beast at breaking down zone defenses and has an absolute missile of a backhand. He also has developed into a very consistent cutter, laying out for some huge plays this season. On top of his play on the field, Gabe has been a great leader sharing his knowledge of the game.
Taylor “Crop Top” Myers #27 Defensive Handler (Wooster)
Taylor has been a captain on Ram Jam and D-line leader for the past three years. This year he has really stepped it up to a new level, helping the O line cut through zone defenses, throwing big hucks for scores, and leading by example when on defense. He is definitely one of the hardest working and most graceful defenders in our division both on and off the disc. Watch this man layout!
Charlie Quigley #4 Offensive Cutter (Wooster)
I genuinely don’t know what I would do without this guy on my line. Charlie is the most reliable cutter that I have ever played with. He has no problem consistently getting wide open for unders and deep shots. I trust Charlie to come down with any disc thrown in his direction thanks to his height and ability to elevate. He’s also got a cannon of an arm, not afraid to sling it deep after catching an under. For those curious, Charlie is responsible for 90% of our highlights from our 2018 highlight video.
Jason Rains #42 Handler (Ohio Northern)
Jason is one of the most dangerous and accurate throwers in our region. Every time the disc is in his hands, he has the potential to end the point with just one throw. His upside-down throws made our zone irrelevant. Has the potential to open up the defense at any time with his accuracy and smooth fundamentals.
Pink Visor Handler (Xavier)
Sorry I don’t know your name but for the past four years I remember you causing problems for us. He has great fundamentals and did a good job hitting arounds vs us, really breaking down our defense. Got up to sky our guys a couple times. All around great leader on both sides of the disc.
Curtis Kinnaman #37 Defensive Handler (Wooster)
Although he is just a Rookie, Curtis is already one of the most valuable members of our squad. His power and creativity with the disc make him problem for any defense. Uses his athleticism and quick cuts to get himself open and stay tight on his man on defense. He’s a hard worker on both sides of the disc, never afraid to put his body on the line. Watch out for his monster pulls!
Nicholas Scherson #1 Defensive Cutter (Wooster)
Nick is the fastest player on our team and utilizes his speed to create separation on his cuts. Is calm and chilly on the disc, knows his limits and never forces throws. He has really found his role on the team and does an excellent job filling it.
Hey there, Jordan Acker (Haverford #24) here. First of all, thanks to all the OV teams for giving us so many memorable, exciting games at regionals over the past four years. I will definitely miss it!
Now, some of my thoughts on standout players we faced at regionals:
Jaime Roop (Shippensburg #2) - big time thrower who really quarterbacked his team’s offense with big flick hucks and sound fundamentals.
Zach Von Eiff (Cedarville #24) - Great athlete who wins battles in the air, but even moreso has accurate hucks and is great at facilitating their offense with quick disc movement. Impressive improvement over the past year, and I’m sure he was a huge part of their run to the finals.
Malachi Marshall (Cedarville #1) - strong all around player whose excellent backhands tore up our zone in the wind. Also very dangerous with his ability to throw and go.
Jake Kenniv (Cedarville #15) - lanky receiver with good air game, low release throws, and decision-making, plus a very scary mark. All three of these Cedarville guys are very good players on their own, but their chemistry together was particularly impressive.
Dom Schuster (Franciscan # 22) - Guarding him for most of two games this year has left me truly inspired by the way he plays ultimate. Beyond all the break throws, it’s really his incredible accuracy and decision-making that stand out. Plus, he’s a patient facilitator; despite being a superstar he is willing to trust his teammates and always picks the best moment to take over. And he does this while playing every single point. I really doubt there’s a better player in the entire division.
On an extremely young Haverford team that entered regionals with just 4 players who played significant minutes last year, a few of my teammates and our coach deserve a lot of recognition for keeping us competitive during a big rebuilding year:
Jake Murray (Haverford #14) - should be a lock for 1st team all region. As a primary initiator, Jake gets open on about 95% of iso cuts with his remarkable quickness; then once he gets the disc, he unleashes an array of powerful hucks and dazzling break throws. He’s a layout D machine on defense, throws consistently great pulls, and beats much taller people in the air on sheer willpower. Jake is an absolute monster on the field and measures up against anyone in the region besides Dom.
Gabe Halperin-Goldstein (Haverford #18) - Gabe will never be recognized enough, because he won’t thrill you with huge deep throws or blinding speed. For 4 years he has been the rock in our backfield, but this year he took it to another level. His fakes and breaks are devastating and literally put marks on the ground, his nifty reset cuts are always open, and he got into fantastic shape to become one of our best defenders as well. Given his huge workload and consistent excellence, Gabe ought to make at least 2nd team.
Michael Weber (Haverford #72) - Battled knee injuries all year long that never really healed, yet somehow still found a way to get layout Ds and lock down tough matchups when it mattered most. His hucks, breaks, and nifty throws on zone offense also proved invaluable.
Harry Taussig (Haverford #12) - A standout among a wonderful rookie class, Harry immediately became a primary O-line handler. Rarely looking anything like a rookie, his poise, hucks, and breaks impressed all season long, along with his remarkable ability to rip discs out of the sky as a deep deep. Harry should get all-freshman consideration, and watch out for him in the years to come!
Bobby Roos (Coach) - our team had just 3 seniors and 4 juniors on the entire roster this year, after graduating over half our core that led us to consecutive games-to-go. Bobby’s superb coaching allowed us to develop our 15 (!!) rookies while remaining a very strategically focused team that could still compete with the top tier of the region. I know he is not as widely known as some other coaches in the region, but that ought to change as he is just as valuable as any of them.
hello all, I’m Charlie Hoppes and I coach the Messiah Falcons. I wanted to shout out a few players from around the region today while it is still fresh. Of course I didn’t see everyone, so I will spare everyone and only cover the teams that Messiah played this season at some point.
Max Franklin, Swarthmore #92 - Max is a senior, luckily for everyone not on the Earthworms. One of the most impactful single players we saw this season. Outstanding awareness offensively and defensively; I could talk about his breaks and hucks, but more than any of that he simply looks like he sees everything happen in slow motion. Gotta be First Team All-Region.
Chris Wurtz, Shippensburg #1 - We knew Shippensburg’s initiation set by heart, and could not stop this man from getting the disc. Endless energy.
Jordan Acker, Haverford #24 - Jordan is space is an absolute nightmare. When guarding him, you cannot pick a direction to take away that hurts less than another.
Jake Kenniv, Cedarville #15 - Cedarville beat us on the strength of their wall, and Jake keystoned that strength.
Zach Von Eiff, Cedarville #24 - It didn’t seem like they were looking for Zach, which made the impact he had offensively so impressive. It was all within flow, and he never missed a look.
Here’s my homer picks, but I do have to say this first–we finished 11th last year, 7th the year before. We had 2 seniors this season. A collection of juniors and sophomores carried the team to a conference title, to a one-seed, and to the regional semifinals when no one expected anything of them, and when they had never accomplished anything like this before. Messiah players typically don’t get much love in these votes, but I earnestly believe two guys are first team locks, with another group worthy of at least second team consideration.
Nate “Pam” Harnish, Messiah #94 - Junior. We ran everything through this guy. The burden we placed on his was extraordinary, and he carried us with his giant throws, huge skies, unbelievable blocks and passionate leadership. If you thought we were a good team this year, vote Pam to the first All-Region team.
Matt “Cheeto” O’Neil, Messiah #5 - Sophomore. Breakaway speed, shutdown defense, and human highlight reel plays. Anything I say about Cheeto makes me sounds like an over-hyper, so I’m at a loss. Simply put, he’s one of the best playmakers I’ve coached in my 9 years with Messiah. First Team All-Region.
Dan “Kirby” Vallette, Messiah #7 Sophomore. Unflappable triggerman for our offense, with a knack for getting back any turnover he throws personally, and then some.
Josh Beiler, Messiah #56 Sophomore. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen someone make so many plays based on pure will and nothing else. So many skies where guys just bounce off of him. So my layout blocks where it looked like he had no shot.
Mitchell “Whitebread” Lauer, Messiah #11 Junior. Whitebread’s game stands out about as much as the loaves he is named after. He isn’t flashy, he dumps and swings, he doesn’t lay out, or really even jump. But he was an offensive rock for us, played nearly every single point all season, and was without question our best defender. Fundamental, boring, and completely irreplaceable.
Zach “Boom Boom” Feister, Messiah #81 Senior. Boom Boom was one of two holdovers from the 2016 team that won West Penn Conferences and went to the regional final. His quiet leadership and explosive playmaking was complemented this season by his all-around development.
On a personal note, 2019 was my final season coaching Messiah. I started coaching the season USAU split the college division into D-I and D-III, and I’ve been honored to coach against so many talented, spirited, amazing teams in this region in the 9 seasons since. I want to especially shout out Shippensburg, Dickinson, and Oberlin for being the kind of rivals that make the sport fun–competitive, spirited, good people who pour everything into their games season after season, a culture that makes locking horns with you a joy I will miss dearly. Thanks to everyone for dealing with my bad jokes on the sideline, with me fucking up the score constantly, and for being a wonderful region to call home for almost a decade. Best of luck to all!
Great regionals, everyone! I’m Max, a senior at Swarthmore.
This weekend, we had the privilege and misfortune (they stomped us) of having to play both Franciscan and Cedarville.
On Franciscan, Dom Schuster is obviously the go-to guy. He’s probably an easy pick for player of the region. Aside from him, #5 (whose name I don’t know, sorry) did a lot of the handling work and did a good job picking apart our zone. Aside from these two, Franciscan was really deep.
On Cedarville, the player who really jumped out to me was Malachi Marshall. We tried to stop his throws and just couldn’t. He did a great job making their o-line click. Zach Von Eiff was also impressive. He has the tools to be a standout player on both O and D, but he was especially good at playing within their system and making the whole team better with his skills.
I’d also like to shout out Cedarville as a whole. They were by far the most spirited, fun team we played this season, and I had a fantastic time in that game. They also had a stable of good players; I don’t remember names other than Malachi and Zach, but I think all-region arguments could be made for several of their other players.
We didn’t get a chance to play Messiah in the spring, but we did see them in the fall and Nate Harnish is a monster. He is so so good
Finally, on my own team, Rye Buckley missed a lot of this season because of injuries, but he came back for regionals and was a dominant force downfield.
Hi friends! Nate ‘Pam’ Harnish (Messiah #94) Just wanted to shout out a few standout players from our region this year.
Dom Schuster, Franciscan #22: Didn’t get to play Franciscan this year but saw them play several times. This guy does it all, not much more to say. It was frustratingly amazing to glance over at the final and see him going every other, shredding the Cedarville zone which caused us so much trouble in semis.
Jake Murray, Haverford #14: Super underrated guy who came on to my radar at regionals last year. Carries a big workload, great throws, very quick and well executed cuts.
Max Franklin, Swarthmore #92: Great human being, also happens to be damn good at ultimate. Exceptional vision, blindingly quick, smooth throws, and crazy athletic plays. Sad to see him graduate.
Zack Hunsberger, Shippensburg #32: While Jamie (#2) and Riggs (#1) hold down the handler space for Ship, Zack is downfield eating up yards and making great decisions with the disc. Cool to see him take on a bigger role this year. Annoyingly persistent when cutting and great at gaining separation in small spaces.
Matt ‘Cheeto’ O’Neil, Messiah #5: The man is stupid fast, stupid quick, and stupid explosive. Plays lockdown defense on handlers and cutters, doesn’t matter. Chases down stuff he has no business getting to and routinely seemingly floats to make grabs. Made my job very easy this year.
Dan “Kirby” Vallette, Messiah #7: Sophomore center handler. Smooth throws to space, crisp break throws, accurate mid-range hucks, and routinely finds holes in zones and hits them. Also an outstanding defender on a turn.
Charlie Hoppes, Messiah Head Coach: As most of you know Charlie is now officially retired from coaching Messiah. I cried after our semi-final and it wasn’t really because we had lost, it was because it was my last game playing under this guy. Charlie has influenced so many people in the ultimate community, and in this region, on and off the field. It’s incredible and inspiring how much passion he has both for the game, but also more importantly the people who play it. He played a huge role in my development as a player, a leader, and most importantly as a person. The combination of his care for players, ability to teach, and knack for strategy, makes Charlie a rare breed of coach. Will miss him deeply next year.
Ian Gill here, Coach of Franciscan Fatal to chime in for All-Region. I liked the format for regionals, but we didn’t get to play as many teams so here is what I have:
Grove City - #6 with the handlebar mustache was a talented player on their team, didn’t catch his name though.
Haverford’s Jordan Acker has already gotten the credit he deserves for his nasty cuts, the guy is a stud.
Oberlin’s Jacob Arons and Julian Bregstone are the backbone of a really talented team. It’s a shame that OV doesn’t have multiple bids, otherwise these guys would make a splash at nationals.
Cedarville’s handler that kinda looked like Jesus. He had some divine throws.
As for my players:
Dom Schuster I get it, you get it. It’s like Lebron’s return to Cleveland and I’m Ty Lue.
Louis Heisler Also making his return, these two are my Jordan and Pippen (sorry another basketball reference). Both Louis and Dom had triple-doubles on regionals weekend for goals/assists/D’s
Nick “Brody” O’Brien our tall center handle that throws bombs and shreds zones with finesse.
Freshman of the year nomination Matthew Muldoon, he is actually Dom’s cousin, so ultimate runs in the family. This guy is a solid role-player, always looking to fill in the gaps when needed and make the plays that need to be made.
Chris Wurtz (Shippensburg #1) here again. Wanted to give some credit to a couple of our guys.
Zack Hunsberger #32
Has to be considered for second team all-region and I really think he’d be considered for first team if more teams in the region had gotten a look at him. Truly the heart and soul of our team, assisted on or scored over 50% of our goals this weekend. Incredibly well-rounded player, crisp cuts that I haven’t seen anybody be able shut down yet. Advanced, veteran knowledge of the game. Only a junior so still another year coming to make even more of a name for himself.
Evan Hake #3: Bred from Pittsburgh high school ultimate, this kid’s knowledge of the game tops any freshman’s I’ve ever seen. Phenomenal feel for where to be and when to be there. He’s even taken on a sort of coaching presence to help mentor our young team. He’s got a throw for every situation; high-releases, breaks, inverts, etc. Just about all a program could hope for in a freshman.
Logan Hall #4: Uber-athletic freshman with no prior ultimate experience, coming from a background in baseball. Fearless when it comes to throwing his body around and can be trusted to win any 50/50. Regularly pulls down discs over guys he has no business skying. Will be a dangerous deep threat in the region for years to come.
Hey guys Eric Coglianese (#2) from Xavier BLOB here to shout out a few people I believe should be considered for all region:
Dan Vallette, Messiah #7: This dude was a pain to guard with an incredibly quick first step making him dangerous on throw and goes. In addition, he had some very crisp throws to space that dismantled our defense. The fact that this guy is only a sophomore is ridiculous. He’s gonna be a problem for other OV teams in the future.
Max Franklin, Swarthmore #92: We didn’t play Swarthmore this year but competed against them in quarters last year and Max was unreal. I’m assuming he’s just as good if not better this year
Malachi Marshall, Cedarville #1: We played Cedarville twice and both times Malachi was excellent. Accurate throws, smart decisions, and quick cuts made him a point for us to shut down. But even with us focused on stopping him, he still made some big plays. Also plays with outstanding spirit.
From Xavier there are a few people I believe should be considered for all-region as well:
Sam Settlemyre, Xavier #14: Most people who know Sam recognize him as the guy with the pink visor but this weekend he was wearing a tan one. Sam has been a captain of our team for three years and is our center O-line handle. Sam always plays with a level head and looks to always make the right play over the big play. He facilitates our offense with incredible break throughs, accurate hucks, and smart decisions. His defense is often overlooked as he constantly takes one of the top handles on the other team and does a great job.
Sammy Fox, Xavier #19: Sammy is a lockdown defender who constantly takes the toughest cutter on the opposing team. He plays big and physical and often bids through his matchup to make big plays for our D line. On the other side of the disc, Sammy creates tremendous flow for our offense and has solid continuation throws with a laser flick huck.
For all freshmen, we have two people on BLOB that are very deserving of this recognition:
Trevor Russell #8: An incredibly athletic cutter who has a very quick first step and uses it to get open on his cuts. On defense, he barely lays out because his top speed is so fast that he simply runs through his matchup. He developed consistent upfield throws and arounds and became a pivotal player for us throughout the season.
John Gruter #5: He came in as a cutter but early in the spring semester we moved him to a handler, a brand-new position. He went through some growing pains but by the end of the semester he had the position figured out and was instrumental as a Dline handler, helping us get breaks.