Who are the best players in the Southwest region? This is an open thread to discuss All-Region nominations, All-Freshman nominations, coaching awards, and more. Stay positive and keep it civil.
Well its before regional’s so its hard to say, but here are a bunch of dudes that are good at frisbee. Will probably make real teams post regionals.
Caleb Merriam, Cal Poly SLO
Ian Sweeney, Cal Poly SLO
Sean Liston, Cal Poly SLO
Dillon Whited, Cal Poly SLO
Nate PettyJohn, Cal Poly SLO
Conor Schofield, Cal Poly SLO
Justin Ting, Cal Poly SLO
Sam Cook, USC
Wyatt Paul, USC
David Sealand USC
Nick Hirning Stanford
Kevin Tien Stanford
Mike Becich Stanford
Alex Pan Cal
Eric Hytonen UCSD
Mazden Mastruno UCSD
Bryce Lozinski UCSD
Kieran Bates UCSB
Robby Odun UCSB
Noah Anderson UCLA
Michael Peng UCLA
Nick Tolfa UC Davis
Probably missing some other players from some teams I haven’t seen this year.
after watching Cal Poly Slo, I can say that both Calvin Brown and Emmet Holton looked extremely solid at all times on the field, and they should both be considered for the all rookie team/whatever rookie awards there are. Additionally, a team that gets very little love is Las Positas College, and #98 (I believe) Wyatt Berreman is an athletic freak who can take any matchup and play any position. I have played against him in the past and he’s a super nice guy who’s a dominant force on the field. I also think that UCLA’s #4 Michael Peng is one of the best in the region that gets overlooked a lot. he’s a workhorse and never seems to let fatigue show when playing, putting in solid possession after solid possession. A talented player with the most chill personality i’ve ever seen, he definitely deserves some recognition.
UC Davis does not get enough credit for their recent successes. Guided by Nick Tolfa, their potential as a team is finally being fully realized with high energy and a very efficient offense. Austin Lourie leads O-Lines with very level-headed play and is a huge support on the sidelines, and super speedy cutters like Julius Vo (who stands at 5’5”) open up the deep space for big shots. Their D-Line runs deep with players like Daniel Speer and John Nguyen who put the pressure on. Speer’s huge mark and Nguyen’s dump defense lockdown throwers in the backfield.
Those UCSD boys listed are pretty amazing and work well together. I think the last name for Mazden might be spelled wrong but luckily the first name is unique.
Garrett Hable (#88) from Arizona is one of the most underrated players in the Southwest.
Wyatt Paul for USC is one of the most intelligent offensive players out there.
Unmentioned for Cal Poly SLO so far in this thread, K.j. Koo #27. As a freshmen he creates space and separation on offense and Takes methodical shots with precision. In the SoCal final, he was consistently opening up downfield looks.
Daniel Speer for UC Davis is having an impact on both sides of the disc. Their Sean Ryan highlight video seemed to almost be cut as a Callahan vid for him.
If you don’t want to read about at UC Davis player talking about other UC Davis players, don’t read this.
Here are some guys on the Dogs that have stood out:
Austin “Big Al” Lourie, grad student from South Carolina. Showed up this year and brought a fire to the team and a desire to win. Will not talk about anything but frisbee. A true asset both on the field and to the freshman as a blueprint of what a great teammate looks like.
Elliot Wilde, a 5th year rookie who played on the B team by choice in prior years. This kid is sneakily the most athletic kid in norcal, and is an extremely gifted thrower.
Dylan Pyle, I don’t even know what year he is, but 3rd year vet and one of the most underrated players I’ve met. Not the tallest guy, but will sky your tallest guy, and can lock up an opposing team’s best cutter.
Julius Vo, 4th year vet. Julius has found his role in the offense as a threat all over the field. He can carve out huge unders, beat defenders deep, or work as a give and go handler.
Devin Hom, 3rd year vet. extremely savvy handler with all the throws, and quickness to reset the disc effortlessly.
Spencer Sawyer, 4th year vet. Super underrated handler in norcal, and such a positive on and off the field presence.
Keenan McKelvey, 1st year rookie. Will be the best thrower in norcal in two years.
Ben Elliot, 2nd year rookie. Most athletically gifted person I have met, looks like a 4th year out on the field. I will be terrified to play against him after another year under his belt.
Nick Tolfa, 5th year vet. Everyone in the region knows how talented Tolfa is as a player, but if you don’t play for the Dogs, you may not know his character. Since his first year on the team, he has carried the program on his shoulders. The reason the Dogs have made it to Regionals and finished well for 5 years in a row, despite large veteran turnover and coaching changes is because of Tolfa. His passion for the game, competitiveness, and love for the Dogs program rubs off on everyone around him, and is the foundation of our program year after year. Tolfa is currently getting his teaching credential at Davis, which is a challenging and time consuming program. Regardless of that, he still chose to captain the team for his last year, and puts forth more effort and time towards our program than anyone else. You cannot find me a better teammate and leader than Nick, I guarantee it.
Agree that Davis had a transformative season, and that they are playing very efficient ultimate through Tolfa and the other guys listed above.
In addition to Alex Pan, Cal-Berkeley rosters some fine candidates:
- Thomas Lin (anchor of the defensive line and spirit of the team)
- Joshua Yuan (offensive target and handler-neutralizer)
- Rafael Castro (defensive specialist, quietly getting dope blocks within the system)
Another Davis player here.
If you had the opportunity to watch or play against the Dogs this year, I am sure you could see how incredibly valuable Nick Tolfa was to our team. He is one amazing player and was consistently our rock throughout the season, making big plays on both sides of the disc whenever we needed it all the while doing the little things right. In my five years of college ultimate, he is undoubtedly one of the best players/teammates/captains I have played with.
After capturing the second bid to Nationals, Cal has had a historic season that prompts multiple nominations for the All-Region squads.
Alex Pan (#19), Tommy Lin (#25) and Ashwin Vaidyanathan (#17) have been anchoring a deep Cal team in their fourth seasons on UGMO. With the ability to consistently generate blocks on defense and dictate the tempo of each offensive point, Alex, Tommy, and Ashwin played a massive role in Cal’s bid to Nationals. After watching the game-to-go against USC, it is without question that they should be on the All-Region first team.
Cal’s season rests on the shoulders of their tremendous defense. Raf Castro (#4), Brian Kooperberg (#77) and Jace Bruner (#15) have consistently demonstrated that they can take it upon themselves to generate clutch blocks and convert on multiple breaks. These guys have helped carry Cal to multiple come-from-behind victories against the likes of Colorado State and BYU. Cal has broke to win on numerous double-game-points following the heroics of these three.
Evan Magsig (#32), Max Williams (#87), and Drew Palmer (#8) have made immense defensive contributions throughout the season as freshmen. With Evan’s shutdown defense in the backfield, Max’s ability to consistently lull the nation’s best handlers into the trap space, and Drew’s ability to dominate the deep space, Cal’s freshmen have definitely made a case for themselves throughout the season to be on the All-Region Freshmen team.
Coach Dan Silverstein has successfully rebuilt the Cal program to its former glory. With his commitment to his players’ excellence both on and off the field, Dan has invested hundreds of hours this season taking a team with 10 rookies, many of whom were new to the sport, and creating devastating systems that allowed for an entire 25-player roster to contribute throughout the entirety of the season. With Silverstein at the helm, Cal will continue to grow and bolster their talent, and will certainly be a force to be reckoned with in and outside of the Southwest.
Outside of the Cal program, Stanford’s Kevin Tien has consistently demonstrated the ability to carry his team through some close games. I’ve never seen him give anything less than 100% on any given point. Ri Chen is a defensive specialist that will lay out for absolutely anything, and use his speed to shutdown any matchup.
SLO’s Calvin Brown and Caleb Merriam anchored a devastating offensive unit, and definitely deserve praise for their work all season.
*This is all from my own opinion and my own perspective as a 4th year player on Cal UGMO, where I was primarily an O-line cutter this season.
Alex Pan (#19) is the center handler, and backbone for almost all of our offensive strategies. Teams we face continually put their top defender on Alex, yet he is always open for an upline, always able to throw the breakside throw, and continues to huck to open cutters downfield undeterred. When I’m trapped on the sideline and starting to panic, I just think back to what Alex said to me before the point - looking me straight in the eye saying “hey Josh, just look for me, and I gotchu. I’ll be open.” and so I look at him and here Alex comes right towards me wide open with his guy four steps behind or bent in half already. Ultiworld loves writing about this guy, and photographers love taking photos of him too - if you ever come face to face with him in a casual setting, you will understand why.
Ashwin Vaidyanathan (#17) is in my opinion, our team’s best all around specialist. Ashwin’s brain is his biggest weapon. If you watch him on O, he shreds any team’s zone with his perfectly spaced cuts, perfectly timed crashes, and perfectly executed fake-fake-fake-throw (off hand). On D, he matches up against players who tower over him physically, but Ashwin’s wittiness, quickness, and prediction abilities all result in him gathering blocks. Off the field, he writes long emails and compiles detailed film analyses for our entire team. This guy doesn’t know how to dance, but will dance with more effort than you’ve seen before. Some of his best kept secrets are that he’s also one of the “best” Settlers of Catan players in the nation, and has at least one (original content) Youtube videos with ~2mil views.
Tommy Lin (#25) is our senior captain and is the epitome of leading by example. On the field he’s never caught with his hands on his knees and always giving his all. If you somehow manage to cut upline with him defending you, he’ll be right there on that inside shoulder, and if unfortunately your thrower throws it, you should probably start playing D because Tommy will have bid for it, caught it, and slid forward on the grass several yards. Sorry! Outsides of games, he leads us all through our elite GPP warmup and never misses any of our gym or field workouts. He’s a close friend, and I’ve seen how much he’s sacrificed (school, career, social life, etc), all just to encourage everyone on UGMO and push us all to our very best. Hands down also one of the best smilers on our team, nicest guy on the team, and probably the best bass player in the entire college ultimate scene. Yup.
Brian Kooperberg (#77) was our defensive answer to some of our largest rival’s best players. When Stanford tried their “throw it deep and high to Mike Becich” strategy, Brian Kooperberg came along and implicitly implied “hi my name is Brian Kooperberg, not Mike Becich, so why do you keep throwing it to me?” every time he jumped, and slapped (or caught) the disc out of the air. Sectionals and Regionals have absolutely magnified the difference he makes on the D line. Brian knows more about every single sport and the history of those sports than anyone else I’ve met, and also once partnered up with me in a CS project where he helped me and we did really well. His voice range also lies a whole octave plus a few whole steps below yours.
Jace Bruner (#15) aka Big J, because he makes the biggest plays on our team. If this guy is guarding you, I am so sorry, because if you even so much as think about how you’re going to catch a disc, Jace will come from behind you and just snatch it without any physical contact. Imagine a defender who doesn’t fall for your jabs, doesn’t get tricked by your hesi move, and doesn’t know how to run slower than you… Without a doubt, you need him on your universe line, and I can say with confidence that he will make a positive difference for any and all double game points. Outstanding guy on and off the field too. Has super blue eyes.
Evan Magsig (#33), Max Williams (#87), and Drew Palmer (#8), as mentioned above by gupnotGoP are some of the top rookies in the region. All three of them have stepped up into major contributing roles on both our O-line and our D-lines. Watch any of our games, and you will see Drew scoring in the end zone for a break, Evan getting Ds and breaking ankles on O, and hear Max repeatedly reaching stall 7 or 8 on his mark in our zone set before the thrower releases an uncomfortable throw. Each of them have their own unique flavor to bring to this team, and I am so excited for these three as they continue to grow!
I’m going to leave the Cal player list at this (seniors + 1 other player + freshmen).
Sam Cook continues to make great plays as a thrower - releasing from any angle and being able to get the disc anywhere on the field - and as a receiver - skying dudes and grabbing discs way out of reach. But I wonder who he would be and what their team would be without Wyatt Paul. Wyatt comes down with amazing grabs in the air, and when other teams try to adjust their defensive strategy, he just figures out another weakness and capitalizes. Definitely one of the toughest cutters I’ve guarded before. David Sealand is a star on their O and D, and deceivingly fast and physical. One of the toughest matchups on O or D I’ve faced in this region.
I don’t even know most of these guy’s names, but everyone mentioned in this thread is probably great. Shout out to the freshman center handler who wears a visor (#81), as watching him throw and just stay composed is extremely inspiring, and also watching #27 who apparently is also a freshman(?) have ideal spacing and getting open on all his cuts too, is also extremely inspiring. Ian Sweeney literally stands out by being a head taller and am arm longer than everyone else, but he’s also just an amazing defender and a great handler (and cutter). His throws are nearly impossible to stop and he has a deep understanding of the game from all angles.
Nick Tolfa is the one worth mentioning here, and a lot has been said about him already, so I don’t have too much to add. But he plays with confidence, class, and confidence. He’s a spirited player on and off the field. I’m sure he’s a great teammate to have!
UC Santa Cruz
Aaron Hom, small dude with giant calves, has amazing throws and extreme athleticism.
Kevin Tien has my respect for grinding hard up and down the field, on both offense and defense. His team needs him to generate turns and make big plays on offense and defense. Calm and composed. Watching him in his first Spiders (AUDL) game this season was really cool. Nick Nirning is an amazing thrower, with release points that make no sense whatsoever, and with step outs that look so effortless - because, well, he doesn’t really need to step out. Mike Becich is the guy with the obnoxious speakers, and is probably one of the best deep threats in the region. I’d like to see him against some of SLOs top players.
Coach of the Region
Daniel Silverstein (California). This should not even be a competition. But I’ll speak about it briefly. Four years ago, Dan joined UGMO (same time as myself), and his vision was grand - to take UGMO to Nationals. For three years, he planned strategy and player development with seemingly infinite insight. We always gave it our all, but it was never enough. I thought last year would be our best chance to go to Nationals. But this year, Dan spoke up before anyone else, proclaiming that we this year, 2019, we would go to Nationals. Step by step, everything started to align. All his thoughts and plans the previous years suddenly made more sense. Coming into Regionals this past weekend, we felt so confident and well, we did it. Dan did it.
Dan brought together a bunch of dudes who’ve never played ultimate before, who never believed in themselves as athletes, and a bunch of dudes who prioritized school and career before frisbee, and concocted an impeccable plan - one which would carry Cal UGMO from sometimes-sunny Berkeley, CA down to probably-sunnier Austin, TX!!
Reno player here. These guys have really stood out to me over the past four years:
Alex Pan (Cal): Dude has got an endless motor, buttery throws, and is super spirited. Go watch the game-to-go if you need proof.
Nick “Junior” Dahms (Chico): U24 tryout invitee who was the heart and soul of a Chico team that made it to Regionals with 9(?) players. Didn’t shine as much this year since he had to handle the majority of the time, but he is an absolute handful to guard in the cutting space
Nick Tolfa (Davis): Pretty much everything has been said about this guy already, but he’s a baller on the field and is a great leader for the Dogs
Chris Townsend (Humboldt): had to edit this post to give this guy some props. Like Ashwin said below, this guy is a super athletic defender who is able to grind in the cutting space on a turn. Super spirited player who is a fun matchup.
Daniel “Tello” Ortiz (Reno): I’ve got to give some love to my teammate here. Tello is a fiery D-line stalwart who commands the offense on a turn. Keep an eye out for him returning next year.
Ryan “Taz” Messersmith (Santa Clara): An absolute workhorse cutter for SCAB. A cutter who can sky you deep and toss some dimes, Taz does it all for SCAB. Good defender as well.
Nick Hirning (Stanford): He’s got great throws and is able to get open at will. You all know how good this guy is.
Conor Schofield (SLO): Speedy cutter with huge ups. Please don’t make me guard him.
Sam Cook (USC): He’s good.
Wyatt Paul (USC): Also good.
Aaron Hom (UCSC): I didn’t get to play against Aaron this year, but he is definitely one of the best handlers in the region. He’s a really talented thrower and is super shifty in the backfield.
I definitely missed some people, but these guys are ballers.
Stanford player here. Here are some people from our team and other teams we’ve faced this season who I believe should be locks for all-region:
Nick Hirning #33-Stanford: I’ve thought for a long time that Nick was the most talented and unstoppable player in the region, but I think he really showed it this year. He can throw any throw around anyone, and always gets open whenever we need him to. He’s also incredible in the air, and came down with literally every sky ball to him or his man on defense during the postseason, including a filthy sky D vs. USC on Sunday and a stall 9 goal over three Arizona defenders. He took over games regularly this year, and showed a lot of growth in leadership since last season too. Our team asks so much from Nick, and he delivered over and over again.
Mike Becich #28-Stanford: I’d be willing to vouch for Mike over any deep receiver in the nation. He scored 112 goals this season (over 25% of our total goals!!!), many of which were posters on people mentioned in this thread. He has an endless motor for his cuts, grinding his defender to the ground with enough energy left over to pump our team after every single point with cheers and his “obnoxious boombox.” He also makes so many unbelievable catches on throws that most observers would rule uncatchable, and I’m pretty sure every team we’ve played this season has witnessed at least one of those OMG catches I’m talking about. Mike’s also stepped up his defense significantly since last year, eating up any floaty throws to his man and catching up on help defense through his improved awareness and just sheer will. Mike is our lone graduating player this year, and it would be downright buh-lasphemous for him to be left off of all-region after his performance this season.
Caleb Merriam, Dillon Whited, Sean Liston-SLO: These guys are already 1st teamers from last season I think, and it goes without saying that they’re still top tier in the region. I wish we’d gotten to play against them more in their last season :’(
Alex Pan, Ashwin Vaidyanathan-Cal: Both are great throwers and shifty handlers. Alex is clearly the engine that makes Cal’s offense go. He’s super solid with the disc and can take over possessions with break throws, resets, and hucks when he needs to. Ashwin does a great job of taking advantage of his matchup on a turn to generate breaks for Cal’s d-line. Both he and Alex seem like very cerebral players, rarely making mistakes and always doing all the small things to save possessions. Clutch huck in the game to go’s last possession too.
Sam Cook, Wyatt Paul-USC: These guys can flat out ball. Sam and Wyatt play a great two man game in both the backfield and deep space, and can come up with absurdly athletic plays at any given moment. The have a complete package of quickness, defense, and throws, which creates a matchup nightmare. Sam in particular has a full toolset of throws that can exploit any part of the field, which is what makes the Wyatt and David Sealand so dangerous downfield. I would put Sam and Wyatt on all-region for sure because they’re so disc dominant, and put Sealand and Hill Bailett as maybe/honorable mention.
Nick Tolfa-UC Davis: Great do-it-all player for Davis, seems like he’s been in that role for a while and has only gotten better with time. Has great throws and works hard downfield and on defense. Agree with what’s been said about him above, especially about his personality and kindness.
- Colin Grant #13-Stanford: SLO’s freshmen have gotten a ton of hype this season, and while Calvin Brown and KJ Koo have been great for SLO’s O-line, I would argue that no freshman in the region played a bigger role for their team than Colin did for Stanford. Despite only starting the sport in his senior year at Gunn, Colin’s been one of our best cutters and defenders all season long. He’s incredible in the air, super reliable with the disc, and has a dime flick huck that has made a huge difference for our offensive flow. We also ask him to cross over to defense on important points, on which he’s shown great poise beyond his years. He played the fifth most points at regionals for our team, and his +/- on the season was the third highest of our team. In our last game vs. USC, he had 4 goals and 3 assists. As a freshman.
- Calvin Brown, KJ Koo, Emmett Holton-SLO: Great players, also killed us at Lei Out
- Phillip Cathers, David Mondry-Stanford: Two juniors who stepped up into large handling roles this year. Phillip is arguably our most reliable thrower and is a super tenacious defender. Mondry can open up the field with stellar hucks, and is impossible to body on backfield resets. Both played large minutes, crossing over from their lines often.
- Conor Schofield, Ian Sweeney-SLO: The Conor+Dillon 1-2 punch is really tough to stop on SLO’s offense, and Conor seems to consistently make athletic plays and solid throws. Ian is also a terrific player who is great at using his length on defense, and has been reliable as both a handler and cutter this year.
- Tommy Lin, Munis Thahir-Cal: Great players who shine in their roles for Cal. Tommy plays with a lot of grit and control on defense, and Munis is very quick as an O-line cutter. Both made great plays this postseason in big games.
- Center handler with glasses-Reno: I don’t know his name, but this guy consistently carries Reno on offense. He has great throws (especially hucks), and seems to get open on anyone. It might be raylo from the post above since the Reno guy he mentions doesn’t seem to fit the description.
- Nick Dahms-Chico: Quick cutter who takes on a lot of responsibility for Chico, fun to talk to as well.
- Ryan Messersmith-Santa Clara: I know Taz is a great player, but don’t think the team shined as much as last year, which is why I’d put him honorable mention instead of all-region this year.
- Garrett “Pilot” Hable-Arizona: Really good player who got open constantly as a handler when we played them at regionals. Really athletic and super nice too.
- Robby Odun(?)-UCSB: Dominant cutter when we played them at SBI, and often cycled to backfield to get the disc in his hands
Stanford didn’t play against UCLA or UCSC this season, but seems like they have some good players who deserve recognition.
In my mind (feel free to disagree), the best players in the region this year are the ones that had the most impact this year. As such, the best player on a lower tier team may deserve a spot over the 5th best player on a top tier team. I will therefore try to also highlight some special players from lower tier programs before moving on to the traditional powerhouses.
Chico Nicky McConnell, the tall center handler on Chico, is unstoppable. Manning a shorthanded Chico team, he got open on every reset and threw his receivers open. At regionals, our team (Cal) had to gameplan to stop him in the second half.
New Mexico #2 (their center handler, I believe Jacob Marsh) has some incredible throws. He singlehandedly shredded our zones and had some great Ds. Also played with great spirit.
Humboldt State #2 (I believe Chris Townsend) was one of the most athletic defenders I have played against. Incredible layouts, and on a turn, he is unstoppable deep. I think he is a big reason why Humboldt made it to regionals this year.
UC Davis It has been mentioned above, but I agree that Nick Tolfa is a great all around player.
USC Sam Cook and Wyatt Paul are unstoppable. In our second matchup, Sam beat us with crazy throws, and in the third matchup with unbelievable catches. Wyatt in all 3 matchups just proved that he has an unstoppable motor.
Stanford I knew Mike Becich scored a lot of goals, but 112 is unreal. Nick Hirning also shredded our zones and has great break throws.
SLO Caleb Merriam left our zone demoralized with his pinpoint over the top throws. I’m also surprised Justin Ting hasn’t been mentioned in this thread yet. I thought he was the closest to stopping Alex Pan of any defender Alex has matched up against this year. And on offense, Justin is a smart cutter that can make some great catches. Their rookies in Calvin Brown and KJ Koo have been impressive on the O-Line.
UCSD and UCLA I didn’t get to play them, so unfortunately can’t comment on their great seasons.
Cal Alex Pan is unstoppable in the handler space - he will always get the reset, usually an upline. He also has great break throws, and plays great man defense. Joshua Yuan is a phenomenal deep threat and strong handler defender. Brian Kooperberg and Rafael Castro are some of the best man defenders I’ve seen, and can convert breaks with their strong cutting. Tommy Lin is also a strong defender with solid throws, and a great leader. The freshmen, Evan Magsig, Max Williams, and Drew Palmer all played at least 3 points each in our biggest game of the season against USC, and each contributed in their own way.
I also want to highlight Cal’s Dan Silverstein for coach of the year. Cal didn’t have any superstars to start the season. We still don’t have a center handler or a primary cutter. Rather, Dan sets up plays and systems that will help turn our players into superstars by taking advantage of the unique skill set that each player brings to the table. This focus on system and teamwork allowed Cal to have 18 different players play at least 3 points in the game to go to nationals (contrast this with the 9-10 players that other teams rely on in big games). The resulting depth is what I think pushed Cal to nationals.
Mike Becich is the best deep threat in the nation. 1st team hands down.
I’m not the best reference since I’m a year removed, but
Caleb Merriam (SLO)
Dillon Whited (SLO)
Sean Liston (SLO)
Alex Pan (Cal)
Sam Cook (USC)
Nick Hirning (Stanford)
Mike Becich (Stanford)
Ian Sweeney (SLO)
Conor Schofield (SLO)
Ashwin Vaidyanathan (Cal)
Tommy Lin (Cal)
Wyatt Paul (USC)
Kevin Tien (Stanford)
Nick Tolfa (UC Davis)
I don’t know enough about the other teams to include their players on this list. I’m sure there are many deserving people in the region. Much love to the unrecognized talents
Coach of the Year:
Dan Silverstein: Cal has consistently gotten better every single year since Dan took over and I’m so happy for their success this year.
Josh Kapilivsky (Honorable Mention): Stanford lost 12 players from last year as well as head coach Ryan Thompson. The work Josh has done to push a really young team to finish 4th in the region during a rebuilding year is absolutely incredible.
Calvin Brown (SLO)
KJ Koo (SLO)
Emmett Holton (SLO)
Colin Grant (Stanford)
disclaimer- I play on SLO
Sam Cook (USC) - USC’s most important player during the series, showed up huge at regionals and almost carried USC to nationals.
Wyatt Paul (USC) - Most athletic player in the region probably. Was unstoppable during the regular season. Big reason why USC was so successful at SBI without Sam Cook and was their 2nd best player at regionals.
Alex Pan (Cal) - Absolutely destroys teams if they don’t have an answer for him. Very quick and fast, loves to give and go and has great throws.
Caleb Merriam (SLO) - Most important piece of our offense, super consistent, great hucks and break, gets open for every reset.
Sean Liston (SLO) - Best defender in the region hands down. Shuts down his guy and the deep space at the same time most games.
Dillon Whited (SLO) - Probably the best all-around player on our team. Impossible to guard when he’s trying, has consistent hucks and break throws, generates layout D’s when he crosses over.
Nick Hirning (Stanford) - Most important part of the Stanford team this year imo. Just did anything they needed him to do.
For Player of the Region I would probably pick Sam Cook, but honestly anyone in this top 7 would be worthy of it.
Ian Sweeney (SLO) - Impossible to mark. Great defender, great mark, runs the d-line offense on a turn.
Nate Pettyjohn (SLO) - Would probably be Southwest POTY if he played the whole season, can still sky anyone and gets it back for O-line after a turn a lot.
Conor Schofield (SLO) - Super quick, hard to guard, always open. Has huge hops despite being a little shorter and is comfortable putting it deep, especially to Dillon.
Justin Ting (SLO) - A little underrated this year, but he shows up the biggest in our big games. Clutch D’s, lockdown handler defender, versatile on offense. Played the best defense on Alex Pan in the SW finals I’ve seen this year.
David Sealand (USC) - Another matchup problem on USC, great in the air, great on defense. Very important to their regular season and regionals run.
Mike Becich (Stanford) - Really tall, and can jump, and is smart about timing his cuts. Big part of Stanford’s efficient offense in the second half of the season.
Nick Tolfa (UC Davis) - Didn’t see Davis much this season, but Tolfa is really good at everything.
3rd team (just off the list)
Kieran Bates (UCSB) - Big part of Tide’s offense. Has dimey flick hucks and is super fast and a problem when he cuts. Very versatile.
Kevin Tien (Stanford) - Did a lot for Stanford this year, especially on offense. At NWC their pull plays always involved him catching an under and shooting deep or catching it deep.
Eric Hytonen (UCSD) - In the one game we played against UCSD he hit every deep shot he took and kept their offense super efficient. I’m guessing he was a big part of their team for the rest of the season too.
Ashwin Vaidyanathan (Cal) - Very fast, solid throws, flexible player for Cal.
Noah Anderson (UCLA) - On a team filled with a bunch of athletic and tall cutters, they really relied on him to get resets and distribute the disc.
Tommy Lin (Cal) - Didn’t get a good feel for him in our games against Cal, but he showed up huge in the game-to-go.
Jake Thorne (SLO) - Underrated this year for sure because he was injured at SBI, but he took the hardest matchups for us all of Stanford Invite (Sean was injured) and has D’ed up some of the best players in the country. On offense, he rarely turns it, breaks the mark consistently, and is super hard to guard in the upline space. Best freshman in the region IMO.
Jake Thorne (SLO) - Southwest FOTY
KJ Koo (SLO) - Matchup problem because he is tall and athletic, and he also has completed basically every huck he’s taken this year.
Emmet Holton (SLO) - Runs D-line offense a lot of the times when Ian and JT aren’t on and has pretty hucks and breaks. Bids fat and aesthetically.
Calvin Brown (SLO) - Does things with the disc. Pulls inbounds sometimes.
Colin Grant (Stanford) - Kevin Tien talked a lot about him. Very scary that he is ~18 months in and already this good at frisbee.
Unsure of other rookies that made a big impact but I’m sure they’re out there.
Coach of the Year
Obviously I’m going to vouch for Cody, because he’s a fantastic coach. We are lucky to have him.
Dan has been getting a lot of love for his work with Cal and deservedly so. Cal is super deep this year and plays really fundamentally sound (and annoying) handler defense across the board.
I think a lot more props should go to the USC coaches (they have like 3 or 4); they really made the most of their roster throughout the season and are a big reason why the SW has 2 bids this year. Their regionals didn’t go how they would have wanted it but on the whole they had a great season.
Don’t really think there’s a wrong choice for Coach of the Year and its really hard for players to get a feel for the impact other coaches have on their teams.
Hey SW bros, Ben, coach of Humboldt State here. If you think standout players that carry their mid-tier teams should get recognition in All-Region picks, then look no further than Chris “Earl” Townsend on Humboldt (#2). He’s that lanky blond guy who can’t seem to stop running around the field for more than a millisecond, and catches all the monster hammers thrown by James “The Milkman” Anderson (he’s a junior, vote for him next year plz). He’s an incredibly athletic player who added throws this year to make teams really regret forcing him under. Earl captained Humboldt to our best season in years, and pushed our whole roster to be better. Vote Earl for All-Region.
PS I’m terrible at knowing names or jersey numbers, but I’d definitely plug the center handler for Reno mentioned by ktien. He’s the real deal, and one of the more composed on-field presences I’ve seen in college.
Hey all, I’m one of the captains on Nevada.
Before I state any other teams’ players, I would like to give a shout out to my fellow captain and bff Raymond “Center Handler with Glasses” Lopez. As stated by @ktien above, Ray is consistently getting open on anyone on any team. Without him, our offense would be nothing, and when it comes down to the wire he’ll compete with anyone on defense. He is one of the most spirited players on the field, and an awesome guy to play with/against.
Players that stood out (whom I played)
USC - the usual Cook, Paul, and Sealand. All of them are insane
SLO - didn’t play them in the spring but a lot of their guys are 1st/2nd team material as stated above
Cal - Didn’t play them in the spring, but watching Alex Pan, and Aswin V … they’re ballers
Davis - Tolfa is an all-around workhorse and should be on 1st team imo.
Devin Hom should be a player to watch for next year
Stanford- Hirning and Tien are straight ballers.
Chico - my dude Junior (Nick Dahms) is a straight animal on the field and is a big reason why Chico is a team that you can’t take lightly.
Cruz Aaron Hom has the most buttery throws, and don’t even get me started on his calves
SCAB Ryan “Taz” Messersmith, one of the hardest matchups I’ve had this year. He is an animal on the field and is a pretty cool dude
Humboldt Chris Townsend, that guy is dominant and incredibly athletic. One of the big reasons why Humbodlt killed it this year!
GOOD LUCK TO CAL AND SLO at natties! represent SW
ALSO. HERE IS THE LINK TO MY GUY RAYMOND LOPEZ’S CALLAHAN VIDEO