Who are the best players in the Great Lakes region? This is an open thread to discuss All-Region nominations, All-Freshman nominations, coaching awards, and more. Stay positive and keep it civil.
Grant Harris on UChicago is an All-Freshman lock. Took one of the toughest matchups each D point and was the first to cross over to O line for them.
Absolute machine out there grinding
I’m a player on UChicago Fission, and I want to shout out two guys from Fission who absolutely deserve recognition:
Grant Harris - I would be shocked if he did not get all-freshman at least. This dude is an incredibly good handler defender, and players super well up-front in zones. On offense, he’s one of the most reliable, consistent handlers I’ve ever seen. He can always get open as a reset, he has incredibly smooth, precise break throws, and his hucks have really good touch. Without him we would not have had a d line offense. Whenever our o line was struggling, he would cross over and consistently get the o line out of tough spots. What makes him such a special player is that in a lot of ways, he’s the opposite of what you’d expect from a really, really good freshman - he’s an incredibly mature, consistent player. He’s not flashy or arrogant at all, and yet he was consistently one of the best players on our team this year. He’s the kind of player you’d want to build a team around. Having a player who’s that mature and consistent as a freshman just doesn’t happen. He deserves all freshmen, if not freshman of the year.
Matthias Ling - He’s one of the best players in the great lakes, period. He was The Guy on our o line, acting as our primary initiating cutter and dropping back to handle against zones. He’s impossible to guard, both in tight spaces and downfield. He has buttery-smooth throws - I’ve never seen a mark he can’t break, especially with his around backhands. He has huge hucks that are also precise, and he can also sky the pile if he’s cutting deep instead of throwing. On defense, he has insane pulls and can lock down opposing cutters or handlers at will. He was the guy we looked to all season, on the field and off. Absolutely incredible player.
From what I saw this weekend, Cam thatcher, James Hill, Theo Shapinsky, Ashwin Pothukuchi, Matthew Viscido, Jeremy Keusch, Zach Loyd for all region in no particular order. Aaron bartlett for FOTY and all freshman, Eric palia (purdue) for all freshman, James Highsmith for COTY
James had some amazing D’s
I’m one of the captains on Illinois Rise and I’d like to recognize Illinois’s #4 Kai Bowen as an All-Freshman candidate. Kai expanded his role from our Nationals run in the fall and became an irreplaceable staple on our O Line this spring. Kai’s field vision and continuation cutting made him an endzone threat deep and opened up space in our offense for in-cuts by the enter line. He’s a veteran presence on this team at such a young age and is wise beyond his years when it comes to tactics and in-game adjustments. He’s got solid throws and utilizes his lateral quickness and length defensively in the handler set and the away space. I’m excited to see how he progresses in the Minnesota club scene this summer.
All Region (No Order)
Conner Henderson (Indiana): Super well-rounded player who led Indiana’s D line offense. Huge hucks and overwhelming poise and confidence.
Cam Thatcher (Indiana): One of the best talents in the region. Huge playmaker on both sides of the disc and was a key part of Indiana’s success.
Jackson Moore (Purdue): Lockdown defender, always took the hardest matchup on the field. Also insane athlete who came down with nearly everything thrown his way.
Eli Mock (Purdue): Talented at breaking marks and kept Purdue’s offense alive in tough spots with his small space quickness.
James Hill (Michigan): Insanely athletic defender, pulled off some of the craziest Ds of the weekend.
Magnum #5 (I think it’s Owen O’ Neil) gave my team the most trouble out of any player this season. Incredibly quick, smart with his spacing, and a threat above and behind the disc.
IU’s Lucas Conairas is deserving of a spot on an all-great lakes line- really hard player to neutralize, and run’s his team’s offense well.
James Highsmith continues to be a dominant coach as always (shocker)
Also James Hill could be the best defender in college frisbee- man is no joke
A couple players I believe deserve All-Region consideration:
Lucas Coniaris (Indiana): The Hoosiermamas
senior captain was everywhere this season, making flying layout D’s, getting up for skys and breaking marks and throwing scores like it’s nobody’s business. He took on usually the toughest defenders the other team could throw, and guarded the best matchups when he crossed over to D line. A major reason why Indiana sailed into the game-to-go at regionals this spring.
Jeremy Keusch (Indiana): After a magnificent performance at Eastern Qualifiers, Keusch struggled with knee and ankle injuries that kept him out of the rest of the regular season, but came storming back at regionals and propelled the Mama?s into the regional final against Michigan Magnum. Keusch suave handling ability thwarted defenses who tried to keep him on the weak sidelines and opened up major lanes for their cutters to attack into.
James Hill (Michigan): No doubt one of the best defenders in the country, Hill’s insane athletic ability, closing speed, and defensive awareness make him an almost impossible matchup for any offender. He often matched up against the other team’s best offensive weapon, including a thrilling back-and-forth matchup between Hill and Thatcher in the regional final. Hill is also smooth after the turn, making sharp cuts to get open and using his big frame to win discs in the air.
Jackson Moore (Purdue): Another defender, what Moore lacks in height he makes up for in lateral quickness and leaping ability. Moore makes it tough for any handler he guards to get open in reset space. And once he gets the turn, watch out for his sneaky strikes that lead to power position hucks that often finish in celebration. He gets off basically every break throw he wants, and if you sleep after he tosses it you’ll regret it as he flies upfield unguarded to regain the disc and boost it downfield to his teammates.
There’s others that deserve spots as well but I specifically wanted to talk about these 4 b/c I played with and against them and got to see exactly why they should be on the all-region team.
Ashwin Pothukuchi (Michigan): Didn’t play him personally but I’ve watched him and he defiantly deserves All-Region
Theo Shapinsky (Michigan): Same as Ashwin, watched him play a few times but he’s definitely deserving of All-Region as well.
Eli Mock (Purdue): Maxxed out “All-Around Build” on 2K. That’s the best descriptor for him, VERY VERY solid at everything he does and never fails to turn his defender around without offering him a map first.
Matthew Viscido (Purdue): Epitomy of a great cutter. Doesn’t matter how tall he is he can roof just about anyone in the region if he gets time to read the disc.
Cam Thatcher (Indiana): Great cutter and surprisingly good in the handle space, idk if Ultiworld really got it right calling him a “Jimmy Mickle type” but the guy can ball.
#84 (Chicago): Ripped a hole in our defense during the fall. Very athletic and throws cuts through the wind like a knife, he never stops moving and usually loses his guy about 10 yards behind him. Chicago guys it’d be great if you could toss his name in a reply
Eric Palia (Purdue): Came in this year looking like a polished Senior. He has everything you want in a teammate: great throws, exceptional cutting, lockdown defense, and the IQ to match. Look forward to seeing how high his ceiling is.
Aaron Bartlett (Michigan): Only watched him play a few times, but he’s the real deal, will be giving people fits for the next 3 years.
COTY has to be either Connor Lukas or James Highsmith
84 on chicago is Matthias Ling
As a graduating captain for Northwestern, I’ll speak to my teammates and some teams we played this year in-region:
Sam Jonas (#12) is one of the best players in the region. He’s pretty much always the best pure athlete on the field and can hit any throw. Have yet to see an opponent contain him. Will go from roofing another team’s best and biggest defenders for a goal one point to going every other against a zone the next. Crosses over a bunch and consistently takes the other team’s top cutter. Played basically every point in our quarters game against Purdue and never slowed down.
Wyatt DeYoung (#72) should be in the mix for an all-region team. Stepped up as our center O-line handler this year and ran the show. Lots and lots of first throw goals from Wyatt to Sam. Gets open at will with a quick first step and a deep bag of moves. He also outworks opponents off a turn and frequently helped get the disc back for us.
Charlie Geci (#22) should be in the mix for all-Freshman. He played his way onto our O-line this season and was playing big crunch time minutes due to his field sense and throws. Grinds harder on defense than any Freshman I’ve played with and just knows the game.
-Purdue had a super well-rounded roster so shout out to their coaches and captains. The main player that stood out to me was #7 (not sure the name but it might’ve been Hoy?). The offense ran through him and he opened up the entire field for them. Whenever things got stagnant he would just make something out of nothing and create a goal.
-We played Illinois a bunch. Joey Kennedy is a dawg- super quick in small and big spaces, distributes to his teammates, always working on D, the kind of guy you’d want to play with. Eli Artemakis was also quite hard to game plan for due to his size and presence in the deep space and money hucks. There’s a lot of guys I didn’t see this year, but watching him and Sam Jonas match up certainly felt like seeing the top players in the region go at it. Also shout out to #33 (I think Trevor?)- played a ton of points and was a very solid handler.
-Matthias Ling on Chicago is a very good player. When they were getting him the disc consistently their offense was tough to stop. He gets open pretty much at will.
-#21 and #25 on Grand Valley St definitely looked like all-region players to me. They played basically every point in our pool play game and made every single throw for their team. #21 especially had one of the best arsenals of throws I’ve seen in college.
-Didn’t get to play Magnum this year, but I’m sure Theo Shapinsky deserves all-region as well. It’s been a few years but he was already an elite defender in high school and can only imagine what he looks like now.
James Hill – Best defender in college, not even close. Elite on the turn too. – National DPOY, All-American
Aaron Bartlett – Best true freshman in college. – National FOTY, future Callahan winner
Theo Shapinsky and Ashwin Pothukuchi – All-Region
James Highsmith and Raymond Lu – James is a no-brainer (COTY). Look at his track record and ask him about the immune system. Ray is a first-year coach, offensive principles are nice.
I’m a senior on Notre Dame and there are a few people I would like to shout out from the region.
#73 Chris “Monk” Walsh - Stud with the disc and the love of the game the man plays with is a joy to see. He runs our O-line in the handler space, has fantastic hucks and breaks, and can be counted on to get open downfield or open in the reset space. When he switches over to D-line, he is a huge puller and an intelligent defender.
#85 Chase “Ani” Rawlins - Two time captain who was a very strong cutter for us this year before his season was cut short due to injury at a mid-March tournament. It is really unfortunate we did not have him for the Series because he is a player who is a former track athlete, outpacing most of the people on the field and also using his size and athleticism to be a force in the air. He also would consistently get Ds for us and can break any mark when he would need to get the disc back to handlers.
Others for All-Region consideration:
-From Michigan, I echo what was said about Ashwin Pothukuchi and Theo Shapinsky they were very strong players for Magnum, who made athletic plays against us
-From IU, Lucas Coniaris is strong with the disc in his hands and runs their offense well, a good cutter downfield when in that role.
Cam Thatcher also played very well- athletic both in the air and has some nice bids; also a very creative and intelligent thrower
-From Purdue, #7 - I’m not sure his name, but seemed to direct their offense patiently and made big throws that were impressive
Eli Mock is also a strong defender and cutter who is a tough guard downfield and was a big part of the success Undue had this year
Eli Artemakis played very well; not only was he strong downfield in the cutter space, getting the disc often, but he had some nice Ds and impressive break throws
#87 on their D-line also made some athletic plays and was good in the cutter space for them
-#23 on Illinois State was strong in the air and had great hucks- was a really spirited guy too
For All-Freshmen team, I would also like to throw into the mix an ND freshman, Sean “Chop” Miranda (#4). Very hard worker on the field who played on some of our most important lines this year. His motor on the field, solid throws and intelligent cutting, and composure beyond his years were big for this team.
I’m sure I am missing people and I can’t really speak for the teams we did not play unfortunately, but these are some players I wanted to mention.
All Region :
- Eli Mock (Purdue) - Star of Purdue’s offensive sets. Consistently gets open on his cuts and is nearly impossible to guard just based on his cut timing. Will probably roof whoever guards him.
- Eric Hoy (Purdue) - The #7 on purdue as people have been mentioning. Incredible break throws and great looks deep. He can go deep too and roof whoever.
- Matthew Viscido (Purdue) - Incredible cutter who rarely makes mistakes. Probably the highest ultimate IQ out of every team in the GL and will get open on any defender.
- Jackson Moore (Purdue) - Great overall player with good throws and spectacular 1-on-1 defense. Impossible to guard in the small spaces.
- Sam Jonas (Northwestern) - The do-it-all guy at Northwestern. Had great throws and was just a difficult matchup to guard.
- Jeremy Keusch (IU) - Had ridiculous deep hucks that set up his teammates on deep cuts.
- Eric Palia (Purdue) - He was injured for the majority of the spring semester and comes back to immediately play a valuable role as a starter on defense. Has great throws, cuts, pulls and is a very well rounded player.
MATTHIAS LING (Chicago #84) - I have never seen a guy who works so hard in something he’s truly passionate about. I got dragged out of bed at 5am in the morning during my summer holiday just to go toss with him. Yes he can break every single mark and will probably also break your ankles… @PoNY - yall better be picking him up when he moves to NY this fall!
What’s up Great Lakes people - Indiana coach here. I’ll share my thoughts on players from teams we played this year who I think could be all-region/all-freshman.
Chris “Monk” Walsh is a dynamic player for ND and the person their offense moves through more than any other. His field vision, awareness, and throwing fundamentals are some of the most developed in the region. Greatly spirited player, as well.
Chase “Ani” Rawlins & Jacob “Gumbo” Anthuven deserve shout-outs as well (Ani was unfortunately hurt for the entire series, I believe). Both of them are impact players on each side of the disc. Gumbo usually guarded our best players well.
Dave Hoffman is also a potential COTY for the GL - after ND missed regionals in the Fall series they turned it around and took 3rd in the region with only 15 people! Super impressive. Hoff and ND are always peaking right around regionals and that’s a testament to his leadership and coaching. Much respect.
Only saw them in Quarters. #21 and #25 were the biggest impact players on their roster, responsible for most of the disc movement and deep shots. Something about GVSU and “dynamic duos”, I guess.
We saw Purdue a total of 5 times this year. An extremely deep and well-coached team (shout-out Conner and Joe) that has multiple playmakers on each side of the disc.
Eli Mock is definitely the “All-Around Build” mentioned earlier. He really does it all for Purdue and is kind of a “pick your poison” match-up, meaning, he’s just as viable to beat you with his throws as he is with his legs. Less talked about in these threads - his leadership for the team is noteworthy, constantly picking his teammates up and keeping spirits high. An all-around good player and person.
Matt Viscido also deserves mentioning. He’s been starting for Purdue’s o-line since his freshman year for good reason. His ultimate IQ, quickness, and athleticism make him extremely difficult to contain. He’ll generate tons of Ds as well if you’re not running through the disc all the way.
Jackson Moore felt like their D-line leader but he was also the first to cross over to O-line when needed. His speed and agility make him a fantastic small space defender and a nightmare to guard in the handler space. The number of times he has singlehandedly gunked up our handler set is too damn high.
Eric Palia deserves a nod for the all-freshman team. With massive pulls, he’s a boon to their D-line. His ultimate IQ is also really well developed for a freshman and that helps him on both sides of the disc.
Conner Lukas is also deserving of a nod for COTY. I’m honestly not sure how long he’s coached PU but, regardless, I attribute their depth to his coaching. It’s also pretty clear that he has helped build a system that plays to their player’s strengths. The team seems to really rally around him and has completely bought into his system. So long as Conner is at the helm in West Lafayette, PU will be near the top of the region.
Didn’t get to see Joey or Eli at MLC but if either of them were half as good as they were against us in the Fall game-to-go then they are absolutely deserving of an all-region spot.
Ashwin Pothukuchi: Long time leader for Magnum and for good reason. He does just about everything well on both sides of the disc and was very difficult to contain both in the fall and the spring.
Theo Shapinsky: Another veteran Magnum guy who can just about do it all. He can be a dynamic, athletic defender capable of guarding your best player and then turn around and play the most consistent, confident offense of anyone in the region.
James Hill: Don’t have much to add outside of what’s already been said. Definitely one of the best defenders in the nation. Certainly the best in the region.
Cian Johnson: Speed kills. Even more so when that speed is backed with a high ultimate IQ.
Aaron Bartlett: Very much deserving of the all-freshman team. A very poised player, he plays a huge role in Magnum’s offense and that’s saying a lot considering how many playmakers they have.
James Highsmith is probably the odds-on favorite for COTY considering how well Michigan played through the series. The culture of winning built by James & Michigan is truly impressive and they continue to win no matter who they graduate. While they’ve had a couple of different coaches over the last few years, it’s honestly even more impressive that they continue to develop the best players in the region despite coaching turnover. It’s clear how much Magnum trusts, respects, and follows James (as well as the rest of the coaching staff).
Best of luck at nationals, Magnum!
Now for the biased part:
Jeremy “Austin Sol” Keusch #21: He really does it all for us. He missed the last month and a half of the season due to injury but still managed to be one of the best players in the region, in my opinion, coming off an injury. His IQ, length, and athleticism make him a tough cover for just about anyone in the region.
Lucas Coniaris #8: Lucas also did it all for us. On O-line, he would often slot back into the handler space because no one could stop him from breaking the mark around, making him the perfect thrower to initiate our offense. On D-line, he would often go and guard the other team’s most impactful player, doing a great job of making their job of getting open much more difficult. His leadership is also second to none. He leads by example, he brings the energy, and he can will his team to victory.
Conner Henderson #14: Likely a household name in the region by now, Conner has been pivotal in reshaping the Mama?s culture and helping to make us a consistent contender in the region. This semester, he led our D-line and was the main driver of our D-line offense on a turn. His leadership and ability to break any mark proved invaluable on a very young D-line. When our backs were against a wall, the whole team would look to Conner.
Adrian Golay #3: So he’s been in the region a real long time and never gets much recognition because he’s not a flashy player. He doesn’t generate a ton of Ds simply because people don’t throw his way - the person he’s guarding is locked up. On offense, he lets his IQ lead the way, operating extremely efficiently in the cutter and handler space (probably has the highest +/- on our team).
Cam Thatcher #4: Cam was probably one of the most improved players on our roster this year. He’s our best puller (I could probably argue the best puller in the region but #17 (I think) on Magnum also makes a strong case for that title) but his presence on O-line is too valuable to leave out. One of the most creative and confident throwers in the region, he pairs elite field vision and IQ, enabling those around him to play their best.
Will Quigley #00: Deserves a nod for all-freshman team. From day 1 he was ready to step onto our O-line. Yes, he’s 6’8 but he doesn’t rely on that. He often uses that fact to easily set up under cuts. He’s also selfless, often making deep cuts he knows won’t get thrown because he’s drawing two defenders deep - allowing for his teammates to get easy unders. He’s also figured out how to use his huge frame to move marks and make for easy break throws. Did I mention he also plays (and bids) in jean shorts? Absolute mad man.
Rowland Sorrick & Jack Galle also deserve mentions for all-freshman team. Rowland had no real ultimate experience coming into the year but his hustle and athleticism allowed for him to make a spot on the team where he then quickly developed a strong game sense. Honestly, the way people describe UChicago’s Grant Harris is eerily similar to Rowland. Jack, on the other hand, had ultimate experience coming onto the team. I would compare him to a young Matt Viscido from PU. Smart, quick, and sneaky athletic. Both of them became threats on both sides of the disc by the series.
I am posting to promote Eli Smith, freshman at DePaul. I am the head coach for DePaul, and I have witnessed firsthand how Eli impacts the team on the field and sideline, as well as off the field building a culture of positivity and growth.
I’ve been involved in Ultimate for 11 years at the college and club level, including coaching DePaul for several of those years. Eli is, in my opinion, a truly exceptional representation of our sport and culture. He continuously pushes himself to be a leader by example, both in his play and his encouragement and guidance with other teammates. He has an incredible grasp on the importance of mental strength, riding the highs and lows, plus maintaining a consistent balance of intensity, empathy, and emotional stability—all of which can be extremely difficult to achieve regardless of age and experience.
Eli asked me before our first game in the fall, “Coach, can I take a minute to meditate before we start?” That demonstrates an astonishing level of maturity; I was floored and elated. He has consistently driven our underclassmen to throw in the quad, go to team events, watch games on Ultiworld, and maintain our mentality when practicing or playing at tournaments.
As a freshman, Eli took over as an O-Line handler without missing a beat. He has an exceptional arsenal of throws, but always makes the right decision with the disc. He epitomizes the concepts of protecting the disc and getting a fresh stall count. When he needs to, he can always create with his throws and his legs.
But most of all–this kid is a born leader. When Eli speaks, the team listens. When Eli speaks, I absolutely listen. He brings joy, positivity, spirit, skill, intensity, and a presence that inherently demands respect.
As Tiina Booth told me directly–“You have a franchise in Eli”
This guy is otherworldly, and he deserves to know it.
All-Region: Matthias Ling (Chicago), insane quickness and change of direction, gets open whenever he wants, smart and decisive thrower, made big plays in tight spots
Sean McSweeney (Chicago), o-line center handler and a rock for the offense, great hucks and game sense
FOTY: Aaron Bartlett (Michigan), crazy good thrower and really smart player on both O and D
All-Freshman: Noah Sawyer (Michigan State), massive pulls and lockdown handler D
UChicago captain here, wanted to highlight to some of our players:
Kevin Liu (#7): This guy can do it all - from eating up floaty hucks to throwing upwind flick bombs effortlessly. Came back from a regular-season injury and popped off in the series as a dominant initiating cutter and handler against zones. Has some of the best bids I’ve ever seen, blowing up unders and grabbing errant throws. Kevin is also an extremely astute leader, able to rally our team in tough situations and get us back in the game.
Dale Decatur (#18): Lockdown defender - consistently erases the reset from the handler space, and always makes you think twice about throwing near him downfield. On the turn, he can roof his matchup and hit lefty breakside flicks like the mark isn’t there. Huge part of a highly effective D line dominator system that punched in strings of breaks when we were down. Recently accepted a grad program at UChicago, so the region should watch out.
Sean McSweeney (#32): The most creative thrower I’ve ever played with - throws with pinpoint accuracy and elite field vision. Sean can single-handedly frustrate zones by opening up entire portions of the field with blades, hammers, scoobers, and just about every other throw in his bag. He can always get open in the reset space, even on the best and most athletic defenders. On a turn, he can get the disc back with both person defense and poaching.
Grant Harris: Grant came into the program as a complete player with YCC experience and has still surpassed expectations by far. Can shut down both handlers and cutters, and generate poach blocks with veteran field awareness. Extremely savvy with the disc, from breaking the mark to hitting hucks in stride. Nearly impossible to guard in end zone sets, and crossed over for many O line points down the stretch. This kid is going to be the face of the program for many years to come.
Cory McCormack: Huge asset to the D line with monster pulls and an ability to highpoint discs that many would consider unreachable. He’s expanded his game immensely from being a great defender alone to someone who can initiate cuts for our offense and hit continuations. Was injured for much of the postseason but came back in regionals and balled out.
Dylan Salzman: In the short time since he started coaching us in the winter quarter, Dylan’s raised our level of play immensely. From teaching us a new reset system to drilling awareness on both O and D, he’s helped us improve our level of play consistently over each tournament. His experience helped us identify and work on high-level weaknesses quickly, but he also gave us actionable feedback and helped players improve individually.