Who are the best players in the Northwest region? This is an open thread to discuss All-Region nominations, All-Freshman nominations, coaching awards, and more. Stay positive and keep it civil.
Going to start with my UPS players and then move on to thoughts about others in the region.
For All Region:
Max Larkin - If there was a player who was asked to do more for their team, I didn’t see them. I asked Max to play offense + defense, handle + cut, to pull, to huck, to play deep in a zone, to mark in a zone. He was truly someone who I felt could play anywhere and when we were doing well, it was in a large part because of Max’s play. He has a long frame so him getting up big isn’t surprising, but he often surprises opponents by getting horizontal and being super nimble in short spaces. This should be a no brainer for 1st team all region.
Sam “Dave” Kaufman - Has a huge motor and speed and played a ton on both O and D for us. Initiated offense by being the first cutter and would get open regularly under with ease. If Dave was on a more experienced team his role would just be to cook cutter defenders up and down the field but I had to ask him to touch the disc a lot and he really did well with choosing shots to take and completing hucks off of under cuts/swings.
Cyrus Shafei - Cy had a tough Spring with injuries, cramps and Covid derailing some fitness and athleticism but at his best is one of the premier handlers in the region. Smooth hucks, effortless moves and an excellent defender. Cyrus has great footwork and covers a ton of the field when playing in a zone. He may not have had his strongest showing at conferences, but he was one of the best players on the field at Fall Regionals.
My Freshman class is awesome and are all absolute ballers. Not mentioning them all would be an absolute affront. Remember the names Jeremy Gordon, Lucas Calaff, Xander Rudolph, Grayson Highsmith, Cooper Lawrenz and Lawson Hunt.
I know my players can’t make up the whole of the team but all 6 of them made meaningful contributions. I’m going to give a few notes on 3 of them.
Xander Rudolph - Made huge strides this year to become a game on the line player for us. Consistency on offense is huge, he never turns the disc and is always a release valve and finds a way to get open. Where Xander really shines is on defense; he has an incredible motor and will never stop moving on the field. He is a tireless mark in the zone and racks up blocks through the course of a tournament weekend.
Jeremy Gordon - Jeremy is a really versatile player who can play in a handler or cutter role. He is has a fair bit of high school experience and he brings that smoothness to his game in college as well.
Lawson Hunt - Started playing in the spring and has already become a top defender on our team. We really missed his defensive intensity at conferences and he is progressing in other areas incredibly quickly. Rarely would I consider giving top defensive matchups to freshman but Lawson has proved that he can handle it.
First off, Nick Dare should win Coach of the Year and I don’t think it’s close. PLU was the most prepared team at each tournament we saw them at. This was truly their year and it felt like they capitalized on it well. He’s also a great guy and a pleasure to coach against.
Caeden (sp?) - Lefty handler with great breaks. When he is on, he may be the smoothest player in the region. He is a shooter so he will turn the disc over, but in big moments the disc runs through him and he can get open downfield if you push him out of the handler set.
Lewis and Clark -
They have some good players for sure, their tall stringy dark haired player had some really great plays and I think could have touched the disc even more. Not sure of his name.
Can only speak for players on teams Seattle U played.
Caleb Akiyama (Seattle U): Our most dependable player, with the ability to take over points. He has very reliable throws on unders and beautiful hucks. Also a lockdown defender. His decision-making is at a high level, rarely taking bad shots and keeping the offense moving.
Jamie Kauffman (Seattle U): Not gonna praise myself.
Jonas Hildebrand (Whitworth): Sticky defender, gave me the most trouble in 1v1s of anyone we played. Athletic, fast, gets layout blocks, and has a strong motor. Also makes big plays safely. On offense he times his cuts well and knows his throwers. A lot of their downfield movement happens through him.
Jacob Robblee (Whitworth): Main handler, runs their offense. Good at throwing to tight windows, also has a cannon for deep shots. Gets open with ease to keep offense moving.
Ben Travers (Lewis & Clark): Big athletic cutter, pulls down a lot of 50/50s. Consistently open downfield, and has the throws to keep offense moving. Practice player for Portland Nitro (AUDL).
Anson Parker (Lewis & Clark): Main handler, stretches the field with throws. Has a sweet high release flick and accurate blades - gave our zone lots of trouble. Consistently gets open in the reset space with good offensive fundamentals.
We played U Portland but I don’t know any of their names. They’ve got some good players.
Didn’t play PLU or UPS this season.