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All-Region 2022: South Central (D-I Men's)

Who are the best players in the South Central region? This is an open thread to discuss All-Region nominations, All-Freshman nominations, coaching awards, and more. Stay positive and keep it civil.

TUFF had a really underrated coaching staff, created some really great schemes and found great success with a small roster.

I get the Atkins hype but Connor Tabor and Calvin Stoughton are the two best players on Mamabird by far, and could easily be the best in the south-central.

Rory Lenny (CSU) is freshman of the year without a doubt. Could make a case for Dexter Luecke on Bird but I think Lenny made much more of an impact.

#9 on UTD: Best hucks of the year. That man is a shooter.

Echoing the sentiment on Rory. I guarded Rory a big portion of the 3rd place game. It was a very difficult assignment, and he was a class act.

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I am a current Junior on WashU Contra and just want to shoutout a player on our team that came up huge at regionals and this season. Noah Stovitz (#1) can seriously get up. He has some insane bounce, can make some crazy grabs, and sky just about anyone. Not only is he a threat deep, he can make some great unders.

Unsure of his name (pretty sure its Dylan), but #2 from CSU was fantastic to play against. Great defense, really kept the flow of an offense going, roasted me up line a good amount of times, and super spirited and nice guy off the field.

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Sam Goldstein for CSU and Dylan Latham McGraw were huge for CSU. They would take difficult assignments and win them every time.

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Also Flynn Nyman for freshman of the year. Flynn was tasked with guarding some of the best players in the country the whole year.

All I’m saying. Nick Pappas (#10) for Mizzou has done a lot of things not only this year for that program. He took them from the depths and brought them to regionals for the first time in 7 or 8 years. Not only that. They made it back-to-back seasons and competed with some of the best teams in this region. He pretty much turned this program around not only with his amazing play but with his leadership.

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One of the coaches of CSU here. Here are the guys I personally saw stand out:

Atkins, Landesman, Stoughton from CU excelled this year. Different roles from each, but all 3 were tremendous for Bird.

#35 (USAU roster says Ben Reimler?) from WashU seemingly played every point in the G2G with us, and was effective in everything he was asked to do. As a handler, downfield, or as a defender, he was a problem for us.

#9 Hustad and #15 Dick from UT-D are the guys we game planned around when facing UT-D and are both tremendous players. These guys are asked to do a lot, and they provide a lot.

Radack and Chambers from Texas stood out to me as a rock solid main handler and go-get it guy respectively.

From CSU: Dylan Latham McGraw and Sam Goldstein were our captains and lifeblood. Dudes are ballers and great people to be around. I can’t talk enough about how gritty this team is because they follow their leads. If you got stuck in a 40+ throw point against CSU, it’s because these guys inspire their teammates to want the grind.

Rory Lenny and Flynn Nyman for all-freshman. Stepping into their respective lines as initiating cutter and top 2 matchup as true freshman was astounding to watch all year. We’ve got another 4+ freshman ready to blow up in the next few years, but that’s for another time.

Of the region, I think Bob Krier is without a doubt the best coach. Speaking as a player on Mamabird, Bob holds us together and I am entirely confident that we would not be where we are without him. Also Dexter Lueke is a beast, and a great addition to our O line as a freshman. Another rookie that I would like to shout out it Max Van Sickle, he is a lock down defender for us and a fantastic initiating cutter. The only reason you haven’t heard Max’s name yet is because his guy is never open so he doesn’t get a chance to get any D’s.

Former CSU Player & CO Club Player here.

CSU - Dylan Latham McGraw & Sam Goldstein, two best players this year on CSU by far. Sam Goldstein is one of the 2-3 best throwers in the region, and Dylan might be the best man to man defender. Both are stellar leaders and the reasons why the program has had such a great pipeline of young players coming into the program. JJ Olivaria deserves mention as well, one of the fastest players in the region and the best 2-way player on CSU (outside of Dylan & Sam) who has turned into a truly dynamic O Line cutter after starting as a D Line grinder. Rory Lenny for Freshman of the year, possibly already the best cutter on CSUs O line.

CU - Alex Atkins Calvin Stoughton, Danny Landesman & Connor Tabor. Kins is one of the most dynamic players in the country enough said. Calvin & Danny possibly best young duo in recent years in the country, both exceptional O Line hybrids, Stoughtons defense also stands out, played John Randolph harder than I’ve seen anyone else this season in the SMI final. Tabor is worth a layout block a game, and is one of the most poised and patient D Line QBs you’ll find, responsible for an unknowable amount of CU break conversions.

Texas Dallas - #9 (don’t know his name) the guy was literally the whole team for UTD both on offense & defense

Seems like there’s a lot of CO bias in this thread, which is fair cause thats where the big scene is, but WashU is the one with the natties bid… (not starting beef, I don’t play for them).

That said, Contra has a few stars who deserve recognition - As Marvin said, Ben Reimler is a beast. They also have an insane deep threat in Noah Stovitz - he seemed like the reason Contra was able to match Mamabird for the first few points. A few more that I think deserve credit but those are the main 2.

Without a doubt coach of the year should be Will Johnson for Mizzou.

Prior to this academic year, the last time Mizzou won a game at regionals was in 2016 and last made an appearance in 2017. After not qualifying for regionals in 2018 and 2019, Will was brought onboard the coaching staff and was a catalyst in propelling the Mizzou program to regionals excellence, helping the team qualify for regionals in November 2021 and this past weekend in Commerce City.

After a lackluster showing in Texas this past November, Mizzou cemented themselves as a top contender in the region with a 6th place finish this past weekend. Mizzou was the only team outside the top 6 to finish in the top 6. Mizzou beat Arkansas and Denver, both of the “teams to watch” per Ultiworlds article prior to the tourney, and played close games with WashU and CSU. Will Johnson has developed a winning culture in Columbia MO and certainly deserves recognition. He is a large reason Mizzou has seen such success as of recently and the team would not be where they are today without his leadership and extensive frisbee knowledge.

Will is a great coach and has proven he can turn a program around. No team exceeded expectations more than Mizzou this past weekend, and that certainly would not have been the case without Will at the helm.

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One of the WashU coaches here.

I can’t really speak to any specific Colorado or Texas players. Both teams struck me as being solid top to bottom and very well coached. I will call out that #25 on Texas (I think) had the best and most consistent pulls I saw all weekend.

I’ll echo others that #9 on UT-D was a standout and caused us problems. Same with Rory on CSU.

I’ll also echo orosand’s comment and say that for WashU #35 Ben Reimler and #1 Noah Stovitz had an outstanding tournament. I think Stovitz was the best deep receiver I saw at the tournament. For freshmen, we had two starting on our O-line: our center handler #8 Joel Brown and the player who threw the score to go to Nationals #3 Cam Freeman. I also want to call out as a group the 6 freshmen and sophomores we started on our D-line.

Re: Coach of the Year. I think the Colorado and Texas coaches are probably the best technical coaches in the region. But if you’re looking for a story-driven award, Blake Larson at WashU helped coach the team to their first Nationals bid in program history.

Chris Cassella (#69) on Texas. Dude is an absolute stud. Big throws, bigger legs, and will lock down any cutter in the region, along with being able to make any throw to any part of the field. Dominated in his four years in D3 (runner-up DPOTY in 2021), and only got better once he moved down to the D1 level. It should be illegal for someone as big as him to move like he does. On top of that, Chris is the heart and soul of any team he plays on. Big time energy guy, and not afraid to show his emotion on the field. Plus he’s played the last month with a broken wrist. Baller.

I’ll shout out some more players and teams that haven’t been mentioned yet.

Arkansas
Ben Rodgers: big and athletic. Can get up. Has throws.
i think it was #1 and he was a hanlder?. The 1b option. Made all the right decisions in the handler space

UTD
Hustad deserves a lot of praise. Pinpoint throws and is on what feels like every line

Texas State
Jackson Potts. When he plays well, Texas State is winning the game. Very smart do it all player

Missouri
I think he was #85? He did not look fun to guard

Texas A&M
#22. The cutter that makes every thing happen. Won his unders, comes down with almost every 50/50 ball.
#13 and #27 seemed to be the O line and D line handlers that crossed over to the other line when needed and did a great job

Denver
#8. Squirly lefty handler that looked tough to stop. Was the cog in their offense and had some nifty throws

WashU
We didn’t play them but I watched the game to go. I’ll hop on the train of what the others are saying. #1 and #35 are the real deal

CSU
Goldstein got the tough match ups and plated fantastic

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Will Johnson is a great mention for coach of the year. He completely changed the Mizzou program and was a direct contributor to success at regionals.

Nick Pappas was an incredible leader for Mizzou and was a problem on defense generating multiple D’s in almost every game while also being incredibly efficient on offense. He was calm and collected with the disc in his hands and hand great deep throws while also being great in the deep space. This dude has come out of the trenches and is about to do some big things with the Chicago Union this summer. There is nobody more deserving of a spot on an all-region team than this guy. He is constantly in the gym and working on his craft. He wanted to go to Nationals more than anyone and deserves to be notified for his efforts this season.

Michael Rashford was awesome as a freshman this year. He had a hamstring injury in warmups on Saturday and was unable to play for the weekend which was detrimental to our offense. Mike came in as a freshman and had great disc skills. He was a center piece to our o-line and was great with the disc in his hands, his deep throws were critical to our success and has been a great teammate. Excited to see what he does in the future.

I am heavily biased towards Mamabird, but will attempt to predict the All-region teams based on some level of objectiveness. I’ll also shoutout people for All-freshman and coaches, but those are harder to estimate for sure.

A common trend with the All-Region teams is that the top players on the few winningest programs will fill out at least half of the 14 available spots. For example, in 2019, 7/14 of the SC All-Region players were on the two teams that qualified for Nationals (CO & TX). In 2018, only TX qualified for Nationals and had 8/14 All-Region nods. In 2017, the last time 3 teams in the SC qualified, 7/14 players from A&M, CSU, and CU got the nods, and 3 Texas players also got the nod after a successful season before the GTG. With this information in mind, let’s look at the top 5 SC teams from 2022, with some help from https://www.frisbee-rankings.com/usau/college/men :

I decided to only compare teams when they play within the top 70 teams in the country, since so many blowout wins get ignored by the rankings, since Dallas is number 70 (as of today), and since the top players in the region are relied on more in order to win important games against good teams.

Colorado (18-1 against top 70)
Texas (10-10 against top 70)
Washington University (6-6 against top 70)
Colorado State (3-18 against top 70)
Texas-Dallas (2-6 against top 70)

Of course, this does not tell the full stories of each of these teams, and certainly does not tell the stories of all the great players from within and outside of these top 5 teams. However, in my opinion, it does indicate that the majority of the All-Region teams will consist of players from Bird, Tuff, and Contra. It also means that there could be up to 5-7 players from Bird alone, with the success they have had in 2022 in comparison to the other SC teams. Again, the only thing I can loosely predict here is the number of players that get represented from each of the top teams. Here are my subjective picks:

First Team:
-Alexander Atkins (CO) (Player of the Year)
-Calvin Stoughton (CO)
-Daniel Landesman (CO)
-Saeed Semrin (CO)
-Jake Radack (TX)
-Matt Chambers (TX)
-Noah Stovitz (WashU)

Second Team:
-Conor Tabor or Nathan Bucholz (CO)
-7, 71 (Slayton), or 69 (Cassella) (TX)
-Ben Reimler (WashU)
-Sam Goldstein (CSU)
-Dylan Latham McGraw (CSU)
-Hustad 9 (UT-Dallas)
-Mizzou player, 85 or 10 maybe?

I will only comment on the 2 CU players that I added to this conversation, since I know a lot about them:

Nathan “Buck” Bucholz is very important to the team. If you don’t know him already, you will see more of him in seasons to come.

Saeed Semrin: I apologize that this comes off as biased and even aggressive, but Saeed is the most valuable defensive player in the region HANDS DOWN. He is assigned to the toughest matchups in the country, and legitimately impacts winning by generating blocks and breaks in those matchups. Not just a power player in college, Saeed (along with Atkins and Dan Brunker) were the top defensive playmakers for a club-nationals qualifying Lotus team in 2021. He is trusted to defend anyone, in any role, and also has the flexibility to be in any position in bracket or zone defenses. This man has been overlooked long enough, and deserves a 1st or 2nd team All-Region nod this spring.

All Freshman
Rory Lenny (CSU) and Dexter Luecke (CU) are the frontrunners from what I have seen, but I’m sure that Texas and WashU have a player to throw into the mix. I will also add Mamabird player Levi Tapper into the conversation, but only if 2021 “Covid-freshmen” are also being considered.

Coach
Shoutout to the Contra coaches for getting a whole lot out of their roster on the road to Nationals. Everyone on the team seemed to be on the same page.

Mizzou player, I did not play against Mamabird or Tuff.

WashU:
It’s been said before but #35 Ben Reimler played very well, had probably 3 layout D’s against us and was difficult to guard all weekend.

#21 Drake Hill I didn’t know of before the tournament but he made a big impact on WashU and had some great pulls.

CSU:
I guarded Sam Goldstein #9 for a lot of the second half and he broke me skinny too many times. Great thrower and an all-around good player.

Mizzou:
#10 Nick Pappas has to get a mention, he had some of the best pulls all weekend, several perfect hucks to keep us in games, layout D’s, skies, etc. He had a hand in almost all of our breaks, I’m not sure we make bracket without him.

If there is room for another Mizzou player, I would look to Jim Karl #0, Hunter Latson #85, or Landon Evans #5. All played a large role on our team. Jim had to swap with me and move over to Oline after not playing on O all year because his knee was pretty badly injured. Despite of that he played fantastic and did everything for the team. Hunter was lethal in the deep space and caused other teams to have to give him under. He was practically unguardable in the endzone and had the most D’s on the team on Sunday. Landon played huge, getting several chest high layouts, deeps, and was probably our most consistent player.

I don’t know freshmen on other teams, but Michael Rashford #24 from Mizzou deserves a mention. He, unfortunately, got hurt in warmups on Saturday but served as another coach on the sidelines for regionals. During the year he was a rock on our oline, he had some fantastic hucks, distributed the disc well and played well beyond his years.

Drake was on Illinois last semester when they qualified for nationals and now Contra is going. It’s not a coincidence. I don’t know how he isnt mentioned on here more. Drake and Michael Lo(#0) crossing over to D-line was when we were at out best. The CSU game is absolutely littered with these 2 helping create turns and convert them into breaks.

I second you on #22 Charlie Clark from Texas A&M. He simply isn’t being mentioned enough here. Experienced cutter who almost always wins his under cuts and the jump balls. Always in the right place at the right time and was the glue for the A&M offense. Very impressed by him when he gave Texas plenty of trouble at sectionals in mid-April.