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All-Region 2023: Great Lakes (D-III Men’s)

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.

Butler HC here, but I want to shout-out a handful of our guys who deserve recognition

Jonathan Courts - In my opinion, the obvious & only choice for POTY in the region. He is the engine of our offense, almost single-handedly breaking zones with his quickness & dynamic backhand. On-top of that, he’s our best person defender when asked to cross-over. I know this is an All-Region thread, but Jonathan deserves legitimate consideration for All-American honors, I can’t imagine there being 14 players in D3 better than him

Sam Ingham - Super tall blonde kid, equally comfortable in the under/deep space. For a guy with still evolving throws, he’s an effective thrower on our OLine because of his decision making & trust in his teammates. Also is our primary crossover for zone to play monster & does it as well as anyone in the region.

Gentry Horsley - Stabilizing presence in our OLine for the last 4 years & had to transition into our primary handler for his senior year after we lost our handling core from 2022. Very effective when operating in flow.

Jack Holmstrom - Unsung hero of our OLine all year, never someone coaches had to worry about in-terms of decision-making. Never threw the most assists, but could always be relied on & helped to balance the personalities on the team.

Erik Stewart - Battled illness/injuries all spring, forcing him to miss major chunks of playing time, but still showed up when it mattered & helped to steer our DLine on Sunday at regionals with his dynamic throws & field vision

Trevor Fox - Not an All-Region guy, but certainly worth strong consideration for Freshman of the Year. He was a primary cutter on our OLine all year as a Freshman with no pre-college Ultimate experience, even scoring 4 goals in our G2G win over Kalamazoo

Played this weekend, so for the people I played against these were the guys that stood out to me (Mostly numbers I am so horrible with names)

Jonathan Courts - My team took half on Butler while he was resting, and then got shredded by him and the offense when he came back in.

North Park #69 - None of our top defenders could do anything to slow him, and then he stopped anything we put in the deep space.

Grace #77 - I feel unquestionably the best thrower in the region. Spent all weekend throwing open receivers, and then jumping over people as the monster on D.

K-zoo #5 - Center handler who really maximized the talents of the players around him. Crazy around reset throws and give-go motion to drive Buzz

Wheaton #10 - Won every downfield throw we put in his area on defense, beat whoever (me) we put on him to guard him repeatedly, and then consistently putting his throws where we had no play on them.

To nominate one of my guys, Rose’s #06 Ethan Chastain was our: best defender, best cutter, best zone handler, and a darling captain. “Unlocked the keys to the second floor” to save many overthrows (mostly from me) towards him

Hillsdale Coach here. I want to shout out three of our guys, as well as some other standouts.

Our three main handlers really stepped up this weekend. All three of these guys were basically playing every point and their good play was the reason we were able to give Butler a run for their money (something that when they had their seniors, no one else could do).

Nick Akers #86 made incredible throws the whole weekend and was a significant reason the offense worked to the point where every team would play zone with a face guard on him. Played like the best pure thrower in the region.

Greg Moreno #6 was the most consistent player on the field at all times this weekend, not necessarily having the focus on him, but he was perpetually open no matter who the other team put on him and gave teams a lot of trouble in the middle of our zone.

Jake Hamilton #11 handled incredibly well and was very dangerous in transition. He deserved a lot of credit for his deep-zone defense as well. Even though he was the only deep person, every team we faced basically gave up on throwing deep because of how effective he was. In my eyes, he should be up for All-Region and is the clear-cut Freshman of the Year.

I’d be shocked if more than three assists for us this weekend wasn’t from one of these three.

Some other players that were very impressive:
Jonathan Courts on Butler - He just was that guy.
Dillon Lee on KMazoo - When he was on the field, their offense was light-years better than without him.
Thomas Kerschbaum on Wheaton - Basically the same effect as Lee for their offense.

Some thoughts on competition in the D3 GL Region:

#86 Nick Akers: absolute Dawg and a class act, could make any throw and was such a threat we had to have someone faceguard him even while running a zone

Jake Hamilton #11 and Greg Moreno #6: the rest of the offense primarily ran through these two and they were making plays all weekend. I believe jake Hamilton is a freshman and if so should be in consideration for all freshman honors

Also I’ll shoutout ally (not sure how to spell it) she was so solid and made smart decisions and allowed the field to open up past the three main handlers- bailed them out big time and made lazy defenders pay.

North park:
#0 offense seemed to run through him, had nice hucks and played hard

#69- hustle athlete, made some insane grabs on deep looks

#77 Joel close- impressive thrower and athlete, does everything for the team and is a major threat. As far as monster in a zone goes I don’t know if there’s anyone better in the region


Both players that wear number 5, one is named Dillon I believe (one has pierced ears and the other has long black hair and wore sunglasses yesterday) and are their two primary handlers. They both deserve to be in the all region conversation. They were the workhorses of this team and spurred them on a run to the G2G. Displayed great poise and confidence against zone looks. Played pretty much every point


Jonathan Courts: D3 GL POTY in my eyes. No one shreds a zone like Jon, and his athleticism, field awareness and defense are all top notch. He is a hassle to guard and has a mean backhand huck (shoutout playing disc golf during Covid)

Sam Ingham- tall blonde kid, has grown a ton since his freshman year, is only a sophomore but plays like a veteran. Played almost every point in the G2G and made some ridiculous plays over both days in the air and also small ball working through zones

Gentry #8: offensive engine, senior who played center handler on the O line and led the offense against some great defenses this weekend. Makes plays and played a vital role in getting butler to nationals

All freshman:

Trevor Fox #4: freshman o line cutter, first year playing ultimate and was a menace on both sides of the disc. Made huge strides and had 4 goals in the G2G!

COTY: it’s clear to me that Arthur Small should receive coach of the year honors. He’s a fourth year coach and in that time he’s taken the team and developed an expansive and successful program (whilst during a pandemic).

When he started in the fall of 2019 it was 9 guys and they were searching for an identity and culture. The work of the first year was cut short due to the pandemic in March of 2020, but it didn’t discourage him from believing in the players and the potential. Today, there is an A & B team, a 3 person coaching staff, more recognition and support from the university, and a player development system that led the team to a nationals berth for the first time in program history.

Butler has won all three of the conferences that have been held since Arthur took over (2021,2022,2023) and have been to the game to go at regionals each time as well. The third time was the charm, in no small part because:

This year Arthur developed and mentored players to get the team over the hump. He made superb coaching adjustments in big games against Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, and North Park to secure victories. He calls smart lineups, and has instilled a culture and spirit in Big Dog that players believe in. No longer does Butler rely on one or two players to carry the load, instead having an array of solid players to utilize.

Additionally, as a testament to his care and commitment, he also got all players on the roster playing time on regionals weekend, even the more inexperienced younger guys who came up from the B team, a significant feat against the challenging competition big dog faced.

Arthur has given his time and talents to the program, and as a senior this year I have seen his work firsthand and from the foundation up. It should not go unnoticed.

Dillon Lee (#5) - primary handler on offense and defense. Elusive little guy that drove the small-ball offense of Kzoo. Patient on offense and worked with the other handler, Jack, to pick apart zones. Had really good throw-and-go’s that not many teams were able to stop. Good distributor of the disc and the heart of the offense.

Jack Willitz (#13) - throws for days. Very accurate deep balls that dropped into the pockets of many receivers. Always able to get the disc off the sideline in a pinch. One of the few kzoo members that was lethal in the air. Part of the offensive engine that propelled the team to the G2G.

Nate Zona (#69) - the key player in the defensive zone set. Very few deep balls went up completed because of this guy’s dangerous ability in the air. The only competition he had all season was against the tall butler guy, but that was only due to a physical height difference. As a cutter, always found a way to get open under or deep. Very few could keep up with him and he ran mathcups into the ground.

Baylor Baldwin - Freshman of the year. Made it to kzoo’s U line and was a crucial cutter on offense. Considering how few tournaments kzoo went to (Butler Tune-Up, HiTide, Sectionals, Regionals), his growth is crazy. He hadn’t played frisbee until this year and managed to ball out by the end of the season. consistent thrower and reliable cutter given his inexperience with the sport.

Due to the small roster kzoo had this weekend, all these players pretty much played every point for the 6 games. throughout the mental/physicla exhaustion, they showed exceptional playing ability and grit that helped get their team to the finals.

Nick Akers (#86) - amazing thrower and driver of their offense. Hillsdale’s offense would be very incomplete without him

Joel (#77) - same as Nick. His playmaking ability is a major reason Grace made it as far as they did.

Knox captain here, wanted to give a nomination to just two of our guys and also highlight/reiterate opponents who definitely deserve the honors.
#23 Vyaas Subramanian is a freshman on our team who excels in scoring deeps in the endzone, even against tough teams, Vyaas was consistently beating the best defenders to score.
#1 John Peterson is a standout player and key piece of the teams offense and defense. John created turns against some of the best players at the tournament while toughing out goals and assists on O line points in between. On other teams a few standout players were,

Nick Akers (#86)
Jake Hamilton #11

North Park

Rose Hulman

I want to nominate Ryan Lee for coach of the year. Last year, Kalamazoo lost 9 seniors of their 14 person roster as well as their previous coach coming into this season. Ryan, in his first year as coaching a college team, stepped up and managed to craft a well-oiled machine from a group of uncut diamonds. His constant advice during practice spurred the team’s growth and helped the team push through hard games. He kept the team calm in moments of panic/tension and organized the players to make the best line possible given the situation. The Buzz owe a large part of their success to his presence. His success is all the more impressive considering this is his first time coaching a college team.