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Winter League Week 3

After a brief one-week hiatus, the WUDi team write-ups are back!

Captain CJ Ouellette and his Boston Tea Cups lost Empire teammate Matt “Cat” Stevens to the Anaheim Mighty Hucks, breaking up one of the league’s most devastating give-and-go pairs, but it looks like CJ has managed to put together a more balanced roster this time around.  Expect to see Ashley “Smash” Snyder and Minaqa Quinn behind the disc controlling the offense, allowing CJ to move into a more dangerous cutting role downfield.  (I don’t know about you, but I’d rather guard CJ while he’s standing still with the disc than when he’s running up and down the length of the field!)  It’s hard to predict what the cutting roles will look like because this team has so many smart cutters who plug in as needed – Tyler Bruno, Chris Cox, Iris Lam, Miranda Moore – the list goes on and on.  It will be interesting to see if the Tea Cups’ offense develops specific roles for players or maintains a more free-form offensive style.  The Tea Cups are 1-3 in the first two weeks, but it’s important to note that those losses all came against teams in the top half of the league, and two of those games were close, decided by 3 points or less.

Captain Jackson Dolan and his Vatican City Popes on a Rope are off to a strong 3-1 start, capitalizing on the backfield presence of Bryan Gulyas and John Stavinga, which allows Jackson the mobility to chew up yards downfield.  Although these guys don’t quite have the height of the Dallas Ginger Dreamboats, all three of them know how go up strong against taller opponents, while still getting D’s under alongside the team’s unofficial spirit guide CJ Bonifati.  The real story with this team, though, is the powerhouse lineup of women.  Jess Brand is not only faster than you are now, she’s faster than you were when you played in college.  She and Andrea Jones will be main goal scorers for this team, with a number of silky throwing assists coming from Julie Reichling and Elly Sullivan.  But, wait, there’s more – Liz Middleton, one of the best players in the league, will be returning from the DL later in the season.  In the meantime, her sideline presence will lend additional poise and focus to the team as it learns to play together in the early season games.

My former captains Cass Schaffa and Chris Robles knew what they were doing this session when they assembled the Massapequa Throwing Pains – hang onto your best players (Cynthia Jones, Andrew “Cups” Purugganan, and Larissa Wohl), cut the turnover machines (me), and sprinkle in some youthful enthusiasm (Hyosam Jeon and Ryan Peterson), veteran experience (Dan Gwartz, Charley Riggs, and Joe Stadel), and unknown X-factors (Noah Langer).  After that, just insert honey pass opportunities galore (Cynthia’s other half Ross Ward, plus Luke Perkins and Natalie Kallhoff), step back, and watch the magic happen.  Oh, and if you can, then beg, borrow, or steal to get Emma Stoltze, not only because she’s just an all-around nice person, but also because she knows how to straight-up wreck people.  The Throwing Pains have struggled a little bit out the gate as the arthritis medicine kicks in, but this will be a fun team to watch develop as the season progresses.

Finally, Paul McDonnell’s Pittsburgh Yinzers have a significantly different roster than last season, returning zero players from its Fall League team.  (Yes, I know Paul is returning, but that doesn’t count.)  However, the core of this team played together on Seth Canetti’s summer league team two years ago, including Paul, Seth, Jose Infante, Katrina Krasnansky, and Kevin “Bird” McCarthy, and Paul has added a strong cast of savvy, athletic players (Jake Kaufman, Chris O’Shea, Matt McGann, Bernadette Boyle, and Kyla Dayer, to name a few).  Only time will tell if the team can find the chemistry it needs to succeed on the field, but the team could use some wins in the next couple weeks after suffering two universe point losses on the way to its current 1-3 record.  One long-term concern for this team will be their ability to shut down a game-changing player like Shockey – while Erin Ivers has been racking up D’s left and right for the Yinzers, it’s unclear who, if anyone, can make that happen on the guys’ side of the roster.*

*Hat tip to captain Paul McDonnell for supplying most of the above text and allowing me to shamelessly copy it.

One last note: if you are on the Anaheim Mighty Hucks or New York Empire Carpet and have been thinking to yourself, “hey, where the hell’s OUR write-up?!?” then please ask your captains about it at tonight’s game.


WUDi 2016 Election Results

The election results are in, and thanks to our first two contested elections in quite some time, voter turnout was the highest it has been in years!


Without further ado, the incoming board members for the 2017-2018 term are:

Secretary: Julie Reichling

Treasurer: Bob Suvanich

At-Large: Lauren Doyle


Thank you to all the candidates who ran.  Don't worry about Dan and Justin - we'll find volunteer work for them!

I would also like to express an immense amount of gratitude for our outgoing secretary, Ashley "Smash" Gulyas.  Although Ashley didn't officially join the board until 2013, her work had started long before, as she was almost single-handedly responsible for starting up our indoor Fall and Winter leagues in 2012.  For all 4 years on the board, she doubled as the indoor league coordinator, in addition to her secretary duties.  She did a great job at keeping the board (and especially me) on task, and was instrumental in managing our transition as a DiscNY affiliate league.  Thank you for all the hard work Ashley!!


Winter League Starts Tonight!

Winter League 2017 begins tonight, and we've got some early season coverage of last season's finalists to whet your appetite on your commute to Chelsea Piers.

Team 1 (Bosco) returns a core of key players from his Fall 2016 championship roster (and the highest number of returning players amongst any returning captain), including Braden Paynter, Julie Sussman, Daniel Bush, and Craig Lowell.  He loses Bryan Gulyas, the Karl Malone to his John Stockton, but manages to pick up Todd Springer and Allison Walker in return, two more big downfield targets.   With so many strong, aggressive cutters, this team may have to learn to share the field with each other before finding their groove, but while everyone else is learning names, Team 1 will be building on an established foundation from last season.  It's hard to see this team not making it to the championship game again, even if they suffer some early season losses as they learn to incorporate Todd, ADubs, and the rest of the new players into their offensive flow.

The Dallas Ginger Dreamboats (Palmers) look poised to avenge their loss in the Fall 2016 finals.  Their roster will be a matchup nightmare for some of the shorter teams in the league -- how do you account for any three of Shockey, Dan Velazquez, Nic Dacey, and Ben Ivers, besides hoping that they run into each other while skying everyone on your team and somehow drop the disc?  Add in Shannon Velazquez, Matt Leventhal, and Dave Wexler behind the disc, plus Dee as the glue cutter holding it all together, and you've an offense that will run roughshod over a lot of defensive lineups.  Although this team does have to be aware of limiting unforced turnovers from some of their throwers with a penchant for making high risk/high reward throws, Shockey and Dee know how to clamp down on those errors with their "take the easy one" offensive mentality.

That's it for today, but stay tuned in the coming weeks for early-season writeups on the remaining six teams!