Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pres Day 2009

After a strong showing at the Santa Barbara Invite, we entered Pres Day this year as the second seed. UC Berkley, who won in Santa Barbara, was the first seed. A week before Pres Day, the weather looked terrible. One of the biggest storms of the year was headed to So Cal for the weekend, but as the week went on, the weather reports started to look better. The storm ended up being delayed and really hit Monday, so we were able to shift some of the games around to finish up on Sunday afternoon.

In our first game of Saturday, we faced USC. We started with some hard man defense and a new offense: the horizontal stack. This new offense is run by 3 handlers, rather than the usual Spread offense that is run by the 4 downfield players. This new offense looked nice and crisp and opened up the field for lots of handler initiated swings and hucks. On the final point of the game, Mark “Dibs” Johnston chased down a full field huck and laid out in the end zone for the win, 13-5.

The next game, against UC Berkley’s B-team, was a great chance for the fish to show us their potential. On offense we continued to run the ho-stack, and on defense we ran a vertical stack. All our younger players looked solid. Murphy “Soda” Hitchcock showed great maturity and poise. Borland also had a great layout catch to keep an errant huck alive. We ended up closing this game out, 13-2.

The next game was against USD, where the wind picked up a little. They had a few experienced players and a good zone. We made mistake after mistake and were down by a point at half. In the second half we collected ourselves and were able to convert on offense and create turns with our 4 man cup. We were finally able to end this game with a win, 13-9.

Our final game of the day was against Cal Poly SLO under the lights. This was the first showcase game the Squids have played in 2 years, and we were excited. SLO has had a breakout season so far, with a great showing at Sean Ryan during fall quarter. Rumor has it they didn’t graduate a single person last year. Starting the game, it was evident that their ho-stack offense flowed through 2 solid handlers, who would hit any of their fast young receivers. Great aerial plays from Eric “Biel” Abhold and Yui Takeshita led the way for a solid Squid offense. We ended up winning the game in front of a friendly home crowd 13-7.

Our first game on Sunday was against UCLA. These guys beat us earlier in the year at Sean Ryan, and we’ve been hungry for revenge for 3 months. The game started out terribly. They run a strong man defense on our downfield cutters, but a poachy zone on our handlers, making it hard for us to move it from our handlers to our downfield players. They started with a couple D’s close to our own goal and were able to convert quickly to go up 4-1. It was obvious that our new handler run ho-stack wouldn’t cut it against their D, so we switched to the good ol’ squid spread. Our handlers were able to work it around in the back and eventually get it downfield to our core group of cutters: Guy “Kattan” Hughes, Eric “Biel” Abhold, Mark “Dibs” Johnston, and Alec “Hutch” Miller. Once the disc got past the handlers, we were off to the races and scored easily with the 4 man downfield spread. We also switched defenses to a box, led by fronts Justin “Bobble” Elliott, Brooks “Cork” LeComte, and middle mark Anson “Duffy” Brune. This box got us to half with a one point lead. The second half was hard fought, and Eric “Biel” Abhold really took over on offense. We ended the game on defense with a score caught by Michael “Coppa” Yu for the win 13-11.

The final game of our Power Pool was against Chico. Again, we tried to open the rotation and let our younger players shine. Mike “Hyzer” Tilghman showed his dominance in the air as well as his vision with throws that were years beyond his experience. The fish really stepped up in this game and they all looked really impressive. We take it 13-9.

We had a meeting with the coaches/captains of most of the teams and decided that rather than wait for the storm to come on Monday, we should take the top 4 teams into the semi-finals. That set us up against University of North Texas. UNT was led by a crew of 4 or 5 tall and talented players. They all got more talented as they got taller, but luckily, this is generally true of our team as well. Justin “Bobble” Elliott and Guy “Kattan” Hughes played great offense and defense against their best players. The first half was all about offense. Neither team was broken. In the second half, our Box was able to create some turns and we were able to convert almost every time. It seemed like there was so much space on the field with our Spread offense. Guy “Kattan” Hughes and Mike “Hyzer” Tilghman both had some great plays in the air against some of their best players, and Yui had the layout catch of his life in the end zone. We ended the game 13-8 and only had 3 turnovers the whole game.

The final against UC Berkley was a tough game. They move the disc extremely fast on offense and were able to stick extremely close on D. They also had a zone D that was hard for most of our team to break, but Brooks “Cork” LeComte was always able to find a hole. We tried for most of the game to run the Box D that had worked so well all day, but they were patient and always able to break it down. We also had some mistakes on offense that they took advantage of. They ended up winning 11-15.

Overall, I think this tournament was a success, even though we were unable to break seed. Taking 2nd at our home tournament is something the Squids have not done in a long time. I really want to thank Stephen “Pumba” Hubbard for his time. This tournament was a success because of all his hard work. The next tournament we’re looking forward to is the Stanford Invite, on March 7th and 8th.


  1. Nice writeup. Can't wait to see you guys rock in Stanford.

  2. I like the descriptions, I'll see ya'll in Ohio for natties.