Ultiworld All-Club 2021: 1st team (men)
Our selections for the seven best artists of the year.
November 23, 2021 by Ultiworld in Price with comments
The Ultiworld 2021 Men’s Club Awards are presented by Five Ultimate; all opinions are those of the authors. Please support the brands that make Ultiworld possible and shop at Five Ultimate!
Ultiworld is pleased to announce its annual Men’s Club Awards. While we consider both regular season and playoff performance, due to the nature of the club division, we place a premium on the success of the playoffs and national championships – this year even more than most. . The All-Club Awards are selected on the basis of contributions from Ultiworld journalists, contributors and editors.
Player of the year award
Offensive player of the year award
Defensive Player of the Year Award
Best player of the year award
Coach of the Year Award
First All-Club Team
Second All-Club Team (coming later this week!)
The club’s first men’s all-star team 2021
Chris Kocher (New York PoNY)
Efficiency is a word that can often be overused in Ultimate, but not in the case of Chris Kocher. Whether it’s his excellence with the disc in hand or his uncanny ability to move around as necessary to steal a block or save a sideline, Kocher is effective. He never did less than his maximum for New York PoNY, while wasting almost none of his effort. In 2021, that translated into an outing that included being the team’s top scorer for the season overall and only following a certain Jimmy Mickle in assists. No one can deny his efforts and what they have brought to PoNY this season, a place to the final and a WUCC qualification, where Kocher will have a chance to get another shot at gold.
What’s particularly impressive about Kocher this season is how easy he has made difficult tasks. Take another peek when you can at his over-the-shoulder block on Eric Taylor in the finale. Taylor kept his body forward, had a better angle on the disc, and Kocher still found the block a moment before it was too late. It’s easy to remember a moment like this on a big stage, but Kocher has been playing this kind of game in spades all season. Time and time again Kocher has shown that a team is better with him, the same can be said for our All-Club roster.
Raphy Hayes (Portland Rhino Slam!)
The recent awesome Portland Rhino Slam National Championships! have been closely linked to the flourishing of Raphy Hayes’ electrifying acting. A downward flying dynamo, Hayes’ hopping sky and sprawling offerings make him a magnet for highlight cameras and easy to clip on for fans.
But make no mistake, there is more than enough substance to power the flash. He’s been a triple threat, racking up goals, assists and blocks to equal the division lead at the national championships this year, doubling his goal tally from 2019 while anchoring the best results in Rhino to date. In Rhino’s support games – two clutch wins before an embarrassing burst loss – he had eight goals, five assists and four blocks in three games. Although this final round was not his best performance, he never backed down from that point on, including in those very close quarterfinals and quarterfinals matches. He’s one of the most used initiation cutters in the division who also poses a deep punitive threat, making him one of the toughest 1v1 covers in the game.
John Stubbs (Atlanta Chain Lightning)
Sibling rivalry within the Stubbs family must be an endless (albeit extremely polite) procession of increasingly impressive one-upmanship, but the youngest participant can now claim a feat neither George nor India have ever pu: a place in a POTY podium club. Doing it while leading the Atlanta hometown club Chain Lightning to one of their best seasons in a decade probably makes it all the sweeter.
With Chain still in the process of regaining national significance, John Stubbs was precisely the room they needed to raise their ceiling. A leading contributor in all facets of the game, the Harvard Man is not just the right tool to mend a single broken problem, but an entire toolbox in one, capable of tightening, relieving, fortifying, and fine-tuning for improve every component part of the team system. His work this year has seen Atlanta return to the top of the division and with a bit more tinkering in the years to come, it’s likely he’ll improve Chain before we get a glimpse of the finished product. John Stubbs is already.
Matt Rehder (Seattle Sockeye)
There is a laid back grace in Matt Rehder’s play that makes what he’s doing on the pitch seem almost easy. Of course, if it were easy to score 21 goals and 17 assists at the national and professional championships, everyone would.
The power of Rehder’s thunderclap field ability is disguised in the way he moves smoothly across the field, pushing defenders into deep space and then sort of five yards open for a big buck, or dragging around. around the disc, spinning up, and sort of being wide open for a 50 yard huck. Like a sports car that rolls with such polish at high speeds that you don’t even realize you’re going 120 until you look at the dashboard, Rehder belies the force of nature’s impact on the game until you check the stats sheet.
This feature means you won’t see much of Rehder’s production ending up on a highlight reel. This will be evident in the Seattle Sockeye’s victory column, however.
Jack Williams (Raleigh Ring or Fire)
It’s hard to stand out in a team like Raleigh Ring of Fire. Between the deep sense of mutual support, the reality of sharing talent with a group of other players who have been raised on the same basic skills, and the tactical advantage of a broad offensive cast, no one on Ring really makes a difference. also distinct impression. . They were the accomplished team in 2021, and it likely cost them some individual recognition, even if it earned them a championship.1
Except that Jack Williams stands out. He always stands out. He doesn’t even have to do much at one point: just his presence on the pitch – the fear of knowing he can outrun, jump and outsmart your best defender when it comes to his mind. to do so – bends the results in its favor. It is a problem of energy, kinetics and potential. He’s unstoppable when he’s in motion, and when he’s at rest, it’s like he’s full of future unstoppable moves.
Jack is a versatile player: he directs the weaving with Sol Yanuck and Matt Gouchoe-Hanas, trades the initiation cups with Ryan Osgar and Anders Juengst, explodes in depth when Henry Fisher or Terrence Mitchell free up a space for him, goes to defense to spell Eric Taylor and Jacob Fairfax against the other team’s first option. Fittingly, he played the most points (14) for Ring in the final, including the easy slide past deep defenders to bring in the winning score: Jack Williams’ vintage excellence to cap another season stellar.
Johnny Bansfield (Chicago Machine)
The long hiatus from the pandemic could have helped usher in a changing of the guard at the top of the men’s division, but it did nothing to darken Johnny Bansfield’s star. The two-way star followed a 2019 All-Club 2nd squad with a campaign that saw him do nothing but restore his impressive reputation.
With Bansfield, everything revolves around the two virtues of comfort and discomfort. Discomfort, of course, is his specialty in defense. Both one of the sportiest and least predictable defenders in the game, the disruption his presence causes in the fluid Chicago Machine area is only surpassed by the havoc he can wreak with a simple touch mark. . Don’t take my word for it; Ask Adam Rees, who found out the hard way about the Universe in the pre-quarters of the National Championships that Bansfield has an eagle eye for layout handblock opportunities.
The climax defense is an old hat for Bansfield. Where he really outdid himself this season was after the turnover. Everyone already knew he could shoot with the best of them, but this season he added a dimension of delicacy. Without Kurt Gibson in the 2021 mix, Machine’s D-line offense belonged to Bansfield. As the position point of a break-swing-reset attack, he was as calm as position stars Sol Yanuck and Jimmy Mickle: there just wasn’t a mark that seemed to be causing him problems.
Sol Yanuck (Raleigh Ring of Fire)
The watchword for the Ring of Fire offense in 2021 was variety. With such a diversity of attack points in play, the defensive game plans against them were pretty much a guess. For all this unpredictability, however, there was a guarantee: the record went through Sol Yanuck first.
A nimble and thoughtful distributor, and (whenever he smelled his oats) a daring shooter, Yanuck played the role of a pressure-laden central manager with all the mixed grace and precocity of a brash young symphony conductor. . He held the baton for the magnificent orchestral offensive streaks that overwhelmed opponents in Ring’s pool, troubled Chain and Rhino in support, and flew beyond even the extended reach of the PoNY D line in the final.
Yanuck’s 14 assists at the national championships, including three in the final, were the best on Ring. That underestimates his impact though, as you could argue that as the main driver of the O-Line he had at least a part in every goal scored by this formidable unit.