Cazenovia Recap

posted Jun 5, 2012, 5:41 AM by Matt Snow
For Maverick’s 2012 roster, June 2nd and 3rd marked the first official two-day tournament of the season. Just outside of Syracuse, Cazenovia Ultimate Tournament’s 8th annual occurrence brought out some great teams with power pools including some of the best teams in the world. Maverick went in seeded 8th out of 16 teams, being placed in a pool along with Boston’s Ironside and two other Canadian teams: Phoenix and Mephisto.

Day one’s first game was against Montreal’s Mephisto. Having only played Mephisto once in 2011, we were very excited for an early season opportunity to prove ourselves against one of the top teams in Canada. Maverick came out hard against Mephisto’s strong defense and took half with a small lead. Once we gathered ourselves and realigned our strategy, we were able to come out with power and a great end zone offense allowing us to take the game with a 13-7 win. This was a huge win for the team as Maverick has never before won a match-up against Mephisto.  Key players include Chris Taylor with huge defensive plays and a sick high-flying layout for a break and Matt Penman pulling down countless discs for the o line.

After a strong win against Mephisto, our second match-up found us facing one of the top 3 teams in the world, Boston’s Ironside. Ironside, still in tryout mode, has a very large team with many of their players well over 6 feet tall. We went into the game knowing that we were outmatched so early in the season but came out strong regardless. The O line handlers were as steady as ever in this game: Craig Hyatt did a great job distributing the disc across the field, while Rhyin Newell and Aaron Kucherawy both had numerous break throws for yards. Unfortunately, Ironside's defense proved irrepressible, and Maverick struggled to finish in the end zone. Maverick managed to hold Ironside at bay early on, but the game got away and we fell 13-4.

A highly anticipated game against Ottawa’s Phoenix was our final pool play game of the day. After facing Phoenix numerous times the previous year, but only coming out on top on one occasion, Maverick went into the game with enormous energy. Phoenix’s 2012 roster has been recharged with some key players returning from last year’s mixed team, Trainwreck. Phoenix, known for their gritty defense, encountered issues at the beginning of the game trying to slow down our offense. Maverick also managed to hold their own with some fantastic turns on defense, notably by Thomas Black. Phoenix broke first and took the lead at half. Maverick was unable to recover and lost the game 13-9. An interesting encounter between Phoenix’s Neal Dawson and Maverick’s Thomas Black lead to a heated argument and a grueling match-up between the two monsters. Overall, Maverick’s defense played fantastic and with great energy.

The final game of Saturday was a pre-quarter crossover against a young Zebra Muscles squad. The team pulls players from across upstate New York including Syracuse and Rochester. The Zebras found a hard match-up against Maverick’s intense defense, anchored by the suffocating defensive style of Russ Nicolls and Brendan Wylie-Toal. Despite resilient, fighting offense, Zebra Muscles found it hard to hold off Maverick’s D-lines from breaking them. Coupled with a perfectly executed offense, including huge flick bombs from Trevor Henry to Matt Penman, Maverick was able to take the game 15-10.

A local business, Critz Farms, hosted a tournament social following Saturday’s games. The farm, specializing in apples, has a cidery on-site. They offered free snacks, a great patio and green-space, and fantastic staff that made the experience unforgettable. Not only did they sell bottles of unique and delicious cider, but they offered a cider tasting where one of their family experts walked each person through a complete tasting of all the ciders they offer. After all the other teams left, Maverick was the only one who remained. The hospitable family who owned the farm spent some time relaxing in the sun with our team, ensuring that we had everything we wanted. If you are ever in the area, we highly recommend going.

Sunday morning quarter finals had us with a match-up against the strong team from New York, PoNY. Still finishing their tryouts, PoNY brought lots of sideline energy that made it hard to beat their defense. Maverick’s Matt Penman continued to have some enormous end zone strikes. That, along with some big plays by Bryan Cunningham, found PoNY surprised with the strength of the Canadian team, Maverick. Our o-line did a great job of moving the disc through PoNY’s zone on a windy day but it wasn’t enough. PoNY got a couple of breaks right at the end of the half to go up 8-4. They continued to play strongly in the second half and took the game with a final score of 15-9.

Maverick’s second game on Sunday was against the team Super Seed, formerly known as Dire Wolf. This team, coming from Pittsburgh, was loud and vulgar throughout the length of the game. Maverick, not used to playing teams of this nature, went down one break early on. Thanks to some fantastic defense, including a newly dubbed “scorpion footblock” by Jeff McConomy, Maverick was able to battle back and regain a lead. A stable O-line allowed for both of our D-lines to take a couple of breaks taking the lead 13-11. Key plays include Dan Berringer with a huge D on a floaty huck, then a layout up-line grab over two defenders and then flipping it into the endzone for a goal; a ridiculous layout D by Trevor Henry which resulted in 10 minutes of the dreaded “zombie knee;” and a dirty break from the youngest Maverick, Ben Pries, to Carson Turner who bombed a perfect flick to the end zone for the goal. Although disappointed with the other team’s attitude, this was an excellent game to win.

Our final game for the tournament was another matchup against Phoenix. While both teams were tired, it was clear that everyone was excited to challenge for 5th. Maverick struggled to refocus with some adjustments to the O line, and we went down quickly, trailing 5-1. However, after a strong timeout speech by captain Matt Snow, our D-lines became monstrous. The hard work ethic and desire for the disc on the D-line allowed breaks to be piled up. Pete McLachlan, Matt Hofing, and Bacon Sandwich shut down the Phoenix handlers. Then, on the turn, they moved the disc incredibly well, throwing it out onto the break side for big gainers despite strong winds. The man with the grenade tattoo, Stewart Russell, had some monstrous displays in the air and was able to rip a huge huck to Jeff McConomy who boxed out his defender for a break. Despite a fantastic recovery, Maverick was unable to regain the lead and lost 15-12. Key plays include a huge “mac-n-catch” layout by Mark Deren; Sergio with some stifling defense, huge layouts, and downright dominant lane cutting; and an enormous layout grab by Andrew Higgins.

This was a fantastic tournament for a retooling Maverick squad.

Next up: Boston Invite

- Dave Kaufman