2011 USA Ultimate Northwest Plains Sectionals

We hired a
photographer and
this was the best
pic we got all
For the seventh consecutive year, Madison Club traveled to Maple Plain, MN, for the Northwest Plains Open Sectional, and for third consecutive year Madison defeated Sub Zero in the finals for the Sectional title.

Saturday was primarily uneventful in pool play as we faced Duluth's Dingwop, St. Olaf, and Mike Huckabee Reelection Committee, winning 15-5, 15-1 and 15-4 respectively. The highlights of the day included Callahans in every game, one in particular coming off a huge layout d by Peter Graffy into the waiting hands of Jon Gaynor. Much of the time was spent working out the kinks on our various offensive and defensive sets and talking about how bad the Vikings are this year.

Sunday came with rain showers and a quarter finals matchup with Universe Point from Stevens Point, WI. In a rare outburst, and while repeatedly thumping his chest and spiking disks, Andrew Meshnick declared to the entire team and all who'd listen that he was going to score 15 points against Point, as he is currently a student at SP and wanted to show his friends that he was good. In the end, Mesh Besh had a quiet game. Madison 15, Point 4.

Semifinals brought a lot of rain and Climax from the local Minneapolis/St. Paul vicinity. This was a really wet game and I think my socks are still drying out, but Climax brought a little bit of determination to the field and made several small runs with quick deep shots, however the sloppy conditions proved too much for the Climaxers, Madison 15-9.


Another amazing photo.
This time of Gigo

doing something.
Finals of the Northwest Plains Section is always a big game because, unlike most sections, the NWP fields two teams with legitimate Nationals aspirations, Madison and Sub Zero, with the winner getting a huge boost for seeding going into Central Regionals. It's a given the matchup itself will occur every year and both teams are historically rich with proud pasts, so needless to say, the energy was flowing.

The game started with both teams trading in sloppy conditions, but Madison broke early only to find themselves returning the break on a costly dropped pull just moments later. Seeing this caused Seth Meyer to flip his internal berserker switch and the results were incredibly impressive. Seth went on to have a huge game including massive layout d's on handler re-set attempts and unrelenting endzone skyballs over cowering Sub defenders.

Unfortunately, Seth couldn't single-handedly win the game for Madison and Sub Zero kept the pressure up mainly due to the outstanding play of Luther and NexGen standout, Eric Johnson. In the later stages, with the game close and SZ pushing hard on defense and on a string of breaks, 'EJ' pulled off an amazing Callahan d on an intercepted up field look pulling the game to evens and firing up the SZ sidelines. At this point Madison truly had their backs up against the wall and had Jon Gaynor not made a game saving grab on the ensuing offense possession to stop the SZ break train, the game most certainly would've gone in Sub's favor.

Thankfully, with Gaynor's grab, the o-line held and put the ball in the d-line's court. Up 16-15, game to 17, Madison forced an errant SZ huck out of the back of the endzone and picked up the disk with a full field ahead of them to go for the win. After a series of dump resets, the disk went to Dave Wiseman on the sideline, who rejected any notion of playing small-ball and jerked a huge floaty forehand into the endzone. We still don't know who he was throwing to, but as a wolfpack converged under the disk, Rodrigo Valdivia, sensing the magnitude of the situation, exploded vertically like a rocket and elevated above the masses to snare the wayward prize out of the sky. Boom. Hero. Victory secured. Game.

In the celebratory post game huddle, Madison was reminded that nothing is a given in this game, that we must work hard for whatever we want this season and that this was just one step on the journey. We were also reminded that the greatest beer in the world is Victory Beer, which tasted damn good on a cool wet Sunday afternoon in Minnesota.

Next stop: Regionals!