NexGen Showcase

 A week after kicking off our 2012 domestic campaign at the Emerald City Classic, we again had the opportunity of hosting the NexGen Tour in a San Francisco showcase at Kezar Stadium. We had all been looking forward to this game – there aren’t many chances in ultimate to play in front of a large home crowd, and we had really enjoyed the experience last summer. NexGen puts on a crowd-pleasing show, and the whole tour is doing great things for the sport, increasing involvement and making it more exciting and fan-friendly.

    It would be a fun night, no doubt – but we also knew the college stars would bring a strong game, too. Their roster is filled with elite players at the college and club level, and after 11 games and nearly a month of traveling they had developed the cohesion that turns a group of players into a team and earned wins over top-level competition (e.g. Doublewide, Ironside) in the process.  On our side, injuries and travel meant that we were missing many important players, including Mac Taylor, Russell Wynne, Joel Schlachet, Eric Greenwood, Sam Kanner, and Tom James (who unfortunately tweaked his hamstring in the warmup). Our goal for the game was to raise our intensity and focus as we ramped back up from our worlds break.
    RSD commenter “joaqman” was spot-on with his “bold prediction – it will be colder than anyone expects” – SF lived up to its reputation of being cold and foggy even in late August, and there was a moderate swirly breeze at field level.

Revolver vs. NexGen All-Stars, 10-15

    The wind made for some early turnovers, with our O line working it to the goal line before a floaty dump gave NexGen the disc – which they promptly gave back with a drop. Both o-lines held for the first few points, with NexGen looking particularly sharp deep while we successfully worked it up on shorter throws. At 3-2, a backfield drop gave our defense its first taste of the disc, but we were unable to convert and the all-stars scored on another deep shot with two open receivers. Our offense tried to answer back with deep shots, but NexGen did a great job of poaching off our stack cutters and helping deep and we did a very poor job of seeing these poaches, which led to throws into double or triple coverage and a number of turns. NexGen continued to punish deep on turns, and they broke twice to 5-3. We got a break back off of a deep turnover, then traded to 7-6, after a long Revolver defensive stand with lots of good defense and numerous opportunities to score but unfortunately no joy – our defensive line really suffered from our missing handler corps. Another poach deep d and huck gave the visitors the break into half, 8-6.

    Coming out of half, we knew we had work to do on defense to be prepared for their deep shots, work their handlers and convert when we had the disc. We started well, quickly converting a dump turnover and a risky hammer look into two breaks thanks to better down-field defense taking away options and excellent cutting by Pat Baylis and Beau Kittredge. At 8-8, we earned another turnover, but a great layout point block in the backfield by Philip Haas gave NexGen a quick escape and brought our offensive line back out. Coming out of halftime strong, we thought we were back in the game – but the college all-stars were unfazed and responded in turn, earning three straight breaks back on us. We had several uncharacteristic turns – again, missing deep help, not seeing poachers – but NexGen also played great defense and had a very effective deep game on the turn, with throwers putting up shots that normally we wouldn’t expect to see thrown and athletic receivers coming down with them. We traded for two sets but were broken again to end the game, 15-10 NexGen.

    It’s always disappointing to lose in a showcase match, especially with friends and fans watching, but this was a good reminder of the value of practice and of how much work we need to be putting in to be successful in the club series. It’s always nice to have room for improvement… see you at Labor Day!

Revolver vs NextGen Friday 8/17 7:30 – All-Star Ultimate Frisbee Night | Kezar Stadium

“Big game, Big Venue, should be… well… Big.”

These words are from the immortal coach who has a way with, well, words…

If you haven’t followed or heard about the NexGen Ultimate Tour you are missing out.  This was a crazy vision founded by Kevin Minderhout and against all odds he managed to get some of the best college players  from the previous season on a bus to play elite teams all over the country, again!  You can read about their adventures here.

This is a big time tour and the players are showing that they are big time players, so this Friday should be crazy.  They have wins over notable club teams like Bravo, Ironside, the AUDL Spinners and yesterday DoubleWide.  Click for full tour results. With Patagonia “Plays of the Game” videos like this one, it should be a barn burner.

Details are as follow:
   Friday 8/17 – 7:30 start time
   Kezar Stadium 755 Stanyan St, San Francisco CA 94117
   $5 Students, $10 Regular
   Event link on Facebook,

Spread the word, come watch a great game or see it streaming online.


One of Revolver’s ECC experiences
Having no events between winning a world championship 4 weeks earlier and the start of ECC, Revolver showed that these are not the ideal circumstances to enter an elite ultimate frisbee tournament under.  The welcome summer break had healed some injuries but many players were still on the recovery road at the start of this tournament and opted to stay there rather than make things worse.  Furthermore, playing 5 games on turf fields turns out to be bad for joints and muscles – several more players stepped out with injuries before the tournament was over.  By the end, we have 7 players sitting out and we are well represented in PT rooms and doctor’s offices in the Bay Area today.  Rehab exercising is not for the faint of heart – getting back to top condition after an injury makes a regular season without an injury look easy in comparison.  Anyway, enough with the diversion – on to the tournament summary:

Game 1 – Furious (W, 15-10)

We are excited about this game being our transition to the club season since we squared off in Semis at Worlds with these guys not too long ago.  In the interim, the Canadian team had been taking a lot of flak in various forums for a poor spirit showing in a power pool game in Japan.  No evidence of poor spirit in this game, as we play a respectful and hard-fought contest on the hot turf and we use our motivation leftover from worlds to close out the game 15-10.   At one point during this game Pat Baylis looks off a wide open Martin Cochran in the endzone, pumping several fakes before finally inexplicably throws a swing to Sherwood instead.  This photo perfectly captures that moment, and interestingly, the rest of our day.

Game 2 – Ironside (L, 11-13)
Having spent our leftover motivation from Worlds to beat Team Canada again, we find that there is not a lot remaining.  This game is a new low in execution and intensity for Revolver; at this point the Worlds hangover hits us very hard.  Boston’s offense uses the break side of the field to run 4 and 5 throw combinations to uncovered players, and our offense doesn’t keep up the clinical efficiency Boston is showing.  Boston is out to a 4 break lead before we get one, and then the hard-cap comes after one of our O points leaving us no chance at late-game heroics.  With no time to get the train back on track, we stagger into our next stop: New York.

Game 3 – PoNY (W, 13-12)
Hangover still strongly in effect, not to mention sore feet from two hot games on turf, and we can’t find our rhythm anywhere.  We give back a two-break lead at halftime and pull on double game point.  Luckily a miscue from NY gives us a 25 yard field and we score the winner, preserving a win at least on paper.  We are remembering now that ultimate frisbee against the best club teams in the country is very very hard.

Game 4 – Sockeye (W, 15-13)
A welcome bye, and even more welcome battle against the Fish in a showcase game under the lights.  We couldn’t be anywhere better to regain our lost motivation.  Our re-discovered enthusiasm to play shows and we are ready to battle, looking better on offense and defense than before – at least enough to forestall constant head slapping from the coach.  A good win for us here, given the physical status of the team, leaves us with good momentum going into tomorrow.

Rhino has won all of their games on DGP, a very impressive feat, and we are looking for help to get into finals to rematch Boston.  We don’t get any, and will have to wait till Florida before we see them again.  In the meantime:

Game 5 – Truck Stop (W, 14-10)
Knowing that the games today will be very hard was not the problem – accepting it was the key.  Revolver finally acknowledges this and begins to do real work.  Our intensity returns and we play well on defense to keep Truck Stop at bay.  We are pleased with this game, Truck is a good team and we played well to win –  a refreshing turn from the day before.

Game 6 – Doublewide (W 12-9)
We are all very happy to see Kurt again, and wish him the best for his knee recovery before the end of the season.  Mac beats him in a one-legged race across the field so we get to receive to start the game.  We drop a couple of breaks to their capable D line, but muscle back before half to preserve Mac’s effort getting us the half-break lead at the start.  The second half is very short due to the tight round times, and we get to earn some breaks to widen the score a bit before the game ends.  DW seems like they are also battling the injury bug, both teams are undoubtdedly looking forward to a high-power rematch in Santa Cruz in a few weeks.

Game 7 – GOAT (W 15-11)
Having heard Rhino kept their streak of DGP wins alive, we play our consolation against GOAT on the now-extremely-hot turf.  It is an offensive clinic to start the game, they score their first 5 goals on what seems like 12 total passes.  Luckily so do we, so when our D does get a break just before halftime we are still in the lead.  In the second half the Revolver defense finds a way to finally put consistent pressure on their offense and gets a few more breaks to close out the game.  On the whole a good effort against a very good team.

We conclude the tournament out of finals and disappointed with our lost opportunity for a rematch against Boston.  We know that, if tradition holds, the next meeting between our teams will be of significant consquence in Sarasota.  We do some humility running, and commit ourselves to the start of the 2012 club season.  Title defense: begun.