Bart Watson wins Farricker Spirit Award

Congratulations to Revolver’s Bart Watson who wins the 2010 Farricker Spirit Award.
This award is given to the player in the open division of the USA Ultimate’s Club Championship Series adjudged to have exhibited personal responsibility, integrity, and fairness combined with a high standard of playing ability.

Revolver submitted this statement on behalf of Bart Watson:

Revolver would like to nominate Bart Watson for the Farricker Spirit Award. He combines spirit and respect with success at the highest level. Bart has won College Nationals (Stanford: 2002), World Games (Team USA: 2005, 2009), Club Nationals (Jam: 2008), and World Ultimate Club Championships (Revolver: 2010). The writeup on on Mixed World games points to Bart as having an “MVP performance” throughout the tournament — this same statement would be true for nearly every team Bart has played on.

As one of the most visible players of our time, he has a special responsibility to embody Spirit of the Game, and he does in spades. He is a leader on every team he has played for from Winter League to World Champion teams, and leads by example in all aspects of the game.  He maintains his easy-going, kind, Iowa-native demeanor on and off the field, and Revolver is proud to have him as Captain and as our Farricker nominee.

USAU Club Championships – Day 4

Last year the finals were at 2:30p which left a lot of time early in the day to think about the upcoming game against Chain Lightning. We had tried to tune out by watching a movie and lounging around, but the excitement kept burning through, even if it wasn’t explicitly mentioned.  This year we had less idle time because of the earlier start, but nobody avoided talking about the finals, and things clearly felt looser, closer to a normal morning at Nationals. Instead of arriving early like last year for an almost hour and a half warm-up we would only start jogging 50 minutes before game-time, five minutes extra than we had warmed up for the rest of this tournament to allow for team introductions. Leading up to the first pull, Ironside sounded very energized, while we conveyed a calmer demeanor, which is exactly what we wanted.

Game 8 – Bracket play, finals – 11:45a vs Ironside (Boston, MA)
We’ll leave it to the Open division reporter, Jonathan Neely, to narrate the full game, but here are some choice details:  Ironside broke our O-line three times, but our D-line converted at a high rate, looking almost as efficient as the O-line after the turn. As for the game-winning upwind hammer, Eric Halverson says he wasn’t thinking goal when he threw it, but simply saw Tyler Grant wide open and let it fly. Grant, with plenty of time, checked the goal line and carefully leapt for the catch to get his feet across.

Deserving Bart Watson won the Peter Farricker Spirit Award to keep it in-house after Robbie Cahill won last year. Ironside earned the team spirit award that we had been honored with in 2009. Congratulations to both well-deserved spirit award winners.

It was a truly great season, for which we owe many many thanks:  To everyone that has proudly worn the Revolver jersey, helping to build the team into what it is today, especially the founders Nick Handler, Chris McManus, and Marc Weinberger, and Chuck Kindred for spiritual coordination.  To the 2010 captains, Mike Payne, Alex “ Dutchy” Ghesquiere, Robbie Cahill, and Bart Watson, for all their endeavors in planning, executing, and leading.  To Patagonia and George Plomarity, for keeping us clothed, comfortable, and stylish.  To all our friends, family, and fans across the world for their years of support and motivation.

We all look forward to 2011.

USAU Club Championships – Day 3

So begin the elimination games. If you can make it this far in the season, all you need is a three-game winning streak! Unfortunately, that’s tough when seven other top-caliber teams attempt the same.

Game 6 – Bracket play, quarterfinals – 9:30a vs Truck Stop (Washington, DC)
Though #22 Brian Stout stuck to the sideline, shirtless and arm in a sling, any thoughts of a lucky break (no offense, Brian) were put quickly to rest by their big blond receiver #99 George Hughes-Strange, who set about dominating the lanes and skies en route to a 7-5 lead for Truck.  Wake up, Revolver–it’s Saturday morning in Sarasota!
We finally got back on track with an outstanding D by Jon Levy on a backside huck that he played perfectly by quickly turning for a high-angled layout at the exact moment to prevent the sure goal. A 10-2 run to end the game yielded a 15-9 victory that felt difficult, despite the differential.

Since we had the later semifinal, everyone headed for the parking lot and drove five minutes to the nearest Chili’s restaurant, where the air conditioning felt wonderful, the cold water refreshing, and the appetizers delicious. We hydrated a lot, didn’t eat too much, watched college football on the HD TVs, and joked with the waitresses and each other.

Game 7 – Bracket play, semifinals – 2:15p vs Doublewide (Austin, TX)
Since we had already dispatched the Ultimate equivalents of the Giants’ NLDS (Atlanta Braves & Chain Lightning) and NLCS (Philadelphia Phillies & Southpaw) opponents, we knew that if we could win our semifinal matchup against Texas that San Francisco would at least win the World Series! Everyone was talking about how dialed #10 Brodie Smith had been for Doublewide, especially since being re-paired with his old Florida running mate #20 Kurt Gibson.  Indeed, they both played well this game making many deep and shorter connections–including a stellar laser hammer from Gibson to Smith late in the game–but clearly sometimes forcing tough stuff because of their extreme trust in each other. We assigned Taylor Cascino and Eric Halverson to put their best flat marks against Smith, since he seemed so determined to huck, and they did well to make his throws rushed and angled into tough spaces instead of easier, straight, leading passes. Halverson tallied a foot block on one of his backhand attempts and Cascino notched a layout comeback block on one of his forays downfield in which Gibson was determined to get the disc to him. We were down early 5-3 but clawed back for a 15-13 victory that won’t rank among our prettiest, but exhibited a ton of athleticism and grit by both teams.

We were excited to be back in the finals, but not really nervous with our tough skin. We had played in the championship game of our last six tournaments, dating back to Cal States, and only lost one of those games. But that lone finals loss, at ECC, came at the mercy of our next adversary, who only lost one game all season (quarterfinals of Worlds, to Sockeye). Yet everyone knows that the final game of Nationals is an altogether different beast.

The entire team, family, and friends took over our favorite Italian restaurant in Sarasota for our traditional Saturday night meal. After thanking everyone for coming out this year and dismantling a wonderful meal, we rejoined the Giants to keep our minds off the next day. At our team meeting that night we reviewed defensive assignments and offensive and defensive strategy points, then split into separate O and D squads for a final talk. In the offensive group, sitting around the pool, we focused on playing a sensible, patient, possession-oriented game to keep the pressure off our defense. In the defensive group back inside, we pointed to the energy needed tomorrow and noted that the outcome of the game would ultimately rest on D-line shoulders. If
we could grab three breaks we trusted the offense to carry the day.