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School: University of Puget Sound
Team Name: Postmen
Captains: Céad Nardie-Warner & Luke Jesperson
Coach: Adam Lerman
Year Founded: 2004
Jersey Colors: Black & Red
2010 Record: 21-18
Tell us a little about yourselves. How did you get involved with Ultimate at UPS?
Céad: My name is Céad Nardie-Warner. I am a senior at Puget Sound, and this is the fourth year that I’ve played Ultimate here. I started playing ultimate as a freshman because it was a fun group of guys around campus and we all really liked drinking beer and chanting. After my initial “crush” with the Postmen wore off, I realized how much I really enjoyed the people on the team (almost all ex-Magic the Gathering players), as well as the sport of Ultimate. By second semester, I still couldn’t throw with a mark, but I liked to play defense because I didn’t suck at it. That year (2008), we lost to our rival PLU at Sectionals and then were knocked out by Gonzaga, which happened again my sophomore year (2009). I was hooked.
Adam: My name is Adam Lerman. This is my fifth year coaching the Postmen. I also write for Skyd Magazine.
What is Ultimate at UPS all about?
Céad: Ultimate at UPS is changing. Since I was a freshman until now we have changed our approach to Ultimate. We have decided to try and win games and we enjoy the competitive aspect of the game. Other than playing Ultimate, we have a huge presence on campus as one of our university’s largest clubs.
Adam: At Sectionals in 2007, UBC-B beat us 15-3 to knock us out of the tournament. Three years later, we made the semifinals of the Division III College Championships, and that improvement came without adding a single player with elite high school experience. The skills may have improved, but the team has remained an unselfish group of players who work their asses off for each other.
How did your team do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Céad: Last season was a break out season for the Postmen. We finally qualified for Regionals, in ironic fashion as we beat PLU and Gonzaga to go. We played pretty well the first day at Regionals, losing close games to UBC, Davis, and Humboldt. We were also invited to Division III Nationals where we tied for third place. I would say the highlight of the season was the trip to Nationals. We finally felt like we were one of the better teams in a tournament, and it showed in our play and confidence on the field.
Who is your favorite team to play against?
Céad: My favorite team to play against is our rival PLU Reign. Although our games can be fiercely competitive we have a lot of friends at PLU and its always fun to play those guys. The most memorable game for me was the first time I remember beating them, ha. Last year in February, the score was 17-1. But they are still fun to play against when we lose, which I can say as long as that never happens again.
Tell us about your coach and captains. What do they bring to your team?
Céad: Our coach Adam Lerman is a G. He really knows his stuff, and has completely legitimized us as a competitive team in the region. His work over the last four years has developed the skills and knowledge that every team needs. I think coaching a team of college hooligans would be tough, and Coach Lerman does really well. It’s all about circles.
Adam: Céad and Luke Jesperson are both intelligent and hard-working players who lead by example. Céad has been a leader on this team since his freshman year. That’s actually not quite as impressive as it sounds, since he was like 28 at the time. This year, he’s actually the father of most of our incoming freshmen, so it’s natural for everyone to look up to him.
Are there players on your team who deserve consideration for Callahan, All-Region, or Freshman of the Year?
Céad: I don’t know about a Callahan contender, but if they judged on good-looks we’d easily take the cake. I think there are several players on our team who have the potential to be named to an All-Region squad: Kevin Chambers, Christian Brink, me, and Luke. As far as freshman go, I’ll be excited to see who sticks with the program, but Eric Hopfenbeck could make a huge difference for the Postmen, and make some other teams’ freshman cry.
What player is most likely to make a huge play as a thrower?
Céad: Our huck game is pretty weak, but Christian and I try. Also, we have several reliable handlers that consistently break the mark and keep the disc moving: Christian, Céad, Spencer Wu, and Ky Lewis to name a few.
Adam: Ky and Kevin don’t always make the best decisions, but they definitely get their money’s worth every time they touch the disc.
As a receiver?
Céad: Our strength is definitely in our receiver core. Kevin is easily our best receiver, and there aren’t many defenders in the region who can shut him down.
Adam: Kevin is boring. He’s always open by 10 yards on his deep cuts, and he never skies anyone. Last season, Nitai Deitel mostly just posterized his teammates. Look for Nitai to blow up this year. If you’re looking for someone to come down with a jump ball in a crowd, Elliott Cohen is your man.
Céad: We have a very athletic team and it shows in our defense. Our best defenders who lay it all out there are Luke, Céad, and Peter Geertz-Larson (PGL).
Adam: I expect that PGL and Spencer Sheridan will lead the team in layout blocks. Céad was the best defender on the team his first two years at UPS, but he became an O-line handler last year and got fat and slow and vegetarian. From what I’ve seen recently, his athleticism is back and he’s talking about himself in the third person again. I expect lots of big plays from him this year.
Who’s the least athletic starter on your team? What makes him so good?
Adam: Spencer Sheridan doesn’t look particularly athletic, but he’s actually one of the best athletes on the team. Christian Brink has been hitting the weights hard, and has gone from “not an athlete” to “sort of an athlete, and also really jacked and tan.” His field vision and big throws make him the quarterback of our offense.
It’s easy to see when someone throws a huge huck on gets a layout D. Who’s a player you have to watch more carefully to see how valuable he is to your team?
Céad: PGL and Jonas Cole are two sophomores on the team who make a huge impact. Both player are incredibly consistent and make plays when it counts. It’s invaluable to hold a stat like the least turnovers, but these guys are the best.
Adam: When he’s playing well, Spencer Wu’s fantasy line could easily be all zeroes. He does a great job of maintaining possession, keeping the disc moving, and breaking the mark.
Without giving too much away, what does your team like to do on offense and on defense?
Adam: On offense, we try to make things boring. On defense, we try to make things exciting.
Has your team set any goals for this season?
Céad: We would like to qualify for Regionals, and finish in the top half of the bracket. We would also like to win Division III Nationals if we get the opportunity to go again.
What has your team been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?
Céad: We have two full-field practices a week, and optional throwing practices every day. We’ve also been hitting the gym.
What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which are you most looking forward to?
Céad: We will definitely go to the PLU BBQ, but we really want to get invited to Presidents Day!
Adam: We’re also excited about hosting the second annual Postman Invite here in Tacoma.
What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?
Céad: Watch Willow, snort pixy sticks, and listen to metal.
What song would you pick for the soundtrack to your team’s 2011 highlight video?
Céad: Probably the Yeah Yeah Yeah Song, by the Flaming Lips.
Who’s going to win the 2011 USA Ultimate College Championships?
Céad: Carleton College
Who’s going to win the 2011 Division III College Championships?
Céad: Puget Sound
What makes your coach so handsome?
Céad: His tight pants.
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