2011 Preview – Virginia Tech Burn

by | November 24, 2010, 10:00am 0

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School Name: Virginia Tech
Team Name: Burn
Captains: Evan Klein (’11) and Troy Ukrop (’12)
Year team was founded: 1985(ish)
Jersey Colors: Black and green
Website: www.ultimate.org.vt.edu
2010 Record: 25-15
Score Reporter


How did you get involved with ultimate at your school?
Scott Forrester: I am a 1st year grad student at Virginia Tech having just gotten my Bachelor’s here in the spring, basically stayed around to use my 5th year of eligibility. I was captain of Burn during the previous 2 years. I decided to join the team after playing summer league right before I came to school and began loving the sport. Back then we only had one team of about 25 players that was good enough to get out of our Section but had never won a game at Regionals.
Evan Klein: Got involved with Frisbee freshmen year, through a couple of guys I had met in orientation.  Went to my first tournament in the fall of 08 at Vanderbilt, got a nickname (Stupid Rookie), and was hooked.

How did your team do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Scott: Last season we finished Tied for 9th in the Mid-Atlantic Region. We had the unfortunate circumstance of Regionals being on the weekend during our final exams and being about 12 hours away, so only 12 players could attend. Nevertheless, we gave Georgia Tech and ECU runs for their money and pulled out a win against JMU. I would say the highlight of our season was beating UVa on double game point at UOA 8’s in the spring. We were down 13-11 or 14-12 and game back to win. Definitely one of the more memorable finishes I’ve been a part of. Oh, and going to Vegas of course.

Who is your favorite team to play against?
Scott: My favorite team to play against is definitely UVA. They’re a great team but still play with the spirit and sportsmanship we’re used to seeing in the Blue Ridge Section. Our head-to-head record is definitely lopsided in their favor but we always play at our best when we’re against those guys. The most memorable game against them was the one I mentioned above at the UOA 8’s tourney.
Evan: UVA Night Train… They are our biggest rival, and always a top contender in our region.  Coming back from a 12-14 deficit to beat them 15-14 at UOA 8’s last spring was the most memorable game.  They had the disc 3 ft outside their endzone for the game winning score, when we got a foot block and rallied for the win!

What do your captains bring to your team?
Scott: Our captains this year are Senior Evan Klein (my co-captain from last year) and Junior Troy Ukrop. This year, more than any year previously, they have gotten our A-team mobilized more quickly and have really turned things up a notch. They delegated two other freakishly athletic members of our team, Alex Krull and Gunnar Olgren, to running conditioning practices once a week. They consistently kick our asses at these practices but we’ve definitely felt the benefits come Sunday morning. In addition, they split the team into A/B teams earlier this year which should give us more cohesiveness as we move forward.

Are there players on your team who deserve consideration for Callahan, All-Region, or Freshman of the Year?
Evan: There are a number of players who deserve consideration for All-region.  Gunnar Olgren, Scott Forrester, Josh Smith, Myself, Alex Krull, etc… We have a solid core of extremely talented veterans.  Josh Smith is probably our biggest gun on the field though.  Find me a person who you think can sky anyone, and he will prove you wrong.  Great deep threat, good with the disc, and huge on defense. I promise you the more publicized our team gets this year, the more you will hear about Josh.

What player is most likely to make a huge play as a thrower? As a receiver? On D?
Evan: Myself, Scott Forester or my Co-Captain Troy Ukrop.  We love to huck it as a team, and I would say the three of us tackle this job the best.  As a receiver… Josh Smith.  Only about 6ft tall, but he can jump over anyone I know.  As well, Myself, Scott Forester, John Andrukonis, Alex Foldenauer, Matt Harris, etc. can all make big plays deep.  Having 8 to 10 guys over 6ft tall never hurts.  On Defense, Gunnar Olgren, Alex Krull and Alex Brown are our three work hourses.  We call them the 3 muskateers… They will run anyone into the ground, and are still going full speed come the last game on Sunday.  Josh Smith as well as myself, Matt Harris, Scott Forester and Alex Foldenauer make up the bulk of the D line.  Other players such as Tyler Krielder and Jake Kazensky will have a huge impact this year as well on D.

Josh Smith, Burn's secret weapon. Look for more of him in the 2011 season.

It’s easy to see when someone throws a huge huck or gets a layout D. Who’s a player you have to watch more carefully to see how valuable they are to your team?
Evan: Alex Krull… The kid just runs circles around players, and does it consistently all game.  He might not sky anyone or make huge layout grabs all the time (although he does have some great catches here and there), he is always open on in cuts, and rarely makes a poor decision with the disc.  Just a fundamental player all around!

How does your team bring new players up to speed on ultimate?
Scott: The first few weeks of practice are used to teach the basic rules of ultimate and keep everyone playing. It’s been my experience that if players come in that are used to just playing pick-up and are suddenly inundated with rules, sets, plays, etc. too early they can quickly lose interest in the team. We make sure to have a good balance of teaching fundamentals and just getting out there and playing during the first few weeks. After the new players have caught the ultimate bug we begin harping down on the various offenses and defensive theory.

Without giving too much away, what does your team like to do on offense and on defense?
Evan: Huck and play zone.  We are playing better man defense this year then ever, but anyone who has played us knows our true strengths.

Has your team set any goals for this season? What are they?
Evan: Go to Nationals, and compete for the title.  While we have never been to nationals, and this is clearly the next huge hurdle for our program, setting a goal of just going would sell ourselves short if/when we do make it.  We want to win every tournament along the way, beating teams by as many points as possible, while progressing all of our players’ individual skills leading up to sectionals.  Winning the section and region are two other goals we have this year.  We want to set the bar high, because for the first time, we feel as if we have the talent to do so!

What has your team been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?
Scott: As I mentioned earlier the first big step our team took this fall was splitting into A and B teams earlier. This gives the A team more time to gel and learn each other’s tendencies. The second and most crucial step has been conditioning. The benefits from conditioning practices and more running at regular practice has been felt by everyone on the team. Our bodies need to be prepared to play to the championship game on Sunday’s and we’re well prepared to do so (and have already started).

What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which one are you most looking forward to?
Evan: ACCs in Chapel Hill, one UOA 8s tournament, Easterns, Southerns, and possibly one or two others before sectionals.  Easterns has to be the big one on the list.  This tournament is going to draw 16 of the top teams in the country, and IF we get in, it will surely be our hardest competition of the year until Regionals.

What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?
Evan: Beat Box!

What song would you pick for the soundtrack to your team’s 2011 highlight video?
Evan: Bassnectar remix to Where is My Mind by the Pixies… Check it out in our 5 ultimate sponsorship video which should be up on Vimeo in the coming weeks!

What do you think about the USA Ultimate College restructuring?
Evan: Well honestly, it definitely helps our cause.  Taking Tennessee, Florida, FSU, Georgia, GT and Emory out of our region really makes Regionals more manageable.  Not that I do not think we are up to the challenge of contending with those teams this year, and not that we wouldn’t love to play them, but Regionals will not be as tough without them there.

Veteran connection: Evan Klein looks to a cutting Scott Forrester.

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