2011 Preview – Michigan MagnUM

by | December 10, 2010, 8:00am 0

[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]School: The University of Michigan
Team Name: MagnUM
Captains: TBD
Coaches: Richard Eikstadt (head), Colin McIntyre & Matt Wilken (assistants)
Year Founded: 1975
Jersey Colors: Maize and Blu
Website: www.magnumultimate.com
2010 Record: 33-12
Score Reporter

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get involved with Ultimate at Michigan?
Oliver Honderd: I started playing competitive Ultimate as a freshman in high school, where it was a varsity sport.  I am from Atlanta, GA, went to school at Paideia.  I chose Michigan partially for its great ultimate program.  I really admired the captain, Ryan Purcell, liked the coach, Ricky Eikstadt, and knew that a great player, Will Neff, was transferring to UofM.

How did your team do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Oliver: We did well.  We went to Nationals by winning the backdoor bid in our region–beating our rival Michigan State.  Highlight of the season was doing well at Nationals despite losing three of our best players to injuries in the weeks before.  Our young players really stepped up and were making plays left and right.  It felt very good–like our program turned a corner . . . we can lose Will Neff and a class of 10 or so senior leaders, but the next year we reloaded and did even better.  We were seeded 15th at Natties and was 1 point away from going to the semis.

Who is your favorite team to play against? Tell us about a memorable game.
Oliver: Favorite team to play against?  Difficult.  I really like playing Texas–they are a very fair team, and they’re awesome.  We have a mutual admiration and always play each other tight.  In 2008, we had a thriller in pool play, which MagnUM pulled out 17-16.

Tell us about your coaches. What do they bring to your team?
Oliver: Our head coach is Richard Eikstadt.  He is the heart, soul and founding father of the program.  He does a great job inspiring us and providing guidance.  He is assisted by Matt “Rook” Wilken, Colin McIntyre, and Ryan Purcell–all MagnUM alumni, great players and great coaches.  They help with personal game, tournament management and strategy.

Are there players on your team who deserve consideration for Callahan, All-Region, or Freshman of the Year? Tell us about them.
Oliver: We have a slew of great and underrated players, and realistically, we have probably 8 or so that could be deserving of an All-Region honor.  We have some great freshman: Johnny Bansfield, James Highsmith and Matt Orr currently lead the pack.  Myself, Pat Collins, Alex Fegert and Chris Vandervoort will probably on the list for nomination for Callahan; we are all career contributors to MagnUM and expect a lot out of our Senior seasons.  As a general rule, though, we are less concerned with personal accolades as we are with the success of the team.

What player is most likely to make a huge play as a thrower? As a receiver? On D?
Oliver: We strive to be all around players, so any person can make the throw or the catch downfield.  Seth, Vandervoort, Pape, and myself all huck a bit.  Our defensive stoppers are Ben DeLand, Mike DeRubies, Dan DeTone and Seth Buchsbaum.

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?
Oliver: Jeff Pape does a lot of things right, so does Brandon Beeler.

How does your team bring new players up to speed on Ultimate?
Oliver: We focus a lot on their education in fundamentals and their assimilation to the team.  They get a lot of love and a lot of grief.  The Fall Season focuses on their growth as players.

Without giving too much away, what does your team like to do on offense and on defense?
Oliver: Move the disc, give everyone touches; we focus balance and whole team equity and contribution.  Play hard man and team defense.  Our zone strives to maximize use out of every position.

Has your team set any goals for this season? What are they?
Oliver: Our team wants to reclaim the section, claim the Great Lakes Region, and win Michigan’s first national championship.

What has your team been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?
Oliver: Practicing, lifting, training, teaching, and playing some club, too.

What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which one are you most looking forward to?
Oliver: Michigan Indoor, Queen City Tune-Up, Mardi Gras, Stanford, Easterns, the Series; The Series is our favorite tournament. But all of them promise to be awesome tournaments.

What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?
Oliver: Nothing special; prepare like we do for every game.  Maybe do a little more scouting.

What song would you pick for the soundtrack to your team’s 2011 highlight video?
Oliver: I’m The Shit (DJ Benzi & Willy Joy Remix) by Gucci Mane or Follow Us by Big Boi

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