2011 Preview – Kansas State University Huckstables

by | January 11, 2011, 2:00pm 0

[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]School Name: Kansas State University
Team Name: Huckstables
Coach: Shawn Kokegne
Jersey Colors: Blue and Brown
Website: www.ksu.edu/ultimate
Score Reporter[/stextbox]

How did the Huckstables do last year? What was the highlight of your season?

Patrick Shriwise: Our team ended up placing 9th in the Southern Region last year to end our season. This was a vast improvement considering our placement in the Ozark section the year before. I’d have to say that the highlight game of our season was the win we fought for over Washington University at Sectionals to secure our bid and continue to Regionals.

Who is your favorite team to play against?

PS: Probably our favorite team to play is Oklahoma University. Last year our season record against them was 2-2. On another note, we’ve become really good friends with this team and always have a fun time playing against them.

Tell us about your coach. What does he bring to the team?

PS: Shawn Kokegne has been the coach of our team for the last 2 years. He played for K-State a long, long time ago and has been promoting Ultimate in Manhattan, KS for the last 10 years. To many of us who are away from home while at school, Shawn has become a source of support for many of our players and is the glue that holds our Manhattan Ultimate community together. He attends three practices a week for our team helping us with drills and teaching our fresh players how to play the game. Above all, he is willing to do anything to help our players become better on and off the field.

What players are most likely to make a huge play for the Huckstables?

PS: Our roster has been constantly expanding over the last 2 years and the talent we’ve found here in Manhattan is surprising. We’ve picked up a handler from Russia, Cameron Harder, who came to us with a very developed set of fundamentals [and] is going to be making some big puts during the second year of his college career. The newest deep threat coming to our team is Connor Fox, who’s already put many of our veteran players to shame in the air. We’ll see him making plays in the end zone frequently this season. Finally, Andy Scharping is another one of our pride and joys on the defensive line. No cutter should feel safe if Andy is guarding them. We’ve seen too many big plays at practices and tournaments not to believe that.

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?

PS: While Joey Lutz does both of these things, he also makes up a lot of the cohesiveness that our team sees on offense and defense. His intuitive playing style and straight up hard work on the field makes him an invaluable member of our team.

How does your team bring new players up to speed on ultimate?

PS: We start with the basics, as I’d imagine most teams do. If they don’t have a flick, we teach them a flick. If they don’t know a force, we teach them a force. Once we introduce them to these fundamentals, we like to let them play the game and figure out how to make that information work for them. So you’ll see our team scrimmaging quite a bit at the beginning of the fall.

What does your team like to do on offense and on defense?

PS: With the talent and athleticism that has come into our program in the past few years, our offense is moving to a the mindset of running the defenders into the ground and wearing them down throughout each point and the duration of each game. Similarly our defense will use their speed to play man to man defense, making it hard for the cutters to get to the open space.

Has your team set any goals for this season?

PS: With the new region borders changing this year we’ll be seeing many different teams than we have in the past.  Our goal is to make a name for our team this year by upsetting as many of these teams as possible over the next 6 months. We’re already working harder than we ever did last year in order to accomplish this. In the spring we will prove our work in the College Series in this more competitive region.

What has your team been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?

PS: Conditioning has been a big part of our schedule this Fall. We feel that we have the talent to compete with the best teams in the country and are working to be in better condition than comparable teams. Our team has also been evaluating more strategies in order to keep our opponents on their toes.

What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which one are you most looking forward to?

PS: High Tide and Centex

What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?

PS: Nothing out of the ordinary. As a team we strive to play a consistent game to compete with any team.

What do you think about the USA Ultimate College restructuring?

PS: While we don’t feel like the college restructuring was in our favor, our team is looking forward to the challenges ahead in playing the more competitive teams in the nation on a regular basis. We feel that it will only serve to make our current and future players better.

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