[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]School Name: North Carolina State University
Team Name: Wolfpack
Captains: Andrew Carmen, Brandon Jones, Casey Haigh
Year Founded: 1980’s
Jersey Colors: Red, White, and Black
2010 Record: 23-13
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get involved with ultimate at your school?
Ryan McCann: This is my third year as a member of Wolfpack Ultimate. It is more than an activity, but a lifestyle that we all live by. I grew up throwing a disc around with my parents. Once I found out about Ultimate, I fell in love and have never gone back.
How did your team do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Ryan: The team fared well, advancing to Regionals but getting knocked out on Sunday. If there was one highlight from last season, it would be the growth of our team from the beginning of the year until Regionals. With a number of players leaving, it was exciting to see the progress of our young team over the season.
Who is your favorite team to play against?
Ryan: Like in most other sports, we love to play against UNC. Whether it is a pool game on Saturday, or Sunday at Sectionals, each team knows that the other will be giving every ounce of energy to represent their school in the rivalry. A memorable game was during Sectionals, when we faced Carolina in pool play. Through an unbelievably physical and tough battle, we pulled the upset and won the pool. ~Chris Casey
What do your captains bring to WOLFPACK?
Ryan: Our captains this year are Andrew Carmen, Brandon Jones, and Casey Haigh. As a group together, ABC brings a variety of skill and leadership styles. Between the three, we have the people to encourage you and the people to push you so hard during those grueling winter parking deck workouts. Everything you need to succeed can be found in these three individuals.
Are there players on your team who deserve consideration for Callahan, All-Region, or Freshman of the Year?
Ryan: While solid all around, this year I do not see NC State having a hot-shot famous player as in prior years. This year will be about the team, about Wolfpack Ultimate and the unity the team brings. Be on the lookout for our freshman class. With the skilled players we are bringing in from High School, don’t be shocked when one of our rookies pulls out the Freshman of the Year title.
What player is most likely to make a huge play as a thrower? As a receiver? On D?
Ryan: Brandon Jones leads a dedicated core of throwers, including multiple underclassman as well. Look for deep threats of the Moore brothers Drew and Jordan, as well as the agile feet of cutters like Chris Casey. On D, one player will never stand out, as Wolfpack defense speaks for itself. Physical defense and the the absence of fear will have Wolfpack defenders bidding on every in-cut and setting their sights to the air to bring down the hucks.
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?
Ryan: While you can see the hucks go up, the importance comes from our cutters who run their legs tired to make the handlers look good. A solid core of cutters and young freshman blood will see the power of legs as the Wolfpack will run teams into the ground, point one to point done.
How does your team bring new players to Ultimate up to speed?
Ryan: That is a great question, but most of our players have prior ultimate experience. With the increasing popularity of the sport in the pre-college schools, we are starting to see players who have come from the ranks of schools that had ultimate teams. With this strong knowledge base of terms and strategies, our task is to teach them the Wolfpack way. This comes from massive quantities of scrimmage intermingled with a heavy doses of fitness. Wolfpack Ultimate has a model for this strategy, and we call it “heart and smart,” coined by former Wolfpack Ultimate standout Ken “KP” Porter.
What has your team been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?
Ryan: As a younger team we have been bringing our rookie class up to snuff with the Wolfpack way and building a solid fitness base.
Which team has the best shot at winning the 2011 USA Ultimate College Championships?
Ryan: University of Florida