University of North Carolina- Wilmington Seamen

by | January 18, 2011, 6:55pm 0

2010 Pre Season Record: 21-6 Series Record: 16-4

End of Season Standing: 5T at College Championships, lost in Quarterfinals (8-15 to Florida)

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Coaches: Greg Vassar (2008-present), Tully Beatty (2009-present)

Recent History:

3T  at Queen City Tune-up, 1st at Feb 20th Wilmington 8s, 3rd at Spring Ultimax, 9T at Easterns, 1st at North Carolina Sectionals, 2nd at Atlantic Coast Regionals, 5T at College Championships

While UNC-Wilmington was one of college ultimate’s top teams in the 1990s (four straight Finals appearances from ’90-’93; two championships (’92 and ’93), the Seamen fell on some lean years in the middle part of the past decade. After qualifying for Nationals in 2002 (where they finished in the pre-Quarters). Wilmington failed to make Regionals from 2003-2006, sometimes not even making it to Sunday at Sectionals. The Seamen began to right their ship as players like Adam Pflaumer (who arrived in 2005), Rusty Ingold-Smith, and Brian Casey (both in 2006) developed.

After finishing tied for 5th in the Atlantic Coast Region in both 2008 and 2009, Wilmington made it back to Nationals in 2010. Despite a regular season that featured few signature wins, the Seamen turned in an excellent Series performance, going undefeated at Sectionals, earning its bid to Nationals by defeating 2009 Regional Champion Virginia in the Semifinals. From there on out, Wilmington lost only to Florida and Carleton (twice to Florida at Regionals, once to both Florida and Carleton at Nationals) en route to an appearance in the National Quarterfinals.

Roster Turnover and Offseason Club Experience:

While Wilmington turned out to be a deeper team than many expected, talk of last year’s success really has to begin with 5th-year Rusty Ingold-Smith, the team’s driving force on both sides of the disc. Similar to Brodie Smith, Rusty was a tough cover because his teammates knew just how important it was that the disc be in his hands, giving him space and time to make dump cut after dump cut. Defensively, Rusty led the team with his willingness to take on any match-up, and his vocal will to win often pushed the all of the Seamen to outwork their opponents.

Aside from Rusty, Wilmington has also parted with Todd Doroski, Zaith Bauer, and Ross English. Coupled with his fiery attitude, Doroski’s experience and determination were huge for Wilmington last year, while Bauer teamed with Tommy Lamar to form a strong offensive cutting duo and English logged big minutes as a defensive handler.

Returning to lead Wilmington are Lamar, a lengthy cutter whose is great in the air, Jarrett “TO” Bowen, a more athletic version of Doroski, defensive workhorse Stephen Bender, and captain David Macurak, a steady offensive handler. Also joining the team is a highly-touted rookie class that includes Nick Jackson and Chip McGee, two players that have the potential to be starters by the time the Series rolls around.

Also back are coachs Greg Vassar and Tully Beatty. Both former Seamen, this staff brings a no-nonsense and calculated style that knows how to manage a winning season.

As far as club experience goes, Wilmington players spread out between the Seamonkeys, and Open team that made Mid-Atlantic Regionals, and Right Coast Kings, a co-ed team that challenged Nationals qualifier wHagonwheel for the North Carolina Sectional title.


The Seamen of 2010 relied heavily on Ingold-Smith as a handler, frequently looking to him to get open up-line and use his full arsenal of throws to find Bowen and Lamar in the endzone. When the disc was in other players’ hands, deep throws were completed, but they often looked like stall-9 bailouts. Wilmington’s formation was typically a horizontal stack, and inside break throws were much more common than arounds.

Defensively, Wilmington varied its approach in 2010. While matched up in man defense, the Seamen played the style of defense for which it helped North Carolina become famous: physical on the mark and willing to bid at any sign of daylight. It is worth noting that Rusty and the rest of the Wilmington leadership were so effective because they placed a premium on hard man defense. In zone, Wilmington ran a very effective zone that punished teams that held the disc too long and was particularly strong on the endzone line, a place where many zones falter.

Fall 2010:

Wilmington had some poor luck this past fall, as its own Port City Classic was rained out and B’Deviled, a North Carolina staple that the Seamen usually use as a rookie training ground, was cancelled. The team made the most of what was available, winning North Carolina State’s Wolfpack Invite and finishing in the Semifinals at Classic City Classic.

2011 Schedule:

As of now, Wilmington will be attending Florida’s Warm-Up, its own Easterns Qualifier and Easterns, and is looking at travelling to one or two more before the start of the Series. Easterns is looking to be the event of the year, and hosting it on campus will surely be a boost for the Seamen.

2011 Outlook:

With 2010 champion Florida gone, UNC-Wilmington is the Atlantic Coast Region’s top dog, and after sending them into the backdoor bracket last year, the Seamen hold the upper hand on primary challenger Virginia. It is hard to imagine a team that is returning a number of seniors and that made the Quarterfinals last year falling too far from grace, but Wilmington’s success will depend on just how ready many of last year’s supporting cast members are to make the jump to key players. With Rusty gone, Wilmington no longer has a proven player that can so consistently remain open both behind the disc and in the cutting lanes while also impacting the game with such solid throws, and a lot will fall on the combination of Bowen and Lamar to fill that void.

While it is not the South, the Atlantic Coast affords teams the ability to practice outside virtually year-round, a point that should help the region to get some quality wins at early season tournaments. Should the region secure multiple bids to Nationals, the Seamen will be strong candidates to make the trip to Boulder.

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