University of British Columbia Thunderbirds

by | February 17, 2011, 7:37am 0

Pre-Series Record: 11-0 Series Record: 10-2

End of Season Standing: 3rd at Northwest Regionals, eliminated in Backdoor Final (8-15 to California)

Coaches: Kevin Cheung and Russell Street

Recent History:

2010 Tournaments: Trouble In Vegas, Postman Invite, 1st at Wash/BC College Sectionals, 3rd at Northwest Regionals

Last year was a strange season for the UBC Thunderbirds. Flying under the radar, the TBirds only attended two tournaments before Sectionals.  Without facing any of the top teams in their region all regular season, many believed that UBC was destined for the quarterfinals of Regionals at best.  Instead, the TBirds battled and found themselves once again in the game to go.  Since their last appearance at the Championship in 2005, a team that included Oscar Pottinger and Morgan Hibbert, the TBirds have been in one regional final and four regional backdoor finals.  In 2010, “The Curse”, as the phenomenon of falling short at regionals has been fondly dubbed, was in full effect as the TBirds were once again eliminated in the backdoor final, this time by California. All in all, 2010 was a good season but it left an all too familiar bitter taste.

Roster Turnover and Offseason Club Experience:

The 2010 Thunderbirds had a number of key fourth and fifth year players that have graduated and moved onto greener pastures.  Despite their losses, the TBirds are fully loaded and ready to make another run at qualifyfing for the USAU College Championships. With four players coming off a season with Furious George, ten players returning from World Championships in Prague, Florence, and Heilbron, and an O line that boasts no player below six feet, UBC is poised to have a strong 2011 campaign.  Leading the offensive charge in the lanes is Andre Gailits, a player with “under the radar skills not seen since Blair Hole’s ‘Chubby But Capable’ handling.”  UBC’s D line is anchored by Aaron ‘Prez’ Liu, (president of the Chess Club). The TBirds also have a very strong candidate for NW FOTY in 2010 Canadian Junior National Team member Fred Lam, a player who is very capable and athletic on both sides of the disc.

Past Strategy:

The Thunderbirds have traditionally had a very solid O line that plays mostly horizontal offense and isn’t afraid to utilize blades and hammers to punish poches. On D, UBC is very physical and uses both man and a trap zone with a four person cup that traps both sides of the field.

Fall 2010 Performance:

A small contingent of UBC players played at Washington/BC club sectionals.  There was also an A/B team that attended Sundodger and finished higher than any other college team.

Scheduled Regular Season Tournaments:

Santa Barbara Invite (Champions), President’s Day Classic, Stanford Invite, Centex

2011 Outlook:

The stated goal of the Thunderbirds is to win USA Ultimate Division 1 College Championships. With an early tournament victory at Santa Barbara, UBC should be expected to at least be at Nationals this spring.

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