Oregon in 2011

by | March 18, 2011, 1:02am 0

My friend Joaquin Nagle, who I write with at Inside Breaks, sent me the following piece about Oregon and their 2011 roster. It’s a good read for anyone wondering what to expect out of Ego at Easterns.

Ego captain Cody Bjorklund with a layout catch against Harvard's Adam Fagin



For a review of Oregon, first lets look at what we knew going into the season. The Inside Breaks preview of Ego had information on the roster turnover they went through going into the 2011 season:

In 2008-2010, Ego had arguably the most talent of any college team in the country.  Oregon graduated 10 players in 2010, 6 of whom (including Callahan winner Eli Friedman)  started on offense.  With the graduation of so many quality players also comes relief from the burden of high expectations. Despite returning a core of experienced players, the massive graduation will allow Ego to fly under the radar this season.

2011 Ego will feature twelve returners from 2010, two players from 2009 who did not play last year, and three new potential stars. Five of their players have top flight club experience via Portland Rhino. In addition to returners Cody Bjorklund, Sam Brickwedde, Topher Davis, and Josh Wardle, all of whom played with Rhino this past summer, Ego gains the services of John Bloch.  Bloch played with Rhino in 2008 while he was still in high school, before taking a couple of years away from the national scene.  Ego has a long history of strong incoming freshman with experience playing high level ultimate and 2011 is no exception. Oregon is picking up Dylan Freechild who played on the Junior Nationals team and Ian Campbell, a local high school star from Eugene.

With a few tournaments under their belt, it is clear that Ego still has the talent to contend. Due to financial restrictions and injuries, Oregon is only bringing 18 players to Easterns. Still, now is the time for Ego to cement their identity going into the series.

“We’re still figuring out the team dynamics but its pretty safe to say we’re a different team than we were last year,” said Brian Bedored, a 3rd year Ego player. “We’ll probably have our core group of guys that we’ll be relying on, but after that everybody will be contributing, unlike last year where our O line consisted of 7-8 guys who’d played together for 5 years.”

A lot has been made of Oregon’s losses, but not enough has been made of how talented Ego still is. Still, Oregon’s youth showed through in their loss to Harvard at the Stanford Invite, and their offense doesn’t have the same chemistry it did last year at this point in the season.

Ego freshman Dylan Freechild

Will Oregon learn from the loss, or will their offense tighten up at the end of close games?

Inside Breaks’ original preview of Ego concluded “Look for Ego to have an up and down regular season as they adjust to their new look roster. In a way, this will help Oregon because it will allow them to peak effectively instead of having to maintain a standard of excellence throughout the winter and spring.”

While Ego’s regular season has not been very “up and down” so far, they certainty have yet to peak. The Oregon that we’ll see at Easterns should be more refined than the team that was at Stanford, but it still won’t be the Ego that shows up to the Series.

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