I just got word from Easterns tournament director Greg Vassar that UltiVillage is going to sponsor an Easterns Most Valuable Player Award.
The winner will receive an UltiVillage Elite Team Partnership Ring of Fire jersey (which, if it’s like the team jerseys that they had at Worlds, will be sick) 9 Elite Team partnership discs, and a copy of the Club Championships DVD from 2008, 2009, and 2010.
At the moment, the criteria are up for discussion, but the decision will ultimately be up to me. My plan at the moment is to take as many informal votes from players, coaches, and spectators as possible, combine the aggregate, and name the winner.
As fans, what factors do you think are most important in naming a tournament MVP?
Just for fun, here are a number of players that have been impressive thus far:
- Grant Linsley (Carleton): Nobody at Stanford had an answer for Grant. Same thing before his ankle injury at Warm Up. Lindsley’s speed, smarts, and throws make life very difficult on even the best defensive teams, and at this point it’s hard to cite a moment when his confidence has looked shaken.
- Simon Montague (Carleton): Only a sophomore, Montague has returned from an injury that sidelined him for most of last season to lead CUT’s defensive line. A lengthy handler defender, Montague handles once a turn is earned, showing a lot of poise with the disc and the ability to throw deep accurately.
- Jimmy Mickle (Colorado): Another big, tall sophomore with Junior Worlds experience, Mickle is dominant. His pulls are huge, and while he has been effective at stopping break throws by using his size against smaller handlers, Florida and Pitt’s attempts to take him deep have been futile. Moreover, Mickle gives the Colorado defensive offense a rock-solid presence in the middle of the field, ensuring scores with reliable break throws and hucks.
- Cody Bjorklund (Oregon): Ask anybody on the West Coast, and they’ll tell you that Cody has been doing his thing for quite some time now. Possibly the tournament’s best combination of great size and mobility, once he gets a step it is virtually impossible to get around him. Bjorklund shoulders a big load in leading a young Ego team, and if he is playing well, expect his teammates to follow suit.
- Cole Sullivan (Florida): Replacing Brodie Smith is no easy task, but if you were only overhearing people talk at Warm Up, you might not be able to tell the difference. “Teams still don’t have an answer for him;” “Nobody is stopping his break throws;” “He’s dangerous when he goes deep.” He may not have Brodie’s hucks or be quite as automatic in the air, but at this point, Cole is doing an excellent job of quarterbacking a very good Florida team.
- George Stubbs (Harvard): At Warm Up, George was hands down the best player on the field in every game that he played. Word on the street is that not much changed at Stanford, and the more people I talk to, the fewer I can find that disagree with the claim that he is the best player in the country. With key handlers Andrew Vogt and Adam Fagin out, Stubbs has found a way to fuel Harvard’s offense with his throws; now that Fagin is back, Stubbs can do what he does best, which is head downfield and score goals. If Harvard can make another run to the semis like it did at Stanford, don’t be surprised if it’s because George Stubbs is dominating the competition.
- I apologize to Pittsburgh, who as the #2 seed probably has a player or two who deserves to be on this list. Without having seen them play, it’s hard to say who that is, but my guess is that Chris Brenenborg (in my mind one of the best throwers in the Easterns field) and Tyler DeGirolamo (En Sabah Nur’s main deep threat) will probably enter the discussion.