Revolver has been a national contender since its inception in 2006. The Bay Area team made quarters in its first year of existence, missed Nationals in 2007, and then returned to Sarasota for another quarters finish in 2008. Reloading in 2009, the team picked up stars Beau Kittredge, Mac Taylor, and Cassidy Rasmussen to propel Revolver to a second place finish in Sarasota. In 2010, as Bay Area rival Jam disbanded, Revolver gained even more talent, with Brian Garcia, Taylor Cascino, Jonathan Hester, and Bart Watson helping the Bay Area team achieve the elusive “double,” by winning both a world and national championship in the same season.
A number of vets have either retired or moved on to other divisions. Jit Bhattacharya, Josh Greenough, and Mike Payne all appear to be hanging up their cleats, along with Alex “Dutchy” Ghesquiere, who will coach Revolver this year. Tyler Grant is moving to the new mixed division team, Blackbird. “Without Tyler we won’t have to buy so many sandwiches for our cooler and without Jit the field will be a lot quieter,” says co-captain Robbie Cahill. Unlike last year, Nick Handler won’t be able to come back from Africa for the season. Brian “Boo” Garcia, who, “had the best year I’ve ever seen by executing his role as a downfield flow cutter to a T,” according to Cahill, is moving to Blackbird, as well.
Revolver has a number of notable pickups joining its 2011 roster. Adam “Chicken” Simon has moved out west from Boston and should provide even more soundness to Revolver’s offensive handling corps. Tom James returns to the Bay Area team, and Cahill and co-captain Bart Watson believe James’ contributions can improve Revolver’s D-line efficiency. For more on the lesser-known pickups, here are Cahill’s and Watson’s breakdowns:
Devon Anderson – a young Kevin Cissna with speed, poise, and throws.
Patrick Baylis – the hardest worker on the field; a nose for D’s; nicknamed “Bay-Bay” by his CUT compatriots.
Eric Greenwood – Nick Handler quickness who always knows where to be to score.
Zach Travis – a big strong 6’2″ defender who loves to get lay out D’s. Might be Dutchy’s cousin, we’re still trying to confirm.
It appears that Baylis, Oregon alum Greenwood, and Travis will see more D points, while Santa Cruz standout Devon Anderson will see more O points.
Strategy, Leadership, and Philosophy
Last year, Revolver’s O was known for running a side stack offense that let isolated cutters cycle through deep, under, and horizontal break/clear looks (think triangle). With many of the same offensive personnel returning, one can assume that there will more of the same. “We expect Wiseman and Cassidy to play more points,” predicts Cahill. “Cassidy is coming off a stellar college season and Wiseman is looking faster in June than he did in September last year. Throw the new guys in the mix, and we have a good O-line, at least on paper.”
The same goes for Revolver’s D – look for more of the same tight man D and disciplined center vertical stack on the turn. In breaking down this year’s D-line, Cahill adds, “Our younger guys will be stepping up and our athleticism looks to be as strong as last year on D with Tom James, Baylis, and Zach. Additionally, I think our D-team will be more efficient at scoring with the maturity of guys like Ashlin, Russel, and Kanner plus pickups like Eric Greenwood.”
Revolver’s captains, Cahill, Watson, Ryo Kawaoka, and Martin Cochran, will still preach the team’s signature mantra of IHD: intensity, humility, and discipline. Says Cahill, “We want Revolver to be an ongoing program that keeps to its values. To do this, we are keeping the basic leadership plan the same while bringing fresh eyes and energy from Ryo and Martin. In general, our strategy is to have everybody step up into new roles every year. If you’re older than 24, you’re now a veteran on this team. We give out the nickname “The Future” to a deserving young gun. Last year it was Ashlin, but now he’s the present so we need a new Future. Who will it be?
This is the first time we have had a full-time coach running our practices, strategy, and tournaments, and we think Alex, an experienced coach and player, will take us to the next level.”
Cahill: “We won Cal States at Stanford on June 4-5, beating Boost Mobile in the finals in a game to 21. Beau and Bart won Paganello. Ryo, Alex, and Bart all lost in semis or quarters at Poultry Days.”
Regular Season Schedule
Revolver won Cal States easily, and took a team retreat in Tahoe instead of attending Solstice. Revolver’s first major tournament of the year will be ECC. ECC is currently Revolver’s first priority, according to Cahill: “ECC is a really big tournament for us and our sights are mostly focused on that weekend. Last year, losing at ECC to Ironside was a wake-up call that we weren’t working hard enough.” After ECC, Revolver will attend Labor Day.
Cahill/Watson: “Win Nationals, qualify for 2012 Worlds, and have fun doing it.”
Cahill/Watson: “A bunch of our guys volunteer to help local teams or even international teams. Dutchy coaches Cal-Berkeley’s open team. Mac was an observer at College Nationals this May. Beau volunteered at clinics in Poland this April. Nick Handler is coaching the Ugandan national team (and recently showed them the Ultivillage Nationals DVDs. Apparently his team has developed a player-crush on Mac Taylor and his red headband… don’t tell Mac). We’d love to do an international coaching trip like Sockeye did in Russia and are considering one for next year.”
Revolver has arguably the fastest team in the country, barring maybe Sockeye and Chain. They’re returning a number of disciplined O-liners, including Cahill, Watson, and Cassidy Rasmussen, who are patient and talented enough to produce important holds when it matters. Revolver’s pickups will bolster their already explosive D-line, anchored by Mac Taylor and Taylor Cascino. And their young guns, including Ashlin Joye, Russell Wynne, and Sam Kanner, among others, have all had a year to mature and step into their roles—as Cahill says, they’re “the present.” It appears as though this year’s USAU final is Revolver’s to lose.