After years of Philadelphia’s top talent being spread out across various PA/NJ mixed and open teams, last year saw the formation and emergence of Southpaw as Philadelphia’s premier team. A quarters run in the team’s first year has set the bar fairly high for future Southpaws, and a new generation of talent has already flooded the roster in its second season.
Southpaw lost fifteen players to retirement and relocation, and is currently moving forward with a 23-man roster. Joel Wooten has taken his talents back to the ATL, just a year after he switched from Chain to Southpaw. Southpaw has also lost former Cornell big man Art Shull, Ian McLellan, Carl Deffenbaugh, and Sean Murray.
“We have 11 new additions, mostly recent grads from local universities,” explains co-captain Trey Katzenbach. “Although we have a lot of experience to replace, we have done so with better athletes that are outstanding team players,” he adds. Southpaw will fill its holes with practice players and emerging college talent from the region. Trent Dillon, a Pitt recruit and one of the country’s best high school players, has a shot at being one of Southpaw’s new faces along with Scott Xu, last college season’s Metro East freshman of the year from Rutgers. Middleburry’s all-New England-region speedster Jake Herman will join Southpaw’s offensive unit, and TCNJ all-Metro East-region cutter Greg Owens will be able to use his athleticism on both sides of the disc. Reminiscent of this past college season’s Colorado Mamabird, Southpaw has the pieces in place to develop a talented, young core to contribute to the team for years to come.
The most distinctive aspect of Southpaw’s team is its leadership structure. Jeffrey Snader coaches the team with assistant coach Marc Stachowski, and Katzenbach and co-captain Matt Schmucker sit below the coaches in the team’s chain of command. Snader says, “Southpaw emulates a professional sports system as much as possible because of its proven results. We pride ourselves in a very disciplined approach to the game. We use tactics from Marine Corps training as well as other sports systems that we are familiar with.” It is not unusual to see Southpaw running sprints or doing a core workout after a tournament—even Regionals.
As with many other offenses around the country, Southpaw’s offense likes to take what the defense gives it through quick and efficient disc movement. Judging from their game against NexGen, they appear to have well disciplined dump sets in place, along with a rigorously structured vertical stack.
Southpaw will use its young energy and athleticism to propel its defense. Snader and Katzenbach also note that the team leadership stresses the importance of the mark quite a bit.
Southpaw used Boston Invite as a tryout tournament and exited in the semifinals.
Regular Season Schedule
Southpaw will attend the Chesapeake Open at the end of August before heading to Santa Cruz for the Labor Day Ultimate Championships.
Both Snader and Katzenbach indicate that Southpaw’s goal is to win Nationals.
Southpaw players play in both the Philadelphia Area Disc Alliance (PADA) and the Mercer County Ultimate Disc League (MCUDL). A number of players are leaders on their college teams in the region.
Winning nationals might be a little lofty for this young team, but the leaders’ ambition is certainly admirable. Southpaw’s toughest Regional competition will be Truck Stop, and with four bids in the Mid Atlantic, Philly should have little difficulty qualifying for Nationals and securing the region’s second or third seeds at worst. If Southpaw’s young talent can mature well enough and quickly enough, the team could certainly match last year’s quarters finish.