The past few years have been an upward climb for the boys from Austin. After cracking the top ten with a 5th place finish in 2009, they made it all the way to semi-finals last year before losing to eventual champions Revolver. Captain Max Cook said of last year’s run: “Getting to the semis last year was a huge step, and although our loss to Revolver was disappointing, it was a good learning and competitive experience for all the players on the team.”
Regionally, Doublewide continues to battle with Atlanta’s Chain Lightning for supremacy in the South, with Doublewide coming out on top 3 of the last 4 years. This year they will look to keep control of the South and make noise in Sarasota. According to Cook: “Our overall team goal is to be the 2011 USAU National Champions.”
Despite their strong season last year, Doublewide’s 2011 roster looks quite a bit different from last year’s semifinal team. Defensive studs Terry Jungman and Jay Lane have moved on with Zach Riggins and Edward Freiner. To fill these spots, DW has continued to add alums from established college programs. This year, they welcome Barrett Davis, Valley Renshaw, Jerrod Wolfe, and Cameron Bond from the Kansas Horrorzontals, in addition to Texas alums Ben Garrett and Aditya Yerrapragada. The captains are confident in the new members of Doublewide, saying: “ All the new additions add significant height and athleticism to the team”.
The rest of Doublewide’s roster is a force to be reckoned with. Captain Max Cook is as sure-handed as they come, Will Driscoll and Jake Anderson are pure athletes and one can hardly discount the former Florida Gators (Kurt Gibson, Chris Gibson, and Brodie Smith).
Leadership, Strategy, and Philosophy
There is no ignoring the fact that Doublewide has some of the biggest names in Ultimate in Brodie and the Gibson brothers. Anyone who has played against or watched Doublewide knows that the offense runs through Brodie and Kurt, a strategy the team has worked towards. “[Kurt & Brodie] have a skill set that that very few people in the world possess, and it would be foolish not to get the most out of them,” Cook says. One can hardly disagree with him. In the finals of Colorado Cup, it was the steady hands of the Florida alums that guided the offense in a game where they were not broken once.
There is far more to Doublewide than Smith and Gibson though. The threat posed by monster North Texas talents Anderson and Kevin “K-Rich” Richardson opens up significant field space for other offensive playmakers. David “Salad” Melancon is capable of distributing the disc well, as is Steven “Franchise” Presley, who is unfortunately sidelined with a leg injury for the rest of the season. All of these playmakers must be respected, and their individual skills demand top defensive assignments—in turn, they make space for everyone to take turns doing some heavy lifting with the disc.
Doublewide’s D line is stacked with athletic, tenacious defenders that match up against any O line. Cook, a starting D line handler, says: “Our defense is what is going to win us games, and we pride ourselves on our man to man D. We want to make teams have to work for every inch on the field, and late in games we feel like our conditioning will be the difference.” Defense was a focus for the team coming into the season, and Doublewide’s leadership worked to address a perceived inability to match up (athletically) against the top tier teams.
Much of Doublewide’s success comes from dedication to hard work and accountability that captains Cook, Kurt Gibson and Jeff Loskorn promote from day one. The captains and leaders are determined to set the tone for the rest of the roster on the track and the field. Cook mentioned that commitment is an important factor in the team’s dynamic because they are not all centrally located in Austin.
Regular Season Results & Schedule
So far we have only seen Doublewide at Colorado Cup and they were impressive. Their 7-0 record included victories over other national contenders like GOAT, Johnny Bravo and Truck Stop. In the finals, they were a calm and balanced squad as they got a few breaks early against Washington DC and then took care of the lead late in the game.
We will finally get another look at Texas’s best at Labor Day, where they will face even more elite competition. Sockeye, Furious George, Chain Lightning and Revolver will all by vying for the title.
Doublewide will be participating in the USAU STAR program, giving a clinic for college players in conjunction with club sectionals. The team also has a plethora of coaches in their mix, between college programs (like Kansas and Texas) and local high schools and middle schools.
Doublewide is part of Ultivillage’s Elite Team Partnership for the 2011 season, which allows fans to get a full look into the team’s activities throughout the year at their team page. Additionally fans can check out Doublewide’s website at http://www.austinultimate.org/doublewide and follow them on Twitter (@doublewidetx).