Drag’n Thrust 2011 Preview

by | September 16, 2011, 2:51pm 0

Recent History

What’s to say about the history of a team who only lost 5 games in 2010? Mind you, those losses were to only 3 teams, and never by more than 2 points: District 5, which placed second in Sarasota, Chad Larson Experience which tied Drag’n Thrust for third, and Slow White, who finished 8th. They beat Overhaul 15-13 at regionals, crushed national champs Polar Bears 15-9 at Nationals, and even beat District 5 15-10 before their heartbreaking loss to them in the semis. Drag’n Thrust is a team that represents some great Midwest ultimate, and definitely a team to keep on the radar in 2011. Here’s why.

Roster Turnover

Captain Alicia Carr with the grab - Photo by Alex Fraser

Dudes: Ever get Déjà vu while staring at the Drag’n Thrust line before the pull? That’s because in their whole group of 16 guys there was only one change, newcomer Tallis Boyd. However, if you’re a girl, you’re probably busy trying to recognize your opponents, as 5 of the previous year’s players have been replaced by a new line of studs from ICE and quad POP. Combined with the 6 lady returners, look to see this year’s squad take strategic advantage of all their time played together…

Regular Season Schedule and Results

…but let’s ignore the first few games of this season. They lost a close one to Slow White, got beat down by AMP, and pretty effed up by Ambiguously Grey. Of course, that means they’re out for revenge, and they’ve been a serious threat ever since. They also had a solid win over District 5, proving that they come out strong in their rematches (remember that loss in last year’s semis?). They also had some wins over Chad Larson Experience at the Minnesota Ultimate Disc Invite, but lost to them in the finals at Heavyweights.

They’re definitely looking forward to Regionals, though they acknowledge it’s pretty stacked. Their region consists of not only CLX, but Overhaul, and Steamboat who recently beat Overhaul at last weekend’s sectionals.

Team Strategy

Josh "Shwa" Hemmesch with the grab and the fist pump - Photo by Alex Fraser

Having a tight group of players lets you break out of usual “O-line/D-line” roles, and Drag’n Thrust does just that. Don’t expect to see any set lines, as they go for mostly even playing time, with the intention of keeping legs and minds fresh longer. Still, there are some players to look out for. James Hron’s going to be up in the air a lot, and expect great hucks from Jeff Trosvig and Mike Petersen. On D, Austin Lien is a layout machine, and Anna Hagstrom is a force to reckon with. And just try covering Jill Kiener. I dare you.

As far as season goals go, having fun (of course) is always up there, but they’ve definitely got their eyes on the prize. With World Champion Pat Niles on their roster for motivation, they want to make it to Japan.

Community Involvement

Not only are they a solid Ultimate team, but Drag’n Thrust goes beyond the fields; most of the players lend their spare time to coaching high school teams. In fact, some of the team’s practice players were coached in their high school and now attend local schools St Ben’s/St. John’s. And yeah, their community ties aren’t all selfless: with outreach to colleges in the area like Duluth and the University of Minnesota, they’ve established a solid pipeline of recruitment.

Follow Drag’n Thrust

Check out their website at http://www.dragnthrust.com/. I hear it gets updated every once in a while. Look for them this weekend at a 16 team Northwest Plains Sectionals in their awesome new Drag’n scales sublimated jerseys, provided by team member Martha Harris’s win of last year’s VC recycling contest at Nationals.

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