DIII Nation – University of Puget Sound

by | April 17, 2012, 12:16am 0

The Puget Sound Postmen come from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington in the northwest region. After tying for 3rd in the UPA DIII Championships in 2010, they competed in DI in 2011. After a tough DI regionals in 2011 and some high level DI tournaments in 2012, they have now returned to DIII. This spring they had a good performance at Presidents’ Day Classic, in which they were the only DIII school,  a mediocre performance at Stanford Open, and a tournament winning performance at PLU BBQ. With these three tournaments under their belts, Puget Sound has proven both that they are the team to beat from the Northwest and that they have what it takes to make a run deep into DIII Championships. Let’s see how they do this weekend at Northwest Conference Championships. And now, an interview with Puget Sound captain and all-region nominee, Ky Lewis, and co-captain Spencer Sheridan.

Notable Roster turnover, young team? Veteran team?

Ky Lewis: We have had a notable roster turnover. We lost 3 solid handlers and one of our best cutters from last year who graduated. However, our team is made up of mostly seniors and juniors who have been playing together for a long time. We believe that we will be a much more balanced team than last year. Especially notable is that everyone is healthy. Last year we lost our freshman mvp (the douchecock) Spencer ‘Sparrow’ Sheridan early on to a knee injury and then lost our big downfield cutter to a bursa sack eruption. We limped into Regionals and lost two other players in our first game. Every year the Postmen have improved dramatically and we expect this year to be no different.

Spencer Sheridan: Last year we lost 4 great players (2 handlers, 1 cutter, 1 baller), but we have a deep enough team that people have stepped up to replace them. As Ky said, it is great to have a healthy team going into this year and we are working harder than ever to compete in the challenging Northwest.

Up and Coming players, guys on your team that are going to be making plays come the season?

Ky: We are going to have some young playmakers this year. Peter Geertz-Larson is tiny but he is going to posterizie your best cutter and is going to get layout d’s everywhere. Elliott ‘Oface’ Cohen is going to play excellent downfield defense, Daniel ‘Moses’ Mozell is the fastest kid alive, and Eric ‘the Twenty’ Hopfenbeck is going to get huge in the air. There are honestly lots of players on our team that I did not mention that play their role to a T. Watch out.

Spencer: Peter Geertz-Larson (PGL) is quietly one of our best d-line players and will consistently get huge turnovers. Eric Hopfenbeck can play all over the field and is a threat to throw the deep bomb, or sky for a D. Peter “Ice man” Cellier is a super chilly handler and will patiently pick apart defenses with crisp passes. And Daniel Mozell is the fastest man alive.

IO Flick

UPS captain Ky Lewis throws a sweet IO. - Photo by Karen Gaar

Star Players, who would be your Callahan nominee? Who are the big playmakers and leaders

Ky: We don’t have any star players, but our most solid and reliable player is my fellow captain Luke ‘Dukas’ Jesperson. One of the smartest cutters around, he is going to lead the D line and get blocks everywhere, and contribute greatly on offense. He is definitely All-Region talent in the competetive Northwest. As for other leaders, I would point to myself as the offensive leader. I will spread the disc and make some big hucks to keep us in the game.

Spencer: Our star players are our 2 senior leaders, Ky “Baby Carrot” Lewis and Luke “Mussolini” Jesperson. Ky has all the throws and is capable of beating you with his quick cuts and precise short throws or with hucks from anywhere on the field. Luke can really do it all as a cutter. He can shut down the other teams’ best players and is always bidding all over the field.

What tournaments have you been to in the regular season? How did you play? Is there anything interesting we wouldn’t get from just looking at your Score Reporter page?

Ky: Presidents’ Day was sweet. It was a great learning experience, and we only brought 14 players (no rookies) so we got a ton of playing time. We beat up on UBC, and UCSD and started the day 2-0. Cal Poly SLO played real well and beat us handily. Vermont was up next and they surprisingly came out of the gates fast and brought it to us. We made it to pre quarters the next day against Washington who we were stoked to play.We came out super hot against UW. We lost 15-11 and the score does not reflect the intensity of this game. We completed nearly every huck and were making plays everywhere offensively. Their offensive was unstoppable and we only forced one turn. But Luke Jesperson made the most ridiculous hammer catch and we were on fire. We then played Sonoma State and Arizona State and we were down to only 12 players at that point, and we could not keep up in the heat in SoCal. But overall, it provided great experience for players who will be playing a lot in Wisconsin.

Stanford Open was a joke. Super windy, that it made upwind points absolutely holy. We came out and converted 3 upwinders on SDSU and rode away with the win. Then we rolled UVic by converting multiple upwinders. By the end of day the wind was terrible and against Santa Cruz, they won the flip and there were no breaks. We still won the pool and put us in quarters against Davis. It was still windy Sunday morning, and their junior worlds player trapped us on the downwind corner of the endzone to start nearly all our O points. we could not move it against the trap zone and they won handily. Chico state was a boring game as both teams were tired and sick of wind. Chico state won on universe.

PLU BBQ was fun. We played some teams on saturday and went 3-0. Sunday we made it to the semis where we faced a depleted Lewis and Clark. They are dependent on the stellar play of Ben Lohre, and he was tuckered out. We were not broken at all and our D was able to get some breaks. Great game, and I look forward to playing them soon. The finals was awesome against Western Washington. They are a D1 badass team, and with ballers like Casey Bateman and Alan Laviolette, we knew we had to fire it up. I injured myself on the last point of the Lewis and Clark game. I started the game by throwing 3 jump balls that were luckily caught for scores until I was pulled from the game. Dirt played physical D and were hitting deep shots everywhere. They went up a bunch of breaks and took half. The team stepped up with out me and got tons of blocks everywhere. We went up 14-13. On that point Henry Funk got a filthy layout D, ran down the field, caught the huck, called foul, dumped it and Spencer Sheridan threw the winning goal, giving the Puget Sound postmen their first tournament win ever.

UPS star, Luke Jesperson, goes big. - Photo by Jerry Keister

Who are the big DIII teams and players to look out for, both in your region, and in the entire division?

Ky: We don’t really focus on other teams in the region. Last year we hoped we could make Whitman our rivals, but the Norden and Janin combo really put a dent in those hopes. Lewis and Clark has a couple of great players in Ben Lohre and Kelly Van Arsdale and we look forward to playing them again this year.

Is this your first time competing DIII? If so, what made you change your mind from last year? If not, how did you do last year?

Ky: This will not be our first time competing in D3. Two years ago we tied for 3rd in Appleton, after losing to Whitman in the semis. That experience has been a highlight for our senior and junior classes. Beyond the actual playing, we loved traveling together and hanging out together, especially after just finishing school. We are excited to end our season in Appleton and will be doing everything in our power to be playing for the championship come Sunday. We decided to go D3 to give our growing players an experience they will never forget and to give our seniors the chance to leave as national champions.

Do you have any footage/media you want to show the world?

Ky: Yup. Notice all of us getting embarrassed in the beginning.

Feature Photo by Ben Heyman.

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