Paideia Cup 2012: The Top 4 – Open Preview

by | April 12, 2012, 4:56pm 0

Here’s our preview of the top four seeds coming to Paideia this weekend.

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There’s no question that Amherst knows how to win. One of the most storied programs in high school ultimate, the Canes are coming off of back-to-back Easterns titles and a win over Paideia in the finals of the Cup back in 2010, the last time the team came down to Atlanta. However, this year’s team has yet to prove itself. Captains Ethan Kannel, Wesley Chow, Jordy Diamond, and Danny On have all played at the highest level of high school ultimate (Amherst has taken the last two Easterns titles handily), and the Canes will have to draw on their leaders’ experience to win this weekend. Amherst graduated a strong class last year (Amos Adams, Eric Biggs, Jesse Harris, and Patrick Lawlor, to name a few), and after only a few weeks’ worth of practice, hopes to click in Atlanta.

“We’ve attended one college tournament, and we’ve been able to build immensely from that. The college games were great preparation for the season,” said Captain Danny On. “This is the first high school tournament of the season for us, and I think it’ll give us the opportunity to come together as a team.”


Seeded second behind Amherst, Paideia has lost in finals of the past three Paideia Cups—in fact, the team hasn’t won its home tournament since 2007. Gruel is out to reclaim the top spot and get their name engraved on Dylan Tunnell’s masterfully fashioned stone chalice. And if there ever was a year, this year is Paideia’s to do it. Senior Mark Vandenberg has two of the most unstoppable downfield targets in fellow senior Nils Clauson and junior John Stubbs, and has Bryan Reines’ consistency in the backfield to help him distribute. Paideia’s disciplined offense will frustrate teams, and Paideia turnovers will be at a premium. Mix in a few big defensive plays by big man Ollie Roberts and Paideia is playing for the title.

The team suffered an early season loss to Woodward Academy during pool play at Deep Freeze in Chattanooga, but rolled through competition on Sunday after gaining some of its key players back from another school commitment. Captain Nils Clauson sees this weekend as his team’s breakout opportunity.

“I would like to see our team create a connection that we have never felt before. We have won tournaments and games in the past, but I believe this team has an ability to take it to a new level. Paideia Cup is another big step in our long journey,” said Clauson.


13-6, Hopkins HUrt over Paideia Gruel, was the score of the last game these boys from Minnesota played in Atlanta in a decisive 2009 finals victory. Last weekend, no team scored more than four points against Hopkins in its absolute trouncing of competition to win Minnesota Madness in Minneapolis. In fact, the team has lost only once this year, 5-13 to Holy Family Catholic on the Saturday of the Chicago Invite, and avenged this loss with a 15-13 victory over Holy Family in the finals. The teams will square off again in pool play at Paideia Cup, a game Hopkins is supposed to win; if Hopkins does its job on Saturday, HUrt should be playing for a chance at the championship on Sunday morning.

South Eugene:

As the sole representative of the west coast, Eugene is out to prove something this weekend. After losing standouts Aaron Honn (Oregon) and Carter Thallon (Tufts) last year, the team has rallied behind leaders like senior Vinh Bui to win games and anchor the offense. Coached by Kevin Minderhout, Oregon alumnus and the director of last summer’s NexGen tour, South will take on Columbia, Neuqua Valley, and Paideia on Saturday.

More coverage of Paideia to come!

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