Truck/Chain Likely to Rematch at Terminus 2012

by | July 20, 2012, 9:25am 0

Photo by Brandon Wu (

Everyone who has been on an Ultimate team knows how unique a journey each season is. Each version of the team forms a curving line, bent with the ups and downs of a competition, and once woven together, all of the teams form a complex tapestry that tells the season’s story. Many of this year’s journeys just began in Colorado at USAU’s inaugural US Open. Two of those teams will continue to write them – while baking in Atlanta’s summer heat – at Terminus this weekend: Washington, DC’s Truck Stop and host team, Chain Lightning.

Early season tournaments have long provided teams the opportunity to test out new strategies, explore their new roster makeup, and develop depth. They are also gauging opponents they expect to see later and discovering how the same tasks and challenges are being handled on the opposite sideline. “Up until August, I’ve always tried to get everyone as much playing time as possible,” explained Truck Stop captain Kevin Moldenhauer, “You never know who’s going to step up.” Chain Lightning captain Mark Poole agrees, citing Terminus as “another opportunity to gain experience and continuing developing as a team.” The Atlanta boys have also taken full advantage of an early season hometown tournament, where they can typically get their full roster on the field and see what battles they could face in the quest for their regional title.

Truck's Alan Kolick going for a high release. (Photo by Brandon Wu -

It was only two weeks ago that Truck and Chain were battling it out at the US Open, a time capped game Chain took 9-8. While there were some theories that the new club format’s full season focus on results would alter how teams approached early season development, both captains stated they were going through this season as they would any other and would reevaluate in preparations for next year. “I wouldn’t look too much into [that game],” cautions Poole, despite the windy game slotting as a good victory for Chain’s record, “Could have been a completely different outcome if actually played to 15.” However, as the two strongest teams at Terminus’s field, I’d wager both teams are eager to let their play suggest what that score might have been. The DC-based squad isn’t looking past anyone, noting that mid-tier teams are better than they’ve ever been before and can compete with or even knock off Nationals-level teams. They’ll be watching out for up and comers like Cash Crop, Six Pack, Ironmen, and southern staple Tanasi.

The two teams will likely face off and the score can be expected to be tight, as they match up quite well. However, their situations are vastly different from one another. While Chain is returning most of its core, Truck is adding a lot of new, young faces. Moldenhauer has been known to say Truck is the nation’s best team at earning the under while Chain is famous for their deep game. In Colorado, Truck Stop’s leadership felt they had been taking too many low percentage choices and needed to play better team defense, while Chain is mostly looking forward to integrating players into new roles with everyone in attendance. Despite their differences – or perhaps because of them – they seem to play excellently against one another.

Collision downfield as a Chain player gets sandwiched between two Truck defenders. (Photo by Brandon Wu -

“They run a lot. They test your patience and require your defense to hang on,” said Poole of Truck’s offense, “It’s tough when you don’t get a small break as a downfield defender.” In order to keep up with their bevy of strong under cutters, like Sean Keegan and Alan Kolick, Chain will try some different looks and matchups to see what sticks. If patience and smart decisions are the intended weapons of the D.C. offense, unpredictably is one of Chain’s. Moldenhauer used the term “grooviness” to describe it, saying they’ll throw anything at anytime. “You’ll put them in position to throw a really difficult throw, and they’ll do it anyway,” he commented. With these contrasting styles, it is tough to predict which team will come out of this battle on top.

One thing that has been predictable is Chain’s legacy at Terminus, a tournament they take pride in always winning, as any gracious host would. “Hometown tournament, full squad,” exclaimed the Chain captain, “We’re pumped.” Truck Stop is just as eager to get on the field and charge headlong  into the next chapter of this season. “We’re pretty excited,” added Moldenhauer. I am as well, and it will be worth watching . After this weekend, we can take a step back, and see just how the intertwining threads of Chain and Truck’s seasons fits into the big picture.

Feature photo by Brandon Wu –

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