Tony Leonardo, Team Devolver
Offense: Josh Markette, Jack Marsh, Greg Swanson, Brian Stout, Justin Foord, Jeff Lindquist, Nick Schlag
Defense: Reid Koss, Trent Dillon, Jared Inselmann, Sam Harkness, Jake Taylor, Husayn Carnegie, Asa Wilson
Subs: Tom Rogacki, Tom Abrams
In drafting this team I aimed for a system of cohesion and interchangeability with players who have all played at the highest levels of the game. There are several national champions here (Markette, Wilson, Schlag), collegiate champions (Marsh, Dillon) and high-profile international stars who have won big outside of the United States (Rogacki in Australia and Abrams and Foord in the UK).
I valued interchangeability so much that I even drafted several traditional O-line players for the D-line (Inselmann, Wilson) and crossovers like Jake Taylor (Ironside O, Whitecaps D) and Husayn Carnegie. One thing to note: Carnegie is this team’s deep ‘Beau-defender’ (who wouldn’t want to see that match-up?) but isn’t allowed to handle the disc or throw with a green light after he gets a turnover. Just want to clarify that, Hoose!
For all the experience on the O-line with players in their late 20s and early 30s, the D-line has strength in its youth with Dillon, Harkness, Carnegie and Tom “Mum” Abrams, the 24-year six-foot-four puller for Clapham.
On offense, this is a team that features three almost identical athletes as cutters making it tough to choose who to defend. Marsh racked up 10 goals and 10 assists at the Club Championships in 2013; he can come under to throw the goals and streak deep. Marsh’s quickness and acrobatic displays in the air are legendary. Lindquist is similar, but known mostly as a goal scorer with speed as we’ve seen on the big stages with GOAT, Team Canada and Toronto Rush. And then there’s Justin Foord: many consider him to be the best player in Europe. He certainly scores the most goals and has a knack for getting to the endzone and skying anyone near him, including the aforementioned Kittredge in a showdown at Paganello a few years back. Foord is the real deal and is in the prime of his game.
There are several pairings of teammates here, with three guys from Chain Lightning, two from Sockeye, two from Ironside and two from Clapham.
Rogacki is an interesting selection. I chose him as a disruptor. Can Rogacki fit with a team that doesn’t need a man-against-the-world style of play? Can he find a role on a team stacked with talent? For me it’s well worth it to find out. Simply put, the guy is a beast. He’s a legit 6’6” with a monstrous reach and otherworldly backhand bombs. He can honestly sky anyone in the air on any given day and can also huck it upwind for goals should it be necessary.
Which gets to the heart of why I chose him early: Rogacki is my wildcard. He can win you games in the wind. He can win a game for you on the D line in the zone as the big man. Right now, he‘s on my bench. But if the conditions are ripe or this team is falling behind, Rogacki is my man.
At 6’5” with experience galore, Brian Stout is my big-man receiver to compliment Foord and Lindquist. He can leap through the roof and has only been playing mixed because of work commitments overseas. Those from Truck Stop in the past know what this man can do in the air.
Some may wonder why I picked Markette with my first selection. In my draft board I had the same five players as everyone else going one through five and sure enough I was sixth. Markette to me is an older, more experienced version of Nick Lance. Besides their shared Georgia background, both guys have crazy good crafty throws, amazing footwork, super quickness and ups in the air. Markette brings me valued experience and the interchangeability I wanted: he can play anywhere on the field and make things happen. He is a singular type of player, a true hybrid, and his wealth of experience and championships (MLU, Chain Lightning) made him my number one pick.
Lastly I wanted a D-line that could score effectively. With tall offensive crossover handlers like Inselmann and Jake Taylor, reliable teammates and rock stars Harkness and Koss, and the steely NexGen defense of Trent Dillon, my D-line might be the strongest part of this team.
They say offense wins games, but defense wins championships. The offensive precision of past champions is gone: we know now that turnovers are going to happen. This team will convert turnovers every time and that’s what I drafted them for. None of that “get the D and jack it downfield for a shot to score.” There’s three or four legit handlers with speed, quickness and veteran experience here.
Jack Marsh – cutter
Brian Stout – cutter
Justin Foord — cutter
Josh Markette – handler/cutter
Greg Swanson – handler
Nick Schlag – handler
Jeff Lindquist — cutter
Tom Rogacki – handler
Reid Koss – handler/puller
Sam Harkness – cutter
Husayn Carnegie – cutter
Jake Taylor – handler
Jared Inselmann – handler
Asa Wilson – cutter
Trent Dillon – cutter
Tom Abrams – cutter