Spaghetti Western 2014 will take place in the town of Morgan Hill, California (just south of San Jose) on April 26-27 and feature 16 high school and 10 middle school teams. The third rendition of the tournament will include some of the best high school and club teams from California, Washington, Oregon, and Utah.
Valerio Iani, Bay Area Disc’s Youth Director, created Spaghetti Western in 2012 with the goal of celebrating top youth competition and great sprit in a top-quality setting. The name of the tournament comes from the Italian-style western movies, a sub-genre of Western films that emerged in the mid-1960s in the wake of Sergio Leone’s film-making style and international box-office success. Valerio explains: “From an Italian guy starting his new life in the west, what best name for an ultimate tournament? Each year we change movie and theme; this year is the time for A Fistful of Dollars! To keep with the tournament-movie theme, we give to the winner a Traveling Trophy: The Golden-rush Lantern (MS division) and The Cattle Skull (HS division).” This year’s edition of the tournament will have night games for the first time, among other additions to continue improving the quality of the tournament.
Because some teams are only able to play on Saturday, the tournament celebrates a special award — the “Saturday Champion” — if a team wins all Saturday games by at least 4 points. Lone Peak won this award in 2013. Lone Peak is an athletic team that plays simple and effective ultimate. Lone Peak’s coach David Kroupa describes first hearing about the tournament from Berkeley’s coach Jordan Rose in 2012. “[Coach Rose] graciously agreed to play us on the Friday before the 2012 High School Westerns (which were held in Utah). Coach Rose mentioned the tournament and said he thought that we would have a great experience if we came. He was right!”
Looking ahead to this year, the Seattle Fryz manager Randy Lim is excited to face new competition. He states, “We savor the challenge of pushing ourselves by finding the best competition we can while having fun traveling together as a team. We are also excited to travel to a tournament that seeks to support club and youth teams and grow the sport on the west coast.” The Seattle Fryz are an all-star team from Seattle, with many players to watch. The Fryz are coached by Aly Lenon and Spencer Wallis and led by captains Robbie Farwell, Sam Lehman, and Alex Olson.
Last year in the Middle School Division, Silver Lake Ultimate (Los Angeles) won both 1st place and the spirit award. In the High School Division, High Coup (Berkeley) took 1st and Lone Peak B (Utah) won the spirit award. Last year, High Coup was the USAU California state champion and took 2nd at HS Regional Westerns. The team is very diverse, pooling from more than 70 students in the program. This year, High Coup features Nathan Pettyjohn, who displays great vision and field sense.
Some other teams to watch out for this year include Atascadero MPG (California) and South Eugene (Oregon). Atascadero MPG finished 3rd at USAU HS Regional Westerns last year and tied for the spirit award. They are a mentally strong and athletic team, led by Leah Ferris (left), who’s “strong and skilled and can match up with any boy,” according to Valerio Iani. South Eugene, last year’s USAU Oregon state and HS Regional Westerns champion, is a pipeline for players as young as 13 to eventually end up playing for Oregon Ego in college. This year, South Eugene is led by Trace Andreason, Sebastian Coslow, and Sungwoo Kay. Trace and Sebastian will be continuing their studies at the University of Oregon, while Sungwoo will head to Columbia University next year.
More rising stars include Brennan Goodsell, Brandon Jared, and Blake Powell, who are all seniors at Lone Peak HS. They are all planning to attend BYU after serving a 2-year religious mission. Aaron Hom (Alameda Dark Meat) and Nick Tolfa (Disception San Mateo) are also impact players for their teams. Aaron is a top handler who can sky for a D or go horizontal for a catch. Nick is a great athlete and a spirited player.
Information on the tournament can be found on the tournament’s website. VC Ultimate will be the event-partner and will sell their great apparel and provide some additional prizes. Additionally, here is a promo video and photos from last year’s edition.