“Ultimate publications, pundits and governing bodies give out awards left and right, but why doesn’t anyone ever give the players a voice?”
That was the idea we had in mind when developing the idea for the Best of Club Ultimate awards. Immediately after nationals, we sent out surveys to every player on a Club Championships team in the Men’s and Women’s divisions to vote on individual awards for their peers — think of it like high school yearbook awards, but for ultimate.
Out of the 418 Men’s players on a Club Championships roster this year, we had a total of 98 survey responses representing all 16 teams. To avoid bias, players were instructed to vote according to their own personal experience and opinion, regardless of what ultimate media, fans, or pundits said. In addition, only votes for opponents were allowed; all votes for teammates were thrown out of the results.
With just 16 teams at nationals and 27-player roster limits, the elite club ultimate community has always been a tight-knit group. But with mandatory Triple Crown Tour events, U-23 tryouts, and the rise of social and ultimate media, players on teams across the country are closer than ever, and it was clear to see that many players had solid knowledge of the entire division. Of course, eliminating bias is nearly impossible. Any survey like this tends towards a popularity contest: journeymen players or players with friends on a number of different teams got more votes. That’s why we’ll open it up to you in the comments. Who do you think got overlooked?
Note: italic phrases in quotes are anonymous comments we received from players.
Jawdropping offhands, scoobers and thumbers for days; no one is sure what this player will pull out next.
1. Brett Matzuka (Machine) – 26.44% of the vote
“He has a sweet short range high release flick”
“His step-back around backhand is still one of the most devastating break throws in the game “
2. Josh Markette (Ironside) – 18.39%
“versatile and experienced”
3. Derek Alexander (GOAT) – 10.34%
4. Danny Karlinsky (Sockeye) – 5.75%
4T. Simon Montague (Sub Zero)- 4.60%
“Might not have all the stupid throws but he is by far the craftiest thrower in the game. Nobody plays like him.“
Also mentioned: Nick Lance (Johnny Bravo), Bob Liu (Machine), Alan Kolick (Truck Stop)
This young player is most likely to be the star of the 2024 US Olympic Team.
1. Simon Higgins (Revolver) – 9.88% of the vote
2T. John Stubbs (Ironside) – 8.64%
“Already has the skills and athleticism of an elite player. Took on some of the toughest matchups for Ironside’s D-line, and on turns, their offense frequently ran through him. He will be one of the best 10 players in the game when he starts to enter his prime in a few years. “
2T. Tyler Chan (Ironside) – 8.64%
2T. Abe Coffin (Prairie Fire) – 8.64%
5. Jimmy Mickle (Johnny Bravo) – 7.41%
Also mentioned: Jack Williams (Ring of Fire), Johnny Bansfield (High Five), Dylan Freechild (Rhino), Conor Kline (Sub Zero)
Hardest to Defend
Every time you play his team, this seemingly uncoverable player is juking, skying, and breaking ankles all over the field.
1. Kurt Gibson (Doublewide) – 10.47% of the vote
2. Jimmy Mickle (Johnny Bravo) – 9.30%
“You don’t try to stop him, you just try to contain him. Also, I’m guessing most people will say Beau here. When’s the last time anyone worried about Beau’s throws hurting them? The answer: it hasn’t happened yet. “
3T. Beau Kittredge (Revolver) – 8.14%
3T. Matt Rehder (Sockeye) – 8.14%
5. Cassidy Rasmussen (Revolver) – 6.98%
Also mentioned: Derek Alexander (GOAT), Danny Clark (Ironside) – “Especially in the redzone, this guy remains unguardable”, Dylan Freechild (Rhino)
2015 Club Season MVP
Completely disregarding what any media outlets have said, who, in your opinion, was the most valuable player in club ultimate during the 2015 season?
1. Cassidy Rasmussen (Revolver) – 30.59% of the vote
“Long overdue recognition for Cassidy. Truly dominant every time I saw him play.“
“Undisputed best player on the best team. No questions asked”
2T. Ashlin Joye (Revolver) – 8.24%
2T. Beau Kittredge (Revolver) – 8.24%
” Most impactful player on the best team“
4. Johnny Bansfield (High Five) – 7.06%
5T. Goose Helton (Machine) – 5.88%
“Most valuable to his team. They would be far worse without him. Revolver would lose something without Beau or Cass but they are still stacked. Machine would struggle without Goose.”
5T. Danny Karlinsky (Sockeye) – 5.88%
“Single handedly threw his team into the finals. He’s the only handler on that team that we were worried about.”
Also mentioned: Josh Markette (Ironside), Matt Rehder (Sockeye)
Best Individual Twitter Feed
Maybe it’s funny, maybe it’s insightful — who is a must follow?
1. Jimmy Mickle (Johnny Bravo) – 24.44% of the vote
“I would say who ever runs PoNY’s but since that’s not a choice, gotta go with the king of pumpkin spiced lattes.”
2. Reid Koss (Sockeye) – 11.11%
“Bring him back!”
Editor’s note: players were referring to a parody twitter account, @therealreidkoss, which has since been deleted. The identity behind the mysterious account was never revealed, and Sockeye claims it wasn’t anyone on their roster.
3T. Brandon Malacek (Doublewide) – 6.67%
“PoNY and Mean Machine are 1-2; Muffin just behind them but best individual”
3T. Andrew Sheehan (Machine) – 6.67%
3T. Bob Liu (Machine) – 6.67%
3T. Dylan Freechild (Rhino) – 6.67%
Who has the best locks in the division?
1. Jesse Roehm (Johnny Bravo) – 9.23% of the vote
2. Nathan White (Revolver) – 7.69%
3T. Anatoly Vasilyev (GOAT) – 6.15%
3T. Alan Kolick (Truck Stop) – 6.15%
3T. Michael Caldwell (Sockeye) – 6.15%
Also mentioned: Jimmy Mickle (Johnny Bravo) – “Sometimes the college/surferboy in Colorado hairdo works for him. I’m jealous at least.”
Seemingly never serious, this player is most likely to make opponents/teammates laugh, both on and off the field.
1. Timmy Perston (Rhino) – 9.84% of the vote
2T. Ryan Farrell (Johnny Bravo) – 4.92%
2T. Brett Matzuka (Machine) – 4.92%
2T. Dylan Freechild (Rhino) – 4.92%
2T. Alan Kolick (Truck Stop) – 4.92%
Also mentioned: Jon Nethercutt (Ring of Fire), Donnie Clark (Sockeye), Josh Klane (Sub Zero), Nick Stuart (Sub Zero)
Best Offseason Fun Tournament Teammate
If you were making a Lei-Out/Kaimana/Fools Fest/Potlatch/Poultry Days team, who would you most want on it, taking personality, party prowess, and overall playing ability into account?
1T. Joe “Smash” Anderson (Johnny Bravo) – 4.84%
“Go to Fool’s Fest with Smash, then repeat question.”
1T. Jimmy Mickle (Johnny Bravo) – 4.84% of the vote
2T. Josh Markette (Ironside) – 3.23%
2T. Trey Katzenbach (Patrol) – 3.23%
2T. Dylan Freechild (Rhino) – 3.23%
2T. Timmy Perston (Rhino) – 3.23%
2T. Jon Nethercutt (Ring of Fire) – 3.23%
2T. Will Chen (Sockeye) – 3.23%
2T. Phil Murray (Sockeye) – 3.23%
Yes, this is happening — who’s the dreamiest player in the Men’s division?
1. Matt Rehder (Sockeye) – 7.14%
2. Alan Kolick (Truck Stop) – 5.71%
” Those curls and locks, dreamy”
3T. Jimmy Mickle (Johnny Bravo) – 4.29%
“The golden boy. What club player wouldn’t want to make babies with Mickle?”
3T. Sam Kanner (Revolver) – 4.29%
“Nipples the size of pepperonis”
3T. Grant Lindsley (Sub Zero) – 4.29%
All photos courtesy of Ultiphotos. Photographers include Natalie Bigman-Pimentel, William “Brody” Brotman, Alex Fraser, Daniel Thai, Brian Canniff, Kyle McBard, Pete Guion, and Jolie J Lang.