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Truck Stop

October 18, 2010

 

I think Truck Stop is…

On the up

Since they came onto the scene in the middle of the decade, Truck has been steadily climbing toward serious Nationals contention. While their results in Sarasota over the past few years have been a bit erratic (In 2006 and 2008, they finished 14th and 15th respectively, but in 2007 they finished tied for 5th, and in 2009 they came in 9th), recent results validate what has been a multi-year building process wherein each of its rosters has been more talented than the one before it. Most notably for this year, they picked up former Ironside captain Ryan Todd, along with teammate Adam Sigelman. After a few seasons of building, 2010 could be the payoff year.

…Having a good year so far

They won the Mid-Atlantic Region for the first time in 2009, and the ascent continued in 2010 with a tournament win at Colorado Cup in July, a one-loss Emerald City Classic, a semis showing at Chesapeake where they only saw losses to Ring of Fire and Chain Lightning, and a successful defense of the regional crown. Getting on a roll is nice, and the consistent showings against some of the past few years’ best teams like Sockeye, Bravo, GOAT, and Ring of Fire would be a confidence booster for any team. Seems like Truck understands the potential that this year holds.

…Pretty young

And they’re doing a good job with that youth. When I’ve seen Truck this year, the recent college grads that they’ve picked up from around the area have been playing big roles. This shows both an ability to run and make big plays as well as a commitment to building something that’s going to last. By giving a lot of responsibility to their young players, Truck Stop has implemented a system that means they’ll probably be good for a while. I really think that they’re going to be one of the more youth-heavy teams at Nationals, and that only Chain, Ironside and Doublewide have done as good a job of bringing in young guys that can really impact the game at the highest levels. Other teams certainly have youth, but I’m not sure that it’s as versatile and deep as Truck Stop’s.

…A good team

Truck Stop is pretty good accross the board. They’ve taken what I always thought was a pretty good dump/swing based offense that relied on inside breaks and added quite. They’re much more liberal with their hucks than I think they were in years past, but they also keep it pretty high percentage. Stout is a game changer for sure, and their offense takes advantage of this well: they often run a side stack that clears everyone out and lets him go to work, and he’s not exactly a bad bailout option deep. Going on that note about the side stack, their offense flows better than in years past, and there’s usually a whole lot of space on the force side that allows them to use their speed well (this is a change from last year, when they relied a lot on inside break throws). Sean McComb has really nice backhand hucks, which are hard to deal with since he’s left-handed: switch the force to backhand, and a number of guys can throw deep quite well. Defensively, they ran a couple of zones that gave Southpaw some real trouble (they also did the same to us at Sectionals). I don’t remember them being as physical as Ironside or Ring, but I also think that just depends on who they have on the field.

It seems like Truck is set to be the 5th seed behind Ironside, Revolver, Doublewide, Chain Lightning. Being in a pool with Chain could be tough, and a power pool matchup that included Revolver wouldn’t be much easier. Still, I think Truck Stop is as ready as they’ve ever been to turn in a strong showing at Nationals.

As next weekend approaches, I’m going to try to write as much as I can before it turns into nonsense, me getting fired, or both. I’m going to be doing Open coverage for USA Ultimate down in Sarasota, so if you’re reading this and you’ve got anything particular that you want covered or commented on, let me know. I also just bit the bullet and made a Twitter (@87til), so follow along if you’d like.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2010 12:02 am

    It’s probably also worth noting that Stout was missing at Chesapeake (from what I’ve been told). I think having Brian out there on O is a good strategic change for Truck, and that it’ll pay off well at nats. I think Truck Stop will make Semis if they can beat Chain on Thursday, otherwise I see then and exiting in the quarters.

    P.S. Furious picking up Masahiro Matsuno makes pool D suddenly stronger, not a good sign for Truck Stop.

    P.P.S. I think you’ve undersold Revolver’s commitment to young talent. A quick glance at their roster shows three players still in college and another 7 (or more?) who were playing college ultimate as recently as 2008.

    • neeley permalink*
      October 19, 2010 6:51 am

      Good point about Stout missing Chesapeake… our half of the bracket was at a different field site, so I only got to see Truck play a couple of points… forgot that he was out. Stout to O definitely seems like a turning point for Truck. A lot of times, their other three cutters are Calvin Oung, Andrew Berry, and Ryan Morgan. All are strong cutters (Oung and Berry are among the fastest on the team, and Morgan is usually in the right place at the right time), but Stout coming over gave the team that guy that the other team’s players all need to be aware of, which gives the other guys on the field considerably more breathing room. I also think that Truck’s offense has added more athletic handlers (Alan Kolick in particular) that do well when they get downfield. I don’t think that they’ve been quite as dynamic in years past.

      Matsuno to Furious sounds awesome. He was pretty good at Worlds. And by pretty good, I mean that he was pretty much uncoverable. Guard him in and he streaks across the lane and bombs it for a score. Guard him out and he’s too fast to catch up with. Play him physically and he steps around you and leaves you in the dust. I think the’s definitely the best player outside of North America right now, so it’s cool that he’ll be in playing in Florida.

      You’re definitely right about Revolver. They slipped my mind cause I haven’t seen them play since Worlds, and also, their young guys are good enough to not even seem that young… Mac obviously stands out, but don’t Nick Schlag and Cassidy both start on offense for Revolver? Also, adding Sam Kanner after Worlds doesn’t hurt. As for the guys still in college, I know Russell and Cassidy are still at UCSD. Who else is still in school?

  2. October 19, 2010 9:54 am

    Cassidy (year 4) and Russell (year 5) are playing with UCSC this year. I was counting Kanner as the third guy still in college because he’s taking year 5 at Cal this spring. The 7 recent grads I counted are:
    Mark Sherwood (Stanford ’08)
    Martin Cochran (Colorado ’08)
    Mac Taylor (Colorado ’09)
    Nick Schlag (Stanford ’09)
    Nick Chapman (UCSC ’09)
    Joel Schlachet (Cal ’09)
    Ashlyn Joy (Davis ’10)

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