I've been meaning to put some other thoughts up about team/coaching preparation for crucial tournaments, especially the series, but they're all still kind of half-baked. Hopefully, they'll be good fodder for later.
As for now, the fact that Jojah barely gritted out a qualifying spot at nationals seems more relevant.
A couple of observations:
-I think in Ultimate generally, but especially college, mental state has as much to do with a team's success as talent. I think it had something to do with Florida's failing to qualify last year, and we definitely had problems with it at Minnesota (as a team we were always terrified to play CUT and the Hodags when it mattered). This weekend, Florida was ready to play and play well, whupping us and everyone else they ran up against. Minnesota also seemed to get the monkey off its back with a couple of wins against Wisconsin and a close game with Carleton (this after losing to Carleton GOP at sectionals).
We brought the fire at weird times this weekend and in the end it came during our most critical points. Our game-to-go never got out of hand and the guys rallied admirably when we were down unexpectedly in an elimination game. While a couple of timeouts where Travis and I spoke (I usually yelled) about waking up generated a point or two of intensity, this usually fizzled pretty quickly. It was ultimately up to them to decide how bad they wanted it. This weekend, they wanted it just enough.
-My AC all-region based on what I've seen in the regular season and at regionals:
Rusty Ingold-Smith (UNCW)
Tyler Conger (UVA)
Nick Lance (GA Tech)
Brodie Smith (UF)
Chris Mullinix (UT)
Taylor "Tree" Goforth (Kennesaw)
Peter Dempsey (UGA)
FOTY: Fletcher Hartline (UGA). Clearly I'm biased by the fact that I coach him and by the fact that nobody from other teams has really mentioned their freshmen to me. Still, I'm confident that Fletcher played more crucial D points for us than any other frosh in the region. On the field, it's impossible to distinguish him from our best deeps.
-If I were to seed Nationals without much understanding of the rules beyond that you can't seed lower regionals finishers ahead at nationals:
18/ Tx State
I'm sure that some of the results I haven't looked over say different, but this is just where I would put them if I had to seed subjectively.
-Finally, damn it's exciting to get to coach for 3 more weeks.