Tuesday, September 21


The question I get asked most often

is "So, what's the deal with Pike folding?"

Rarely do folks mean "Tell me about the offseason that lead from Pike to Southpaw". Usually, what they mean is to ask about an ex-Pike, or to know who is AMP now, or who is on Southpaw, or who the coach of Southpaw is, exactly, or whatever.

Well, I'm not exactly going to answer any of that. I'm going to messily tackle 2 topics:

1) Pike is not Southpaw and that Southpaw is not Pike. To make either assertion is to do a disservice to Southpaw, Pike, Philly Ultimate and any number of other groups, players, coaches, individuals, groups, &c.

2) Pike did not "fold", "disband", "fall apart" or whatever other pejorative you'd like to apply.


The second first: Pike, as a team, chose to unite the open ultimate talent in the greater Philadelphia area by having fully open, inclusive tryouts. The issue of team name was tabled until the team was chosen, so that the chosen players could chose the name and no one would say "I will not tryout for 'Pike'".

Key stated goals of the "merger" were:

-- Create an elite-level team that is wholly invested in and supported by the area ultimate communities rather than a separate entity.
-- Stop the continual creation/recreation of teams competing for the top talent in the Philly area by creating a sustainable team as *the* destination for all area players wishing to compete at the highest level.
-- Create a team environment that allows&encourages the duality of fun and dedication to excellence.
-- Represent Philadelphia's heart, soul and grit on the ultimate field.

I was cut from the team, so, I'm not the person to address progress toward the above goals. I was part of the group that came together in the offseason to make Southpaw happen, so, I am the person to tell you what the goals were.


The first second: Southpaw is not Pike. There are any number of things to cite on this topic, but the clearest of them is to ask the opponents of Southpaw if they are Pike. I know the answer, but that is too... nebulous&hearay-ey to tackle here.

To go a little further, let's look at the roster. Baselevel info is that there are 13(/27 + 1 Injured Reserve) ex-pikes on Southpaw:

Name: Years as Pike

Trey: 02-07
Ian: 03-07, 09
Wooten: 04-05
Brandon: 06-07
Schmucker: 06-07
Pribicko: 06-07
Tim: 06-09
Fink: 06-09
Eddie: 07
Art: 07-09
Leon: 08-09
Ross: 08-09
Jake: 08-09

A look at the full roster:

Player, Most Recent Team*
Art Shull, Pike
Leon Chou, Pike
Ross Littauer, Pike
Jake Rainwater, Pike
Tim Johnson, Pike
Jon Fink, Pike
Ian McClellan, Pike

Dan Furfari, AMP
David Brandolph, AMP
Matt Glazer, AMP
Sean Murray, AMP
Tim Gaulton, AMP
Eddie Peters, AMP

Nick Hirannet, Hooray!
Thomas Pribicko, Hooray!
Nick Purifico, Hooray!
Mike Panna, Hooray! (Injured Reserve)

Adrian Chow, Carleton
Brandon Silverman, Team Tent U
Alex Kadesch, Philly Love
Joel Wooten, Chain Lightning
Greg Owens, TCNJ
Matt Schmucker, ????
David Stoddard, Roots of Rhythm
George Katzenbach, Ironside
Frederick Brasz, Princeton
Carl Deffenbaugh, Machine
Billy Maroon, O.l.d. S.a.g.

*- To the best of my knowledge

To break that down differently:

Type of team: # of players
Nationals Open: 10
Nationals Coed: 7
Nationals Masters: 1
Nationals College: 1 (3 if you include Kadesch&Shull)
Non-Nationals Open: 3
Non-Nationals Coed: 3
Non-Nationals College: 2
????: 1

Or, another way:

Experience: # of players
Nationals Open: 16
Nationals Coed: 10
Nationals Masters: 1
Nationals College: 12

(Some of the college list is off, I'm pretty sure. I can't entirely reliably recall who was in college when or even for which school any longer.)

Finally, I feel that Southpaw is defined by their coach (Jeff Snader) rather than by their players. This was not true of Pike even if you replaced "coach" with "captains". I do not mean to judge this definition, I mean to make the statement, you can judge the rest for yourself.


An Addendum:

Swagger U beat Pike at sectionals in 2009. Now they're Pike-killers who can't finish sectionals. No one from Pike can change it or deny it, or ever get revenge.

Pike beat Los in the game-to-go in 2007 and 2009. No one on Los can change it or deny it, or ever get revenge.

Point is, there is nothing historic at stake if/when Los plays Southpaw at Regionals. Southpaw isn't Pike. I hear rumours that Los isn't Los either, but I don't know anything other than 3rd hand accounts (at best) regarding that.


Now, will everyone ask me about PoNY instead?


Bill Mill said...

I recommend using rsdnospam instead of google groups, it makes life a lot better.

dusty.rhodes said...

Sure, given normal usage. I figure the link from google will be more long-lasting.

nickongpauco said...

1. As awesome as it was to go to Nationals it sucks that all year the only thing we won was a stinky NJ swamp to call ours

2. http://www.vimeo.com/6752912 the funniest video on the internet in my opinion. I need to get my Ellis on and trade up for a Swagger jersey

-Fun Cuatro