The 2007-2008 Wisconsin Hodags are 26 strong:
Captain Matt “Rebel Rousa” Rebholz #4
Captain Jimmy “J-Fo” Foster #18
Officer Shane “ManSlutBearPig” Hohenstein #19
Officer Tom “Animal” Annen #17
Workout Coordinator Brandon “Muffin” Malecek #13
K-Fed “Bucket” Riley #7
Will “Bill ‘Fat’ Schlokke” Lokke #9
Andrew “The Golden Hand” Mabrowald #21
Tim “Hypo TP” Pearce #34
Chris “Heydede” Doede #25
Seth “Old Man” Meyer #3
Jon “Jim Raynor” GAYNAH! #14
Evan “Callahan” Klane #38
Adam “Straight” Drews #1
Ben “Hollywood” Feldman #2
Jeremiah “Glutin German” Berlin #12
Cullen “The Chef” Geppert #11
Jon “Mazel Toss” Masler #33
Matt “Old Man” Young #20
Tom “T-Murda’ Tomacide” Murray #15
Zach “Turtle” Ehler #16
Jake “Broken Needham” Smart #6
John “Captain Hook Velociraptor” Bergen #23
Pat “Taller than Thou” Donovan #93
Jon “We Are” Marshall #32
Andy “Mini Washburn” Holt #5
Chris Doede gets the award for hardest worker of the week. Chris managed to mistakenly put 8 pounds in his weight vest instead of his initial 5 before sprinting 6 Bascom hills at various lengths which is about a 30% grade. Doede followed this heroic performance by running 42 floors of stairs with the weight vest on, 21 floors of which he bounded every other step. Doede! Didn't you notice the weight difference? "No, it hurt a lot so I thought that's whats supposed to happen."
Player information can be found here.
The jerseys this year are going to be sweet!
Stay tuned for slow motion and THE GOLDEN HAND!
General updates for the Fall 2007 Hodags:
Wisconsin took split squads of 21 to the Eau Claire Invite as the final part of the tryout process on October 20-21. Wisconsin was able to dominate the competition on Saturday as both teams won their pools, as the closest score was 13-6 on the Lil' Jimmy side. Both teams went to bed confident they would meet in the finals despite Carleton and Whitewater slated for Sunday. The Lil’ Jimmies cruised through their quarterfinals game against Whitewater 13-3, but the Rebel Rousa’s ran up against the tougher of the split squads. Madison’s own, Mike Swain was scoring goals for Whitewater left and right, and even did a running front flip over 9 people laying on the ground with room to spare. Needless to say, he is the next Scott Richgels of Whitewater and was keeping the Warhawks in the game. Superstars Shane “Will Eat Your Soul” Hohenstein, Tom Animal, and Matt “Old Man” Young were pacing the Rebel Rousas and scoring goals all over the field. However, it would take some serious encouragement from the Lil’ Jimmies for the Rebel Rousas to pull off the win and move onto semifinals against Flaming Moe.
The Foster led Lil’ Jimmies were in the other semifinal against Carleton. The CUT tryout team of 35 took a commanding 3-1 lead as Wisconsin stumbled out of the gates. However, the Lil’ Jimmies were able to tighten the game to 4-5 CUT as Foster finally was the only one to score besides Andrew “The Golden Hand” Mabrowald. However, CUT responded and scored 2 in a row for the 7-4 lead and carried it to half 8-5. With only 2 Wisconsin players scoring goals in the first half, something had to change. The Lil’ Jimmies went into a dark place over halftime and I think Riley punched Bill Schlokke in the face to make sure his circuitry was programmed to “big time performance needed.” Despite Fat Lokke, Wisconsin would need a monumental performance to make up this deficit. Wisconsin would steal 2 goals right out of half as handlers Kevin Riley and Evan Klane started firing deep to break back for 8-7. CUT would trade to lead 11-9 and the Lil’ Jimmies were running out of time. Skywalker began asserting himself on defense as “The Golden Hand” could not be stopped as Andrew collected another break from roommate Kevin Federline to tighten the game to 11-10. It would be Ben “Still a Freshman” Feldman who threw the crucial goal to tie the game 11-11. Carleton would hold to make it 12-11, probably with Jerome scoring, assisting, or breaking during the action. However, in the late moments of the game, Wisconsin flipped a switch. The intensity increased, the enthusiasm peaked, and Hodags started making plays. Almost right after another, player by player did something sick and the timeline can only be documented as Bill Schlokke deciding to be a hero, Foster getting a catch D by jumping over Tony’s shoulder, Muffin almost starting a fight with a video camera, (many of these events were documented on film), and Lokke generally skying everybody around him. All of this action got the Hodag faithful riled up and when the Rebel Rousa’s showed up in the closing moments, the waterfull of pain poured. Soon Wisconsin had stolen the lead 13-12 and at 13-13, stole the last 2 to win. One sequence was all Kevin “Bucket” Riley who couldn’t be stopped on the afternoon as he once again bombed deep to Schlokke who immediately found J-Fo for the late game lead 14-13. Evan would hit Jeremiah for the clinching goal after Ben “Not a Freshman Anymore” Feldman’s first ever in-cut layout D. The 15-13 win over CUT would guarantee a rematch of Wisconsin tryout teams in the finals. A heartfelt victory speech was more than enough to get the Lil’ Jimmies excited for the pinnacle of the Hodag tryout process. It was the last stage, finals of the Eau Claire Chillout, and it would be a battle to prove exactly why you deserve to be Hodag. However, several veteran Jimmies had to de-cleat like fatties K-Fed and Schlokke in particular – which put a lot of pressure on the up-‘n-comers (Sophomores) in Feldman and German. Both would take charge and lead the team in basically all categories of goals, assists, D's, turns, and drops. It was a good fight and the Lil’ Jimmies closed the score to 9-7 late, after barely surviving a ruthless Rebel Rousa OATB attempt. Those damn Rebel Rousas took down the house and with a late run – took the title with a 15-9 finish. As tryouts concluded, many questions arose. Who played well? How many Hodags are too many? Who could possibly be Gaynor’s buddy? There were really no clear cut answers, and after hours of deliberation and not doing schoolwork, the final 26 were most difficultly selected. The strategy of taking the instant best team possible blends intricately with building a program and developing talent. In the end, it was concluded that everybody would get the opportunity to play ultimate this season, and a strong core of Pimpdags keeps the Hodag healthy and fierce. The Pimps have some serious talent and the duel coaching with be crucial from alumni Brian Frederick and Harvard alum Jack Darsh. That first outrageous number of 110 players has dwindled to the elite, to the players who have the time and who can hang with the big boys. At Wisconsin, that number is at 50+ as the Pimpdags can bring a reliable squad of 30+ players to practice.
With the new dynasty team built, there was one more thing – Club Nationals. Missing Halloween in Madison to go to Sarasota, FL on Wednesday is an awesome trade and 6 current Hodags were able to showcase their talents on the Minneapolis team Sub Zero. These are the players who will travel 5 hours on the weekend just to play the best ultimate in the area. That’s dedication and those studs are as followed – Shane “Painzilla” Hohenstein, his partner in crime Will “Spainzilla” Lokke, Andrew “Skywalker” Mahowald, Jimmy “J-Fo” Foster, plus handlers Kevin Riley and Muffin Malecek. Become familiar with these names because these are the players who will dominate all day long and who have now all gained valuable experience. However, the journey was difficult for Sub Zero as Frosty came up short in quarterfinals against a polished San Francisco Jam 15-12. Lokke and Muffin both grabbed Callahans on the weekend, but Schlokke’s was obviously much cooler as he tweaked his 5 foot layout catch D Callahan to "wink" at Bort mid-catch. The quarterfinals loss was similar to a clinic in how to brutalize the mark as Idris, Damien, Bort, and even Bart had any throw they wanted all over the field. I can't tell which burns worse, the needle of a tattoo or the burning sensation of getting trashed on the mark. However, Skywalker redeemed the effort and decided to produce clear video evidence of giving Visor the business on several occasions. Visor refers to Condor "Must be a touchdown day for me" Up-side-down-backwards visor - who gets skied brutally on one deep ball upwind. This is the same guy who at Colorado Cup caught a disc after jumping from OB, claiming to be in, and then demanding to see video footage of it, and then deciding that it was too close to call and sending it back. All on tape. But really, Skywalker gave him the business and the dudes scoober is so dangerous it almost cost Damien his life as Shane was closing in for the garbage pass. Sometimes there is blatant cheating or bending of the rules, and Visor was calling "fastcount" regardless of the pace at stall 8 to gain more time. He definitely wanted to win and "The Golden Hand" served him a platter of delicious layout D's, hand blocks, and balls-on-shoulder skyings. Either way, the Hodags were getting better this summer and many younger players found expanded roles and extra time in on the field for Madison Frontline. Handler Jon Masler got some key looks and worked with backfield dominators in Tom Annen, Evan Klane, and Captain Matt Rebholz. However, the Hodag cutters playing for Frontline became decidedly worse at throwing the disc - as cutters Jon Gaynor, Cullen Geppert, and Tom Murray needed CPR on occasions to get back some of their brutal turnovers. Especially Cullen “The Chef” – he had some awful, awful throws.
Anyway, Hodags were getting better in any way possible in the off season and Muffin is still betting on the perfect season. Wisconsin Hodags have been built to win since 2005 and more importantly, are expected to win. Hodags know it, Whitewater knows it. Anything less than a tournament victory is a failure and the formation of the final 2008 team is a key step to this year’s title run. Hodags travel in packs, and more importantly, in pairs. That was why Wisconsin introduced the buddy system. What better way to introduce this prime event other than hosting the most illustrious and memorable buddy initiation commencement in recent history. This has been a building tradition ever since Jimmy McMurray’s groundbreaking strategy to announce Blue-Black teams in raucous environment of fun. Hodags young and old were matched with their identical twin counterpart or exact opposite in hopes of continuing the tradition of dominating the nation. Big time pickups included Andy Holt becoming the next part of Painzilla with Shane Hohenstein. The Golden Hand will attempt to avoid all mention of the brand SuperGrip as Andrew joins forces with broken Jake Smart. Animal and Muffin will continue their stranglehold on the best buddy look on the Hodags for the fourth straight year. Evan Klane took up some responsibility by taking little freshman Turtle under his wing. Fat Schlokke will attempt to transfer some of his mainframe circuitry to the up-and-coming Madison-based Jon “We Are” Marshall. Tim “TP” Pearce was matched with his exact twin Tom “Murda” Murray. The old men of Seth Meyer and Matt Young will be the best tandem since Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon 4. Chris “Heydede” was nowhere to be seen as he was matched with some player we call Adam Drews? The Bucket of K-Fed was matched with the exact opposite of his body type with Lil’ Bergen. Rebholz, making up for his previous ill matched buddies was given the cream of the handling crop with Mazel Toss. The Chef and Jim RAYNAH was an late round obvious duo considering their destructive and unexpected tactics (Carrier drop? I mean really?). And that just left two sophomores. Hollywood Feldman matched with German Berlin. That should be an interesting development to follow.
But really – Buddies are essential because this is your new guy. Say hi to your new best friend! He will talk to you, help you with your homework, rub your back, force you to lift before practice, compete against you on the track, give you girlfriend advice, be your talk on the field, and generally have your back when things get hot.
Missouri Loves Company
As we continue our journey with the “Hodag experience,” our next stop for fall ultimate is MLC. The captains decided that this would be an optional tournament and many of the Hodag Studs elected to nurse their wounds and stay home as Wisconsin was without TP, K-Fed, Fat Schlokke, Hohenstein, Dades, Tomacide, and even newcomers Tall Pat and Mini Zach Washburn. Jim Foster wasn’t running on full steam and Muffin was mostly broken, but dominating on command whenever the Hodags needed a score. Saturday morning was windy and chilly as the 3 Wisconsin cars were forced to pay $5 for parking to some guy in a pickup truck. The Hodags were generally upset about school and were especially not happy about getting in so late on Friday night. These tensions caused the Hodags to punish Indiana in the first game 11-1. Indiana probably dropped the disc 10 times. Wisconsin probably scored their end zone set 9 times. It would have been a compete shutout and double OATBAG before Glutin got beaten deep at 7-1. Many of the young guns provided the early scoring as Feldman, Jeremiah, and Bergen scored at least 2 points. The Buckets of Texas State were the Hodag's second game and were determined to play hard and spill their hearts out. Matt Rebholz would huck deep to Feldman to tie the game 1-1 early. Then Texas State gained some confidence as they stole a 3-1 lead as a Cullen drop provided their break opportunity. Wisconsin would respond and break to 3-3 as Muffin found Mabrowald deep. The Hodags were content to being average and traded to 5-5 before the C-Monster was able to find Foster for the break 6-5 to halftime. The Bucket’s even had the nerve to tie the game at 7-7 after half. Animal would connect with Seth Meyer to steal back the lead to 9-7 and Wisconsin would hold out to an 11-9 win as Skywalker sealed the deal on his 4th goal of the game. Feldman, Rebholz and Muffin would all throw 2 goals in the solid win, closer than usual, but still a win with only 16 players. The third game would be against Minnesota, who also thought they could match-up with Wisconsin and make a game of it. This was a new Wisconsin team, only a shell of the National Champions the year before and without the swagger and dominant defensive principles. When Wisconsin is firing on all cylinders, games are over by halftime and other teams crumble under the pressure. At MLC and without many starters, the defensive intensity was not quite overwhelming, allowing the other team to hold on offensive possessions. Why you ask? Because the top studs were playing both ways and the D line was stacked with several n00bs on every point. Anyway, Minnesota took command and scored to start the game before the reoccurring theme of Rebholz firing deep to Feldman to tie the game 1-1. Matt would score the next goal for Wisconsin from Andrew as the game traded to 2-2. Muffin decided he had seen enough of Charlie Reznikoff’s wide grin on the sideline and promptly hucked deep to Foster for the first break 3-2. Muffin would hit Rebholz O2 for the second break as Wisconsin jumped to 4-2 advantage. Minnesota would respond to 4-3 and the Rebel Rousa would continue to punish Minnesota as Matt found Jim Raynor for the goal now 5-3 Wisconsin. Mabrowald would hit Foster for the goal and 6-4 halftime lead. Rebholz’s quarterback passer rating was above 140.5 as he had scored in 4 of his first 5 points. Coming out of half, it was Tom Brady-esque as Foster would hit Rebholz for the goal now stretching the lead to 7-4. Minnesota would fire up and score and break, probably with Beastmaster doing something cool. Wisconsin would shut the door here as captains Foster and Rebholz found each other for the score now 8-6. Matt Young would get on the board, catching a goal from Gaynah and the Animal/Muffin buddy duo would break Grey Duck to lead 10-6. Foster would collect his 5th fantasy point of the game as Feldman found J-Fo for the final goal 11-7. Rebholz would give Minnesota the business as his +6 performance in 9 points was evidence enough. Both Texas State and Minnesota thought that they could play with Wisconsin early – that’s why it will be sweet when the Hodags crush them both later in the season. The last game of the day was against Ohio State. Problem was, Wisconsin was not able to win this last game against the Buckeyes fast enough to watch the heralded Colorado vs. Carleton game. Turns out that Colorado won in a blowout like 11-6 over CUT. Anyway, Ohio State was really angry and fired up with the Hodags as it was 3-3 early. Then we asked Cullen “The C-Monster” Geppert to administer a second half OATBAG, which would ease the pain and suffering of the Madcow. The C-Monster would collect 4 goals, 2 D’s, and 1 assist as no one else contributed more than 3 fantasy points as Wisconsin sprinted to a 10-3 lead. The game would close with an 11-4 win and with “The Chef” bragging about his +7 stat line, Wisconsin was feeling good. The pizza at the fields was perfect as Wisconsin stretched and cooled down, anticipating low numbers to make the legs hurt just a little bit more. Animal, Mabrowald, and Gaynah took most of the load, playing an average of 9 points per game. That evening, while every other team but CUT and Colorado got absolutely blasted in the tournament hotel, Wisconsin studied and slept, watching only the best Indian music videos youtube had to offer.