Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nationals Forecast: Skies Partially-Cloudy With Baby Blue Jerseys

Post Natties Road Trip Drama.

Reality Implosion from Brandon Malecek on Vimeo.

Highlight reel from the 2007-2008 season; introducing the Hodag sky patrol.

2008 Nationals Champions

Pool Play vs. Stanford
Quarterfinals vs. Harvard
Semi-finals vs. Colorado

UPA Open Finals Write-up
Match Open Finals Write-up
Match Quarters/Semis Write-up

Discraft Pictures
NUMP All Collegiate Team
NUMP 2008 Final Rankings

SI Video

Back-to-Back Championships in '07 and '08 for the Wisconsin Hodags
Why you ask? Because the Hodags work harder than any other college ultimate team. The Hodags had more legs, more energy, and more endurance than every team they played all season - and it showed more than usual at Nationals in the heat and altitude.

Does this sound familiar?

"Madison is essentially the best modern day program having played 4 of the last 6 national finals, and every year in nationals since 1999. Furthermore, if Wisconsin can continue the trend of dominance and get back to finals in 2008, the Hodags would have a strong case for the best class of players ever. Wisconsin would have a graduating class of 12 players who will have played in 3 national finals, which would beat UCSB’s 10 players who have been to nationals 3 times and their 41 players in 2 years. Basically since 2000 Madison has been dominating college ultimate along with Colorado. Here is the premise – Wisconsin has not only the best single year college team ever and is becoming the best modern day program. The 2008 Hodags could have the best line ever for a graduating class in the history of ultimate. Three stud handlers in Matt Rebholz, Kevin Riley, Muffin Malecek and four dominate cutters in Andrew Mahowald, Shane Hohenstein, Will Lokke, and Chris Doede. Add to that defender Seth Meyer and cutter Tim Pearce – this is literally the best 9 players to ever graduate in a single class. Prediction – the 2008 Hodags will be the best team in college history going undefeated 56-0 and winning 8 tournaments. The Wisconsin dynasty will be better than Santa Barbara’s 3-peat and UNCW’s run in the 90’s. Wisconsin will be unstoppable next year with 8 players getting time with Sub Zero and the opportunity to get to play some of the best club teams in the world. Expect the younger players to sharpen their skills while getting valuable experience with Madison Club. The college season starts in approximately 2 months – can the Hodags defend the title?"



Thursday, May 08, 2008

Matt Rebholz for Callahan

Wisconsin Callahan from Brandon Malecek on Vimeo.

Captain Matt Rebholz is Wisconsin's Callahan Nominee

Matt Rebholz is a 5th year senior on the University of Wisconsin Hodags, and has been nominated by his team as their Callahan. The Rebel Rousa has played 5 straight years on the Hodags, is a two year captain, including a 2007 National Champion and 2008 All-Region. Matt is a 4 year Offensive Line starter at Handler and 2007 Club Captain of Frontline. He is a Madison native, graduating from Memorial H.S., but not before competing in Junior Nationals with Midwest Express. Rebholz has steadily risen through the ranks of Madison ultimate – not only winning a Summer League Championship in the competitive division, but also establishing a dynasty so tyrannical, the rules were changed to break up the conglomerate. Matt Rebholz was playing elite club before he was even taking classes at Wisconsin, when he played for Madison G Unit who took 9th in club nationals 2003. “We’ve been playing Frisbee since forever.” Matt is at the core of the team, the heart, soul, and glue that keeps 26 Hodags on the same single page. Rebholz has taken a program fresh off a National Title, and led it to two straight Championship Games. Rebholz can handle pressure. Imagine the other team has scored; it is late in the game and the O needs to score. Who is the first pass going to? The answer is Matt Rebholz and has been for the last 4 straight years. You want a big time player, a leader with steady nerves, and the ability to make big plays. Rebholz can bring down the house firing deep around marks and has been tutored in leadership by the likes of both Tom Burkly and Dan Heijmen. So do you recognize Rebholz, or does he look like anyone on the faceless army? Reb fulfills many positions as top captain; Matt is the final authority – the coach who calls lines, talks about strategy in huddles, and pumps up his team in preparation for big games. The job is harder than it sounds, but Matt Rebholz dominates on the Hodags. Matt is integral to a team that wants another title more than anything and Matt is positioned to leave the Wisconsin program at the top, possibly reaching his third straight title game. The Rebel Rousa with his skill, leadership, and spirit has everything required. The Callahan is for the MVP of your team, and the MVP for the Wisconsin Hodags is Matt Rebholz.

Muffin "Mr. Irrelevant" Malecek is the RC nomination
Muffin for Callahan 2008

What happens when the repetitive nature of ultimate becomes dull and loses its excitement? At this point, we seek the flair of adventure, a pure quality of excitement, and the intrigue of something unknown; the Dark Side. On the Dark Side, everything is volatile, fiery, extreme, and insatiable. That is where Muffin resides, in a risk-loving world of high impact and ravenous questionable decisions. It is a world of unblockable hucks, furious anger, and high octane emotion worn on the sleeve. It is a world shaded with facades, explosions of character, as sunglasses and corn rows hide the expressions of intensity and drive to win, which hides beneath the surface. It is the nickname which lies within the horcrux, the flick which connects the layout D’s into breaks. Make no mistake; there is no character in ultimate that is more exciting than Muffin. Malecek hears the constant heckles, acknowledges the sideline, and looks past the haters toward the ultimate goal; a second National Championship. The goal is lofty, the trek to success long and difficult, but that is where the Dark Side thrives. It possesses the raw power that is steadily honed and crafted by the hours of sweat, lifting, sprinting, throwing, and dedication to reaching the top. It starts and ends with motivation. Who wants it more? With an attitude of Richter, the hair of Valley Renshaw, mouth beyond Match Diesel, and of course, a flick bigger than Gibson’s – Muffin is unreal. With characteristics like this, you couldn’t create a more complete player on Madden 2008. The MVP is the most valuable player – a leader that those around look to for answers. Muffin’s answer is to break, win, and succeed. But underneath the surface, what else does Muffin do for his team? In Morfin’s two years as conditioning coordinator, Malecek has increased the work load. Mandatory running, sprint technique, jumping technique, throwing fundamentals, agility footwork, and the list continues. Muffin captained Madison Club for two seasons, ensuring that every returning Hodag and any transfers learned the systems and became incorporated into the team. How many other players are out the week after Nationals, practicing with 20 discs and 4 cones all alone? When others have taken time off, Muffin has worked. When others have relaxed, Muffin has visualized success and planned. When others have slept, Muffin has created storylines, hype, and manufactured strategy. Muffin lives, breathes, and sleeps ultimate. When you are in class, Muffin is scouting other teams, when you are studying, Muffin is recruiting. When you are taking time off, Muffin is play club. When you are practicing, Muffin is training. “I think about ultimate, 99.9% of my time.” Seth Wiggins called from the sideline, “Bet you can’t do that upwind” and seconds later, BOOM! A breakmark flick huck has just devastated the other team for another break and now the offense is trudging back to the line, while Morfin rallies his troops. Red bull substitutes for blood in Morfin’s veins, and an aura of athleticism drips from Muffin’s every step. When you speak of experience, Muffin has been playing ultimate for 9 years, leading to the most asked question of 2008. “Why are you called Muffin?” As you may know, Muffin’s “real” name is Brandon. His freshman year we started calling him Bran Muffin, like “Get back in the oven, Bran Muffin!” It got shortened to Muffin and stuck forever since. Muffin for Callahan 2008.

Defending Callahan winner


Live Score Updates from Nationals
Predictions and hype