Hodag tryouts began with 115 strapping boys -- a gigantic pool of talent. First cuts humbled the total to 65 - still an unmanageable number. As the second round wound down, 40m times were calculated and 95 yard Burk-woods tested who had the speed-endurance combo. Intensity was measured and commitment was calculated, as Dr. Matt Crumbung challenged every player to a layout drill - straight through a small lake in maybe 50 degree temperatures. Enthusiasm remained as every player completed the challenge. The third round of tryouts put the count at an even 40 - two tryout teams of 20.
Both teams played well at No Wisconsequences, notably battling the tryout squads of Carleton and Colorado. Wisconsin-X led by Jake Smart, John Bergen, and Ben Feldman looked very athletic and polished for a split squad -- taking down just about the entire Central region's various fall tryout squads. Many of Wisconsin's second year players like Dan Park, Dayu Liu, and Jerry McGinnis are making noticeable impacts already. When the dust settled, the Hodag number stands at a whopping 27, the current club roster limit. Using the "it takes an army" metaphor literally, the leadership took every player who showed he deserved an opportunity. Overall, the Hodags are bringing back 16 returners, 4 freshman, 4 pimpdags, and 3 grad students. For the 7th year in a row, a returner did not make the team -- clearly sending the message that complacency is unacceptable on the Hodags.
The ultimate traditions are strong at Wisconsin as the first post-practice team meeting held expectations high and emotions spilling. Without a doubt, Wisconsin is once again deep, athletic, and confident. Not to mention, several Hodags are competing at Nationals next weekend with Madison Murder Club.
DARTH FELDMAN MEMORIAL
Now introducing the Wisconsin Hodags 2010: (in order of head-shots and good-looks)
Hector Valdivia - Coach
Matt Crumb #20 - Captain, Doctor, most responsible, best looking cutter. Crumbly will be a voice in the huddle and a mentor to all Hodags looking for a role model.
Jake Smart #6 - Captain, big ego, most handsome handler, big throws, bigger mouth. Jake needs to step into his role this season for the Hodags to truly be successful. Wisconsin's dominance will rise and fall on Jake's boom backhand.
Evan Klane #38 - Officer, vocal strong leader, most witty comments. Evan is a baller, who has come a long way since being a NUT. Evan has nasty throws and has matured into one of the strongest players on the field. Klane's dominance this summer with Madison Club will translate well for Wisconsin's offense.
Ben Feldman #2 - Officer, best facial hair
John Bergen - Officer, wishes he were Animal
Cullen Geppert - best defender
Pat Donovan - best at Mario Kart
Jon Masler - lost in Israel
Alex Simmons - will wrestle you
Matt Davidman - still obnoxious
Dayu Liu - imagine Asian handler
Jake Meyer - wishes he were Seth
Dan Park - finally a handler
Zach Alter - ridiculously fast
Dave Wiseman - Imagine a GIANT WOOKIE
Jerry McGinnis - the next Joey Dombrow
Jon Armstrong - most fun, best grades
Sammy Fitzpatrick - dominate big man
Zach Ehler - most motivated
Colin Camp - freshman, tall scary athletic surfer
Chris Scotto DiVetta - grad school, coolest, jockiest, enginerd
Ben Rehmann - freshman, eager young talent
Tanner Marshall - pimpdag, great hands
Kelsen Alexander - pimpdag, climbs the biggest rocks
Keith Christensen - freshman, loves thrill seeking layouts
Thomas Coolidge - pimpdag, more motivated than turtle
Kyle Geppert - freshman, wishes he were Cullen, runs like a snowman
Nick Jacobson - grad school, undecided