Sunday, April 29, 2007
Dan Heijmen For Callahan
How does one define the Most Valuable Player? According to the Callahan website, the trophy is presented to the player “who combines superior athleticism with outstanding sportsmanship, leadership and dedication to the sport of ultimate. In the eyes of his peers, the Callahan winner is the personification of the ideal ultimate player.” The three areas that each player should be considered are: 1) his overall offensive and defensive abilities, 2) dedication to ultimate and leadership ability, and 3) sportsmanship in the 2007 spring college season. The Wisconsin Hodags would like to nominate Dan Heijmen as their Callahan and MVP candidate.
Why would Wisconsin choose Dan Heijmen as their Callahan nominee? A full Dan Heijmen manifesto is in order. Dan made the Hodags as only a freshman. He had never played any sort of competitive ultimate before tryouts of his freshman year, but his good looks and athletic ability gained him a spot on the roster. All season, Dan learned from the best – players who had made it to National Finals the year before. In a season that would be a dream come true, Dan Heijmen became a National Champion as the 2003 Wisconsin team beat Oregon Ego and then dominate Ben Wiggins. Dan even caught a goal in finals, screaming in joy and excitement. Heijmen would be forever hooked by elite ultimate.
Over the next season, Dan practiced his throws. He arrived to practice early and stayed late, determined to improve his ability to score. While Dan honed his throwing skills, he let his competitive desire do the rest as he was regarded as the best defensive player on the team. Anytime Wisconsin needed a D in 2004, it was Heijmen throwing his body through the air, even getting Bort at Nationals. Dan’s presence on the field put offensive cutters into trepidation because as his defensive intensity was unrivaled during practice. He worked hard and made his Hodag counterpart work ever harder. His emotion was contagious and pushed players to work harder. In countless tournaments, the Hodags were in awe as Heijmen made spectacular play after spectacular play, guarding the other team’s best cutter and giving him the business. The team underperformed with tough exit in quarterfinals as Josh Richter would be the future Callahan leading his team to a championship. The adversity of this loss only pushed Dan to want it more, to put together his own dynasty.
As Dan matured into a junior and team officer, he decided to take the next step and play Madison Club. Under the leadership of Andrew Brown, this superstar team did well at Colorado Cup and even beat Sub Zero to win Sectionals. Dan was becoming an instrumental player on the club scene as well, but missed Club Nationals with 2 chances in the games-to-go. Also during this time, the Hodags had rebuilt and were becoming the most athletic team in the nation. Top-to-bottom the skill and speed levels were the best in the land. Dan made the move to O-Line and never looked back. Moving from a defensive specialist, Dan became an offensive explosion. Dan “skying kids deep” Heijmen became a regular occurrence in the end zone with his dangerous speed as he learned the art of the iso-stack from veterans Ted Tripoli and future Callahan nominees Rodrigo Valdivia and Grant Zukowski. With 5 tournament victories in the season, the Hodags were on the map to stay. The season came to a pinnacle in Regional Finals. In the early morning snow and winds of Northfield, MN – Wisconsin was playing CUT for the Central Region title. Wisconsin broke upwind first and had taken the lead and control of the game 3-2. And then adversity struck. As Dan Heijmen skied for catch D in the upwind end zone, he jumped so high that the contact in the air made for an awkward landing. As Dan braced for the impact he stuck out his left arm, the Carleton player landed directly on his outstretched forehand, snapping his arm and pushing the bone through the skin. Losing one of our best players in the middle of a game was a punch to Wisconsin’s face. The Hodags would never recover from the loss of our emotional leader as CUT pwned to a 13-8 win. This is when Wisconsin realized just how important Dan Heijmen was to the Hodags. If you took him away, the team was never the same. However, nothing could stop Heijmen, not even CUT or a broken arm. Heijmen was not able to practice in the weeks leading up to nationals, but swore he would play. A team of 26 studs and the guy with the broken arm wants to play? With one arm in a cast, Heijmen would not be denied as he played out of his mind all weekend. Catching cross field hammers against Stanford and skying CUT defenders in pre-quarters, Heijmen had met adversity and conquered it. Dan finished the 2005 season with a high light video called “Disc 2” and a record of 44-9 with a second straight quarterfinals exit from nationals. Dan had tasted defeat twice after winning the title and was determined to lead his team back to the forefront of ultimate.
With 3 years of Hodag experience, Heijmen decided he to take his game to the next level again, joining Sub Zero on the club scene. With added firepower, Sub Zero played some of the premier club west coast tournaments. Heijmen, growing up strictly on the diet of Hodag ultimate had discovered the rest of the ultimate landscape. Dan found an opportunity to play against the best and see the game from a different perspective. Sub Zero would lose to Furious on universe point in quarterfinals at Club Nationals, after leading 14-13. This valuable experience only pushed Heijmen further.
In his senior year, Dan was elected Captain of the Hodags. From the very first day of tryouts, the Hodag team would be forever changed by Dan Heijmen. Under his command, the Hodags had the best season in history, winning 7 tournaments and placing 2nd and 3rd in two more tournaments, with a combined record of 62-3. Dan Heijmen led by example – by winning workouts and team sprints. Dan was lifting weights, conducting interviews, and preparing to put the team on his back. As one of the more experienced Offensive line cutters on the field with Dan Miller and occasionally Tripoli, Heijmen was looking to make plays on offense. With a dominate performance in on Sunday of Centex and extraordinary precision in the Semifinals of Nationals – Heijmen was a household name. Furthermore, Heijmen would be huge part of Wisconsin taking the only Nationals birth from the Central in 2006. Dan was one of the captain's ensuring Wisconsin's regular season would not be tarnished by missing Nationals. With the score 12-13 and Carleton with the disc going upwind, it is Dan Heijmen guarding Carleton's fastest handler, Chris Rupp. Dan held his mark and his ground on a huge foul call, which resulted in Wisconsin scoring downwind and winning the Central. The 2006 Collete Championships revealed that Heijmen would be an unstoppable force as he led the team to an almost perfect Friday and Saturday, just as Dan has been shown in 2003. As the Wisconsin Offense was unbreakable, Dan Heijmen captained the most dominant tournament performance the Hodags have ever witnessed, outscoring oppoennts 75-31 on the National stage. However, after a 2006 National Finals loss, Dan would again play with Sub Zero, competing with the best club teams with regularity and gearing up for his final college season.
As a 5th Hodag senior, Dan would be all alone. The only National Champion on the team of players he had taught to play the game. There was no Tom Burkly to help run the show and direct the team into something magical. The responsibility has landed squarely on Dan’s shoulders and he has risen to the challenge. Dan has always loved to talk and have his opinions be heard. Now Dan would have the opportunity to talk whenever he wanted. Under Headmen’s guidance, the 2007 team has been to date the most successful Hodag team in history, going 44-1 and already winning 5 tournaments in the spring. If you have been counting, that is a record of 150-9 since his junior year with a record of 17-6 at College Nationals. Dan is a finisher, a dominator, and superstar who averages almost 4 assists and 3 goals when he playing in a big game.
Dan Heijmen is the face of the Hodags. He embodies everything a team would want in a leader. He is well-spoken, smart, funny, sexy, extremely fast, athletic, and intensely competitive. His energy is contagious, his presence on the field is felt, and he fires up the Hodags with his heart and determination. Dan is a commander on the field and has the confidence in his throws to be unstoppable. He is an incredible person and player who has worked unbelievably hard to reach his goals. Dan is also a teacher, someone who has repeatedly passed down all of his knowledge of the game to the team. Most of all, Dan is a leader by example. He yells to the team to go out and get a sick D, really Wisconsin really needs it and Dan will sprint down and layout D the hitch. Heijmen is a dominant ultimate Frisbee player and I am glad he is a Wisconsin Hodag.
So, back to the first question, what do you look for in a Callahan MVP nominee? Dan Heijmen is the ideal ultimate player. Dan has everything you look for in a champion and something more. He is a great competitor and a great person. He is the best player on the best team. Dan is my hero.
Reasons you should vote for Heijmen for Callahan
Dan Heijmen is so good at reading the disc, in a game of 2-catch on the beach with 14 other Hodags, Dan won 6-0.
Dan Heijmen’s chest is so powerfully strong, that he once bench pressed 9,000 pounds – twice.
Dan Heijmen is so attractive that he won American Idol and Miss Universe in the same afternoon.
Dan Heijmen is so stubborn; he once out-talked and out-argued Kevin Riley just to say he did it.
Dan Heijmen’s dashing good looks are so potent, even Valley Renshaw had to comment.
Dan Heijmen is so quick, he once dodged lightning.
Dan Heijmen’s balding pattern is so fierce, that is was once rumored to have started El Nino.
Dan Heijmen’s facial hair stubble is so sharp, that 7 of out of 10 times Babe the Blue Ox mistook Dan for Paul Bunyon.
Dan Heijmen’s leadership abilities are so unshakably certain, that he once led an entire village of Africans into Northern Europe, just because he could.
Dan Heijmen’s headband and “faux-hawk” combo is so appealing, that GQ sends fashion photographers to multiple Hodag tournaments.
Dan Heijmen is so good at embezzling money from the Hodags, that he got somebody from UFUCT booted for it.
Dan Heijmen is so ballsy, that after a boulder fell on his arm; he amputated it with his teeth, squatted the rock, and then sewed his arm back on with only a needle and an orange peel.
Dan Heijmen is so stubborn he once beat Chuck Norris in a staring contest.
Dan Heijmen can drink so much, you would think he was from Ireland, but in fact, he is Dutch and thus cannot be trusted.
Dan Heijmen’s balding pattern is so prominent, that is was photographed from space.
Dan Heijmen is so attractive, that even Fabio is jealous.
Dan Heijmen’s sense of ESP is so strong, he has predicted he will layout D Chase, Nord and Mike Grant all in the same point.
Dan Heijmen’s man-tool is so large it did not fit in Paris Hilton’s mouth.
Dan Heijmen once got into a bar fight with a poisonous snake, Dan bit the snake and it died.
Dan Heijmen is so strong; he once threw a disc into orbit.
Dan Heijmen is so popular; Phil started a facebook group in which Dylan, Cahill and Rook’s mothers joined.
The sweat from Dan Heijmen’s headband is so pure, that Christian babies are often baptized in it.
Dan Heijmen once skied a player by jumping over him (Not Pictured).
Dan Heijmen is so flexible; he once out stretched Ryan Carrington.
Dan Heijmen is so chill with the disc that he is sometimes referred to as “cooler than the other side of the pillow” good.
Dan Heijmen’s chest hair is so fruitful; it photosynthesizes more oxygen than the Amazon.
Dan Heijmen is so “unblastable,” he drank a whole bottle of Bushmills before admitting how much he loved the Hodags.
Dan Heijmen is so jacked, he once flexed so hard into the mirror that it shattered.
Dan Heijmen is so feared, that the Japanese surrendered when the US threatened to “drop a Heijmen on their ass.”