Photo by Dave Wisch
By Michelle Kondracki & Anthony Nuñez
19 youth open teams competed for a national title at the Youth Club Championships in Blaine, Minnesota. Two of those teams were led by members of the Rumble family.
Disc NY’s Little Ponies were coached by Rumble standouts Corey Lee and Aman Nalavade. “Coaching youth is an amazing experience,” says Nalavade. “It allows you to take your knowledge and passion and impart it onto young minds who are hungry to learn. Corey and I have had a great time working with the next up and coming stars of New York ultimate. Hopefully someday they will be playing for the Rumble.”
The Delaware Valley Youth League was coached by Rumble General Manager Michelle Kondracki and Assistant Coach Anthony Nuñez.
Both teams saw very strong competition on Saturday. The Little Ponies had a rough start against Denver’s Cutthroat. They went down at half 8-2 but during the second half Coach Lee and Nalavade fired up the team and closed the gap on Denver’s lead to just 3 points. The Little Ponies would eventually find a win during the last round of day one, beating North Texas 11-9 and allowing them to take third in their pool and compete for top ten at the tournament. The Delaware Valley Youth team (DEVYL) won all of their games during pool play, including a big win against top seed Disc Northwest. Both teams would trade offensive points and DEVYL did not get a break until the last point to take half. In the second half, DEVYL had smooth and unbreakable offense to help win the game and move on to the championship bracket.
On Sunday of the tournament, the Little Ponies won their first round match-up against North Carolina’s TYUL B team. NY would lose in the 9th place game against a very strong Cincinnati team that placed second at last year’s competition. Youth standout Tony Valentin led the team with sixteen goals and seven blocks, while his teammate Aiden Penn led the team in assists with nine. DEVYL meanwhile was running full steam ahead against Denver’s Cutthroat in the quarterfinals of the tournament. DEVYL took a commanding lead in the first half by starting out on a run of six points without being scored on. DEVYL would win the game 13-4 and face off against the eventual champions, Atlanta, and take third at the tournament. DEVYL was led by Philadelphia Spinners star Jonah Wisch who was among the leaders in both assists and goals, placing second in the tournament with 23 points.