January 13, 2020
By Adam Ruffner
- Babbitt Re-Signs With Empire
One of the league's top defenders since joining the New York Empire in 2016, Jeff Babbitt is re-signing with the reigning champs for 2020. After just three and a half seasons as a pro, Babbitt already ranks 18th all-time in blocks with 107 in 53 career appearances; he is fourth all-time in blocks per game.
After being a team leader for the Empire's championship run last year, Babbitt said in a recent team podcast that he feels his best physically since 2017. That was the same year Babbitt became the only player in AUDL history to notch both 40 goals and 40 blocks in a single season.
- Boston's First Player Signings
According to Ian Toner's reporting, Boston Glory have signed their first three players in Tannor Johnson, Henry Babcock, and Tyler Chan. All three young players figure to make immediate impacts for the expansion team. But as Toner astutely points out, Johnson could be in for a big rookie season in the AUDL. His size and downfield mobility make him a natural receiver and playmaker, and his projected stats could track similarly to 2019 rookie sensation Henry Fisher.
- Mott and Arcata Back In Philly
The Philadelphia Phoenix continue their restock, re-signing 2018 All-AUDL member Sean Mott and Mike Arcata for the 2020 season. Mott has been one of the league's most fast paced and prolific scorers, tossing 161 assists and scoring 94 goals over the last three seasons. Arcata has also been a key part of the Phoenix's offensive attack, earning 82 assists and 74 goals over his three-year pro career; Arcata was named "Most Underrated" in last year's AUDL Tools Survey.
- Smith, Wilder, Maurer Named Dallas Captains
The Dallas Roughnecks named Dalton Smith, Carson Wilder, and Kaplan Maurer as team captains for the 2020 season. The franchise has three AUDL championship game appearances and one title in four seasons of existence. The Roughnecks lost 26-22 to the Empire in the 2019 AUDL Championship Game.
Smith is one of the few remaining members from the 2016 Roughnecks championship squad, but seems to just be hitting his prime. He had his best offensive performance as a pro in the 2019 title game, racking up six scores and over 450 yards of total offense.
Entering his third season in Dallas, Wilder has made a leap every year as a pro, and figures to be a focal point in a high octane Roughnecks offense. Wilder led Dallas in 2019 with 41 goals in 13 appearances including the playoffs, and tossed 31 assists on just 173 completions, making him one of the more potent playmakers in the AUDL.
The best handler defender in the division in 2019, Maurer has been an underrated part of the Roughnecks' successes over the past two years. What he lacks in takeaway stats Maurer makes up for in stifling coverage, usually outright denying his opponent touches. He's also become very dangerous on the counterattack, accounting for 30 scores—15 assists plus 15 goals—in 2019 despite playing over 70 percent of his total points on defense.
- Pettit-Scantling, Camp Leading Madison Into 2020
Coming off their worst season in franchise history, the Madison Radicals are beginning a new era in 2020 with Kevin Pettit-Scantling and Colin Camp named as team captains. As the franchise with the second most wins in league history, the Radicals expect a raft of veteran departures this year as they continue a rebuild that started midway through last year.
The 2018 league champions missed the playoffs for the first time in team history in 2019, despite having the number one scoring defense in the league. Madison figures to return most of their defensive starters, but with local legends Peter Graffy, Dave Wiseman, Pat Shriwise, and Ben Nelson not coming back, the Radicals will have to massively overhaul their offense for the new year.
- Breeze Continue Building Off Youth
The DC Breeze have announced a slew of signings over the past week that includes All-AUDL Rookie Team member AJ Merriman, David Shields, Houston Parks, Ray Mendoza, Kyle Vezina, Leo Pierson, and Jeremy Knopf. Almost all defenders, the Breeze found a lot of team success keeping a deep defensive rotation that minimized individual statistical success; Merriman led the team with 12 blocks, and the Breeze finished eighth as a team in takeaways in 2019, averaging just under 11 per game.
- Hustle Coaching Tree
For the third straight season, Miranda Knowles will return as the Atlanta Hustle Head Coach and Director Of Coaching, overseeing the franchise's extensive training programs. Although the Hustle have just one playoff appearance in their five seasons as a franchise, the team has built a solid core around young talent as they get set for their first season in the newly formed Atlantic Division.
A local Madison youth uncorks one of the smoothest hammer throws you will ever see.
A post shared by American Ultimate Disc League (@theaudl) on Jan 9, 2020 at 6:24pm PST
- Deep In Tryout Season
The San Diego Growlers, Madison Radicals, Austin Sol, Minnesota WInd Chill, Philadelphia Phoenix, Raleigh Flyers, Los Angeles Aviators, and San Jose Spiders all held tryout events over the weekend. Of note, the Radicals had their largest turnout in eight years with over 130 participants.
- First Multi-Season Ultimate Frisbee Injury Report
Dr. Matthew C. Hess and colleagues have released the first comprehensive epidemiology of injuries that occur in ultimate frisbee. This program is the first multiseason injury surveillance program in ultimate. You can read the full study online.
- New "Stall Seven"
First episode of 2020 from Ultiworld's AUDL podcast!
- Hot Takes!
Longtime Hustle producer and broadcaster Tucker Warner has launched a new YouTube show called "AUDL Take". The show covers recent league news, inflected with Warner's avid fandom for all things AUDL—definitely worth a watch!