Photo by Pete Guion – UltiPhotos.com
Hours before dawn this past Sunday morning, the pool of 13 remaining prospects battled with signed players at the invite-only tryout to earn a spot on the Washington D.C. Current’s 2015 roster.
Prior to the tryout, eight new players were signed on to join the reigning MLU Champions during their attempt to repeat their championship run in 2015 season. With this bringing the total number of signed players to 23, the remaining 13 prospects were battling for only seven open roster spots.
“We need guys at the bottom of the bench, right now, who can come in and make a difference,” said Head Coach Keven Moldenhauer. “These last guys that we are going to take are guys that can sit out multiple points but when they get in there they are going to play.”
In order to better evaluate the remaining players, the coaches broke everyone up into predetermined teams to try and ensure that each squad was on equal ground. Amongst the teams, the veterans were as energetic as the tryouts. They looked as if they had never stopped playing with each other during the six-month offseason. However, the unsigned players kept it competitive, making it sometimes hard to decipher which players were signed.
At the beginning of the tryout, the coaches reminded the players that they made it this far by working hard. “Guys came in with a different energy,” said Head Coach – Defense Will Smolinski. “I had a real good chance to do a lot more coaching, not just assessing.”
The focus for the three hours was clearly a mix of the previous two tryout sessions: getting throws off and one-on-one matchups. The coaches needed to ensure that the players could make a flat throw with a Pulsar. This task may seem easy for some, but the Pulsar disc has a different feel compared to other discs players are accustomed to playing with. The coaches organized a drill where players threw the disc flat for 30 yards, separating those who may have skated by to get to this point.
Another drill that helped narrow down the competition was a one-on-one drill that emphasized players to win their underneath cuts while positioning oneself to recover for a deep cut. These two drills and scrimmages made for numerous layout defensive plays, most notably by unsigned player Charlie Furse, who consistently made plays on offense and defense. Even when the tryout got divided into signed players versus unsigned players, Furse still had an impact.
Once the tryout concluded, the coaches and General Manager Matt Dewhurst met up to decide who would be making the final roster. They all agreed that they intended on leaving at least one spot open in case there was an opportunity to sign a high level player or practice player later on in the season, like in the case of Dominique Gibson last year.
The unsigned prospects that made it to this point in the tryout process are welcome to attend regular practices as practice players, regardless of signing a contract. The coaches feel that at this point they deserve to take part in the team and have an impact on the franchise.
Players who made the cut have already been contacted and offered contracts for this upcoming season. The announcement of the final roster spots with take place within the following weeks as we will know the final athletes that will help the D.C. Current repeat as MLU Champions.