Photos by Kevin Leclaire – UltiPhotos.com
Alan Kolick, Markham Shofner and Erik Salmi have re-signed with the D.C. Current for the 2015 season.
After re-signing 10 players from the 2014 championship roster in December, the Current are now closer to fielding another team poised to win the MLU trophy once again.
“When we looked at the group of guys we wanted to bring back in 2015, Markham and Alan were at the top of our list,” said D.C. General Manager Matt Dewhurst. “Combined with the group we already signed last month, I think we’ve solidified the core of this team in a way that is not often possible in professional sports.”
Two of the most sought-after players in professional ultimate, Kolick and Shofner lit up defenses with pristine passing and deep hucks in 2014. Kolick’s 30 assists were tied for the most in the league with only one other player – Shofner.
Known for his big arm, Shofner also excelled with the huck. Perhaps no other player in the league had a faster and more accurate trigger for the deep cut. Shofner’s ability to stretch the field vertically was on display in the MLU Championship game.
“Kolick and Shofner have abilities with the disc that most ultimate players dream about,” said Head Coach Keven Moldenhauer. “Last year, both had a leadership role on the team and were vital to our overall success and championship.”
The 2014 Current featured a total package of relentless offensive production and formidable defensive strength. Defensive handler Erik Salmi bolstered D.C.’s D-line and contributed offensively with eight points on three goals and five assists.
“Salmi is poised to be a dominant handler on our D-line,” said Head Coach Keven Moldenhauer. “He understand how to be aggressive downfield and is ready to take over after turns. Expect to see the disc in his hands throughout defensive points.”
Despite their success in 2014, the group remains focused on a repeat run and are well aware that each week, opponents will be looking to knock off the reigning champion.
“We have to do the same things that made us successful in the first place – commit to each other and commit to the system,” Shofner said. “When we click, keep our thoughts focused and match our intensity levels, it’s pretty tough to beat.”
The re-signing of Kolick and Shofner goes much deeper in the eyes of the Current front office. With all eyes on D.C. ultimate like never before, it was important to keep such high profile names to help grow the sport in a city that seems poised to burst on the national scene.
“Markham and Alan are obviously stars. Even non-ultimate players can appreciate what they do,” said Assistant Coach Will Smolinski. “We want D.C. to be the best ultimate city in the world. Scandal has taken care of their business [as the Women’s Club National Champions] and having players of Alan and Markham’s caliber is essential to pushing the men’s scene to the next level.”
Now with 13 players signed from last year’s championship squad, D.C. coaches and players can begin planning their road to another dominating season.
“In my mind, there is no point in doing anything unless you are constantly striving to improve,” said Kolick. “Everyone wrestles with complacency from time to time after achieving goals, but the bottom line is that we can all be better. In the end, I couldn’t imagine not playing with everyone from last season. I have a few specific playing goals for 2015, but my main goal is to enjoy myself and cherish every moment.”
The Current will fill out their roster after open tryouts on February 8 and 15 at the Landover SoccerDome. Players with the desire to win and dedicated to the growth of professional ultimate and D.C. ultimate are encouraged to come out and compete for a spot on the 2015 D.C. Current.