James Studarus / Adam Glimme / Mike Hall / Oren Skoog / Jamie 'Insane' Houssian / Dan 'Shnikee' Schneider / Tommy 'Hammer' Burfeind / James 'Grizzer' Griswold / Mike 'Socks' Sciacca / Dan 'Thunder' Wachter
Greg 'Hollywood' Husak / Tommy 'Buzz' Hellyer / Ben Smith / Nick 'Fresno' Fiske / Jim 'Daddy' Regetz / Ernie 'Big Ern' Aubin / Gregg 'TDK' Tedeski / Charles Stone
Co-captains: Greg Husak and Mike Hall
Other 1998 Black Tide Pictures
It probably sounds crazy, but here I am again at Nationals. Sure, my son graduated last year and is no longer eligible to play on the Black Tide. But I still have that special feeling for the team. And so does my son, Jason, who also flew to Blaine to support the Tide. Marcia couldnt make it due to a work commitment, but she got involved as you will see later.
We woke up Friday morning to a beautiful day. Remembering how cool and cloudy it was at the first day of Nationals two years ago in Blaine, I was really happy to see the sun. The fields were in great shape, and the Tide scored their first point as we drove up. There were only two games today, but they were against the two potentially toughest teams ECU and Carleton. ECU came first, and the 3-day war began. It only took a short while for something to become evident the Tide were a much better team. They went up big at the half and never looked back. Champions never seem to lose their cool, and the Tide were champions in this game. Despite ECU calling fouls often, the Tide just doggedly marched down the field and scored. Final score was 17-12.
Next came Carleton. If there was going to be one major battle in the pool war, this was it. Carleton had large sideline support, were seeded first and wanted to win bad. This was their chance for payback for the Tide beating them the past 2 years at Nationals. The game started and Carleton scored first. The crowd went wild, and the Tide walked to their endzone. It was time. The Tide scored, and scored, and scored. They went up by 5 at the half and never let up. After the Tide won 17-11, the talk around Nationals changed. Now people were wondering if the Tide could possibly do it again that is a third time.
Friday night all of the sideline supporters (parents, alumni and friends) went to dinner with the team at Lidos; the same restaurant we all went to two years before. It was a very happy time especially thinking that Saturdays three opponents were the weaker teams in our pool. I was already thinking about semis (I know its bad luck to assume winning; but I believed in the Tide so much, I indulged myself). That night, Jason wrote up what happened that day, we faxed it to Marcia, and she typed and emailed it to the Tides email distribution list and the parents at home waiting to hear how things went.
This morning we woke up at 8:00am with the first game scheduled to start at 9:00am. I opened the curtains and my jaw dropped. It was raining very hard with a blustering wind. I didnt think they could play in this weather although usually only lightning stops a game. My initial reaction was severe disappointment since I thought this might interrupt the Tides momentum. We dressed and had breakfast. By the time we left the motel, the rain had subsided. But while driving to the fields, we drove through a torrential downpour; you could hardly see out the window. When we arrived at the fields, no one was playing. The start had been delayed until 10:30am, and the games would be played to 15, not 17, due to the late start.
The rain stopped and amazingly the fields were not under water. The drainage ditches between each row of fields really did their jobs. Game 3 of Nationals started against LSU. It was close at halftime, but the Tide often doesnt wake up until the second half (especially in the first game of the day). And did they wake up! I often wonder what goes through the Tides opponents minds after a game. They must think they played a different team the second half than the first half since the Tide often dominants the second half. This game was no exception. Final score: 15-8.
More parents showed up today. We now had a full contingent of Tide sideline supporters.
The next game was against Yale who just couldnt keep up with the Tide. The final score was 15-8, but it wasnt really that close. The game was over long before the Tides next opponent finished their second game, so we had a lot of time between games. TK and Jason started throwing the frisbee (thats like watching Joe Montana and Jerry Rice tossing a football around), and I just couldnt resist. So I joined in. After a while Jason started giving me throwing lessons, and TK was considerate enough (not surprising to anyone who knows TK) to walk away and let my son show his father a little bit of how the game is played. My lesson lasted about 20-30 minutes, but Ill probably remember it forever.
The last game of the day finally started against Brown. Brown had upset Carleton that day and were thought to be one of the probable semifinalists. The Tide didnt seem to care who Brown had beat, they just played their game. And no one could stop the Tide. Brown went down hard losing 15-8. The most interesting event of the game was the delay called right after halftime due to lightning. In the distance, you could see flashes of lightning coming every few seconds, and everyone had to vacate the fields for their cars. It lasted about 30 minutes.
Ultimate players want to win just like all athletes. Every once in a while, a good player from another college will transfer to UCSB to play on the Black Tide. Last year the Tide benefited when Jim Regetz came to UCSB from back East. In 1999, the Tide will add Brandon Steets to its roster. He has been playing for 4 years at RPI and is transferring to UCSB to play his last year of eligibility. Brandon timed his trip West across the country so he could be in Blaine for Nationals. He spent most of the time on the Tide sidelines, and I dont think he was disappointed. A few of the players got to know him, and Jason introduced him to me and TK.
That night, it was back to Lidos for dinner and another festive occasion. The Tide was the only undefeated team through pool play. Tomorrow was semis and finals. Jason wrote up the days events again, we faxed it to Marcia, and Stephen typed and emailed it. Marcia had already received some responses from the night before from parents wanting to wish their sons luck.
WOW. That was the feeling waking up and knowing this was the day. Today the Tide could become champs again. Would they be up to it? The sun was out, but it was windy. Semis started against N.C. State University. NCSU had upset Colorado the day before to get to semis, but there seemed to be three tiers of teams this year (just like last year) the bottom tier of teams who just couldnt play at the level of Nationals. The middle tier who played well but couldnt match the top tier. And the top two teams: U.C. Santa Barbara and Stanford. The Black Tide beat NCSU 19-14, and Stanford beat Brown in the semis.
Let the final battle of the war begin.
Last year UCSB went ahead big by halftime in the finals against Stanford, and won fairly easily. This year, it would be a very different game. It was a struggle all the way. And in the end, it seemed mental toughness and the confidence to win made the difference. The Tide went up 3-0 and things looked great in the beginning. But then Stanford began battling back as the great team they were. By halftime it was a one point game, and then was tied at 13-13 and 16-16. The sideline was enjoying a close, great game. I was still confident but nervous. Stanford had gained the momentum by coming back, but of course the Tide continued to play their game. With a few amazing Ds, the Tide just wouldnt be beaten. They went up and stayed up. The last few points seemed unreal. The Tide scored on fantastic plays leading up to the last point. Ill never forget James blocked pass to Hollywood, that Hollywood caught anyway, and then Hollywoods throw to Mike Hall, and Mikes dive missing it by inches. I was about to say "oh no" when miraculously Glimme, kneeling in the endzone, had the disc clutched to his chest. He had backed up Mike and won the game, 20-17. I cant wait to see the video!
Jason was on his cell-phone in the middle of the field calling everyone he could think of to inform them of the 3peat. His voice-mail to Marcia was 333333pppeeeaaattt. The Tide players went from pandemonium to hugs to jumping to pictures to champagne to hugs to numb. About an hour after the game had ended, most of the people had left except for the Tide and a few Tide parents. You just dont want to leave the field where the Tide proved they were the best team in 1998.
Doug Texas Howie has attended every Nationals except one since he played on the 3peat teams in 88, 89 and 90. He takes his own vacation time and money to drive to each Nationals to support the Tide. And while hes there, he brings a fully loaded cooler with drinks, ice and snacks for the team. He did it again this year, and the team really appreciates it.
DAY-TO-DAY COMMENTARY BY JASON SEIDLER:
Morning has come and the Tide begins to rise. With seven on the line, UCSB faces off against bitter east coast rival ECU! It was a typical Black tide morning, tired eyes, quiet voices, long hucks. UCSB immediately set the tone and took a 3 point lead into the half 9-6. ECU's best defense seemed to be making a call to stop play. The Tide typically scored each point twice since ECU called each point back due to a foul. Fortunately UCSB practices a drill requiring each squad to score twice before one point is recorded. As members of the Tide awoke, James, Hollywood and Thunder Dan began to take charge. The rookies seemed tentative, but the leadership by Greg Tedeski and Mike Hall helped to calm everyone's nerves, and UCSB began its march after the half. The game ended with UCSB handing ECU their first loss with a final score of 17-12.
The next game would be very different. UCSB matches up with #1 seed and tournament host, Carleton. This was the game of the day. Carleton struck first with a deep throw to the endzone and their team and fans went crazy. It seemed like all the energy around the field was supporting Carleton. Before we could blink, the Tide struck back with a beautiful throw into the endzone by Hollywood. The first six points were traded back and forth and then it happened. Jim Regetz decided that this game was soon to be won by the Tide. Luckily, every teammate decided he was correct. After a series of 5 D's and 5 scores, the Tide went into halftime leading 9-5. Carleton was silent, the crowd was stunned, and James simply shredded his marks to the point they didn't know how to guard him. Mike Hall continued his solid play and helped his team continue a 7-0 run. With a stellar supporting cast loaded with Tommy B, Dan S and Dan W, the Tide finished off Carleton 17-11 and ended day 1 on top. What will day 2 bring?
Saturday morning, 9am, rain-wind-lightning, all games are delayed to begin at 10:30am. Round 3 officially begins at 10:45am for the Black Tide. What a day that follows. However, the excitement that permeated the air was generated by a day full of upsets. One thing that will not upset you is the result of another hard year's work for the Black Tide. The tide had a very usual, totally dominating day, that resulted in 3 more wins and another trip to the semi finals for the team who earned it. I won't go into too much detail, but game one was against LSU and after an 8-6 lead at halftime, the Tide came out of the half on fire, led defensively by Jim, Hollywood and Thunder Dan. The game ended 15-7 with James and Hollywood throwing 10 of the 15 goals. Game 2 against Yale was also business as usual. The Tide led 8-5 at the half and closed the game out at 15-8. This game was highlighted by the outstanding defensive play of rookies Dan Schneider and Ernie Aubin. The Tide continues to rise into the next game against tournament Cinderella team, Brown University. Brown, fresh off a huge upset over Carleton at 16-13 was poised for their first trip to the semis... ever. Brown fought hard, but were no match for the mighty Tide. Every member of the Tide contributed in the final game for a 15-8 win over Brown and a 5-0 record through pool play. The highlight of the Brown game was Tommy "hammer" Burfeind pulling an 80 yard upwind hammer for game point that Brown was so amazed by they seemingly forgot to prepare their offense and meanwhile the Tide had raced downfield and set up their defense and got the block on Browns second pass with none other than Tommy catching the winning score.
Now to the other stuff. Brown upsets Carleton in the morning, LSU beats Brown, Carleton crushes LSU, Brown fights off ECU 16-15, and Brown ends up with a 4-1 record and their first trip to the semi's. In the other bracket, Colorado upset Stanford, Stanford beat North Carolina State, NC State beat Colorado, and a three way tie after pool play was settled by point differential with Colorado as the loser and Stanford taking the first spot. So Stanford plays Brown, the Tide plays NC State in the morning and there may be another west coast final.
Semi-Finals: Everyone who has ever played for the Black Tide knows that Sunday is a special day in the history books for the creation of the Tide. This team treats Sunday as if it were a unique holiday and only the Black Tide gets to celebrate it! No matter what has happened in the previous day or two, no matter what pain you are feeling, Sunday is the day champions are made. The Tide matched up against North Carolina State (Jinx) in a game to 19. The wind was swirling all about, and it was feeling like a zone defense game. NC State had a very powerful zone defense that consisted of a four man cup that trapped anyone near the sidelines. Their team had many more players than the Tide and you could really hear their voices drowning out everyone else. In heavy winds this defense can be deadly; however, it is also a risky defense if the other team can throw a few passes over the top of the cup and break the other teams zone wide open. Fortunately for the Tide, this was the time when James Studarus and Jim Regetz showed why they are two of the best collegiate ultimate players in the country. With a special throw we call the flamer (an upside-down throw), these two guys time and time again opened up the field for their teammates to do their thing dominate when it matters most! Tommy Burfeind was pulling down every disc within the zip code, while Gregg Tedeski was running the zone offense with fluid motion. Gregg Tedeski happens to be in better shape than any Ultimate player I have ever seen; he once ran a half marathon in the early morning and then showed up for a three and a half hour practice in the mid-morning. Coupled with incredible hand-eye coordination, Gregg Tedeski was often the reason the Tideal Wave continued to crush.
The Tide held a one or two point lead throughout the game and although this was the closest game yet for the Tide, there was one very scary moment the Tide would have to endure. Captain and defensive superstar Hollywood leaped two or three feet into the air to make a great defensive play against the other team and landed very awkward on his ankle, only to find out he had severely sprained his ankle and would be questionable for the rest of the tournament. Team leaders Mike Hall, James, Jim and Dan were clearly concerned, but they knew their job was far from over. Trying to put their fears behind them they courageously finished off NC State 19-14 with Hollywood actually coming back in for a few points to help his team reach their goal - the National Championship game with only two teams still playing in the country. As the ultimate gods would have it, Stanford easily beat Brown University and the final game was set to proudly host the two best collegiate teams in the country, both again from the West coast!
The National Championship Game:
Todays word of the day began as REPEAT. There was an exact repeat of last years final game. UCSBs Black Tide was facing Stanford Universitys Blood. These two teams faced each other in last years National Championship game with UCSB dominating the game and going on to win their second straight (Repeat) National Championship 21-13. However, this year Stanford returned more players than UCSB, and they were hungry for the championship. Stanford had won 3 of the 4 times they had met previously this season with the last win at the West Coast Regional Championship. Stanford actually had a full team of alumni that attended the Championship weekend to help support their old teammates and friends to try and accomplish what they had never been able to do before, beat the Tide when it matters most! The game began with a similar repeat of last year. The Tide jumped out on top to a 3-0 lead. Captain Mike Hall scored the first goal with an incredible one-handed skying grab to establish the Tides presence. The Tide had the disc on their goal ready to go up 4-0 when a costly turn-over gave Stanford the disc, and they capitalized with their first score to make it 3-1.
As mentioned before, captain Greg Husak had a very severe sprained ankle and the swelling was beginning to get dangerous. Although a trainer wrapped his ankle well and he took his ibuprofen (vitamin I, as we call it) it was obvious he was in tremendous pain. After running a bit he threw off his shoe, tore off the tape, and decided it was now or never to win this game. This is the type of desire that the Tide shares as a team; it would take two broken legs to stop these men, this machine, from accomplishing their goal. Back to the game at hand, Stanford scored again and brought the game to 3-2 while helping to calm the nerves of their fans and making the game very exciting. The athleticism displayed throughout this game was so incredible that anyone who was watching would have become a fan of these two teams, the question then who wants it the most? Halftime came in at 11-10 UCSB leading, with a majority of the points played in zone defense. James Studarus, Mike Hall and Gregg Tedeski were getting more touches of the disc than anyone else on the Tides team. Second year standout Ben Smith was just infallible when he had the disc. His throws were solid, his defense was heads up, and he attitude was solid. Followed up by the outstanding play of Thunder Dan, Adam Glimme, and Gregg Tedeski, the Tide was maintaining its poise.
Meanwhile, against all odds, Hollywood was still playing well the entire time. At the half, the swelling in his ankle began to spread up into his calf and lower leg (things did not look good for Hollywood at this point). He went to co-captain Mike Hall and explained he felt as if he couldnt play anymore. Mike responded promptly something to this effect "HOLLYWOOD, THIS IS MY LAST DAY OF COLLEGIATE ULTIMATE EVER; YOU WILL STRAP YOUR CLEATS ON AND PLAY THIS LAST HALF AND WE ARE GOING TO KICK THEIR ASSES TOGETHER!" After the halftime break and a few motivational speeches, play resumed and the tension began. Stanford struck first and tied the game at 11-11. This back and forth play would go on all the way to 16-16. At this point, the Tide calls the team together and they get set for one last run. Meanwhile, up to this point there had been five huge defensive opportunities for the Tide where they either macked the disc or made a great defensive play only to have the disc land twenty feet away in the hands of the Stanford players. For a few moments during the game it seemed as if Stanford was getting a whole lot of help from an outside source called mother nature. Fortunately, the Tide understands the essence of nature; and as the Tide sometimes rolls out, it will inevitably roll back in with even more force.
It is because of players like Ernie Aubin who came in for their one point of the National Championship game and not only contributed, but actually bust out huge goal-line defensive plays for his teammates in his first National Championship ever. The Tide then scores to go ahead 17-16 and after another incredible defensive play, the Tide scores to take the game to 18-16. At this point the air-horn blows signifying the time cap has been established, and the game is now going to be won by the first team to reach 20! The Tide began to feel their moment was coming and as they capitalized on another Stanford turnover the score went to 19-16. But Stanford never dies too easily, and they put together an impressive upwind score to make it 19-17. UCSB receives the disc for their first opportunity to win and nearly connects, but Stanford comes down with the turnover and a chance to bring the game to within one point.
This is where the fireworks began; Stanford is patiently and casually moving the disc downfield when Mike Payne puts a safe, short pass out in front of teammate Justin Deng when from out of the depths of the Black Tide heroes bursts Jim Regetz with a chest high totally horizontal layout D that stuns the crowd and puts Stanford on their heals, only to watch the Black Tide score the winning goal. It went from James Studarus to that severely injured Hollywood guy who intended his pass for co-captain Mike Hall but missed by inches only to be backed-up by next years captain Adam Glimme who catches the winning goal. He immediately goes into a manic-like repeat of that ever so famous "Flashdance" celebration dance, and the Tide has triumphed to once again prepare the world for the Tideal Wave of a Repeat of a Three-peat National Championship Ultimate team. This hasnt been accomplished since the Black Tide did it first 8 years previously in 88, 89,and 90! By the way, the new word of the day or should I say year is THREE-PEAT!
Congratulations to all and especially James Studarus, Greg Husak and Mike Hall for being the only three men to take part in all three National Championships the past 3 years.
1998 UCSB Game Scores:
01/24/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 11 Los Positas (LPC) 7
01/24/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 11 UCSD X 6
01/24/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 11 Oxi 4
01/24/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 11 Condors 9 (Exhibition)
01/24/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 13 UCSC 4
01/25/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 11 SLO 0 (Quarters)
01/25/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 13 UCSD Y 6 (Semis)
01/25/98 Stanford 15 U.C.Santa Barbara 13 (Finals)
02/14/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 11 U. Washington B 0
02/15/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 11 SDSU 3
02/15/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 11 UCSD Alumni 9
02/15/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 11 LPC 5
02/15/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 7 UCLA 1
02/16/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 11 UCSC 6 (Quarters)
02/16/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 11 UCSD A 9 (Semis)
02/16/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 13 Colorado 12 (Finals)
03/07/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 13 U.C.San Diego 12
03/07/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 15 Rice 7
03/07/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 15 UBC 4
03/08/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 15 U.C.Santa Cruz 10 (Quarters)
03/08/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 14 Stanford 11 (Semis)
03/08/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 15 Colorado 6 (Finals)
04/18/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 11 USC 7
04/18/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 11 Caltech 4
04/18/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 13 San Diego State Univ. 4 - (Quarters)
04/18/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 13 Clairmont 6 - (Semis)
04/18/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 15 U.C.San Diego 13 - (Finals)
05/09/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 13 U.C. San Diego-B 2
05/09/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 13 U.C. Berkeley 0
05/09/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 11 Los Positas (LPC) 5
05/09/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 13 U.C. Davis 6
05/10/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 15 U.C. Santa Cruz 11 - (Quarters)
05/10/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 14 Univ. British Colum. 8 -(Semis)
05/10/98 Stanford 10 U.C.Santa Barbara 8 - (Finals)
05/10/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 15 U.C. San Diego 9 - (BD Finals)
05/29/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 17 ECU 12
05/29/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 17 Carleton 11
05/30/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 15 LSU 7
05/30/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 15 Yale 8
05/30/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 15 Brown 8
05/31/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 19 N.C. State Univ. 14 - (Semis)
05/31/98 U.C.Santa Barbara 20 Stanford 17 - (Finals)