Michigan State Burning Couch is a team that has been on the fringe for quite some time. Meaning that MSU has spent many years on the outside looking in at College Nationals. The team has competed in the Great Lakes Region for many years but has been missing from the Nationals scene since 2006.
Burning Couch captain Alex Edinger hopes to change all of that this season.
“We have some pretty high expectations for this year,” Edinger, MSU’s Callahan candidate from the 2009 season, wrote us in an e-mail. “We hope to make an impact on the scene and put Michigan State Ultimate back on the map.”
In order to put Burning Couch back on the map the team has made many changes and kept many important things the same. The team kept many of its players from last season, one of the most important aspects to having a successful season and added a coach with experience.
“We are going to be better this year because our team mentality, focus and intensity has changed in a big way,” Edinger wrote. “We are filled with returning couchers and we have a really solid core group of players.”
Harnessing the talent of that core group will be MSU’s new coach, Chris Spittal. Spittal spent this fall competing with the elite level club Madcow from Columbus, Ohio.
“(Spittal’s) experience and level-headed advice keeps our feet on the group and our heads out of the clouds,” Edinger wrote.
Some of the key players that Burning Couch will be depending on in order to find success are Ryan Heffernan and Christo Ferguson, both are speedy cutters that are especially useful in MSU’s deadly horizontal stack. Burning Couch utilizes the open space and 1 vs. 1 matchups that the Ho Stack creates in order create a fluidity that is hard to defend against.
“Our quickness and speed as a team allows for quick disc movement and the ability to easily work it under,” Edinger wrote. “We also have the throwers and cutters, however, to throw it deeps when our athleticism allows us to open up the deep shots.”
On the defensive side of the disc the athleticism that MSU brings to the table allows the team to matchup against almost anyone in a man to man defense.
“We play a lot of man to man defense,” Edinger wrote. “We have a few defensive zone looks that we throw once in a while but our athleticism and endurance as a team really shows in our intense man to man coverage.”
With all the talent that MSU is bringing to the table there are high expectations inside the team for this season.
“We really see ourselves making Nationals this year,” Edinger wrote. “We hope to win the Region and get back on track as a Naitonal contender.”
However, to win a Region like the Great Lakes it requires more than just talent. But when one sees Edinger write about his team’s mentality and confidence and takes a glance at MSU’s results from this fall, it makes one wary of getting in the way of Burning Couch this season.
“We need to get in the best shape of our lives in order to (make Nationals and win the Region),” Edinger wrote. “If we stay focused and work hard, and play with our heads and our legs, we can achieve this goal. We have the personnel an the talent to make it this year.”