If there is one team in the new South Region that isn’t as worried about replacing big name players it’s Georgia Tech. In spite of the fact that Tech lost one player who currently is counted among the elite players on Chain Lightning’s roster, Tech will still have 3 of 8 main O-line players and a big chunk of its D-line players. With that knowledge in mind, Tribe is expecting big things from this season.
Part of those big expectations comes from having talent all over the board. It helps to have your big players who can pull through in any and every situation. It also helps to have your role players who know how to facilitate the top level guys and are generally mistake free. Finally, you need to have some scrubs that have the ability to get in for a couple of points every game and not do anything stupid, just to give those higher level players a couple of points on the sideline.
Tech has got all three of those categories covered. Firstly they bring captains Nick Lance and Hogan McHugh to the table.
McHugh is a deep threat that compliments the typically conservative Tech team well. It seems that, whenever a deep shot is going up from Tribe’s offense. McHugh is somewhere in the vicinity. He has been a staple in the Atlanta AFDC scene since early in his career and the time he spent around elite players rubbed off quickly. McHugh has throws to compliment his ups and his timing in GT’s bread-and-butter vertical stack is impeccable.
If it’s common to see McHugh in the endzone with the disc, it’s just as common to see Lance sending it there. Lance has evolved from an athletic freak to an all around player that was making waves in the club scene in only his second season with Chain Lightning.
“Nick Lance is a freak,” McHugh wrote to us. “I’ve never seen anybody cover him effectively and his throws and athleticism just keep getting better. A lot of our plays and zones are designed to let him either get the disc or be in position to generate Ds. Its invaluable to have somebody that you know will always be open and can put the disc anywhere on the field, regardless of the mark.”
Look no further than this tape from Georgia Tech’s matchup with Cornell at College Terminus 2010 to see Lance in action. (#11, white hat with red bill) Admittedly, this is a pretty sloppy game from Tech and Lance. However, it doesn’t take an expert to see that his play is pivotal to Tribe’s performance and that he has all the tools necessary.
In the middle of the pack on Tech’s roster reside a gamut of players who know how to play within in a system and do what it takes to generate a win. Multiple times during our exchange with McHugh he referenced Georgia Tech’s B-team (the video is a year old and the commentary is very… Georgia Tech ish? However, it’s clear the team has developed an identity and plenty of skills) and how its development of players has become a pivotal point to Tribe’s success.
Finally, Tech is located right in the heart of one of Ultimate’s hotbeds, Atlanta. While Atlanta doesn’t offer quite the club scene that Seattle does, it does contribute to the team in a couple of facets. One being the final component of talent, rookies who can spell vets without making big errors.
“We gained some freshmen who played a little in high school which is awesome,” McHugh wrote. “They all have a lot of potential, improve every practice, and will get to play a good amount this season.”
The pieces are falling together for Tech and Tribe knows that this year is an opportunity to shine. After falling to in-state rival UGA in the game-to-go to Nationals on double game point last year at Regionals, GT is hungry for more this year. McHugh minces no words about where Tribe’s eyes are set.
“Nationals is definitely the goal,” McHugh wrote. “Also, we really want to defend our sectional title. Last year we won the section for the first time it at least 10 years. With the new regions, and each only having one definite bid, we need to have a strong regular season and try to help get another bid. I think there is a lot of parity in the new region, so it will be exciting to see how everything plays out.”