Horton defeated the top seeded regular season champions, the Squishy Bananas, in the final game of the season to cap off Lincoln's first ever Summer Ultimate League. The end of Summer League was significant for several reasons, marking the one year anniversary of LUDA's formation, and the completion of a third consecutive seasonal league (after Fall 2008 and Spring 2009) with consistent growth from season to season. In LUDA's third league tournament, this was also the first time that the finals matched up the two top seeds from the regular season.
The tournament began with the Squishy Bananas, captained by Scott Frohn, beating Adam's Family, led by Tim Montgomery. While Adam's Family was the fourth seed, they ended the season on a hot streak before falling in the tourney. Horton, captained by a committee of veterans throughout the season by Brad Franklin, Collin Baer, and Ryan Tiedeman, beat Wasabi Spicy Tuna, captained by Scott Curry in the regular season and led by Kyle Orians in the tournament, in the first round of the tourney.
The stage was set for an epic match-up of the two top LUDA Summer teams. The Squishy Bananas had run roughshod through the regular season, losing only to Horton in two injury-plagued games all Summer. Scott Frohn performed masterfully as a captain, teaching his young team well, consistently getting the most out of his players and showing the best overall attendance as a team all season. But Horton, while the oldest team (on average) in the league, was stacked with veteran leadership and enough youthful energy to carry the day.
The championship game started off as advertised, going back and forth for the first several points. The Bananas took a 4-3 lead early before Horton came back and took half 7-5 (in the game to 13). By halftime, Horton was clicking, with main handlers Tony Savage and Austin Wehrwein asserting their leadership. Wehrwein actually played every point of both games, playing in dominating fashion at times. The Bananas hung tough until the end, until giving up the final marathon point to end the game 13-8 in Horton's favor.
The Squishy Bananas were awarded some sweeeet and well deserved schwag for their dominance in the regular season. The LUDA Cup, the most sought-after trophy of the sporting world, was presented to Horton co-captain Ryan Tiedeman, who was then joined by the rest of his team in celebration.
Meanwhile, Adam's Family knocked off Spicy Tuna in the consolation game to put the wraps on another great season.
Congrats to all LUDA Summer League participants! Many thanks are owed to the Nebraska Lottery for their generous sponsorship of LUDA and Ultimate in Lincoln! Fall League is on the way, along with more events and big plans for the local Ultimate community.
Below is a slideshow of the championship game and video of the awards "ceremony".