The Donovan Award: The 2022 Finalists

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The highest 5 candidates in every division!

Ultiworld is worked up to current the finalists for the sixth annual Donovan Award. The Donovan Award is a peer-voted award for the Division III participant that greatest demonstrates an distinctive degree of ability and athleticism on the sector; upholds the rules of Spirit of the Sport, fairness, and equity in their very own actions, in addition to holding teammates accountable to do the identical; and is a pacesetter off the sector, each on their group and within the higher final group.

Listed below are the 5 finalists in every division, listed alphabetically, with their bios from their nominations connected (some have been edited for readability).

The 2022 Donovan Award winners shall be introduced Tuesday, June twenty eighth, in a stay presentation on Ultiworld’s YouTube channel.

Males’s Division

Beau De Koninck (Mary Washington)

Beau grew up in Arlington, VA, the place he attended Washington Liberty Excessive College. Throughout his three years of highschool final, he developed a ardour for the sport. What attracted him probably the most in his early years was the sense of group that the game creates. It was an area the place a small group of individuals would train however extra importantly take pleasure in themselves. The concentrate on the group’s happiness over any people is what cultivated life lengthy relationships.

Beau continued to hone his expertise via YCC groups, DC Deadrise and Foggy Backside Boys, earlier than attending the College of Mary Washington. Not like different final groups, Mom of George (MOG) has not had a constant coach for the previous three years. Beau has been the “coach” of MOG throughout this time. He exhibits as much as each follow with a plan to get everyone higher. Beau is the rationale MOG went to Nationals final semester and has a great likelihood to go within the close to future.

Everybody that has performed with Beau will agree that he one way or the other makes you wish to work onerous, not only for him however to your teammates. He’s exceptionally versatile: he may be the middle handler on offense whereas he can even match-up in opposition to the opponent’s greatest man on protection. Beau is often a cutter, however since MOG hasn’t had too many handlers just lately, he has realized how one can be an environment friendly and efficient O-line handler. Off the sector, Beau has spent numerous hours ensuring that MOG is the very best program it could possibly presumably be. Rising the accessibility of the game for the members of MOG is what pushes him. Whether or not that is one way or the other elevating over $25k and arranging plans to get 20 school college students throughout the nation to Nationals in two weeks, or serving to folks with their off the sector issues.

Josh Felton (Colorado School)

Josh got here to Wasabi as a freshman with immense expertise, ability, and expertise rising up taking part in at Edina Excessive College in Minnesota. From the gecko as a freshman, he was considered one of our most relied-on gamers to play lockdown protection and to supply constant and good offense. By the final 4 years, now as a Senior, Josh has grown into by far and away one of the crucial necessary gamers on and off the sector for Wasabi. His management and hustle have led our D-line via the South Central area. He’s a can-do-it-all machine; he’ll get open early within the stall depend or be the final possibility late.

Josh has the very best closing pace in D3 final. He’ll get open on anybody and he’ll lock anybody down. After Conferences, we gave Josh considered one of our post-tournament greatest participant awards, which was his first time profitable one. This didn’t make any sense. However I feel that goes to one thing about Josh — he’s so rattling constant that you just simply know he’ll present up. He’s the definition of a glue participant however he’s additionally so able to making the large power performs. I problem anybody to beat Josh anyplace on the sector.

Most significantly, his kindness, good fellowship, and humility have made Josh an incredible teammate and competitor. He makes everybody on our group, and on any subject, really feel valued and revered. This yr on Wasabi, we’ve got actually targeted on remaining current within the enjoyable and pleasure all of us have for enjoying with each other, it doesn’t matter what the outcomes are, and Josh is the right embodiment of this objective. Each follow, match, or different group perform he’s there as a buddy first, together with his huge grin. There is no such thing as a yet one more deserving of the Donovan Award than Mr. Josh Felton.

Ben Fjetland-Souza (St. Olaf)

Our boy Ben Fjet is cracked. If you wish to know something about him or his skills, simply watch any of the Zerks video games on Youtube or Ultiworld or one thing. Search for #5 and watch him dissect. You may watch him at Nationals this yr too, doesn’t matter what sport. Ought to be capable to deduce greater than sufficient.

Elliott Moore (Oklahoma Christian)

Elliott Moore lives and breathes final frisbee. As a captain for Oklahoma Christian, Elliott has led the group on and off the sector throughout his tenure as an Eagle, finally culminating in a Nationwide Championship in Fall 2021 and once more in Could 2022. Whereas being a defensive menace, Elliott has been slotted into an O-line handler position at OC on account of want, and his offensive sport has continued to develop via accepting that problem.

Elliott’s ardour and depth may be witnessed in OC’s huddles, whether or not it’s saying the fitting factor on the proper time, or main our group within the Oh-Chi-Le-Le chant earlier than huge video games. Catch him at Nationals making huge performs; perhaps we’ll even let him cross over to D-line.

2015: Houston Helix YCC
2016: Riverside, Houston Helix YCC
2017: Austin Amigos YCC, Singlewide, Austin Sol (whereas in highschool)
2018: Austin Sol, Doublewide Bronze at WUCC, U20 Gold WJUC
2019: Austin Sol, Doublewide
2020: Oklahoma Christian, Austin Sol
2021: Oklahoma Christian Nationwide Champions, Goldfish, Austin Sol, D-III Males’s All-American First Staff, D-III Males’s Offensive Participant Of The 12 months 1st Runner-Up
2022: Oklahoma Christian Nationwide Champions, Doublewide, Austin Sol

Leo Sovell-Fernandez (Middlebury)

When Leo arrived at Middlebury, he was already a seasoned frisbee veteran, contemporary off a gold medal on the WJUC, 4 years on his highschool group, and a number of other YCC seasons with the St. Paul Stars. He instantly made his mark on the Pranksters not simply due to his ability however together with his limitless enthusiasm, love for the sport, and goofy character.

As a participant at Middlebury, Leo has had an impressive profession, with the group profitable the D3 Nationwide Championship in 2019 and ending because the runner-ups in 2021. He has achieved many particular person accolades as properly: 2019 D3 Males’s Rookie of the 12 months, first runner up for 2019 Membership Combined Breakout Participant of the 12 months, and 2021 D3 Males’s Defensive Participant of the 12 months, along with a second group All-American in 2019 and first-team All-American in 2021.

His influence on the group, nevertheless, goes far past these particular person awards. Leo is the epitome of a group participant, pushing his physique to the restrict in each sport (within the 2019 last, he finally needed to cease taking part in as a result of his palms have been shaking on account of what number of factors he had performed within the 100° Texas warmth). As a two-year captain for the Pranksters, Leo has additionally performed an enormous position in shaping the present and future route of the group, sharing his ardour for final with the whole group. He at all times takes the time to offer much less skilled gamers recommendation, suggestions, and reward, and during the last two years has welcomed many new gamers to the game of final. His goofiness helps the Pranksters preserve their trademark enjoyable ~vibes~, whereas his expertise, aggressive drive, and management have been important for the group’s on-field success.

Ladies’s Division

Claire Babbott-Bryan (Middlebury)

Claire “Becky, Babs, BB” Babbott-Bryan joined the Pranksters within the Fall of 2018, coming off of 4 years of highschool final in Western Massachusetts and two seasons with Valley Final. Claire fell naturally into the rhythm of Middlebury Final, situating herself rapidly as an skilled cutter and somebody that each different first yr new to the game regarded to to study from. Her free spirit and power made her an instantaneous buddy of each participant on the group, new and outdated, and he or she has been a spine of the Pranksters since that first yr.

On the group’s exhibiting at DIII Nationals in 2019, Claire received the Rookie of the 12 months award and her contributions to the group have solely elevated since. For a few yr and a half, Claire has navigated captainship via a pandemic, a yr off from college, and helped information the group to its first-ever DIII nationwide title final Fall. Claire strikes on the sector seamlessly between the handler and cutter area, and is the form of participant that each opposing group has to make a plan for — lest they permit her to dominate the sport.

Past her numbered accomplishments with the Pranksters, Claire has contributed to Boston Siege’s Nationals campaigns for the reason that summer time of 2019, together with a run in Fall 2021 the place she led Siege in assists whereas additionally captaining Middlebury’s championship-winning season. Past her contributions to the sport on the sector, Claire contributes much more to each different participant’s private expertise with the Pranksters. She is at all times poised and sleek, by no means boastful, and at all times brings the suitable degree of optimistic power to the area. She connects with each participant, her grounding breaths are invaluable in preparation for every sport, and her teaching recommendation on a group that lacks a standard coach has improved each considered one of her teammate’s play over her years with the group.

Claire loves the sport greater than something, and is dedicated to creating certain each different final participant she interacts with has as fulfilling of an expertise as her personal. Her presence on the Pranksters for the previous 4 years is irreplaceable, and the group has been enduringly improved by her management. Plus, she’s insane at catching cheez balls in her mouth.

Siri Bohacek (Williams)

Siri Bohacek is the two-year captain and Donovan nominee for Nova Final, Williams School Ladies and Trans* Final Frisbee group. Siri joined Nova after captaining her highschool group at Stillwater Excessive. Whereas juggling additionally being a member of the Williams D1 Varsity Nordic Ski group, she managed to be named a Rookie to Watch by Ultiworld in 2019. After sustaining an harm that prevented her from taking part in her freshman yr at Nationals and being prevented from taking part in because of COVID, after which once more due to harm, she nonetheless managed to guide a group with solely two gamers who had ever performed a full season to a 3rd place rating this previous season.

In the summertime of 2021, Siri was an important defensive pressure for Albany Insurgent Insurgent. She is an extremely spectacular athlete. Her fast jukes and deep appears are completely unimaginable to protect, and she is going to come down with the disc even when it requires a ten foot bid to get there. As a defender, she is notorious for a handler mark that may lock down the very best handlers within the Northeast and her spectacular structure D’s. And but regardless of the energy of her athleticism, her energy as a pacesetter nonetheless manages to be much more spectacular. Siri remained a dedicated coach to an extremely younger and inexperienced group even within the face of heartbreaking accidents. At tournaments, she may be discovered working up and down the sideline speaking to gamers after taking part in exhaustingly lengthy factors. Her phrases of encouragement and dedication to her teammates in addition to the game make her invaluable as a captain of this group. Siri’s season was lower tragically quick after Nova needed to forfeit our second day of video games at Regionals. Although Nova received’t see Nationals this yr because of this, we will’t wait to look at Siri tear it up with whoever she chooses to play for after she leaves Williams.

Josie Ku (Wellesley)

Josie “Butter” Ku joined the Wellesley Whiptails in 2017 as a newcomer to final however nearly instantly picked up a dedication to not solely the group however the sport. She went on to captain the “Tails” (Wellesley’s B group) the following yr and continued to develop outdoors of campus, becoming a member of the WUGC Hong Kong Ladies’s group1 and the Shanghai Sirens in 2021, serving because the Shanghai’s Womxn’s League Captain.

Now, Josie has co-captained Wellesley’s “Whips” (A group) this season to their first Nationals qualification in over a decade. Anybody who has seen her play can testify to what an unbelievable presence she is on the sector — she anchors the offense as a handler who we belief to catch even probably the most chaotic dump throw, and he or she additionally poaches simply in addition to she shuts down consecutive deep cuts (except she decides to make one herself). Her capability to tirelessly play almost each level, sport after sport, throwing her physique on the road whereas consistently analyzing the sport and nonetheless motivating us in between performs, is true management by instance and it drives all of us to be that significantly better. All the best way from her marketing campaign for captainship this season, she made it clear that Nationals was her endgame, even when a few of us thought it was only a moonshot. However the best way Josie takes final critically has impressed all of us — everyone knows Josie is consuming, ingesting, and sleeping (by 10pm!) with final in thoughts. And her dedication is honest on a private degree, too, from shopping for electrolytes for each match to maintain the group alive, to discovering time to have a one-on-one meal with each new teammate this season. Josie’s dedication, ability, and dedication make her an awesome participant and distinctive captain. However the biggest honor for all of us is asking her our teammate and buddy.

Riah Newfont (Haverford)

The Bryn Mawr and Haverford Sneetches are extremely proud to appoint Haverford senior Riah Newfont for the 2022 Donovan Award. Riah is a proficient and versatile participant who brings 100% effort to each level she performs. She by no means will get drained and is at all times able to make yet one more lower or play yet one more level. Her capability to throw good hucks and make speedy strike cuts has made her right into a harmful cutter-handler hybrid, able to deal with any place her group wants her to play in addition to making her intimidating to opposing groups.

As a passionate presence on and off the sector, Riah brings a lot pleasure to final and the Sneetches via main enjoyable dances on the road earlier than a degree, hyping up her teammates by initiating cheers, and dealing onerous to make everybody really feel included and be as excited as she is to play. Riah is extraordinarily educated concerning the sport and has been an awesome useful resource to new gamers who’re studying the sport, taking the time to speak them via the ins and outs of a degree or ensuring they perceive the nuances of a throw. She embodies the spirit of the sport in her willingness to speak to anybody, on any group, about varied calls and guidelines, and maintains a concurrently aggressive and respectful angle to all gamers on the sector.

Greater than something, Riah prioritizes having enjoyable and taking part in with pleasure over profitable, and he or she would relatively play a detailed sport than a blowout as a result of she appreciates the problem. Whether or not she is taking part in or on the sideline, Riah brings a lot to every sport by celebrating every participant’s accomplishments, irrespective of how small. She is a fierce, energetic, passionate, joyful participant and individual, and he or she shall be missed subsequent yr!

Jaclyn Wataoka (Portland)

Jackie was a standout participant for UProar beginning her freshman yr on the College of Portland. At all times bursting with power and kindness, she helped construct a tradition of spirit and positivity on this group.

Jaclyn performed final recreationally in highschool and fell in love with the game in school. The dedication, time, and focus that she places into frisbee are an inspiration for the entire group. She leads with confidence and belief so that each participant can love the sport as a lot as she does. After a robust freshman yr, sophomore Jaclyn was poised to guide UPRoar on a deep nationals run in 2020 earlier than Covid hit. She took an additional step to remain engaged within the final group by taking up a job because the Northwest School Coordinator for USAU. She remained dedicated to this position throughout her busy senior yr and plans to proceed post-graduation.

In the course of the pandemic, Jaclyn continued to guide from afar to maintain folks engaged with the group and the game. She was taking part in high-level combined membership within the Bay Space and realized a lot throughout her time there. The continued concentrate on final is what made UPRoar so profitable through the Fall 2021 Nationals. Jaclyn was the driving pressure behind a hardworking group. She was individually acknowledged as Nationwide Offensive Participant of the 12 months, Nationwide Participant of 12 months runner-up, and All-D3 First Staff for her efficiency. Behind her ability and execution, our group was in a position to overcome adversity and discover success on the nationwide stage.

Within the Spring, she performed with Oregon Onyx of the WUL and thrived taking part in on such a high-level group. She introduced what she realized there again to UPRoar whereas elevating her personal sport via the expertise. She taught new and veteran gamers all that she realized with endurance and pleasure. She values the competitors and spirit of the sport above all, however she additionally likes to win and see her group succeed. Jaclyn is actually a teammate and buddy that desires us to be at our greatest.

The 2022 Donovan Award winners shall be introduced Tuesday, June twenty eighth, in a stay presentation on Ultiworld’s YouTube channel.

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