Player Chatter: Championship Weekend Ahead

August 16, 2023
By Matt Rezin

“Player Chatter” is a series consisting of player quotes, thoughts, and feelings from around the league. All current AUDL players were sent a handful of prompts earlier this week designed to be as open-ended as possible. Additionally, players were asked to vote in a single-question, multiple choice survey.

Championship Weekend Survey Results

Which team do you have winning the 2023 AUDL title?

Austin Sol: 21.4 percent of votes
Minnesota Wind Chill: 3.6 percent of votes
New York Empire: 60.7 percent of votes
Salt Lake Shred: 14.3 percent of votes

Divisional Championship Reactions

Josh Klane- less wack than I thought.” Xavier Payne, Indianapolis AlleyCats

“The more invisible [Josh] Klane is in their game, the better chance Minnesota has of winning.” Cameron Brock, Indianapolis AlleyCats

“The Alleycats and Windchill are lucky they are not in the East. I think Boston, Philly, and Toronto all give them a run for their money. 37 turnovers in a divisional final is wild.” Anonymous East Division Player (verified)

“I don’t know what’s worse: Jordan Taylor thinking he caught a disc that hit the turf two feet in front of his hands, or knowing that he didn’t and not invoking the integrity call.” Jeremiah Branson, Indianapolis AlleyCats

“Neither Minnesota nor Indianapolis played close to their best games, but excited to see Windchill at championship weekend on home turf. Great fanbase that will bring lots of excitement and energy.” Jeremy Hill, Toronto Rush

“Really was expecting a tougher fight from DC given the O line absences of New York. You think they keep their O the same and move [John] Lithio & [Jeff] Babbitt to D?” Kyle Henke, Austin Sol

“This Empire team is a buzzsaw, it’ll be interesting to see how defenses try to slow them down.” Owen Smith, Houston Havoc

“[Most surprising thing was] Los Angeles's continued growth throughout the season. It didn't feel close in the fourth quarter, but for a lot of that game it wasn't really clear who the better team was. They proved the game against Colorado was no fluke.” Cameron Brock, Indianapolis AlleyCats

“I told Ian Toner on May 6 that the Los Angeles Aviators would be playing in the West Division Championship Game in August. We did it and I am immensely proud of our team. We went from winning four games (by one point each) in 2022, to winning eight games in 2023. If I was a gambling man, which clearly I'm not (wink wink), I'd bet all my belongings that we get back again next season.” Michael Kiyoi, Los Angeles Aviators

[Brett] Hulsmeyer, poor guy. Could’ve been a hero!” Kyle Henke, Austin Sol

“The Atlanta/Austin game was wild. Each team had so many opportunities to win it.” Jeremy Hill, Toronto Rush

“Sol vs Hustle is a top five game in league history.” Owen Smith, Houston Havoc

“Austin did the impossible and played fearless ultimate while Atlanta looked timid. Really shocking stuff considering Atlanta looked so composed all year long. I think a lot of us in Indy were pulling for Austin. Really happy for the Sol guys. Can't wait to see what they do in Minnesota.” Cameron Brock, Indianapolis AlleyCats

On To Championship Weekend

“The league thinks that they have seen peak Empire—not even close.” Antoine Davis, New York Empire

“I'm happy for the guys in Minnesota, which is not something I would have said 5-6 years ago. To all the teams at championship weekend for the first time, soak it in. You never know when the next chance is going to be. Play with confidence, believe in yourself and your team, and ignore all the noise.“ Cameron Brock, Indianapolis AlleyCats

“For the sake of the league lets just hope New York and Salt Lake play nice in their semis.”  Anonymous AUDL Player (verified)

Players To Watch

“Might not be the flashiest shout, but Mark Henke. He consistently takes top matchups, and is an impressive block getter for the Sol at just 19. I think this is the weekend he turns some heads.” Owen Smith, Houston Havoc

“Gotta be Kyle Henke. He's upgraded from Stinky to STANKY this postseason. I had to wear noseplugs last weekend just to watch the game.” Cameron Brock, Indianapolis AlleyCats

Most Interesting Matchups

“Antoine Davis on Kyle Henke [...] Kyle wins the matchup but Empire wins by six.” Kyle Weinberg, Salt Lake Shred

“Ben Jagt vs. a defense. It turns out that Ben Jagt wins that matchup.” Cameron Brock, Indianapolis AlleyCats

Water Cooler

“Coach Naji has to be a front-runner for COTY. Nobody has accomplished more this season. Dude has put it more time and has had more belief than anyone.” Kyle Henke, Austin Sol

Mark Evans is the most fundamentally sound thrower in the AUDL.” Owen Smith, Houston Havoc

“[Things fans need to know:] The Vengabus is coming.” Kyle Weinberg, Salt Lake Shred

“If you're on here begging to get an award, you are embarrassing yourself. The game is made up and the points don't matter. If you need your ego stroked by someone else to feel good about yourself or believe you're a good player, well that's tough. If you're good enough, someone else will campaign for you.” Cameron Brock, Indianapolis AlleyCats