MAD at DET Preview

Ryan Baker, Journalist

This Saturday, June 8, the Madison Radicals will travel to Detroit to play the Detroit Mechanix. Things may seem like they are on repeat, and, yes, you read that right. For the third time this season the Rads will take on the Motor City squad.

Madison currently sits at third in the Central Division with a 3-2 record, and two of those wins have come against the winless Mechanix. In those two games, the Rads have outscored Detroit 55-30. They will look to make that margin even greater in the final bout between the two. Despite the lopsided numbers, head coach and new UFA commissioner Tim DeByl sees a ton of improvement his team can make this weekend.

“I think the two times we played Detroit, we've played six and a half good quarters or so of ultimate. Our goal is to go to Detroit, and play for four solid quarters. Except for the Pittsburgh game, we've struggled at different times. I think that’s the problem, and it's a problem we had last year.  Giving up these runs, where one thing seems to go wrong, and we just give up a big run,” said head coach Tim DeByl.

Playing a strong four quarters may be a bit of a taller task than anticipated. The Radicals are stacking up injuries after a tough two-game weekend last week. Brian Hart got hit with an ankle injury, Kai Marcus has knee issues, Max Sample is still dealing with a rib injury, and Sam Stark is still sidelined. 

On top of that, DeByl is bringing an incredibly young team that will be without a ton of their veteran guys. Victor Luo, Andrew Meshnick, Daniel Garlock, Pat Shriwise, Sterling Knoche, and Jack Nelson all will not be traveling with the team for their sixth game of the year. 

“As a coach, you always worry. It doesn't matter who you're bringing, that's your job, but I really like our depth. I think it's a great opportunity for guys to play. We have a lot of injuries right now, and hopefully this weekend off for those guys will help. Then, we can come back against Colorado with a somewhat healthy roster,” said DeByl.

Names that you haven’t seen hit the field too much have been pushed into the “next-man up” mentality, and will need to do so to come out with a win. Guys like Shane Otis, David Nester, John Tan, and Alex Gravatt are all going to be suited for the game.

“Hopefully guys are up for the challenge, and people step up. They can earn an opportunity to play the rest of the season. I think that's always on the table if you play well. You earn some more playing time, so we're hoping that's what happens this weekend,” said DeByl. 

The Rads will have to lean on some of their cornerstone guys a bit more than usual this game. Look for the numbers of Anthony Gutowsky, Joshua Wilson, Avery Johnson, Kelsen Alexander, Ted Schewe and Joe Leibforth to be called a lot more. Another guy that has been an anchor on defense for the Rads has been Luke Marks, who is tied for second in the league for blocks with eleven. 

“What has helped me, I think, is to keep my head up to see what the thrower wants while still anticipating where my cutter is going. Though I have to say, and I’ve said it before, our D-line is hungry. Everyone is putting on an intense mark or looking to help on a deep shot. So, I also want to attribute it to everyone making an effort to disrupt the offense,” said Marks.

Marks has combined for six blocks in the two games against Detroit, and will be looking to add to that total. Other guys that have seen success against the Mechanix have been Gutwosky with six goals in the two games, Schewe with 677 total yards in the two games, and rookie Gabe Vordick with eight goals in the two games.

“Detroit is persistent, and they are always moving the disc. They’re a team that we look forward to playing. We get to refine our plays and our focus throughout the game. Anytime you let off the gas, complacency can creep in. No matter what team is in front of us, we’d like to keep the same intensity,” said Marks.

Being able to walk out with a healthy squad and their fourth win of the season will be key for an important upcoming stretch the Radicals have their next three weeks. They will see the Colorado Summit, the Minnesota Wind Chill, and the Indianapolis AlleyCats in that order. So, getting back to full health and being 4-2 is crucial if this team wants a shot at Salt Lake City come August. 

Click here to watch Madison take on Detroit this Saturday night at 7 p.m. EDT!

Next home game vs Colorado June 14th! It's Pride Night Presented by TDS!