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Announcing the 2017 Pittsburgh Thunderbirds

                                 [Click To Enlarge] 
         Not Pictured: Crowe, Hartley, Marmerstein, Maxstadt, Morgenstern, 
                            Reppermund, Sheppard, Slevin.

2017 Thunderbirds Roster Breakdown

 

A new year, a new chance to break a familiar trend. For the Thunderbirds, the past two seasons have shown an unpredictably high turnover rate on the team’s roster. Last year alone, the ‘Birds suited up 43 individual players. With numbers like that, a roster can’t gel – it can’t be a team.

 

Each season had their constants, though. There are veterans that have been on the team since the start and proved to be anchors on the offense and defense while new faces circulated in and out. Players like Ethan Beardsley, Steve Mogielski, Anson Reppermund, and others. The team found incredible loyalty from a few out-of-town players, in players Jon Mast and Jon DeAmicis, that committed to attending weekday practices from Ohio.

 

That number, the 43 different players that stepped on the field in 2016, lodged into coaches’ minds while selecting the 2017 roster. “That won’t cut it”, was a common phrase in the front office from coaches and managers alike, when referring to 12-person practices and 18-person game day rosters. This sentiment was a motivator to select a more stable roster; one that ensures practice attendance and game availability, generating more on-field cohesion. Teams like Toronto Rush, midwest-rivals Madison Radicals, and others have had success with this same formula. So will Pittsburgh.

 

The 2017 (True) Rookie Class

These guys are young; many are fresh out of college programs in Pittsburgh and elsewhere. These players are true rookies, having never held a roster spot on a semi-professional team before. But, you’re seeing their names because they made an impact at tryouts and can make an impact on the field this season. Fresh faces, fresh attitudes.

 

Introducing:

#5 Jesse Evans

#8 Thomas Edmonds

#14 Kenny Furdella

#19 Jordan Robarge

#23 Jack Hefferon

#43 Jake Rovner

#55 Josh Tsung

#66 Nick Gigliotti

 

The 2017 (Semi) Rookie Class

The 2017 Semi-Rookie Class consists of player that have played for other AUDL teams, or were temporary players on previous rosters. They are slated to play a full season on the Thunderbirds. Their presence is exciting, and their production potential is even more exciting.

 

Introducing:

#80 Xavier Maxstadt

#82 Isaac Smith

The 2017 College Rookie Class

The 2017 College Class will be joining the Thunderbirds after their college seasons have ended. The coaches selected exceptional players, all of whom attend the University of Pittsburgh and compete on the currently #2 ranked Division I men’s team in the country. All but one of these players, Edmonds, played in the AUDL as a Thunderbird for at least one game during the 2016 season. Of the remaining players on this list, each has some AUDL experience on the Thunderbirds in 2016.  Fans should be excited to see them more regularly once they join us full-time. These players know the Pittsburgh systems.

 

Introducing:

#8 Thomas Edmonds

#13 Carl Morgenstern

#18 Kyle Hartley

#76 Dillon Tranquillo

#88 Jack Slevin

#95 Sam Van Dusen

The 2017 Returning Squad

These guys are the veterans of the Thunderbirds, the ones with salt left in their mouths from past seasons. They all bring a resume of impressive and necessary skills to the table. They hardly need an introduction, but why not?

 

Proudly Returning:

#1 Max Sheppard

#2 Jon Mast

#3 Pat Earles

#4 David Vatz

#6 Anson Reppermund

#7 Mark Fedorenko

#9 Joe Marmerstein

#10 Max Thorne

#24 Alex Thomas

#31 Aaron Buss

#32 Steve Mogielski

#41 Pat Hammonds

#50 Jon DeAmicis

#71 Tad Wissel

#81 Tyler DeGirolamo

 

Reserve Squad

Last, but certainly not the least, a selected group of players will be practicing with the team and learning the Pittsburgh system, but will not be holding roster spots. These players represent the highest potential for improvement and future contribution.

 

Introducing:

Alijah Crowe

Zac Byrnes

 

Notable Departures

Several anchors on our 2016 roster experienced a change of scenery in 2017, and will not be returning to the field. Notable names include Alex Thorne (London), Rob Dulabon (Cleveland), Eddie Peters (Boston), Mike Pannone (North Carolina, now with the Raleigh Flyers), Tyler Kunsa (now with the Jacksonville Cannons), and Aaron Watson (Taiwan). We wish them luck!

 

The contingent of players from Michigan, the High Five five, will not be returning in 2017, including Johhny Bansfield, Mitch Cihon, Mike Ogren, Austin Engel, James Highsmith. We thank them for their play-making and their dedication to traveling with the team last year! Keep a lookout for highlight reels of their upcoming club season.

 

March 9, 2017 | News | 0

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