Charles Rizzo & Ajay Cybulski
New Klassic Champions crowned!
Young Guns win their first KanJam major title
On Saturday, April 29th, a total of 31 teams competed in the 2017 KanJam Klassic at Sportplex in North Tonawanda, NY. The tournament featured several top teams, including players from eight of the top ten teams in last year's World Championship. Teams hailed from as far as California to participate in this year's Klassic, including others from Ohio and Ontario.
In their first ever Klassic appearance, Young Guns (Charles Rizzo & Ajay Cybulski) ended the regular season as the number one seed from their division, and went on to sweep their first two playoff series. They had a nailbiter series in the Divisional Finals which they won in Game 7, advancing to the Klassic Finals against No Big Deal (Matt Nelson & Shane Nelson). In the Klassic Finals, Young Guns won the series four games to one, capturing their first ever major title and becoming the seventh different team to be crowned KanJam Klassic Champions. They also become the youngest team to win the Klassic.
Official Ranks including Playoffs
|2||No Big Deal||26||14|
|3||Der Geheime Bruder||24||11|
|5||Team 6 IT||19||11|
|9||The Heroes of Kanton||15||7|
|10||Skillz that Killz||13||7|
|15||Game of Throws||13||10|
|17||Team Al Josh||8||10|
|20||Ebony & Ivory||7||12|
|21||Big & Rich||7||12|
|22||Sons of Kanarchy||6||13|
|25||Alpha Bros AF||4||11|
|27||Just Tap It In||4||11|
|28||The French Toastmen||4||12|
|31||The Abusement Park||0||16|
Determined by final finish, regular season seedings, playoff records, and regular season records against playoff teams.
REGULAR SEASON STANDINGS
|2||Der Geheime Bruder||13||3|
|3||The Heroes of Kanton||13||3|
|4||Team 6 IT||12||4|
|8||Game of Throws||10||6|
|10||Ebony & Ivory||7||9|
|11||Sons of Kanarchy||6||10|
|14||The French Toastmen||4||12|
|16||The Abusement Park||0||16|
Ties decided by head-to-head play.
The top 12 teams from this division qualified for the playoffs.
REGULAR SEASON STANDINGS
|1||No Big Deal||13||2|
|3||Skillz that Killz||12||3|
|8||Team Al Josh||8||7|
|11||Big & Rich||6||9|
|13||Alpha Bros AF||4||11|
|14||Just Tap It In||4||11|
Ties decided by head-to-head play.
The top 12 teams from this division qualified for the playoffs.
Teams were randomly divided into two divisions for the Regular Season - the Dinger Division (Red), which consisted of 16 teams, and the Deuce Division (Yellow), which had a total of 15 teams. In keeping with the same format, teams had one and a half hours to play every team in their division one full game to 21 points. With this tournament always having been held indoors, it once again made for some competitive games. In the Regular Season, there were Instant Wins, perfect games, and several games that went to multiple overtime rounds. Just to highlight a few, Instant Wins were thrown by Team 6 IT (Lenny Feldman & Sam Caquias), Jamm3rz (Clayton Janicke & Brady Endres, CA), ReDISCulous (Kyle Schuppenhauer & Edoardo Fioramonte), Mother Chuckers (Christopher Southwick & Gabe Southwick), and Skillz that Killz (Mitchel Ryberg & Matthew Ryberg). There were a few instances of games going to as far as five overtime rounds: DAN-less (Tim Klavoon, NY & Joe Schillero, OH) beat Game of Throws (Bob Greenauer, 4-time Klassic Champion & Scott Silverman), No Big Deal beat Team Al Josh (Joshua Gardner & Alex Ciocca, OH), and The Benchwarmers (David Morrison & Marcus Middleton) beat No Big Deal.
In the Dinger Division, Young Guns claimed the top seed from the Regular Season, posting a 14-2 record, losing their only games to Game of Throws and PhiLorkus (Josh Greenauer & Phil Schneider, 2013 Klassic Champions). The top four teams from each division earned a bye for the first round of the playoffs. The #2 seed from this division was Der Geheime Bruder with a record of 13-3. This team consisted of one of last year's Klassic Champions, Austin Matteson, and Evan Sardo, who also made the final four in last year's Klassic. The Heroes of Kanton (Adam Williams & TJ Burns, Runners-Up in the 2016 KanJam World Championship) tied with Der Geheime Bruder at 13-3, but lost the head-to-head battle, taking the #3 seed. And in a three-way tie at 12-4, Team 6 IT went 2-0 against their counterparts (DAN-less and PhiLorkus) to earn the last by spot at seed #4.
Teams randomly divided into two divisions
Video of Regular Season action
In a tie at 13-2, No Big Deal competed with Stallion Survivors (Eric Klavoon & Jon Sandino, 2-time Klassic Champions) for the top seed in the Deuce Division. No Big Deal won the tiebreaker to claim the #1 seed by beating Stallion Survivors (#2 seed) in head-to-head play in a game decided in triple overtime. Skillz that Killz, a team that made the final four in last year's World Championship, got the #3 seed with a 12-3 record, while The Showstoppers (Ezra Nicholson & Kurt Watson, ON), yet another top 10 team from the last World Championship, earned the last bye spot at #4 with a record of 11-4.
Players traveled from as far as California to compete for the 2017 Klassic title
Divisional Wild Card Round (best of 5) - After the Regular Season ended, all teams handed in their team clipboards, and playoff seedings were announced. Once again, no shootouts were needed, and all ties were broken by head-to-head play. For the playoffs, all teams competed within their division only, with the top seed playing the bottom seed in best-of series, until only one team remained in each division to meet up in the Klassic Finals.
Seeds #5-#12 faced off in the Divisional Wild Card Round, with the top four teams sitting out after earning their bye. In the Dinger Division, all the higher seeds swept their opponents three games to none to advance. DAN-less (#5) defeated Jamm3rz (#12), PhiLorkus (#6) knocked out Sons of Kanarchy (#11, Frank Bishop & RJ Bishop), What The (#7, Brian Schultz & Derek Schultz) defeated Ebony & Ivory (#10, Derek Brifu & Laurie Brifu), and Game of Throws (#8) won against Ultimate Bros (#9, Dan Alexander & Wes Rivais), including a perfect game in the series.
In the Deuce Division, #5 seed Slackers (2007 Klassic Runners-Up, Jim Daugherty & Kim Klavoon) swept Mother Chuckers (#12) in three games to advance. After splitting the first two games in their series, including a double overtime game, The Benchwarmers (#6) won the next two games to win the series 3-1 against Big & Rich (#11, Richard Holmes & Cletus Gavin). In a tight series, The Johnsons (#10, Scott Sendlak & Michael Sweeney) took an early 2-0 series lead on Daddy DayKare (Matt Lafferty & Trevor Trethewey). However, Daddy DayKare rebounded to win the next three games, including two overtime wins, to win the series 3-2. In the final series, #9 seed, Da Dubs (Alex Reinecke & Sarah Burns) swept #8 seed, Team Al Josh, including a perfect game and a double overtime win in the final game to advance.
Divisional Quarter-Finals (best of 7) - For the remainder of the playoffs, all series were best of 7. With eight teams remaining in each division, the top four teams entered the playoffs to face the winners from the Wild Card Round. Young Guns (#1) started their playoff run with a perfect game against Game of Throws (#8). They followed that with a triple overtime and a double overtime win. After winning Game 4, Young Guns swept their opponents to advance. Der Geheime Bruder (#2) took a 3-0 series lead on What The (#7), including back-to-back perfect games in Game 2 and 3, with one of them going into overtime. What The then threw a perfect game of their own to win Game 4, but Der Geheime Bruder won the following game to win the series 4-1. In a rematch from the final eight in the 2016 KanJam World Championship, The Heroes of Kanton (#3) matched perfect games with PhiLorkus (#6) in the first two games. After splitting the next two, the series was tied at 2-2. PhiLorkus won the next two games, including a clutch deuce shot by Phil Schneider in the final game to win the series 4-2 and knock out the #3 seed. The final series in this division was a crazy one that went the distance. To start, Team 6 IT (#4) beat DAN-less in Game 1 in five overtime rounds. They followed that up with a perfect game to take a 2-0 series lead. DAN-less fought back, and brought the series back in reach. Then one of the rarest plays occurred. Lenny Feldman, from Team 6 IT, tipped the disc toward the goal. The goal fell over on its side, and somehow, the disc then landed into the goal through the slot. As per the official KanJam rules, this is counted as 3 points (Bucket). Team 6 IT, in another game, got to 21 points. On the throw back, they accidentally scored three points on a Bucket, going over and ultimately leading to a win for DAN-less. The series would go as far as Game 7, but ultimately Team 6 IT won the series 4-3, including a triple overtime win late in the series.
Eric Klavoon & Jon Sandino
Back in the Deuce Division, the closest series involved the top seed. No Big Deal (#1) took a commanding 3-1 series lead over Da Bubs (#9), including two perfect games (Game 1 and Game 3). Facing elimination, Da Bubs matched perfect with No Big Deal into overtime of Game 5, where Da Bubs would stay perfect through double overtime to bring the series to 3-2. Da Bubs kept their momentum and won Game 6. In Game 7, No Big Deal won in double overtime to advance. In the only sweep from this division, Stallion Suvivors (#2) knocked out Daddy DayKare (#7) 4-0, including a perfect game and overtime win. The Benchwarmers (#6) had to work for their wins, winning all four of their games against Skillz that Killz (#3) in overtime. They won Game 1 in triple overtime, followed by a Skillz that Killz win to tie up the series. The Benchwarmers then won Game 3 in triple overtime, another overtime win in Game 4, and eliminated the #3 seed in Game 5 in double overtime, winning the series 4-1. Lastly, The Showstoppers (#4) took on Slackers (#5). Slackers went up 2-0 to start the series, and Showstoppers won Game 3 in overtime to bring the series to 2-1. With a score of 19 in Game 4, Showstoppers accidentally dunked a Bucket to go over, ultimately leading to another Slackers win. Slackers won the next game in overtime to win the series 4-1, eliminating The Showstoppers for the second straight Klassic.
Divisional Semi-Finals (best of 7) - Only eight teams remained total, with four left in each division. In the Dinger Division, Young Guns (#1) were on fire, throwing a perfect game to start the series against PhiLorkus (#6). They won Game 2 in double overtime, and eventually Game 3 to take a 3-0 series lead. In Game 4, Young Guns went perfect through five overtime rounds to win the series 4-0 for their second straight series sweep. In the other series, Der Geheime Bruder (#2) took a 3-1 series lead on Team 6 IT (#4). However, Team 6 IT kept it close after winning the next two games to set up a deciding Game 7. In the final game, Der Geheime Bruder won to advance.
Der Geheime Bruder
Austin Matteson & Evan Sardo
Over in the Deuce Division, No Big Deal (#1) would go to their second straight Game 7, this time against The Benchwarmers (#6). The Benchwarmers won Game 1 and Game 3 in overtime, and went on to take a 3-1 series lead on the top seed. No Big Deal won the next two games to set up another Game 7. In the final game, both teams threw perfect buckets through double overtime. In triple overtime, No Big Deal stayed perfect with another six point round. After a one point play by The Benchwarmers on the first throw, this setup an Instant Win attempt. Unable to get the Instant Win, The Benchwarmers were knocked out by No Big Deal 4-3. The other series saw a first time playoff matchup in a battle between husband and wife. Stallion Survivors (#2) started strong with a perfect game against Slackers (#5), and taking a 2-0 series lead. Slackers came back to win Game 3 in double overtime, and tied up the series 2-2 with another win in Game 4. Stallion Survivors came back to throw another perfect game in Game 5, and went nearly perfect in the Game 6 to win the series 4-2.
Teams compete in "best-of" series
Video of Playoffs action
Final 4 (Divisional Finals, best of 7) - The two teams left in each division faced each other to determine the Division winner. Coincidentally, it was a matchup of the #1 seed versus the #2 seed in each division. In the Dinger Division, Young Guns (#1) took an early 2-1 series lead on Der Geheime Bruder (#2), winning Game 1 and Game 3 in overtime. Der Geheime Bruder won the next two games to take the series lead 3-2. Facing elimination, Young Guns rebounded to Win Game 6, setting up a deciding Game 7. In Game 7, Ajay Cybulski (Young Guns) hit a clutch Deuce at the end of the game, leading to series win 4-3.
Over in the Deuce Division, there was a rematch of the 2014 KanJam Klassic Finals. No Big Deal (#1) battled with Stallion Survivors (#2) in four overtime rounds in Game 1, where No Big Deal won. Stallion Survivors won the next two games to take a 2-1 lead, but No Big Deal went on to retake the series lead 3-2 by winning Game 4 and Game 5. In Game 6, both teams stayed perfect through four overtime rounds. In the fifth overtime round, No Big Deal outscored Stallion Survivors 6-4 to win the series 4-2 to advance to the Klassic Finals yet again.
Young Guns (#1, Dinger Division) vs. No Big Deal (#1, Deuce Division)
Full Finals series
The 2017 KanJam Klassic Finals featured both the #1 seeds from each division, marking the first Klassic Finals to have both the top seeds square off. Representing the Dinger Division was Young Guns, who went 12-3 throughout the playoffs to reach the Finals. The last team standing in the Deuce Division was No Big Deal, a team that has made it to the Klassic Finals two years in a row, and three times in the last four Klassics. Neither team had previously won a KanJam major, so the winner would be earning their first ever KanJam hammer. Also, for the first time ever, the Finals was produced live at the tournament, complete with three cameras, a switcher, graphics, and a custom KanJam scorebug, allowing the entire Finals to be posted soon after the tournament. Here is a summary of how the 2017 KanJam Klassic Finals went:
Game 1 - No Big Deal won the toss to start the series and chose The Hammer (last throw). After shooting six straight buckets, No Big Deal took a 18-15 lead. Young Guns got six points to close out 21-18. With a wide throw, Matt Nelson (No Big Deal) caught it. On the throw back, Shane Nelson only got one point, resulting in a win for Young Guns, 21-19.
Game 2 - Young Guns started Game 2 perfect to 12 points. No Big Deal matched them on Shane Nelson's great slam to tie the game at 12-12. Young Guns threw perfect again to take a 18-12 lead. On a perfect throw, No Big Deal had some bad luck, as Matt Nelson tipped the disc into the goal, but it came back out through the slot, resulting in only one point. They got a bucket on the return throw, but trailed 18-16. Youung Guns got a bucket on the first throw to close out 21-16. Since No Big Deal had The Hammer, they needed exactly five points to tie. In clutch fashion, Matt Nelson threw the much needed deuce on the last throw, tying the game up 21-21 and sending it to overtime. Both teams matched perfect buckets in round one of overtime, forcing double overtime. Young Guns stayed perfect with another six points, putting the pressure on again. After getting three points on the first throw, No Big Deal only got one point on the return throw, leading to a perfect game win and 2-0 series lead for Young Guns.
Game 3 - Young Guns stayed hot in Game 3, going perfect to 18, including a great tip by Ajay Cybulski and a nice slam by Charles Rizzo. After getting out to a 18-9 lead, Young Guns only got one point on the first throw, ending their hot sreak at 21 buckets in a row. They got one point back to make it 21-9. Still in reach and with the last throw, No Big Deal could still catch them with perfect buckets. No Big Deal put up six points close the gap to 20-15. After Young Guns closed out with the final point, No Big Deal needed six points to force overtime. With only point on the first throw, this setup an Instant Win attempt by No Big Deal. Matt Nelson came close by hitting the goal, but did not get the Instant Win. Young Guns won Game 3 by a score of 21-18 and took a commanding 3-0 series lead.
Game 4 - In attept to stop the momentum of Young Guns, No Big Deal decided to defer The Hammer and throw first in Game 4. Their strategy worked, as they put the pressure on right away, going perfect to 18 points. Young Guns brought the game in reach with six points, but trailed No Big Deal 18-16. No Big Deal caught the first throw, but then threw a bucket back to close out at 21-16. Needing five points to tie, Young Guns got the bucket first. Unable to shoot a deuce back, No Big Deal won by a score of 21-19, still trailing to Young Guns 3-1 in the series.
Game 5 - No Big Deal started with four points to open up Game 5. Young Guns took an early 6-4 lead on double buckets. No Big Deal answered with double buckets to lead 10-6. After getting a bucket on their first throw, Young Guns caught a tough break on the return throw. Charles Rizzo slammed what initially appeared to be a bucket, but the goal fell over and the disc rattled out the top, resulting in just one point. This tied up the game at 10-10. Both teams shot perfect buckets to make the score 16-16, each team needing a five point round to close out. No Big Deal shot a bucket, but could not hit the goal for a deuce on the return throw. Needing five points to win, Young Guns got three points on the first throw. Ajay Cybulski then threw the disc for a clutch deuce to win the game and series 4-1 for Young Guns.
Young Guns become the youngest team to win the KanJam Klassic at just 16 and 17 years old, posting an impressive overall tournament record of 30-6. This marks their first ever KanJam major title. No Big Deal put up another great performance, finishing as Runners-Up for the third time in the Klassic (also in 2014 and 2016). Also, with his brother Connor in Germany for school, Austin Matteson did well with Evan Sardo as Der Geheime Bruder in attempt to regain the title, finishing 3rd place. Lastly, the 2-time Klassic Champs, Stallion Survivors, came close again, ending the tournament as the 4th place team.
A couple of interesting notes: As mentioned earlier, Young Guns shot 21 consecutive buckets in the Finals, halfway through Game 1 to the end of Game 3. While this is not a Klassic Finals record (this belongs to The Italian Stallions with 28 in a row in 2013), it is still one heck of a run. Officially, there was one perfect game recorded in the 2017 Klassic Finals by Young Guns, which actually went to double overtime to do it.
At the conclusion of the Finals, the top four teams were all presented with an official 2017 KanJam Klassic medal (with their placement) and display case. Young Guns were then given the "The Hammer" trophy. Traditionally, this has always been the main prize for this tournament, as the winning team is responsible for carving their team name and year onto the handle and bringing it back for next year's tournament. Top four teams also received their choice of gift cards (see below), while other random drawings were held for remaining players (choice from KanJam prizes or assortment of gift cards).
Young Guns (Klassic Champions), No Big Deal (Runners-Up), Der Geheime Bruder (3rd Place), and Stallion Survivors (4th Place)
Bottom: Ajay Cybulski, Charles Rizzo, Matt Nelson, Shane Nelson
Top: Austin Matteson, Evan Sardo, Jon Sandino, Eric Klavoon
Top four teams:
- KanJam Klassic Hammer trophy, free entry into the 2017 KanJam World Championship (1. Young Guns)
- Champions medal & display case, $25 Olive Garden/Red Lobster gift card, KanJam LED flying disc - Charles Rizzo (1. Young Guns)
- Champions medal & display case, $25 Applebees gift card, KanJam LED flying disc - Ajay Cybulski (1. Young Guns)
- 2nd Place medal & display case, $25 Fandango gift card, KanJam LED flying disc - Matt Nelson (2. No Big Deal)
- 2nd Place medal & display case, $25 Best Buy gift card, KanJam LED flying disc - Shane Nelson (2. No Big Deal)
- 3rd Place medal & display case, $15 Subway gift card - Austin Matteson (3. Der Geheime Bruder)
- 3rd Place medal & display case, $15 Regal gift card - Evan Sardo (3. Der Geheime Bruder)
- 4th Place medal & display case, $15 Taco Bell gift card - Eric Klavoon (4. Stallion Survivors)
- 4th Place medal & display case, $15 Best Buy gift card - Jon Sandino (4. Stallion Survivors)
Random Drawing of remaining small prizes:
- KanJam LED flying disc - Bob Greenauer (Game of Throws)
- $10 Applebees gift card - Chad Cowell (Alpha Bros AF)
- KanJam LED flying disc - Trevor Trethewey (Daddy DayKare)
- $10 Applebees gift card - Josh Greenauer (PhiLorkus)
- KanJam pack (two koozies, KanJam pen, wristbands, and key lanyard) - Jamar Carroll (Alpha Bros AF)
- KanJam pack (two koozies, KanJam pen, wristbands, and key lanyard) - Alex Reinecke (Da Bubs)
- $10 Wal-mart gift card - Jim Daugherty (Slackers)
- KanJam pack (two koozies, KanJam pen, wristbands, and key lanyard) - Sam Caquias (Team 6 IT)
- $10 Amazon gift card - Scott Silverman (Game of Throws)
- $10 Amazon gift card - Laurie Brifu (Ebony & Ivory)
- $10 Amazon gift card - Kim Klavoon (Slackers)
- $10 Wal-mart gift card - TJ Burns (The Heroes of Kanton)
- $10 Best Buy gift card - Kurt Watson (The Showstoppers)
- KanJam pack (two koozies, KanJam pen, wristbands, and key lanyard) - Ezra Nicholson (The Showstoppers)
2017 KanJam Klassic
Special thanks goes out to all the dedicated teams that participated in the tournament from both near and far. Without their commitment, this event would not be possible year after year. Also, special thanks to those that assisted with tournament setup, takedown, announcements, and Finals video production. And again, thank you to the Sportsplex for helping us set up the field rental and for being excellent hosts for this major tournament. All proceeds were donated to the Elliott Golach Memorial Scholarship, and everyone's support was greatly appreciated. We hope to see everyone again next year at the 2018 KanJam Klassic!