2022 D-III Men’s All-American First Team

Ultiworld holds its annual College Awards ceremony every year. Our team discusses and votes on the award recipients based on each player’s season-long performance, taking into account what they heard from individuals in the college ultimate community, what they saw on film, and what the numbers showed. Performances in the high-stakes and competitive environment at Nationals are given more weight than those in the regular season or Collegiate Series.

To honor the best players at each level, we have created All-American teams. The First Team and Second Team, which, respectively, honor the best seven and next best seven players, have been moved up from their traditional position at the end of the Awards ceremony. The top vote-getters for All-American accolades serve as the sorted list for voting for Player of the Year, the highest individual award given by our organization.

One of the Best Players in the Country and First Team All-America

  • Two-Half Way There: All-American Second Team (Coming soon.)
  • Award for Outstanding Defensive Performer (Coming soon.)
  • Winner, Most Valuable Offense Award (Coming soon.)
  • Newcomer Honor Roll (Coming soon.)
  • Award for Most Promising Newcomer (Coming soon.)
  • Award for Outstanding Mentor or Supervisor (Coming soon.)

D-III Men’s All-American First Team

Oklahoma That would be Elliott Moore, a Christian. William “Brody” Brotman, pictured here. UltiPhotos.com, to rephrase
Oklahoma Elliott Moore, of the Christian faith. Photos of William “Brody” Brotman courtesy of UltiPhotos.com.
A. Moore Elliott (Oklahoma Christian)
The loss of 2021 Player of the Year Kyle Henke in the fall had some questioning whether or not Oklahoma Christian’s Elliott Moore could carry the load and lead the team back to the top of the division. However, it should be noted that neither Moore nor any of the other Eagles shared this doubt. Moore was precisely who he needed to be for his team this season without attempting to be someone he’s not; he is a phenomenally skilled player, the likes of which had seldom been seen in D-III before the OC experiment beginning a few years ago. His offensive prowess and leadership shone in Milwaukee, helping Oklahoma Christian win again. He will depart the school with two championships and a program that is ready for long-term success.

Jonathan Costello (Oklahoma Christian) Player of the Year First Runner-up

One of the trickier aspects of ultimate is isolating the cutter’s impact from that of the handler who feeds them. The best teams have a mutually beneficial relationship between the players and the coaches, and Oklahoma Christian benefited from this dynamic. Jonathan Costello’s importance to the Eagles cannot be overstated, as he is a first-runner-up for Player of the Year and a surefire All-American.

There were others on our team who thought Costello deserved to come out on top, and they had good arguments. Costello’s absence from a game was a major factor in Orange County’s lone loss to D-III opponents this season. 1 The Eagles fell to Missouri S&T by a score of 15-9 on Saturday but bounced back to defeat the Bearcats by a score of 15-12 on Sunday with Costello back in the lineup.

Costello consistently performed well when it mattered most. With seven tallies versus Middlebury in the semi-finals, he led the Eagles in scoring in both of Milwaukee’s games. To an even greater extent than his assist total, Costello’s dependability and consistency stood out at Nationals; he committed only two turnovers the entire tournament and made numerous possession-saving grabs. Costello has the physical attributes to make big plays, but it is his keen mind and keen perception that put him in the best position to capitalize on those qualities.

Costello’s off-the-field contributions to Oklahoma Christian’s success over the past two seasons as captain have been substantial. His worth on the field was highlighted this year as he stepped into a larger role and helped lead the Eagles to their second straight championship.

Willy Brandt (St. Olaf) Player of the Year Second Runner-up

Some people have achieved such a high level of expertise in a particular field that they make it appear as though anyone could accomplish what they do. However, they never use their ability to simplify a complex art form as an excuse to avoid working as part of a team for the greater benefit. If we take Kevin Durant as an example, he is considered by many to be the greatest scorer in NBA history, but his career-high of 55 points in a game doesn’t even make the top 100.

In a similar vein, Will Brandt makes ultimate look relatively simple; his statistics are impressive without being overwhelming, yet it is evident that he plays the game at a higher level than most of his peers, leading to his unanimous nomination as 2nd runner-up for Player of the Year.

2022 D-III Men’s All-American First Team

Leo Sovell-Fernandez (Middlebury)

Brandt had a fantastic season overall, but he may have saved his best for last. He scored five of his eleven goals and had nine of his twenty-one assists in the semifinals and finals at Nationals. It’s hard to envision Brandt and St. Olaf not having another opportunity at a title in the next year or two after the sophomore had the Berzerkers on the cusp of a championship this season.

This is Leo Sovell-Fernandez of Middlebury. Image via UltiPhotos.com, courtesy of William “Brody” Brotman
Leo Sovell-Fernandez of Middlebury. William “Brody” Brotman, pictured here. To sum up: — UltiPhotos.com
In this article, Leo Sovell-Fernandez (Middlebury)
Winning the Donovan Award and making our All-American First Team for a second time cap off one of the most distinguished careers in the division’s history.

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Leo Sovell-Fernandez played an integral role in leading Middlebury to a semifinal finish at Nationals. Both of Middlebury’s losses this season came on double game points to the two teams that would go on to win the tournament. Sovell-Fernandez pulled, took the toughest matchup on the opposition offensive, and marshaled the Pranksters’ offense after a turn, making him the undisputed leader of the Pranksters’ defensive unit. Sovell-Fernandez was the first to cross over and help right the ship when the Pranksters’ offense was broken. Sovell-star Fernandez’s power stemmed from his ability to fill in the holes in the Pranksters’ roster, elevating his teammates to be the best versions of themselves, whether by making the highlight-reel play or by being relentlessly consistent and solid.

Sovell-Fernandez has been a terrific leader for Middlebury over the past four years, both on and off the field, and the Pranksters will have their work cut out for them in trying to fill his shoes next season.

Walker Frankenberg (Middlebury)

Sell-own Fernandez’s teammate, who is also a returnee from our 2021 All-American team, is the only player who can compete with him for the most successful D-III career in terms of individual and team achievements.

If Sovell-Fernandez was the anchor of the Middlebury defensive line, then Walker Frankenberg was the engine that drove the Pranksters’ offensive. Frankenberg developed his skill set in spring to play a wider variety of roles on Middlebury’s offense after his phenomenal statistical performance as an every-other center handler at fall Nationals in Norco. Frankenberg was the pivotal player in the Prankster’s offensive line. He started games in both the handler and isolation cutter positions. Whether it was crossing over for important breaks or retrieving the disc back for the O-line, Frankenberg was a top defender for Middlebury.

Frankenberg was a senior captain for the Pranksters and the team’s leader in touches, therefore his departure will be felt greatly by Middlebury. Frankenberg appears to be continuing his ultimate career with one of the most prominent club programs in the men’s division after spending four years in the spotlight at one of the most storied schools in Division III. He recently made Revolver as a practice player.

Walter Ellard (Berry)

Walter Ellard showed the handling prowess that led the Bucks all season and earned a position on our All-American First team even though the variable winds at Nationals proved to be a challenging test for many of the division’s greatest throwers.

Ellard’s size as a handler makes him difficult to match up with his opponents. If an opponent is taller than Ellard, the latter will be able to take advantage of the mismatch by finding openings in the inside of the defense. Ellard will shred the mark if the defender isn’t big enough to keep up with his foot speed, and he’ll do so by extending and varying his release locations thanks to his length. For Berry, Ellard plays both ways and is a surprisingly effective defender, employing the same size and agility that makes him so dangerous on offense.

After Berry’s breakout performance at Nationals last autumn, the Bucks had high hopes for the upcoming season. It was up to Ellard, as Berry’s lone captain, to provide the leadership his team needed to meet those high expectations, and his play both on and off the field was crucial to the Bucks’ run to the Milwaukee playoffs and the program’s best season ever.

Caleb Enright (Berry)

Caleb Enright and Berry both managed to fly under the radar during the fall until making waves with a break for the Norco locker room. With high expectations on his shoulders after earning our Breakout POTY Award and being named to our All-American 2nd Team last autumn, Enright delivered in spades this spring, guiding Berry to a quarterfinals finish and a spot on our All-American 1st Team.

While many athletes claim the hybrid moniker, Enright is one of the few that truly lives up to it. Enright’s quickness allowed him to start most possessions in the cutter position, where he helped set up the Berry offense, and his quickness and superb passing also allowed him to go into the handler space without missing a beat. Because of his Energizer Bunny-like stamina, Enright was just as effective at the game’s final point as he had been at the game’s first.

No player, if any, improved more from the 2019–2020 school year to this one than Enright, and it’s a tragedy that the pandemic prevented us from witnessing it in real-time. If Enright’s current trend of growth continues, his name will be heard at the club level for years to come once he graduates from Berry as the school’s most decorated player.