"Each year the Callahan trophy is presented to the man and woman who combine superior athleticism with outstanding sportsmanship, leadership and dedication to the sport of ultimate. In the eyes of his or her peers, the Callahan winner is the personification of the ideal ultimate player."
Not to go all Middle School essay on you, but I thought the definition of the Callahan award would be a good way to start out the post. Superior athleticism, outstanding sportsmanship, leadership, and dedication to the sport of ultimate. This year, Tufts nominates Sam Kittross-Schnell for Callahan, because he embodies all of those aspects, and, in our minds, is the personification of the ideal ultimate player.
Superior athleticism - A 6'3 former high-jumper, it would be easy for Sam to only look for deep shots, sky everyone, and not improve his game any more. And when the going gets tough, look for him to make a big play in the endzone. But Sam is more than just a deep goon, it's his overall game that sets him apart. He has the breaks, the mark, the hucks, the in-cuts, the skys, the defense, the endzone cuts, the pulls; he has everything. There are very few, if any, ultimate aspects of the team, where Sam is not in the top few (if not at the top). He is not just a superior athlete, he is a superior ultimate player.
Outstanding sportsmanship - There are very few players who are as good as Sam is, while still maintaining good sportsmanship, as people try to get any advantage they can. Sam, however, maintains amazing spirit and is always an exemplary sportsman, showing the utmost respect to both teammates and opponents alike. This is why he was chosen to represent the USA on Junior Worlds, and this is why everyone on Tufts knows that Sam will always make the right call.
Leadership - In a faceless army, it is hard to pick out leaders of the team for many more than one specific thing. There are defensive leaders, there are practice leaders, and each section has its authority. However, no matter what Sam is doing, he is being a great leader at it. When he speaks in huddles, every eye is on him, wanting to hear what wisdom he has to say. When he talks about how to do something on offense or defense, everyone wants to hear what he has to say. When he plays disc golf or does a track workout, people instinctively want to join, because Sam is a leader in every sense of the word.
Dedication to the sport of ultimate - There are few people that match Sam's pedigree, ultimate-wise. Three time Westerns champion, Junior Worlds player, former player for numerous elite club teams (Sockeye, Ironside), nearly a decade of ultimate playing experience, and numerous other accolades. But that is not the only thing Sam does for ultimate; he coaches, volunteers at ultimate clinics, helps out in running the program, is a certified observer, and does numerous other little things to help the sport of ultimate. His pedigree combined with his helping show that Sam's dedication is matched by none.
It is for all these reasons and many more that we are proud to nominate Sam K-S for Callahan. Hopefully the voters will recognize his skills as well.