2020 All-Film Team

By Joe Keegan

PLL Analyst

Sep 15, 2020

Welcome to the second annual edition of the All-Film Team. A refresher if you missed the 2019 edition: These are players whose games you don’t fully appreciate until a second or third viewing of the game. They scrap. They set seals and cut hard. They might not fill up the box score (until we add assisted groundballs, pick assists, and second assists). The more you watch these players, the more you realize how much they contribute to their team’s success.

Ground rules: The All-Tournament Team is off limits; everyone knows Tom Schreiber and Michael Ehrhardt make dozens of plays per game. The All-Film Team needs to make sense if it were to take the field, too. I’m less concerned with the distinction between attackmen and midfielders, and more focused on righty-lefty balance, adding some shot creators, some shot makers, and including all specialty positions. Any questions? Good. Let’s go!

Jay Carlson, A, Whipsnakes LC

Good crease attackmen get open. Great crease attackmen get their teammates open.

Jay Carlson is consistently doing the latter via seals, on-ball picks, and his gravitational pull on weakside defenders.

“He’s drawing attention that allows other things to happen and it also opens other people up,” said Whipsnakes LC head coach Jim Stagnitta.

Rewind the tape of the Championship. Carlson had two pick assists in the fourth quarter for Zed Williams. Chaos tried to counter Joe Nardella by going two poles out, leaving a short-stick on Carlson, who capitalized by running big-littles with bonus space during substitutions.

Picking is a skill. Knowing when to pick, where on the field, at what angles, how to approach it, and how to counter the defense’s decision comes with practice. The savviest pickers seek off-ball screens – and sometimes, picking their own man as he slides.

Wait for the endzone angle to fully appreciate this fast break seal. Carlson points Nardella toward Zed. He knows who is sliding to Nardella before the referees restart play. As Zed’s man slides to stop Nardella, Carlson boxes out his man to buy Zed time and room.

Carlson led all attackmen with 17 groundballs. The Whipsnakes led the league with 4.5 second chance points per game – many of those were Carlson tip slams. That’s Jay being Jay, as Matt Rambo says.

“He’s got great hands. In some ways, it’s like having a Canadian out there,” says Stagnitta.

Carlson’s presence at the center of the Whipsnakes offense helps their perimeter players shine. The crease attackman is making a comeback – starting with Stagnitta’s decision to play Carlson in the second half of the championship, and most recently when Chaos injected Miles Thompson into the starting lineup. Carlson’s screening, sealing, rebounding, and finishing showed why.

Ryder Garnsey, A, Redwoods LC

There are faster players than Ryder Garnsey. Speed isn’t everything. Ryder shows how changing speeds can be even more effective than speed itself.

“He gets to his spot on the field pretty unassumingly,” says Redwoods LC head coach Nat St. Laurent.

Ryder’s ability to get those spots and create his own shot is as elite as it is discrete. Only five players have shot 30.0% or higher off the dodge during their PLL careers: Connor Fields (36.2%), Josh Byrne (35.7%), Ned Crotty (32.6%), Tom Schreiber (31.2%), and Ryder Garnsey (30.6%).

Every movement Ryder makes – shifting his weight from one foot to another, switching hands, fake-switching hands – is a calculated manipulation of both individual defenders and the defense as a whole. Don’t misinterpret purpose for pomp. Every no-look pass (or no-look shot!) Ryder attempts seems flashy, but it is backed up by years of backyard experimentation.

“Watching Ryder watch the game of lacrosse, and watching Mikey [Powell], the attention that they give … and the smile on their face – and it sounds phony – but he loves watching lacrosse and seeing different things happening,” says St. Laurent, who played with Powell in high school. “He’s attracted to that. And because of that, he’s trying to emulate and do different things.”

One of those moves he has picked up and perfected: a dead shoulder lever pass.

“He kind of punches his bottom hand straight and it fully extends his arm,” St. Laurent explains. “And he turns the shoulder just enough where you don’t think he’s going to throw that pass.”

Ryder competes hard. He soaks a ton of checks. He rides nonstop. He finished fourth among attackmen with 12 groundballs – arguably none bigger than this Gaudet/groundball combo against Atlas.

That groundball led directly to a(n admittedly flukey) Joe Walters 2-point goal. For every highlight play Ryder makes, he makes a hustle play like that groundball that goes unnoticed.

Ryder’s love for lacrosse is on display every time he takes the field. St. Laurent guesses Ryder and Marcus Holman had more fun at the Championship Series than anyone.

“If Ryder had his way,” St. Laurent says, “he’d just sit back, play lacrosse, have fun, and play video games … and Catan.”

Ryan Ambler, A, Archers LC

Archers LC head coach Chris Bates remembers meeting Ambler for the first time over a decade ago, while recruiting his older brother, Colin, to Drexel. Ryan eventually played for Bates at Princeton, where he learned the principles of this Archers offense. But really, he has understood motion offense principles since his high school basketball days.

“He knows how to set a pick, he knows how to cut off-ball. He just knows how to move,” says Bates. “He’s always finding ways to contribute and occupy his man. Once he passes it, he’s cutting, he’s moving, he’s doing something positive.”

Picking is a big part of the Archers offense. As a team they created 7.2 shots per game off two-man games (second in PLL behind the Waterdogs). Ambler – who typically drew a short-stick matchup running alongside Schreiber – set a lot of those picks. This razor-bail-re-pick combo for Ament exposed a defense looking to stay on its matchups.

Ambler and Ament worked on their pick-and-roll chemistry in Philadelphia before leaving for Utah. It showed. The Archers ran razor pick after razor pick after razor pick against the Atlas during pool play.

“There are some certain ground rules or principles in terms of setting picks, but it’s also personality and getting to know what a guy likes, when he likes it, and establishing that repertoire together,” explains Bates.

Ambler and Ament began building chemistry in 2020; Ambler and Schreiber have been building since their time at Princeton.

Schreiber typically plays on the righty twin, opposite Ambler. Occasionally, Bates will move Schreiber to the lefty side with Ambler, who can pick, slip, mirror, or operate the two-man game.

Ambler’s ability to operate was clutch this summer. Nobody was sliding to Schreiber. He capitalized, shooting a nonsensical 8-for-20 (40.0%) off the dodge, but in order to move the defense, the Archers moved Schreiber into different spots. They had him pick for Ambler to see how the defense would react – and they liked what they saw.

Ambler is a perfect complement to the Archers stars. He has a healthy AO-to-shot ratio (0.83 over the past two years). Essentially, for every five shots he takes, he creates four for a teammate. Very few players share the ball better.

(Sidenote: Grant Ament’s 1.91 AO-to-shot ratio is astronomical. Joel Tinney (1.19) and Matt Rambo (1.03) are the only other players who dish more assist opportunities than shot attempts during their PLL careers.)

Bates compares Ambler to a point forward in hoops – the Scottie Pippen to Schreiber’s Michael Jordan. He will post up with his head up, anticipating adjacent hedges and making defenses pay for doubling.

Jordan MacIntosh, M, Chrome LC

All new Chrome acquisitions are vetted through a series of checks and balances – some combination of Jordan MacIntosh, John Galloway, and/or John Ranagan must vouch for newcomers. What is their “why?” Do they play team defense? Do wins matter more to them than individual accolades?

“[The vetting process] is more about character and what the guy stands for before we put them on our team,” said Chrome LC head coach Tim Soudan. “We don’t want guys that are here for the individual. We want guys that want to be here because they want to be a part of something special.”

“Me” guys are weeded out immediately. The result: a tight knit family. These guys will do anything for each other. MacIntosh was the first player in the scuffle when Garrett Epple took a cheap shot on Matt Gaudet. As our friends above the border would say, Jordan MacIntosh is a certified #BigTeamGuy.

On the field, MacIntosh can beat defenses in multiple ways: Picks for Jordan Wolf, pops to 14-yard range, roll backs, and re-roll backs.

“He can score in awkward spots,” says Soudan. “He’s so used to people being all over him [from box lacrosse].”

Having a defender draped over him is an added bonus for MacIntosh. He’ll wrap his shot around his man, using him as an organic screen for the goalie.

Initiating from every area of the field is key for Chrome. MacIntosh is one of the few players who can create on the righty wing – the most underutilized area in lacrosse. Tom Schreiber (who can dodge from anywhere), Zed Williams, and the Chaos’ trio of Curtis Dickson, Dhane Smith, and Sergio Salcido might exhaust the list. Most other righties live at X or waste too much time up top.

MacIntosh can win with rollbacks or sweeps. He wins topside with savvy, not speed. He invites his man over this pick, turns the corner, avoids the over-the-head check, and finishes with a nasty twister.

John Haus, M, Whipsnakes LC

Trailing 4-2 at halftime of the Championship, Whipsnakes LC head coach Jim Stagnitta pulled John Haus and Brad Smith aside to reiterate the gameplan.

“’Every time you guys are on the field and you get the ball, I want you to invert,’” Stagnitta told them. “And I told Matt Rambo, ‘I just want you to play off those two guys.’”

Inverts were the Whips’ lifeblood in 2020. Their midfield/attack swingmen would isolate behind the cage, draw a slide, then the ball would start spinning. As a team, the Whipsnakes buried 42.9% of their assisted shots initiated from X – well above the league average (28.3%).

Haus dissected defenses as a passer from X. He knows when to be patient and when to be decisive. This dodge is the former. Haus sees the invert zone set up. Usually, the short-stick is on the inside – here, he’s on the perimeter. That’s a tough ask to split Zed Williams on the inside and Brad Smith on the weakside. Haus sees him stretched thin and zips a pass to Smith.

Haus is the motto “hitting singles” personified. Some of his best passes don’t appear in the box score. He serves as the hinge from the dodger to the shooter.

Max Tuttle draws a slide, Haus needs to make a decision quickly to stay one step ahead of the recovery. He sees a two-on-one unfold where the dodge occurred, and he flips fields again.

Stagnitta believes Haus’ experience coaching at Penn State has only made him a better player and a better teammate.

“He used to bring out the best in everybody by his effort. Now, he talks to people in a way that a coach talks to people. He gets people into spots,” says Stagnitta. “Guys like him and Mike Chanenchuk, they make my job easier. I hear them telling guys things that I would tell them.”

Austin Staats, M, Chaos LC

Staats stepped up when Chaos slid Miles Thompson onto attack formed the Kidney Pad Kid line: Staats, Dhane Smith, and Kevin Buchanan.

This offense was playing box on a field. All of the two-man games, three-man games, picks, and double picks that you saw were what Staats would simply call “some lacrosse.”

“The best thing we can do for Audi is to give the offense some general guidelines, but stay out of the way,” said Chaos LC head coach Andy Towers. “Let him do what he does. When it became less scripted, Audi became one of the best players in the series.”

That free-flowing offense fit his game. Staats “plays on feel” according to Towers. Prior to the line and scheme changes, this offense had no feel, no rhythm; Staats shot 1-for-7 (14.3%). After Towers’ shuffled personnel, he buried 4-for-5 (80.0%).

“Bull” is commonly used to describe Staats – both by Towers and by former Onondaga Community College coach Chuck Wilbur. Opponents’ shafts witnessed that brute strength first-hand. (Christian Cuccinello’s league lead in handles sent to the graveyard is in danger!)

Staats is as deceptive as he is destructive. He moves defenses and goalies with pump fakes. He is always hitching, even with only one hand on his stick. Jamie Munro refers to this as multi-hitching.

His game is full of poise and void of predictability. When Chaos ditched the script, Staats’ skill set was unleashed.

Jake Withers, FO, Waterdogs LC

Jake Withers won 8.5% of his clamps. Phrased differently: 91.5% of the time, Withers was relying on his post-clamp counters.

The average starter’s faceoff percentage is 35.7% after a clamp loss. Withers? Well, he is used to scrapping. He won 55.6% of his faceoffs following clamp losses (and 57.6% overall).

Withers’ win rate after clamp losses speaks to his toughness and his well-rounded game. He’s a pure lacrosse player. Some offensive midfielders and faceoff men are mismatches when “trapped” on defense. Withers is not. Dude plays defense indoors – don’t dodge him!

Offensively, Withers will stay and play – or at least stay until he has picked for a switch. He traps opponents on the field two or three times per game. Sometimes it results in a goal immediately. Other times, it indirectly results in a goal later in the possession. And sometimes, it simply tires out an opponent who is already sucking wind from dealing with Withers and Drew Simoneau at the stripe.

Withers’ favorite picking partner: His childhood teammate from Peterborough, Zach Currier. This pick – flipped at the final second – frees Currier for the finish.

Withers and Simoneau were the perfect faceoff men for this Waterdogs team. The unit as a whole – with Currier, Ryland Rees, Noah Richard, Steven DeNapoli, and Danny Eipp on the wings – was a microcosm of head coach Andy Copelan’s club: An egoless group that won on the strength of the pack.

Scott Ratliff, LSM, Archers LC

Ratliff is a long-stick midfielder with the emphasis on the “midfielder.” He split dodges like a short stick. At points in his career, he has stayed and played every offensive possession for the entire game. He gobbles up faceoff wing groundballs (most in PLL in 2019, 4th in 2020). Some midfielders are praised for their play from arc to arc; Ratliff really dominates from end line to end line.

He still has “the brightest green light” to probe on the offensive end, per Archers LC defensive coordinator Tony Resch, but Ratliff picks when he pushes more carefully than ever.

Now, Ratliff’s relentless motor – “his number one most positive attribute” according to Resch – is used in a sliding, switching, blitzing, trapping, recovering defensive machine. Shallow cuts and picks are opportunities for Ratliff to apply pressure on the ball handler.

The Archers defense is matchup indifferent. They trust everyone – even (or should I say especially?) SSDMs – to defend anyone. They switch almost everything above goal-line extended.

“Our switching takes a little bit out of the decision-making,” says Resch. This defense emphasizes action over reaction. “If there’s a little bit of uncertainty in those pick situations, they can get you.”

Opponents shot 2-for-14 (14.3%) with seven turnovers on picks above GLE. League average in those scenarios is lofty (28.7%). But most of the value of that scheme is in the shots that never happen at all. Ratliff chews up clock by sliding and staying in the dodger’s gloves as his teammates recover. Six or seven seconds later, the shot clock is evaporating.

Of course, those aggressive doubles and switches require heads-up weakside defense. Ratliff has elevated his off-ball game. Resch enjoys “his willingness to listen and learn and ask questions.”

His alertness here as the Archers slide and recover then slide again prevents a quality shot in a close game. The offense flows from action to action so quickly that there’s not much time to communicate who has Matt McMahon’s two slide. He helps, trusting that a teammate will have his back. Ratliff sells out to land a “hello!” check and put the ball on the turf.

Pat Harbeson, SSDM, Redwoods LC

The Redwoods defense loves to slide early and to switch picks. Pat Harbeson does both at a high level. That switch-y scheme regularly leaves Harbeson on an island with the league’s best attackmen from the explosive Jordan Wolf to the bruising Matt Rambo – er, I should say they are stuck on an island with Harbeson. He wins those isolations more often than not.

“We’re going to switch picks on the GLE, and we’re going to switch them in the back left and back right as well. And we need you to make sure these guys don’t turn the corner,” Redwoods LC head coach Nat St. Laurent recalls telling Harbeson. “He takes a tremendous amount of pride in those challenges. Tell him he can’t do something, and he’s going to prove you wrong.”

One play in particular sticks with St. Laurent: Trailing Chrome LC in the fourth quarter, Harbeson’s man set a razor pick for Jordan Wolf. The Redwoods switch. Wolf wants his right.

“And Patrick’s like, ‘No shot.’ Wouldn’t let him get to his right and forced him to a stop,” said St. Laurent. “He doesn’t get enough credit for how intelligent he is. That’s just from him watching film and taking the inside out approach. He’s very smart. You tell him once, and it’s done.”

“I haven’t been that calm in a long time,” jokes St. Laurent. “Usually, I’m like, ‘Oh, sh*t. Who’s hot? Who’s the hot guy?!’ I start screaming already. I’m yelling at [defensive coordinator] Chris Collins. In that situation, I was like, ‘Ahhhh, I think we’re okay here.’”

Forcing Wolf to his left is easier said than done. Every defense tries to do it. And he still gets there. 88 of his 103 shots in his PLL career have been right-handed. Denying that side of the field is a win for Harbeson and the defense.

Off-ball, Harbeson has bought into the Redwoods slide-and-recover scheme. That type of defense is constantly sinking in and closing out; his approaches are flawless (“disciplined” is the word St. Laurent keeps using to describe him). He hunts for double teams – whether that’s blowing up picks or crashing adjacent when his man is a non-threat. And most importantly, he helps when teammates lose their one-on-one.

This adjacent slide – to the toughest dodge of the tournament, a Zed Williams’ inside roll – gave the Redwoods a shot in overtime. Without this, the Whipsnakes would’ve won another overtime game without having to play a defensive possession. Instead, Harbeson’s heads-up help prevented a shot and extended the game.

Patrick Resch, SSDM, Chaos LC

“The greatest thing about Pat Resch is that he equates moving the ball down the side to the attackman as the same play as getting a goal,” said Chaos LC head coach Andy Towers.

Sometimes the former leads to the latter. After clearing this ball to Josh Byrne, Resch continues to cut. This five-on-four will expire soon – Mark McNeill enters the frame as Resch shoots. A split second of hesitation around the arc by Resch would allow the Archers to defend this break. Resch’s cut puts them in a pickle: Defend Troy Reh at the 2-point arc or Resch on the inside?

That’s a quick turn-and-catch. Resch reps out those low-and-away shots in shooting drills. Every time, according to Towers. He’s the only shooter who never hunts for the top corners in practice. As a short-stick defensive midfielder, he might not see many shots over the course of a season – but Resch is ready when he does.

“I think he scored two goals on two shots, right?” Towers guesses. (“Three goals on three shots,” James Towers promptly corrects him from the background).

Towers – who coached Resch at Dartmouth – says he played his best lacrosse since he’s known him. Defensively, Chaos trusts their short-sticks to get beaten according to the scouting report. Funnel guys into slides or low angle shots that Blaze Riorden can save. That’s what Resch does. And that’s a win for Chaos.

Resch, like the rest of the Chaos defense, is addicted to blocking shots. As a team, Chaos blocked 3.6 shots per game (no other team blocked more than 2.2). This dive by Resch is incredible. He peels from his on-ball responsibilities, finds the shooter, and instantly launches into the shooting lane.

Diving shot blocks and dive outs help casual viewers realize Resch’s effort. His coaches appreciate it every time they turn on the tape.

“We just kept coming back after watching the film, like, he didn’t make a mistake again. And we seemingly said that for seven games in a row, which is astounding given the position that he plays,” said Towers. “He’s just gonna do what he’s supposed to do on a consistent basis.”

Eddy Glazener, D, Redwoods LC

Eddy Glazener is two-time All-Film Team for many reasons. The obvious: His off-ball communication. Even when his mic isn’t on, his screams reverberate through the NBC broadcast.

“We all hear how he communicates, and, you know, some of it’s fun with his voice deflection,” said Redwoods LC head coach Nat St. Laurent. “If you pay attention, he communicates differently with different people.”

Diligent pregame prep work pays off when Glazener puts teammates in position to make plays on the field. He sniffs out post-timeout plays before they begin.

His off-ball positioning is perfect. He keeps a foot in the paint, his stick in the lane, and angles himself to see everything. Watch him swivel his head from his man to the ball to Garrett Epple’s man inside.

Because he is the best at what he does, Glazener has been typecast as an off-ball communicator. He doesn’t get enough credit for his on-ball defense. Let’s change that.

This year, Glazener took some top matchups, both by design and after recoveries have scrambled matchups. And he has shown he can stand up the strongest dodgers. Curtis Dickson almost always turns the corner here. Glazener’s v-hold is so strong that he halts Dickson’s momentum entirely at GLE.

That part of his game – and, really, every part of game – is underappreciated by many. His teammates and coaches appreciate it. That's all that matters to Glazener.

“He’s so committed to being the glue,” says St. Laurent. “He knows how important he is. And so do his teammates.”

Bryce Young, D, Whipsnakes LC

Slated to cover Chaos’s leading scorer, Josh Byrne, in the Championship, Bryce Young pulled himself out of warmups. His back was seizing up. He gave it a go – a few possessions on Byrne – but his back got worse.

“’Coach, I’m starting not to be able to move,’” Whipsnakes LC defensive coordinator Mike Murphy recalls Young saying. “And I’m going, ‘Oh, sh*t. What are we going to do?’”

Murphy’s solution: Keep Matt Dunn on Curtis Dickson, move Tim Muller to Byrne, and bump Young inside to Miles Thompson. It worked.

That’s a testament to the three close defenders. All of them can cover number ones. All of them can play off-ball. Dunn – the Dave Pietramala Defensive Player of the Championship Series – is balanced and disciplined. Muller is often viewed as the glue; he has taken top matchups, like Connor Fields, in the past. Young is quick on-ball. He takes shakier split dodgers like Jules Heningburg – and bumps up alongside Michael Ehrhardt when the Whipsnakes double pole opposing midfields.

“I have the ability with my guys to go game to game, gameplan to gameplan,” says Murphy. “We don’t have to be one thing to everybody. We can be one thing to a specific team. We can play the Atlas a certain way, and totally change the way we play when we play the Archers, because of the talent that we have.”

Off-ball, Young is always ready to help the helper. It’s really tough to win one-on-one matchups against this defense – and it’s deflating for offenses when they finally do, only for Young to smother the open man before he can turn and shoot.

That off-ball awareness helps steal possessions, both in the form of crease collapse CTs and “Cliffies.” (That’s Murphy’s nickname for run outs, which are rewarded with Clif bars. Whipsnakes ran out a league-best 18.4% of opponent misses.) Young is in the right place at the right time, and he usually arrives with oomph. He decapitated Noah Richard on a fast break at Homewood last summer.

“I love when Bryce gets into sliding positions, because he’ll blast ya,” says Murphy.

Plenty of players who try to display that tone-setting type of aggressiveness find themselves in the box. Bryce Young’s big hits are almost always legal. It’s a byproduct of his alertness (arrive one step later, and this is a flag) and of the team’s discipline as a whole. Only the Archers took fewer penalty minutes per game than the Whips.

Matt McMahon, D, Archers LC

After halftime and out of timeouts, this Archers defense is airtight. Often, they know the exact set to expect. That starts with pregame preparation and open dialogue between Matt McMahon, Eli Gobrecht, Curtis Corley, Ratliff, Dominique Alexander, Mark McNeill and the rest of the defense.

“I call them the Mensa group,” jokes Archers LC defensive coordinator Tony Resch.

McMahon is a student of the game. He can cover top attackmen. (He and Gobrecht, his roommate, would discuss the top two matchups for hours before every game.) But he’s as valuable off-ball.

“His anticipation, his recognition, his preparation in terms of knowing who’s who, what people like to do, and organizing before those things happen – that’s not a skill that every defenseman has,” praises Resch.

The Archers’ attention to detail is amazing. Listen to them in the huddle or in the locker room. It’s deeper than knowing the on-ball defender’s hand. They send two slides based on the crease player’s handedness – is it smarter for McMahon or Gobrecht to go here? Both are available. McMahon’s fill forces Paul Rabil away from his right – and there’s no time to change hands inside against this defense.

Off-ball defense is often judged as a binary because of how difficult it is to quantify. Defenders help, or they don’t. The ball watchers and guys who obsess over their own assignment stand out (in a bad way). Most of the rest avoid those bad habits, but don’t go above and beyond. They do their job. It’s tough to stand out as a help defender – but McMahon manages to do that regularly.

Take this clip, for example. McMahon has the top assignment: Jordan Wolf, one of the toughest in the league. He’s still searching for ways to help. He sees Matt Gaudet on the inside and sinks in that direction in case they need to slide. They don’t slide. Wolf explodes, attempting to backdoor McMahon. McMahon sees him and drives him into the turf.

John Galloway, G, Chrome LC

2019 was a tough season for Chrome and for John Galloway. He saw more fast break shots per minute than anyone after Atlas LC goalie Jack Concannon and his Chrome teammate, Brett Queener. Galloway – only 30 years old at the time – was mulling retirement.

Enter head coach Tim Soudan.

“[Galloway] was the first guy I called up,” recalls Soudan. Those two have a special bond. That reunion rejuvenated Galloway. Soudan – who played professionally until he was 37 – teased his goalie about his young age. He knew Galloway could still play.

“All you've got to get straight is between your ears and find the passion again,” Soudan told him. “And instantly, his tone of voice got better.”

The sweatpanted stopper looked more like himself in 2020: Tossing outlet passes across midfield, kicking aside balls rapid fire in warmups, and fist pumping for teammate’s blocked shots.

Galloway, the head coach at Jacksonville University, also took on a role coordinating a defense of newcomers. Aside from close defender Mike Manley and short-stick defensive midfielder Will Haus, this unit was full of newcomers: Jesse Bernhardt, Jake Pulver, James Barclay, Reece Eddy, Eli Salama, Sam Duggan, and Donny Moss.

Galloway organized players-only Zoom calls leading up to the Championship Series to make sure this unit meshed. At times, they slid and recovered like a group that has been playing together for years.

“He had more voice with Coach Monte being at the helm of the defensive end,” Soudan says. “They worked on a lot of things together. It made Galloway feel that much better about what they were doing and what we were trying to accomplish.”

Behind the fiery fist pumps and the passion that pops when you turn on the tape lies an incredible, intangible level of leadership. It’s not one speech or one moment; it’s non-stop. As Soudan calls it, “a steady barrage of kicks on the butt for guys that need it and support for the other guys.” Galloway gets the most out of his teammates. In 2020, they got the best of Galloway. The man who has won in cage at every level showed his competitive fire still burns bright.

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