Training Camp Preview: Whipsnakes LC
By Josh Schafer | May 27, 2022
The Whipsnakes enter the 2022 season not defending a championship for the first time since the PLL’s inaugural season. However, the two-time PLL Champions return a significant amount of their impact players from their previous title victories, including two of the game's most dangerous offensive weapons in attackmen Zed Williams and Matt Rambo.
The Whips enter this season following a 14-9 loss to Chaos in the 2021 PLL Championship. The two-teams will square off in the 2022 season opener in Albany at 2:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 4.
Here’s everything to know about the 2022 Whipsnakes and the case for their run to a PLL Championship.
2021 finish: 5-4
2022 Championship odds: +550 on DraftKings Sportsbooks
Additions: Brendan Krebs (Player Pool), Brenna Kamish (Player Pool), Bailey Savio (Player Pool), Gibson Smith (Player Pool), Colin Hinton (College Draft), Jackson Reid (College Draft), Keegan Khan (College Draft), Wheaton Jackoboice (College Draft), Roman Puglise (College Draft).
Departures: Charlie Hayes (Player Pool), Ryan Tierney (Trade with Cannons) Nick Manis (Player Pool)
MVP Candidate: Zed Williams, Attack
When we talk about the Whipsnakes, there are a slew of MVP options, perhaps more than any other team, which speaks to the team’s overall dominance over the years. Faceoff specialist Joe Nardella has dominated games for the Whipsnakes in the past and can provide an unmatched advantage. Attack Matt Rambo took the award home in 2019.
But the pick here is Zed Williams until he proves himself unworthy. The Whipsnakes star, dubbed ‘Zedzilla’, scored 25 points in eight games last year. The year prior, he led the Championship Series tournament with points.
Few teams have bottled Williams up consistently. A strong player that often muscles people off the ball, Williams is the kind of player that, barring injury, will find a way to score his points on any given night. That’s always a strong foundation for any MVP candidate.
Camp Battle to Watch: Justin Guterding vs. Everyone
Guterding was once one of the PLL’s top offensive players. Then he went 0-12 shooting and averaged two turnovers a game across his final two games for Chrome before being traded to the Whipsnakes. The trade appeared to reinvigorate Guterding as the former PLL-All Star added a new dynamic to a struggling Whips offense. But it’s unclear where exactly he’ll fit in entering a new season. Is he a consistent attack starter knocking Jay Carlson out of the lineup or an offensive midfielder? Training camp should provide answers.
The case for a Whipsnakes championship run
Health might be the biggest question for the Whipsnakes entering 2022. Without Rambo for a long stretch of last season, the Whips struggled offensively at times. With the full roster, this is still probably the strongest group in the PLL. From consistent poles, a top-notch faceoff specialist and one of the best players in the world at attack, the Whipsnakes will likely be a matchup nightmare for any team in the league. Watch for how the offense looks early. If a wide-range of players are scoring and Rambo’s touting ‘Whipsnakes ball’ after games, it might be time to place that future on the Whips.