Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Alumni pt 3 Dibs

Mark “Dibs” Johnston is a great Squid. To my knowledge, no one else has been a captain two years in a row. While we have had Junior captains, none have remained captain in their last year. Dibs’ captaining style was calm, confident, and fun. I personally would have liked him to be more vocal and assertive because he had a great intuitive sense for spacing, io forehands, and D positioning. More importantly, he knew what he was good at and what he needed to stay away from. I feel like he was also one of, if not the single most, well rounded players of last year – he was great on any line, at any position with the throws to fit any situation and the read to catch any huck. He certainly led by example.

Interestingly, Dibs spent 5 years at UCSD but the Squids only got 4 years out of him and his first year playing he spent on our B team, “Lite”, where the play call was always a huck to him. In one sense, his play was very by-the-book and I think his beginnings on the B team where strategy is more basic had a hand in this. On the other hand, he threw the most beautiful cross field blade to my deep cut from my offside handler position at regionals, so he could obviously get creative at times.

One of the joys of playing with him was it was pretty easy to know what he wanted to throw. I could just stand on the breakside waiting for the inside forehand and he would get it there. The most memorable instance of this was in our DGP win vs Black Tide at Centex when he threw 5 IO flicks in a row to break through the cup upwind. They obviously knew it was coming but couldn’t stop it.

He shared Cork’s matter-of-factness (they lived together along with Duffy). Dibs was great at pointing out the absurd things the girl’s team was doing – of course we all saw those things, but the way Dibs phrased his pity always cracked me up.

One last thing: I have seen many unique throwing mannerisms, but none as consistent as his. When Dibs throws he always puffs out his cheeks like a chipmunk. Always.

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