This Spring the Discmania Combine made its inaugural debut featuring some of the sport's best up and coming players. The Combine tested the skills, mental fortitude and personalities of each and every participant in search of the sport's next big star. Taking place in six different locations across the United States, the Combine welcomed some of the prospective juniors, women, masters, amateurs and even professionals the sport has to offer. 2009 PDGA World Champion, Avery Jenkins, served as the Combine’s coach and talent evaluator narrowing down each field to the top 5 prospects. These lucky players were chosen to move on to the next stage of the Combine, the grueling interview stage. In this stage players met with our Team Manager Austin Montgomery in order to assess their personalities and to make sure they possessed the traits necessary to be a Team Discmania member. This process took nearly two weeks, as there were many potential fits. In the end, four players showed that they not only had the skills to compete at the highest levels, but also displayed the exemplary behavior needed to stay professional on and off the course.
Meet the new players.
Sarah Amaya, reigns from San Mateo, California. She has four career wins including a first place finish in the Open Women’s division at the Vineyard Classic (B-Tier). In 2016, she showed that she was ready to take her game to the next level, failing to finish outside of the top five in any event this year. She has been playing competitively since 2012. Her strengths include the ability to stay positive on the course, even when things aren’t going her way, as well as her distance drives. Sarah is a strong promoter for women’s disc golf, running women’s clinics every Saturday. Outside of disc golf, she works in an animal hospital and values time with her family. Sarah is the first female player Discmania has signed in North America.
Logan Riding, resides in Clovis, California. He has four career wins, also taking down a first place finish in the Advanced Men’s division at the Vineyard Classic (B-Tier). Logan did not have a finish outside the top ten in any of his events this year. He is a great example of the younger generation of disc golfers, as he is just 18 years old. He plans on playing in the open division in 2017. Logan’s strength is his putting. He practices five times a week and has really focused on making this the best part of his game. He has been playing competitively since 2015. Logan just started attending college where he will be studying business. Keep an eye on this kid.
Grady Shue, hails from Charlotte, North Carolina. He played 15 events this year finishing inside the top ten in all but one event. Inside the Open Division he made the top ten in each event. Grady’s strength is his putting which was clearly evident in his strong finishes this year. Grady is a member of the UNC Charlotte collegiate disc golf team and competed in the prestigious National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships this year, finishing 22nd out of nearly 200 competitors, one stroke shy of All-American Honors. He has been playing competitively since 2014. Currently studying Business, studies take up most of his extra time outside of disc golf.
Dylan Lhotak is based out of Lockport, Illinois. He has five career wins, finishing inside the top ten in all but one of his events in 2016, including a first place finish in the Men’s Open division at the Sinnissippi Open. Dylan has been playing competitively since 2009. He prides himself on maintaining professionalism both on and off the course. He believes this is one of the things that has led to his success. Dylan actually made the six hour drive the night before the event just to get a chance to try out in front of our scouts. Family is very important to Dylan as most of his time outside of disc golf is spent with family. At the ripe age of 20 years old we believe he has a bright future ahead of him.
We are very excited to welcome these players to the team. In addition to these four, Discmania has welcomed all the players that made it to the interview portion of the Combine to take part in the Discmania Prospect Team. This new team level gives our Prospects everything necessary to prepare for next years Combine events and gets them one step closer to realizing the final goal, making Team Discmania.
We would like to thank everyone that took part in a Discmania Combine event. We look forward to seeing the concept grow. Once again, congratulations and welcome to the team Sarah, Logan, Grady and Dylan!