#9 Carl Morgenstern

Nickname: Lito, Yarl, The Crimson Streak
Height: 5’8
Weight: 165
Position: Cutter
Years w/ESN: A 2013-2017
Major: Electrical Engineering
Hometown: Pittsburgh
Former Teams:

  • Impulse
  • Pittsburgh Temper

E-mail: cwm30 AT pitt.edu

Awards:

  • 2017 Callahan Nominee (5th Year/Grad)
  • 2017 Ohio Valley 1st Team All-Region (5th Year/Grad)
  • 2013 Ohio Valley All-Freshman

Biographies
2016-2017
Carl’s ultimate career started his senior year in high school, where we played under the captain-ship of his younger brother, Ben. “That season with Allderdice was definitely the most I’ve ever grown as a player, and as a man”, Carl said, “Ben is absolutely the best captain I have ever had…who’s Trent?”

Since then its been nothing but improvement for Carl. Besides becoming a captain of for the Pitt Men’s Program, Carl has also played major roles on local club teams including Impulse, Slag Dump, and Temper, as well as the professional team, the Thunderbirds. As a defensive specialist, Carl can always be trusted to take some of the toughest match ups on the field, and absolutely shut them down.

Post graduation Carl plans on moving to Phoenix, Arizona, where he will get horribly sunburned. If you care for Carl at all, please send him some sunscreen. Anything under 30 SPF is basically water. Hats are also appreciated.

Besides ultimate, Carl’s hobbies include homework, paying attention to only one thing at a time, the color orange, and pizza. His love for pizza is borderline obsessive, he even owns a pair of underwear that he calls the “pizza panties”.

In all seriousness, Carl is one of the hardest working dudes you will ever meet. On or off the field, whether its related to ultimate or not, Carl is always giving 110%. Expect big things from the little guy.

2013-2014
Leading the gang of gingers on this year’s Pitt squad is returning sophomore Carl Morgenstern. Charged by the eternal ginger fire, Yarl has quickly stepped up as a reliable defender and an even more reliable sock wrestler. After going undefeated in Pitt Ultimate’s Spring Break Wrestling Championship last year (with notable wins over Zach Kauffman and Trent Dillon), Carl proved that he was more than just another soulless ginger.

“I never thought I’d be able to overcome the color of my hair,” Carl never said.

Despite starting out as just another redhead, Carl does see some promising things for the future of the revolution.

“It’s pretty obvious that we’ll take over the Pitt Ultimate Frisbee team,” Carl actually said. “My brother is coming to Pitt and is as ginger as I am. Using our ginger powers we plan on stomping on teams by blinding them with our vampire-like pale skin.”

While Pitt is a team built with great players from all over the country, The Yarl is a yinzer through and through. In fact, I’m not entirely sure he’s ever left Pittsburgh for anything that wasn’t a Frisbee tournament.

“Pittsburgh is my favorite city, and Pitt is a great school,” Carl, the son of a Pitt professor, said. “I live the not to stressful lifestyle I want, take the interesting and challenging classes that I like, play on the best Frisbee team in the country and do it all while living five minutes from the family I love.”

Moving forward, Morgenstern is looking to capitalize on the large graduating class from last season. After rotating through a few different defensive lines, Carl isn’t shy about wanting to be on the Kill D-line by the end of this season.

“The way I look at it, the 7th spot is open and all I need to do is grab it,” Morgenstern said. “It’s going to take a lot of time in the gym and outside of practice working on mechanics, but I know I’ve got a shot at that spot and the only thing stopping me from taking it is myself.”

2017 Callahan Nominee

Carl for Callahan
I have no idea how he made the team.

Carl Morgenstern wandered onto the Cathedral Lawn for pickup in the fall of 2012; three months after the Pitt Ultimate men’s team had won its first ever National Championship. Three months after a bacchanalian celebration at a steakhouse in Boulder, Colorado; where the team elected (in hindsight, wisely) three players that weren’t me into the 2012-13 leadership. So quite literally, I have no idea how Carl made the team; and I’d wager that the captains who selected him – Zach Kauffman, Isaac Saul and Aaron Watson – don’t either.

At 5’8″, with about a year of organized ultimate under his belt, a lefty backhand in lieu of a flick, no noteworthy athletic talents or attributes and what I would call a wider than average frame, Carl put on his floppy trucker hat and tried out for the best college ultimate team in the country. Somehow, he did just enough, and the leadership decided to give the scrappy redhead a roster spot. Miracle number one.

Feeling chagrined about my exclusion from the leadership, I took Carl under my wing. Multiple times a month, he’d wander alone into the cold depths of South Oakland to study film at my apartment. We’d analyze the 4-5 points he’d get per tournament repeatedly – breaking down what we could of his footwork and positioning.

We’d spend nights after practice visualizing defensive schemes and talking in hypotheticals. Many endeavors were unsuccessful. We would attempt to run agility ladder exercises (I don’t think you could call what Carl did to my ladder “agility”). Fruitlessly, we’d spend hours constructing and reconstructing his flick.


Photo by David Wisch.

The amount of work Carl dedicated in his freshman year was hall of fame worthy. But sadly, it just didn’t pay off. Carl’s freshmen year highlights included snacking on Dalton Smith’s dust in garbage time at the Stanford Invite, acting as Mischa Freystaetter’s step stool in the 2013 National Championship game, and maybe scoring a goal or two at Sectionals. Carl was giving it his all, never peeping a word of discontent or frustration, but my mentorship had clearly let him down.

As the 2014 season approached, I knew that the responsibilities of leadership beckoned, which meant I would no longer be able to help my newfound mentee. Being the worst player on the 2013 National Championship-winning team may very well have been the pinnacle of Carl’s career.

If not for miracle number two.

Carl exploded in his sophomore year. He handled on d line, cut on o line, threw dagger upwind flick hucks, bid huge and stuffed up other team’s resets tighter than the lint in his belly button. He earned the nickname “the Crimson Streak” from his knack for getting streaking blocks on floaty deep passes – and yes, also because he refused to cut his flowing red hair as his good graces continued.

The next thing I knew, Carl and I were going 2v2 against Matt Bennett and Dalton Smith in close games

Then, Carl blew up at club nationals in 2014, catching three critical breaks that vaulted Temper into unfathomable upsets over GOAT and Machine.

Eventually, I started competing with Carl for big time matchups like Xavier Maxstadt, Avery Johnson, Bobby Ley, Ryan Landry and Jonathan Nethercutt. Nethercutt routinely approached me after UNC/Pitt battles to ask what I was feeding the kid, calling him my protege.

I’d laugh, because although I’d like to think it, Carl was no protege. His transformation was self-earned. Carl’s “Madden 99” or “superpower” is his attitude. A combination of simplicity, an understanding of limitation and an unwavering predisposition to saying the word “yes” when faced with any task or opportunity, makes him unstoppable.

Any Pitt player or alum will tell you that – despite his initial blunders – they’ve never seen a prettier icky shuffle than Carl Morgenstern chowing down at the Fitzgerald Field House on a Thursday night.

Carl is now a captain of Pitt Ultimate, a Callahan nominee and will represent Pittsburgh at tryouts for the U24 National Team. But, unlike so many of his peers, in a world rabid with high release flicks, dudes who throw 10 assists per game and college freshmen who are given a silver spoon when they set foot on campus, Carl got there with dirt in his fingernails, blood on his knees and a conviction that teams ride and die on the backs of their nameless defenders.

I still have no idea how he made the team, but I’d like to tip my hat to Isaac, Aaron and Zach for somehow knowing to take a chance. Against all the odds, Carl has won over the hearts of the Pitt Ultimate family. As he graces the national stage in his final chapter, he’ll soon win over the hearts of a few outsiders, too.

Here’s to hoping that there’s a miracle number three.

Written by Trent Dillon for Up Call

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