#2 Chris Brenenborg

Nickname: Christo
Years w/ESN: A 2007-2011
Major: Communications
Occupation & Employer: Beechwood Gardens
Current Town: Oakland Ultimate
Current Team: 2
Former Teams:

  • RUN, Pittsburgh, PA (2004-2005)
  • BURGH, Pittsburgh, PA (2005-2008)
  • FORGE, Pittsburgh, PA (2008-2009)
  • Oakland Ultimate, Pittsburgh, PA (2011)

E-mail: dbrenenborg AT gmail.com

Awards:

  • 2011 Ohio Valley 1st Team All-Region (5th Year/Grad)
  • 2010 Metro East 1st Team All-Region (Senior)
  • 2010 Callahan nominee (Senior)
  • 2009 Metro East 1st Team All-Region (Junior)
  • 2008 Metro East All-Region (Sophomore)
  • 2007 Metro East Freshman of the Year

Biographies
2006-2007
I started playing in high school, in the spring of my Freshman year at Central Catholic. We didn’t have a great program, but we did have some good players. The person who really got me playing was Tommy Hendrickson. He got me playing with the club team and everything took off from there. I’ve played competitive open club for 3 years now. I captained the Pittsburgh youth club team the past 2 years. I played for Team USA, at the WFDF 2006 World Junior Ultimate Championships, this past August. Club is really what turned me into the player that I am today. Ultimate is what I do.

For the past couple years PITT Ultimate has been on my mind. I’ve played with most of the guys for years and they are some of the best guys I know. Coming in I knew I was going to love this team. But it’s more than just a love of the sport or team. We are truly brothers and I would do anything for these guys. We are working very hard towards our goal of being the best conditioned team in college ultimate. We are going to make noise. This is our year.

2010 Callahan nominee
To be a Callahan winner requires an elite level of skill and the ability to change the game. Chris is a top 3 thrower in the collegiate game. To break that down further, his handler throws are almost flawless, his hucks are what we need and his breaks are unparalleled in the college game. Remember the news articles about Phelps being built to swim? Chris’ body is built to throw a disc, from a bent back to double jointed everything. Watching him maneuver through a cup, or throw lifters in the opposite direction of his pivot, is simply something that I don’t believe anyone else in the college game can do at the moment. These are throws we take for granted He is also a top 5 cutter, from the exacting methodology of I haven’t seen anyone be able to contain him this year, and he is a very good defender. His combination of skills, athleticism, and experience demand Pitt to play our high-risk high-reward style of offense. By demand I mean we’d be foolish to play any other way. Not with Chris as a weapon.

To be a Callahan winner also requires dedication and commitment beyond the norm; a competitive spirit that takes the nominee from one of the best to the best of the best. Chris came to this team a Champion with the 2006 USA Junior Worlds team, along with many of the top players in college today. He started on the O-line as a secondary handler but quickly took over a primary cutting role his sophomore year and beyond. His growth as a player, from Central Catholic High School to Pittsburgh Club and University of Pittsburgh College, has been entirely oriented around his home city. His loyalty to the city is commendable, but it is incredible that Chris continues to improve without the extremely high level Club experience offered in other cities. The perception of Pittsburgh Ultimate (from a Philadelphia bias) has a direct correlation to Chris Brenenborg: from the bent out knee to the high release flicks. Some of you have probably seen the photograph of Chris breaking the mark as a Freshman (http:// tinyurl.com/2748hwa). He has only gotten better; he has equaled or surpassed many of his Junior Worlds teammates, in one category or another. I recall one play against Harvard and George Stubbs, an upwind huck at Roll Call in 2008. Stubbs has inside positioning and speed on his side, but Chris remains a half step ahead for ten yards. The disc loops around, losing momentum in the wind. Stubbs bids first, a hip level bid to a spot where the disc will be. Chris then bids, body with Stubbs but arms reaching across and under, and rips the disc down.

Chris is a two year captain, three year ME All-Region player (safe assumption), and 2006 Freshman of the Year. Chris has played and will play through any obstacle thrown at him. For example, at Nationals for the past three years, Chris played through getting kicked in the back (2007, UNC), dislocating a finger on his throwing hand (2007, Del), sclerosis (every game, ever), a kidney stone (2009, to Quarterfinals), and personal issues I refuse to illuminate. He does not complain; a few of our players don’t even know. I’ve rarely seen a player with more commitment and heart.

To pay him back, he is Pittsburgh’s first ever nominee for Callahan.

Written by Eddie Peters


Chris Brenenborg on the cover of the 2006 WJUC DVD.

I’ve been playing with Chris for several years now, both on the college and club levels. There is no doubt the kid is a game changer. No matter who we are playing, or what matchup Chris has, if we need a big play, Chris is involved. Whether he’s hucking it from his own endzone, or ripping down the disc for a goal, calling Chris in the string is a near guaranteed score. And he will frustrate the hell out of his matchups on defense, never letting them get into a comfort zone and really dictating the flow.

And while he’s got some serious natural talent, he works his ass off for the game, too. Every practice and every workout, Chris is leading by example and setting a great tone. He’s a dominating all-around player with a great attitude for the game. I can’t think of what else you could ask for in a Callahan candidate.

Plus, he’s got his own DVD.

Written by Rob Dulabon

I have had the honor of coaching, playing with, and captaining with Chris over the last 6 years and I wanted to bring to light the fact that Chris is not only a game changer (as Rob and Eddie have alluded to), but an inspiration and team changer.

When Chris played for Pittsburgh’s youth club team, Impulse, the team was in its infancy. Even though he was surrounded by players who knew very little about competing at the highest levels, Chris worked, trained, and competed with the highest expectations of himself and his teammates. Chris’s work ethic, skill, and drive were what made playing Impulse fun and challenging for every member of the team. Looking back on the team’s progression, I do not think Impulse would be competing for a National Championship each summer without the inspiration Chris provided. He makes everyone around him into a better player and, because of this, has been involved in developing Pittsburgh’s talent in high school and college for many years.

In college, I was able to play 3 years with Chris.

I remember always telling freshman to try and treat each year as if it were their last – hoping that they would find a way to value every second they had with PITT. I have never seen a first year player actually pull it off other than Chris. In his first year, Chris was a major contributor to a national-level program, but that wasn’t what made it amazing. Every second of that year I saw how driven Chris was towards winning and towards improvement. He was a leader from the moment he stepped on to the practice field. I remember Chris’s work ethic when he made team USA and practiced 6 days a week for club and youth club. I remember his unbelievable cutting on Impulse when some of the best high school players in the country were keying in on only him. I remember his growth into a leader and star on PITT. But more than all of that, I know that Chris cares deeply about this sport and our team at PITT. There is no doubt in my mind that Chris would represent the Callahan award in terms of skill, athleticism, and game changing ability, but his drive and the way it impacts his teammates and his city sets him apart. Very proud of you, buddy. Keep pushing PITT forward.

Written by Nick Kaczmarek

2009 Metro East 1st Team All-Region
Chris is the most awarded of any Pittsburgh Ultimate player in the history of our program, and he will, in all likelihood, continue to win All Region recognition for the next two seasons. He’s simply that good.

-Written by Eddie Peters

2008 Metro East All-Region
Chris Breneborg- Pitt has a lot of good players, but Chris is the guy
we worry about. We change our defense to adjust to him, we teach our
markers to mark specifically for him. The man is a cutting machine,
and has the quickest release on his flick huck that I’ve ever seen. He
broke us for flick huck goals at least 3 times. He can get up, but his
speed lets Pitts throwers just put it out for him to run down. He
killed us at Sectionals and made a tough throw look easy every time we
thought we were going to shut down Pitt’s O line at Regionals. He’s
the type of guy that you don’t want to force flick, but you don’t want
to force backhand either.

-Written by Ben Banyas on RSD

Chris Brenenborg: (Pitt) In our semi final against Pitt, he was the
only player that really stood out to me and carried his team(Pitt has
a lot of fantastic players, but he was the one that decided to man up
and stand out) He was consistently breaking open our zone with his
pretty looking scoobers (I’m a sucker for a nice scoober) and his low
release IO flick was just ridiculous. Whether we played man or Z, he
was the player frustrating our marks the most. He finds people at
stall 8 with a perfect throw just when we thought our D had finally
shut them down. Out of all the Pitt players I saw, he’s the one I
think has to be on your list for All Region this year.

-Written by Keegan on RSD

2007 Metro East Freshman of the Year
FOTY should be a freshman who in all aspects of the game, excels. And from the ME
teams I have seen play, Chris Brenenborg fits that criteria very very
well. He starts on Pitt’s O Line as a handler. Not only does he
break you every throw at will, he has great speed, his field sense is
phenomenal. He plays balls out defense, and will get open on
pretty much anyone, Chris was part of the Junior Worlds Team this
previous year, and you know how they did this summer. Chris has great
sportmanship; I played against him for 3 years in PHUL, Pittsburgh’s
High School League, and he is a classy man. In the games I have seen
Chris play this year (Easterns, QCTU),and he has played like he’s been
there, done that, multiple times. Chris has been a great asset to
Pitt’s flourishing team this year. Chris Brenenborg ladies and
gentleman.

-Written by J. Lee on RSD

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