The inimitable Matt Rehder returns to the Seattle Rainmakers this week, bringing the team to full strength as they plow through the second half of the season.
At 21 years old, Rehder is the youngest Rainmaker, but he’s got plenty of experience behind him. Rehder first started playing Ultimate in 6th grade at the Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences and credits former Seattle Sockeye player and captain Roger Crafts, who coached him in basketball and soccer in 7th and 8th grade, for truly introducing him to the game he is now so passionate about.
Rehder continued honing his craft in high school at Roosevelt High, but unlike the majority of players in the league, Rehder has not had the opportunity to play in college at University of La Verne, where he is finishing his junior year and is studying Kinesthesiology. For better or worse, this affords him less of a transition to make than his teammates from multi-game-a-day tournaments to the single game format, a key component of MLU. However, he has had plenty of experience playing with the best college players after being selected to play in the 2011 and 2012 NexGen Tours.
“Getting to play on the NexGen tour really got me used to the idea of playing one game a night,” said Rehder. “Tournaments are grueling and in turn make the most dominant players stand out late in the weekend, due to their Ultimate IQ and their physical durability. In this way, I think MLU kind of changes the game of Ultimate, but also gives a new type of athlete a chance to play the game.”
Because he has been unable to attend practices throughout the season and was only able to play in the season opener, chances are that he’ll be deployed to the O-line first due to his past history with the players – Rehder has spent the last five summers playing club with most of them – but it’s only a matter of time before he catches on to the team’s defensive sets and is able to put his 6’3” frame to use in the back on zone defense lines.
“Matt is unbelievably talented, but right now my favorite thing about Matt is that he’s hitting his stride as a player,” said Assistant Coach Andy Lovseth. “His incredible talents are being met with an intelligence and awareness of the game that makes him nearly impossible to play against.”