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Atlas 2023 Season Outlook

2022 Regular Season Record: 6-4

Final Result: Lost to Waterdogs in Quarterfinals


Key Additions:


Gavin Adler, D

Brett Makar, D

Xander Dickson, A

Payton Rezanka, SSDM

Kyle Long, M

Justin Gutering, A


Key Departures:


Jake Carraway, A

Jake Phaup, FO

John Crawley, M


Not a player move, but a very important one nonetheless, Atlas has a new Head Coach and GM at the helm in Mike Pressler. He inherits a team that didn’t need to do much in the offseason. Atlas ran roughshod through the Championship Series in DC until finally being stopped by the Chrome in the title. While it was a Sixes event, it was still very much indicative of the type of team Atlas can be in the field game. An arsenal of shooters, freakishly athletic in the midfield, with speed at multiple spots and a goalie that can get hot and become a brick wall. The lack of real significant lack of free agent additions or player pool signees is a sign that Pressler inherited a roster he was ready to compete with.


On offense, the team adheres to their motto of Family Style. Everybody eats. Plenty of players need the ball out there. Jeff Teat and Bryan Costabile remain the show starters. Chris Gray is one step below them and be the creator as well. Eric Law will once again be a top producer in the league and then next offseason have people giving his job away for some reason. It’s just always happens. 29 points last year and fans just *forget* he’s still one of the best offensive minds and players in the sport. The 400 career point scorer will still be lurking around the crease, looking to punish the smallest mistake. Romar Dennis is another player to watch, after his performance in DC. Dennis was in another world shooting then, but Sixes shooting is very different from PLL shooting. In DC, Romar was able to use his ridiculous ability to separate and get his shot off. No slide ever really coming, very little traffic in front of him, he was basically running shooting drills in some situations. In the summer, the defenses will have poles, they’ll be in his face and his hands. It’s not realistic to expect him to just continue to be at that level. He’s earned a regular roster spot at a minimum, as he’s always going to be able to, at a minimum, dust his man and draw a slide. To not slide to Romar is to give Romar a Sixes level look at goal. Bad idea.


The defensive offseason will be the story to watch in camp. Atlas used the first overall pick in the draft on Gavin Adler and the third pick on Brett Makar. They join a group of poles that was already in pretty good shape. Tucker Durkin is a team captain and leader, but getting up in years, and at least one of these picks was likely made with an eye to the future. The decision about who to sit down from last year will be interesting. Cade Van Raaphorst and Craig Chick had All-Star level seasons, with Chick being a snub for LSM of the Year consideration. Koby Smith put together an excellent rookie season. It’s not an easy call to make. The defensive midfield is as big, strong, and athletic as anyone’s. Danny Logan might be the best in world, and Peter Dearth has been excellent, but quiet, in his contributions so far, making him an idea stand in while draftee Payton Rezanka works back from injury.


The job backing up Trevor Baptiste is important. Being an injury away from serious possession disadvantage is bad. Jake Phaup was a solid stand in last year, he’s gone, and Peyton Smith was added but he hasn’t appeared in a game since the bubble season.


BEST CASE SCENARIO:


Pressler takes the Roster that Rubeor Built and elevates it. Atlas look and play like the unstoppable athletic force that dominated in DC. Trevor Baptiste puts together another MVP caliber season, and the Family Style feast reaches new heights. The defensive rookies acclimate well and the right grouping is nailed down early, turning the Bulls into a group that can do absolutely anything at an All Pro level. Jack Concannon continues to come up clutch, and the Atlas are led through the playoffs by a hot goalie and a hot faceoff man, while Jeff Teat wins MVP.


WORST CASE SCENARIO:


The change in leadership causes some instability with on field philosophy. As players adjust to changing roles, the offense sputters a bit, leading to frustration. The defense bounces between being rookie heavy and veteran heavy, while causes neither to find a rhythm and rapport. Baptiste is still excellent, but regresses towards the pack a bit. Atlas spend another season as a trendy title pick, but come up short against teams that are more established and organized.


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