Here's a list of some of the catches I've made that I remember best. Looking through them, I see only one "sky" and another three that could be categorized as "athletic," while the others are "skilled." A list of my actual "best" catches wouldn't agree with this, but here they are, in chronological order:
1. Mars tournament, 1984. I took off deep after a turnover, and Todd Williams' huck drifted off, giving my defender a shot at it. We both laid out for it, and I got underneath him for the catch. About 3 years later, I brought this catch up to Todd, and both he and his brother Lance remembered it.
2. Ohio Sectionals, 1988?. I leapt in stride to catch a pass and saw that I was going to land on the sideline, so I threw my back foot down to establish contact inbounds. I've made literally hundreds of catches like that since then, but it's the first time I can remember being worried about footwork.
3 & 4. Ow-My-Knee, 1994. The first probably wouldn't have turned a head. It was a simple comeback cut and a 10 yard pass, but it was a bullet at my shins on a rainy day. I was surprised that I could even get my hands down in time, and was absolutely shocked that it didn't spin out or fly right through. The second was a full-extension trailing-edge chest-high layout catch in the endzone in the finals, after which I slid 5 yards to the feet of Somerville Youth's Alec Ewald and Mike Jaffe, who immediately bowed and yelled, "We are not worthy!"
5. Hingham, 1998. Jordan threw a high-stall count scoober towards the middle of the field, right to the legendary Bob Lobel, but I outjumped him from behind and got my arm in there to pluck it away. The Tea Party beat a stacked team that included Bob, Forch, and Kenny D.
6. Worlds finals, 1999. While traveling, Alex hucked a curving, non-floating backhand to me. I continued tracking it all the way to the sideline, then while keeping my left foot down, reached up a few feet out of bounds to catch it. It barely drew a murmur from the crowd, but verily, this may have been my best catch ever. It was kinda like the scissor-kick shown on page 40, Figure 4.12, but the disc was coming in over my shoulder, and I had to reach high and catch the trailing edge while running.
7. Nationals pool play, 2002. There was a strong crosswind, and Johnny Bravo was playing zone. I was in the correct popper position (page 140), standing 3-5 yards behind and to the side of the middle middle. I saw Alex go for a bladey hammer, and knew that it would be pushed by the wind, and began moving even before it left his hand. Sure enough, it went about 10 feet to the right (my right) of where I had been, and I barely got my hand under it in time. In another sense, _this_ was my best catch ever, since if you took the average player at Nationals, put him in my shoes, and told him that a hammer was coming, that pass would be caught less than 1% of the time (assuming you did it in parallel; I assume that after seeing the same pass 10 times, some people would begin diving as he was throwing).
8. Nationals quarters, 2004. During our 7-goal turnover-free run to start the game against Furious, I am contacted yet again by my defender Mike Enns while cutting back to a thrown disc, and stumble badly. I manage to push myself up and reach behind me in front of him to snare the disc. I'm not sure if I would have called a foul, since I might have thought that I tripped myself up, since I'm just not used to having anyone close enough to foul me on a reception. But it was really cool, and for awhile was part of a magical game. It looked as if that game was going to make the famed 2002 semifinal look like a swillfest, but then we had a turn, and then another, and they chipped away and won it. Rats. M----- f----- rats.
Now, for my worst drops....