Sunday, May 15, 2011

what the what

We (Summit High, Bend, OR) took two teams (Boys and Girls) to Westerns
in Corvallis, Oregon this weekend.
Our plan for westerns started last year. My affletes may not have
been privy, but once the bid (in state) was announced, I put a ton of
energy into recruiting, securing an indoor practice site, and trying
to stress the importance of the event to my players. In Bend, we get
to play a little bit against local teams Bend High and Mountain View,
but our out of town opportunities are limited to 'Coed State' and
'Single gender state' by geography, weather, and the varied other
sports that my players and I play and coach respectively.
This year, we played indoors in the indoor center once per week 10
times from december through february (super fun, yay) and then in the
gym for all of march and most of april (no fields due to snow on the
ground, boo). And note: Indoor on turf is significantly more fun than
in a basketball gym, even though we had control of the stereo the
whole time.
As a consequence, going into westerns, we'd had a handful of outdoor
practices, and I would say my most experienced player had... 6 career
tournaments? Our team has good athletes, with good speed and
athleticism, and some skill especially with our seniors, but limited
tournament experience.
The challenges of orchestrating fundraising, maintaining interest, and
coordinating the registration process were fun, and challenging.
We made it, got our paperwork in, had 20 guys and 13 girls signed up,
and away we went.
Oh, did I mention that it's only 3 hours away, and it was prom
weekend... which was announced the day we got the bid.
We had 11 show up the first day,
Westerns was a very well run tournament, and a ton of fun. The kids
were stoked for their player packets, the lined fields, great field
food, adequate water and potties. The reality for us was that no
player had more than 2 years experience, and 7 of the girls were
firsties. We used the tournament as HOPEFULLY, a springboard for the
club so that we can become a good to great team in the next few years.
Our girls went winless on the weekend (0-6) but improved throughout,
developing a zone, and solid flow. (Note, it's not that I didn't know
the existence of zone, its just hard to adequately teach when you have
no one to play against, and the practices have been based on learning,
in order, catch, throw, cut, stack, flow, mark, and then we got to
zone with 1 week before westerns).
Things look good for 'Coed State' (Next weekend) and 'Girls State',
June 4th. We are stoked, and the girls are psyched. I think our
cotton jerseys were pretty tight, especially our 6" spray stenciled
uniform numbers.
Our boys: Our first game against Nathan Hale was an eye opener. Our
speed was as good as any, our pulls were maybe a bit off the norm, but
our throwing consistency was less, and heightened by our big game
experience, and therefore, our challenges in valuing the disc.
Defensively, we got tons of takeaways. We got comeback blocks on
every team, and if we can over the years improve our culture of
valuing the disc, and running the offense with poise, confidence and
trust in the system, we'll improve.
Zone was our weakness: against teams with a good zone 'd', we
Game 1) Nathan Hale 5-13. Their skills and sets were too much. We
got blocks, but their poise and flow was too much. I don't think
either team made a call the whole game.
Game 2) Hopkins Hurt. 5-13? 4-12? They are a talented, well travelled
team. I was a bit miffed when they started out the game with some
quick calls (one a 30 yard away 'down call' that left me scratching my
head), and this one kid who screamed the stall count so loud that i
can only compare it to the time this Guy, spectating, used a bullhorn
siren in my ear from 1 foot away in a game. I like this Guy, so I'm
not going to say I regret not calling timeout and slugging his horn,
but... my ear still hurts. I'm not sure why screaming at the opponent
is relevant. But I discourage it.
Game 3) Berkeley Coup. Sweet team. They travelled even though it was
prom week. We were down to 10 to start (half the team left for prom),
and down to 8 after 2 left, and down to 7 after a hand injury: He
played, but the medic thinks it's a break. We took half, with I think
a 3 point lead, they rallied after we lost our last 2 guys (who made
the last second 3hr dash to prom), then, down, 3, ran off 3 straight
to tie it. We received on Golden Goal, they threw a zone, got a 2nd
pass turn, and Andrew O. got a game saving block in the endzone, and
we had them in man 'o', threw 3 passes, game. 12-11.
Game 4) Garfield.Win, and we're in the 8 team quarters. Down to 8
players (one injured) we scored a few, but couldn't run with them
throughout. Made some blocks, but down to the 9-12 bracket.
Camping that night was uneventful, even though there was a quincera
and a sorority party in the fairground building adjoining our
Most of the team made it back from prom (thanks parents, and thanks
kids for rolling out of bed at 5 a.m.).
Game 5) Monarch High Coyotes from Colorado. They were our twin team.
High fun, high risk. They ran an 'H' stack, we ran a Vert. We took
half 7-5, but faded in the 2nd half when their zone gave them some
short fields. Super clean game, I can't say there were many calls,
certainly no stomach cringing ones.
Game 6) Vs Churchill. In state rival, though we've never beaten
them. But they've graduated much of their 'old guard' and they had
low numbers for this game. It was point trading for a while, but
finally, we pulled away with a mix of our 'huck and hope' and finally,
finally, some quality 'churn and burn' points where the gentlemen
worked hard to grind it out.
Great parental support, we had tents, parents, food, and a sick
banner. And this shot, from a loss vs. Hopkins which the guy didn't
come up with. I wish they'd gotten his 2 sick blocks in one point vs.