Hello, my name is Lee Gonzalez and I played on Too Bad until I injured my shoulder Jan 2/11. Open Regionals was held at Kiwanis Park Waterloo and hosted by WODS on July 9-10 2011. It was nice seeing friends for the first time in months. From the get go I was thinking about the ranking and how teams would do comparatively. For some teams this tournament would be to fine tune their strategies and stressful for others. Presumtively GOAT would come first because they’re as strong as ever. The next few spots would be a battle for seeding at Nationals between Phoenix, Maverick, Feed the Geese and NADS with little or no worries of making Nationals. The real battle would be between Too Bad, GT, Firebird and ROY for the last spot.
The weekend was sunny with clear skies. The first games of the day were Phoenix vs. ROY and Too Bad vs. NADS. Admittedly I didn’t watch much of the Phoenix(13-1) vs ROY game. I was interested to see how good the Too Bad squad was this tournament and to see what caliber the NADS squad was at and who they picked up. The game was a little frustrating to watch because individuals on Too Bad would do something stellar then throw it away. There was some squabbling on the Too Bad side by a couple players who didn’t seem to listen to teammate suggestions of not throwing junk throws, especially against teams that they needed every point or break against. Some cool-headed vets helped save the day with level-headed leadership. It was nice to see Too Bad get back their huck/strike back. Some of the newer players were calm and cool under pressure but some didn’t get a chance to showcase their skills until Sunday. It was also unfortunate that Too Bad had to play 4 games straight and 3 out of 4 were after the other teams’ byes. Players to watch: Gobinde Soligo, Steve Armitage, Greg Lang, Paul Hamilton, Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood, Mat Sipherd, Tim Weatherup, and Lloyd Weema.
During that game and the rest of Saturday and Sunday there were three guys on NADS that stood out (besides Tushar in his pants): Seb Bell (until he pulled his hamstring), Stamler aka The Beast, and Albert. From what I saw, the team works through Seb and Albert though they were all over the field and each successfully struck deep. Stamler’s future sky battles are something to look forward to at Nationals. Some players weren’t completely comfortable with the disc in high pressure points which could be a weakness down the road. Word on the street is that once NADS realized they made Nationals on Saturady, they decided to get bombed Saturday night. Who wouldn’t?
GT’s new squad had a successful weekend by qualifying for Nationals. I say new because they lost a lot of skilled and experienced players to other teams for various reasons and they brought up quite a few deserving ROY players. The GT players that stand out in my mind are Andrew Leo, Rahil Suleman, Tingle, Alex Vlahos, Ben Horgan, Daniel Bower and Kevin Horgan. The full roster wasn’t at Regionals due to injuries. Tingle stood out as a vet who has great leadership. He’s calm, cool and leads by example. ROY’s first game was at 12:30pm against GOAT and there were a couple surprises during that game. GT appeared to be comfortable playing against GOAT, more so than other teams. They had several nice strikes from Tingle and another player I missed getting the name of. When GOAT took half (8-7), GT had score the most points against them all weekend but GT didn’t get another point the rest of the game. The rest of the weekend GT played well, but at certain times during some games they were plagued with bad turnovers and throw aways. I was surprised how well they did against Maverick (12-10). Their first game on Sunday was against Too Bad. It was a close game at the beginning but Too Bad went up before half and kept a small lead until the last few points of the game when GT started crawling back until it was tied 9-9 at hard cap. Too Bad received on Universe point and they cautiously worked it up the field for the win. GT made quickly beat some hungover NADS (13-5) for their second game and didn’t slow down for the rest of the day.
This weekend Maverick looked good. This team always impresses me with speed, strong D and great leadership. They won a close game with GT (12-10) but did not play well against GOAT partly because it was at the end of Saturday and a few players, who are consistently reliable, seemed intimidated and made simple errors with shaky throws, when a GOAT player was behind them. The players to look out for are: Matt Snow, Dan Beringer, Trevor Henry, Russ Nicolls, Kouche and Andrew Higgins, however this team is deep with talented players. Maverick lost their first game on Sunday against Phoenix (12-9) and lost the chance at first place. They won against Feed the Geese (12-9) and faced Phoenix again for second place. Phoenix got a number of breaks on them and came from behind to win 13-11.
The weekend went well for Feed the Geese, the newest open team to Ontario. They jumped to a quick lead during their first game against Too Bad due to poor decisions on Too Bad. FTG kept gaining points, sometimes unanswered, and slowly took the game 13-7. Watching Feed the Geese was entertaining because they’re fast, have great flow and great hucks. They reminded me of GT at Nationals last year when they defeated Phoenix. You could tell they have confidence and trust in one another. Of course they would as the majority of them have played together for awhile for GT or GOAT. They showed up to the tournament with a small roster for the weekend and suffered several injuries throughout the weekend shortening it even more. Lack of awareness by his own teammate unfortunately injured Andrew Watts, a talented workhorse. Mick Hassel was on fire with his money pulls and hucks which seemed to find the majority of their targets. Personally, I think FTG fills a need between Goat and GT (competitive teams that practices twice a week) and Too Bad(a team that picks up and can dominate).
Firebird’s first game of the tournament was against Phoenix and they were quickly defeated. Firebird is not the same team they were last year since they lost players to mixed teams or Phoenix. I was speaking with a player’s father who mentioned there were quite a few juniors brought up to the team. Although they have changed quite a bit, they have a lot of potential. I don’t have a lot to say about Firebird.