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Club News Story
 

Jan 31st Round-up...YeeHaw

2015 / 02 / 02

Since it's not yet Saddie Hawkins day we will stay with the old tradition of ladies first. With the 15u girls division and all 4 of our 15u teams in action, the schedule was also rounded up with two of our 14u teams testing the waters again.

With that many teams along with our Fusion neighbors, Kemptville kuzins and Bourget brethren the trillium division schedule looked like an all Ottawa affair for the second straight weekend. Just a short jaunt down the 417 in sunny Cassleman we start our summary with the 15u Spurs along with two 14u teams- the Goldiggers and the SixShooters

As the day unfolded it seemed our friends from last week would appear again at the campsite and upset the pot again with their forray into Ontario. The Grizzilis of Boucherville came in once again the lowest seed of the tournament and proceeded to wreak havoc with the resultts.

The Goldiggers 14u team coached by John Spack cruised through the day to win their pool and quarterfinals against the Bourget Purple squad. Pretty good for a young group playing up but not unknown territory for these girls if you have been following along this season. In the final four for yet another tournamnent they rounded the corner and ran into a wild bear and lost in straight sets. In the subsequent Bonze medal match the 'diggers couldn't get up off the mat and lost their second straight by a lopsided score to an angry Bourget Black team. A great day but the sour finish will I am sure come up in practice this week if we know the true Bear in coach Spack! 

Over in pool C, The Bergeron family was about to have a little tussle on the court. Yes two coaches, two daughters and two different teams from the same club, (wish I was there for that match-up) truly an in house battle. Both coach Joel (with playing daughter Kassandra) and coach Rose (and coaching daughter Marika) went hard at it and were very proud of their teams and how they performed not only in this opening match-up, but all day long.

As the day unfolded the 14u Sixshooters ended up a little over their head at this competition but competed well all day, including forcing the Pumas Purple team into a third set tie-breaker. Coach Rose knows the lessons learned here will help when they take the court again at 14u in February. 

The 15u Spurs -winners of the family feud- then went on to split with the Pumas Black squad but dropped to the third seed in their pool when they succumbed to the Grisslis in their final match. That put them on a double collision course with our cross town rivals Ottawa Fusion. The pre-quarter was a one sided win over the Fusion 15u Red team in straight sets bringing them up against another fusion teamin the quarter-finals. The Spurs proved true to their nickname and stuck it to the #1 seed Fusion Explosion in again a lopsided affair. On to the semis where they ousted the Bourget Puma Black team with little problems to speak of and a trip to the finals; where they once again succumbed to the Montreal based Ursus arctos horribillis and settled for the Silver Medal. Great Job coach Joel and your Spurs.

Down the 401 in Coburg at the Championship level we had three 15u teams competing for their last chance to move to the Premiere division. The Ambush, Stampede and Colts gve us a triple chance at a move at the end of the day.

While the Colts and Stampede had their ups and downs over the course of the day it was a final match that would detemine who would stay and who would return to Trillium for the final event. Battling your sisters for the car or bathroom or phone (old school I know) can get pretty contenscious but to stay at the higher level well that's just not fun. In the end the Stampede HP and coach Krawchuk trampled the Colts in straight sets and will remain in Championship. For the Colts the loss does mean they and coach Nefedov likely will get to stay in their own beds next time around, little consolation for the players  and coaches we know, but easier on the bankroll.

The 15u Ambush HP faired the best of this group of Mavs when they advanced to the final four and a shot at a medal. But here is where their day ended in the dichotomy of both an "improvement "and a "disappointment". Described as "running out of gas" by the coaches can be painful when you are so close to your goal. But with that experience fresh in their memory coach Chico is hopeful a full tank and time will get them on the road to a medal at the next tournament.

At the 17u boys level we had both the Chargers and Desperados 17u teams competeing at the Championship and Premiere levels respectively and a delighted group of Longhorns found themselves the benefactors of an additional space aviailable at the Premiere level.

The Chargers had a day where the true nature of their performance is not reflected in their finish. Two speed bumps in an otherwise smooth ride in Oshawa lead to a disheartening 5th place finish. The ability to put teams away at just the right time can mean the difference between a medal and hearbreak. The guys will be back in the gym working to make those changes as Coach Karch states.

Meanwhile in Kingston the 16u Longhorns HP and 17u Desperados HP were not aware that their paths were ultimately on a collision course that would bring with it anxiety, frustration and at times jubilation for both squads when they would meet up in the quarter finals.

For the Longhorns getting this free shot at Premiere was not something they were going to waste. Witness their first match of the day against the #1 seed Titans Nemesis from Scarborough. A finalist at the first Premiere tournament; the Titans seemed to take the Longhorns for granted when the match started- but they soon realized they were in big against the defending 15u Provincal champs. Taking that match in straight sets but falling to the KW Predators in their next, gave the 'horns a second place standing. Meanwhile over in C pol the Desperados were taking full advantage of their first premiere tournament of the season and absence of perennial gold medal winning PakMen. A straight set win over Barrie Elites and a tight and thrilling win over the Niagara Rapids not only secured the pool for the "dos it put them in yet another crucial match against their little brothers. (These two battled for Gold back in December at the champinship event)

This match turned out to be the main event of the day. The Desperados bolted out to an early 8-0 lead against the 'horns on what looked like a case of the nerves by the kids. A much needed timeout by coach St Denis seemed to be good medicine as the remainder of the set was a true seesaw battle between the squads  finishing up 25-16. This made coach MacLean a little weary going into the second set, momentum is a fickle mistress. But the Desperados took a relatively commanding lead at 20-15 and seemed destined for their first ever trip to the final four at Premiere (this group finished 5th at all 4 OVA events last season). But  hold your horses... the Longhorns proved they had something left in the bag and not only got off the ground, but gored their awy back to win the second. With renewed confidence they over came an 8-5 deficit at the change and had the gumption to take a 12-9 lead in the third. WOW you could feel the tension on one side and the bravado on the other. But as this game so often shows us; things can turn on a dime or in this case a single spike by a 6'11 hammer. The Desperados fought back and totally commanded both the ball and the court winning 6 straight points and stealing the match. Not wanting any more of this bunch the Desperados are happy the Longhorns days of playing up are over... or are they? Coach Frank over to you!

The Longhorns are nothing if not a resillient group of well trained young men and they proved that with a huge win over Toronto Leaside (pool B winners) in the next match to retain the right to remain at the premiere level for the final event. While that option was not in the plans for the coaching staff, it is in the hearts and minds of all the players going forward.

Relieved from their brush with possible heartbreak, the Desperados found themselves in uncharted territory, they now were in the final 4 of a premiere event for the first time in their collective lives. Determined not to take too much satisfaction in the moment just yet, the coaches reminded their charges that there was still a long trail ahead of them and got back to work for the semis. Waiting for them was the #1 seed Titans Nemesis team from Scarborough fresh off their win over Leaside. These two squads had faced off twice before this season and had split the matches. But this time it was for a shot at Gold and the Desperados were now understanding the significance of their moniker and took their opponents nickname to heart in our motivation. Denied of a Bronze medal at the first 18u tournamentthe boys in Black were out to get their hands on some even more precious hardware by toppling the Titans in 2 thrilling sets.

Weary from the effort they were now off to the finals and a Storm brewing on the horizon. Markham rained on our boys for 4 seasons now often blowing them over in the process, would this be the turning point, a change in the forcast? The Desperados seemed determined to weather this torrent with a strong start and a late 2016 lead in the first. What happened after was a 24-26 robbery in the first and unfortunately too much for the tired Desperados.They slid off into the sunset in the second mustering barely a breeze of resistance, settling for the Silver Medal and a feeling of relief in getting over the hump. However their is still one more big hurdle and two absent teams who will have a say if the Maverick name is to be on the mantle at the end of this year.

Thanks for reading my ramblings and look for next weeks news right here.

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“ I've always made a total effort, even when the odds seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying; I never felt that I didn't have a chance to win.  ”
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