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Weekend Round up.. the rest of the story

2016 / 02 / 22

Let's work the opposite way up this time and start with the 15u boys event in Kingston.

Here we had botht eh 15u Chargers and the 14u Bandits playing up. The day would have it's ups and downs for both groups but they came at opposite ends for each and against the same team. The Chargers were eager to try-out their new offensive system in competition for the first time and it seemed to be the right stuff as theyput a charge into the Storm Voltage team from Aurora. But then a short circuit against the Fusion team in three would result in a second place finish in pool play and more importantly a quarter final against our own Bandits. A second place finish by the Bandits who result in their paths crossing at the worst time possible. The first round of playoffs. Here one team would move on to the medal round and the other left to play out the consolation round. In this battle it seemed to see saw both ways at times but the youngsters of Coach Paul Gratton proved that their is no substitute for the winning experience and they were able to pull off the upset three set win over the Mike Spears coached 15u group. Quite possibly this huge interclub win, distracted the young guns as they then went on to lose their next two matches and finish 4th in the event. A solid showing when you play up, but watch out for the Chargers next time guys.

In the 15u Trillium girls event held in Pembroke all I can say is... WOW. Talk about success when you "Own the Podium". Gold, Silver and Bronze went to the Trailbalzers, Scouts and Outlaws in that order. What a sight that must have been and a thrilling 3 set final would be the icing on the proverbial cake. great work by Coaches Rose Bergeron, Andrei Mant and Nick Krawchuk for their excellent work all day. It should be noted that the only set loss for the trailblazers came in the finals vs the Scouts (which was their only loss of the day). capping off the Maverick blitz was the fact that the Outlaws only losses were to their two Maverick sister teams as well. Own the day I say.

Moving on up the ladder but close to home, in fact here at home, the 15u Ambush and 14u Raiders both competed in the 15u Championship level of the Bugarski cup. The Ambush made sure that everyone would not doubt their appearance here, it was not going to be pretty as they had a point to prove. In keeping all opponents under 20 in all but one set coach John Nguyen's girls flexed their muscle and gained the points required to keep their seeding as high as possible for the OC's in April. Meanwhile coach Rob McMullin's 14u team found out very quickly that the move from Trillium to Champinoship when you are playing up, is a significant change in level. While the girls gave it their all, in the end the experience and size of the older girls proved too much to handle. The big take away for any team facing this situation is to learn where and what you need to be and do in order to succed in the future. Then take it back to the practice gym to continue building the foundation. I am confident the Master Coach Mo Shaeen will do just that after being with the team for every match.

Again we ascend the ladder and find the Premier East event being held in Scarborough and Coach Chico Tanguay trying out the waters for the first time.(If you remember this group has been up and down the OVA ladder this season with stops at each) Now at the top the Stampede gave it their all with a close opening day loss in 3 sets to the Thundercats, followed by a solid three set win over E381 from Etobicoke. The reality of the level then hit as they were dealt a crushing blow by the eventual Bronze medalist Etobicoke Titans. This left him facing the dreaded Storm 14u team that has caused havoc at the 15u level all season. Here his girls mustered their game back into shape and held off the young Aurora group for a three set win and a 5th place standing. A great showing for a first time in premiere and a team that had to get there the hard way but they are showing the right stuff at the right time of the year for sure.

At 17u we also had a trio of teams competiting. At championship the BlackJacks could be found in Whitby where they proceeded to ..wait a minute....hmm no results yet..check back soon while I call coach John Spack.

Ok so then at the Trillium event in Cornwall the Gamblers and Wildcards complete the picture.The morning got off to a slow start for the Wildcards with a tough loss to the 16u Fusion team they had beat in the finals of their last 16u event. I guess motivation is huge even early in the morningl A win in the next over the Airforce and it was off to the playoffs. Quick work against the home town Vikings lead to a battle with the number one seed 17u Fusion team. A rough and tumble affair which resulted in the tough three set Wildcard victory. A victory that may have taken more out of the girls than coach Pat Henderson wanted as they fell in three close ones in the finals once again to the 16u Fusion squad.A in the same event the Gamblers who were guest coached this weekend by CLaudine Lindsay who the players took to right away. They were playing up and had a early morning wake up call against the 17u Ottawa Fusion team but rebounded to win 2-0 vs the New Bellville Titanium group. This gave them a quarter final shot against Pegasus 17u and the Gamblers took a lot of risks in their playoff win. This brough up a complete Fusion/Maverick final 4 unfortunately the gamblers went bust in both matches and settled for a 4th place finish.

Now the final event on our calendar was the 17u boys Bugarski cup Championship division in Oshawa. This marked the third event this season at Maxwell Heights for our Longhorns and we hope they are getting the lay of the land because we still have one more trip there in two weeks. The 'Horns began the day without the services of Head Coach Kerry MacLean as he was watching his little boy head through the airport on his way to a new life in Korea...can you feel the heart break... sigh! Meanwhile back at the gym, Coach Stephane Beaullieu took the reigns and got the most from his first set with an amazing 27-29 performance against the #1 seeded Thuncats Black team. Then next he gave the Pegasus 17u boys a scare at 22-25 falling just a bit short. So it was third in our pool and a date with one of the top 16u teams in DA Black. Our guys were not even buoyed by the appearance fo the head coach (again more heartbreak) and a heavily lopsided loss, crushed their spirits. But here is where it got interesting and rewarding for me. After such a one sided loss two things can happen. a team can either be destroyed or insulted. A brief meeting ans some words of inspiration that may have been motivated by the fact that it is usually Travis who gives these talks, the old guy pulled out all the right words and the Longhorns chose to vent their frustration on the Markham Wildcats. After a resounding straight set win that was just what the doctor (well me anyway) ordered. This performance set up a rematch with 17u Pegasus. You know how I mentioned in the GrandPrix article that it is hard to beat a good team twice in the same day.. Well the Longhorns proved they are a good team after all, with a very solid team effort and straight set win over the older guys from Kingston and a fifth place finish. 

All in all a good weekend and we look forward to another next week where I will get a birds eye view of the Raiders performance.

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“ I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. ”
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