The second half of this week was a very busy one for me with respect to ultimate. I played my team’s final regular season game for PADA’s Fall Competitive league on Thursday night. That was as an incredibly cold night, by the way. I honestly think I felt warmer when I ran through the rain/snow fall this past Wednesday night. The team we played was statistically the second best team in the league at the time. They were also the eventual winners of the competitive league championship just a few hours ago. This team was captained by Patrick “Butter” Sherlock and featured several players both the Philadelphia Spinners (of AUDL and now MLU “fame”) and AMP (Philadelphia based mixed ultimate club). Personally, I was particularly pumped up for this game. Looking back on it, I guess you could say I had a personal vendetta of sorts to show improvement to the AMP captains after they cut me from try-outs back in the spring. I felt I pretty strong Thursday night. I was able to keep up with everyone on their team to put up a solid defensive effort. On offense, I caught one point, assisted two more, and was able to quickly decipher AMP’s unorthodox zone defense having never seen it before. I felt I played well overall that game despite our 11-6 loss.
Yesterday, I went back home to play with the Shippensburg Scapegoats B Team at Pennwood Middle School. It was great to see all my old friends on the A team again, as well. I played three games with the B team on Saturday. Our first game was against Stockton College, and it started later than scheduled because the majority of their team was stuck in traffic for the Philadelphia Marathon. We were able to assess 2 points against them before their players arrived. Unfortunately, this didn’t make a difference as Stockton just steamrolled us and handed us our first loss of the day. Our second game was against Franklin & Marshall University. I was optimistic about this game going into it, but we were hurt by a slow start. We were also still working out the kinks of having a fairly disjointed roster in that many of us didn’t know each other and weren’t yet aware of each others’ strengths and weaknesses. Our third, and final, game of Saturday was against the A team of Messiah College. After having played two whole games to work out the kinks and get comfortable with each other, I was again optimistic about coming out of this game with a W. Things were looking good through most of the game. We took half 8-4, and worked our way to a 13-7 lead. Then it all went down hill. We completely fell apart and lost the game 15-14 on universe point. Needless to say, that one stung a bit. To recover, I met up with Cassie, Finch, Debbie, Tim, and Aaron for dinner at Chickie’s & Pete’s followed by Skyfall. I highly recommend going to see this newest installment in the 007 series!
Today, Sunday, I played with my PADA team, Buzzz, in the Competitive Fall League Finals tournament. Over the course of the fall season it became the norm for us to consume a few beverages of the alcoholic variety during our games. Today was now different. We had a good supply of beer, wine, and whiskey to fuel us through the day’s games. Unfortunately, this didn’t help us at all. I know what you’re thinking. What did you expect? I didn’t expect to win the league championship. We developed another habit throughout the season similar to that of the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles. We were very good at working the disc down field, regardless of how many throws it took. Unfortunately, we were also very good at throwing the disc away at the goal line with many stupid turnovers. I was hopeful that we would at least win one game, though. Mostly, I expected to just have fun today. We played two games, and lost both. Then, I stuck around to watch the finals and scout some of Philadelphia’s club ultimate players to try to learn from them.
Now I’m sore and tired. Six straight losses in a four-day span is not how I wanted to end my fall season. On the bright side, things can only get better, right? This was the first weekend I played tournament style ultimate over two days since the spring of 2011 when I was with the Scapegoats (I didn’t really much back then, though.). I’m definitely not used to this sort of thing anymore. I’m confident that my marathon training will be a huge leap forward for my endurance to play more ultimate in a single day. I’m hopeful that it will also be a significant leap forward for my endurance over both days of a tournament. Only time will tell…