Ever since chesapeake has been in existence, it has been my least favourite tourney. Don't get me wrong, the location is tremendous, it is drivable from boston (if you are an idiot), and the fields are normally flat-ish and nice for august on the east coast.
However, there is one thing that I associate with late-august in Virginia: extreme heat and humidity. Oh, and severe underperformance.
Metal would always be having a promising season only to have our legs knocked out from us at chesapeake. The past hasn't been too much better for ironside (double game point win against forge, getting blown out by chain the year before).
This year, the weather was great, the fields were pretty flat except there were deep, narrow holes in the field apparently caused from horses. how the horses don't snap their legs off in the holes still confuses me. If anything they were a little hard, but, again, it is august on the east coast.
Friday: I drove through some pretty bad storms to get up there. it took a little over 6 hours (5 hours on the way home), and got in only to find that a lot of the team had delayed flights and I wasn't the last person rolling in at 11 at night.
Saturday: woke up, got to the fields, and had a full 12 hours of ultimate ahead of us. oof. game, game, bye, game, bye, game is a pretty rough schedule.
We played Madison first. It was a fairly chippy game. probably the most calls out of any team we played all weekend. we got up and got into control the first half, and then our D line got lazy and stopped getting turns and our O line in the second half coughed up and got scored on a few times. All of a sudden it was 11 all game to 12 with madison pulling. our O line had a miscue which left a force side throw floating out in space to no one, and madison about 20 yards out for the win. However, our O line buckled down and played D getting a turn and then marching it up the field for the win. The win didn't give us any good feelings though.
We played El Diablo next. They pretty much are a young team of a lot of hard, scrappy workhorses and had one really good player who could cut very well and throw bombs. We slowly pulled away in that game.
We then went to get some real food since we would be playing until after 7 pm that night.
We played truckstop next featuring ex-metalurgist, brian stout. stout of course was shirtless 90% of the time. We played pretty well against them and did a great job of putting a lot of defensive pressure on their handlers and cutters. after the turn, we were very efficient with the disc.
Then, we had the second bye of the game. just in time to start to feel how hard the fields had been on our bodies.
After that bye, we played in one of two "showcase" games. I would have rather played our game earlier and had time to watch revolver vs. chain, but, I am not the TD. We played ring of fire. Again, they play us very well with their poachy D, force middle, and transition zones, but the more we see it, it seems the better we do against it. We started out super sloppy. Luckily both teams wanted to play that way.
I was happy to see steve poulous(sp?) back and playing. Rusty and Jared again scored or threw a lot of goals against us. On D we got a lot of turns, but the force middle D slows us down some as the D cutters don't quite have the same flow as the O cutters have (and the D handlers don't have the same breaks).
We go home, swim in danny clark's pool, and eat some great food his family cooked.
Sunday, we wake up, get to the fields. and get ready to play Bodhi. bodhi just got done playing the pre-quarters. Their offense never clicked the whole time we played them, although individuals on their O line played well. Our D line scored every time we had the disc until late into the second half. towards the end of the game, bodhi got one or two breaks on our O line, but we were in control.
We then had about 15 minutes before the chain game, and we all just sort of wandered off to do our own things. there was no warm-up or focus. chain had an almost full roster here and it seemed at least from an O line perspective most of their players were healthy.
We start on O and our o line is not clicking. they are doing a good job on our handlers forcing us to go to the second or third dump option a lot, and we cough up the disc 4 times in the first 2 points. not good. i think they only get one break in that series though.
The D line struggled to stop their 4 man play out of ho or vert. the combination of zip, dylan, aj, cricket, joel wooten, etc is a pretty big task. not to mention their handlers are very good as well at both breaking and hucking. when chain is on, they are very hard to stop.
in 8 D points i think we got one turn and then immediately gave it back on an errant huck (which is increasingly leading to my belief that if you are struggling to get a turn, your first opportunity it might be a good idea to try to work the disc up with methodical in cuts - safer passes since you haven't thrown in a long time and it tires out the O line who, if you do score will be out on the line for the next point - another thought for another day). The D line did get opportunities for Ds that did not fall our way. we had a couple tipped discs, Ds that another O player caught, and a couple near misses. on a different day, maybe they would have been turns, but the bottom line is we got beat and beat bad. I think they scored 80% of their goals in less than 5 passes (we played some zone against them as well).
On the field over, it looked like ring was handing it to revolver, but apparently the game was pretty close. The final was not close. Both teams play pretty similar offenses, but chain just has more dynamic throwers. we tried to get revolver to play us for 3rd but they said they didn't want to because they had labour day next weekend.
Lots to work on as sectionals and regionals approach.
from a me perspective, i thought i had a very good tourney offensively and defensively. On sunday i felt a little slow from my joints being stiff from the fields, but after a few points of the bodhi game i was at full speed. I still need to work on my throws, my marking, and my quickness and speed before we get to regionals. I am looking forward to it.