Best year ever? I've had some amazing kids come through the school, but this was my most successful mixed team yet. We lacked the one cannon armed kid we've always had, but had great depth accross the board. IN fact, I don't think we connected on andy +50yard out passes, all weekend. But I don't think we took more than 3, and we were very successful on the 40ish range, with long throws coming from as many as 5 of my 11 players.
Most impressively, we ran, at least 70% of the offense: executing the cuts, scoring pretty frequently on 4-6 passes, lots of scoreing on 3 or less possessions (trust me, that's a big improvement). Many of them on 'one offense' or 'one defense.'
I really had no idea of what to expect. Last year, we didn't have a UPA event, and, we played no tournaments. When we played our first tournament 7 years ago(technically 6 years ago, as this is the 7th state), we scored the first 2 points of the day against perennial powerhouse churchill, and never looked back enroute to scoring no more points the rest of saturday play. Over the years, we've still never played a single tournament outside of Or. State States. Which we once hosted.
We've gone 0-6, 3-4, lot's of .500 years, and then this year 5-2. Here is the link.
(1) Churchill 6-0 in pool play; won the final
(2) Summit Varsity 5-1 in pool play
(3) Sheldon HS 4-2 in pool play; won the 3rd place game
(4) Crescent Valley Tribe 3-3 in pool play
(5) Grant HS 2-4 in pool play; won the 5th place game
(6) Summit B 1-5 in pool play
(7) Corvallis HS 0-6 in pool play
We had very suprising margins of victory, until we met the Churchill Juggernaut. 13-5 goes away really quickly, when you are used to scoring those against a team that will give you 3 chances. Churchill has one absolute stud player, who looks ready to make the jump to the next level, and several very talented players who may do the same.
They played a great TEAM game, so it's it's difficult for me to assess individual talent. Lots of seniors. Great flow out of the Horizontal stack. Success long and short. They didn't blow me away with their defense, but frankly, in a 13-5 win, not getting any take aways from us doesn't speak to any 'lack' of defensive talent.
OH, and ironically, we scored the first 2 points against them in our first game against them.
IN the build up to our games, here is the round by round summary.
Summit 13- Corvallis Mixed 0
A good draw. Corvallis mixed is a brand new team, (or rather, a return of a legendary pro gram). The new team is young, and until 2 weeks ago, uncoached. But, now with some coaching, they may be on the upswing. This weekend was hopefully a jumping off point. But, it served as a huge confidence booster to my kids. And the seeding was luck, as this was the 5-6 game coming in. Turned out we were underseeded, by I told the tournament director that if Grant, Churchill, CV, and Sheldon had a tourney under our belt, we should be no higher than 5th. I think there was not a single call the whole game, by either side, no arguements. I'd played a couple games of the Gandy Goose with the new coach, and it was a really pleasant experience. Having been there (new coach of a new team), I really appreciate what the kids and coach are going through (fun for the kids, teeth gnashing frustration for coach, at least it was for me).
Summit 13-Sheldon 3.
A stunning upset, at least on past results, but a wake up call for me to the vagaries of HS ultimate from year to year. They had some good talent, but just didn't get it going. And, it was my first inkling in our future of winning points that involved a turnover or two. Super classy, I'd played a tournament with the coach last year. Definitely, one of those games, where coaches are on the same page, and if they asked us, we'd probably have had the same opinions on calls and stuff. The turning point of the game was a best of 1 ROCHAMBO for a line call on the other side. That we won after, no kidding, 10 straight tied throws. Couldn't have been cleaner.
Summit 12 - Grant 3
The tournament format was 4-3 or 5-2, offense decides. Grant had a small team with only 5-7 guys on saturday, and 4 experienced girls. They (understandably, based on their experience) assumed it was 4-3,3-4. We played offense calls for a while, then they had a guy go down with cramps. Hmm. We played 6-6, 3boys 3 girls. It was a bit contentious, and I told my buddy (who's kid i'm coaching) that was the hardest 12-3 game i've ever played. Bottom line, they maid calls, which is not inherently wrong, we usually don't, but that's team policy: until you know and play by every rule, don't bore me with cheap travel calls when some of the team travels.
We had a bye round. I went for a 5 mile run.
Sat/Night Sunday Morning.
Camping was eventful. But not for the reasons that every coach fears. The campground was a grassy oak tree shaded place. I stayed there friday with 8 of the boys, and we were in bed by 10. I slept on the ground, and went to sleep staring up at the swaying tops of trees. Awesome. Too much light polution to be perfect, but I had an eye pillow. Saturday night, the whole team (v and JV are there). I again slept on the ground, curfewed them at 10, had to tell one kid he couldn't take his shower at 10 (sorry dude, i told you the curfew). Slept on the ground to make sure that there were no shenanigans of co-ed camping. Slept like a champ.
IN the morning, dads cooked pancakes, and a random cow ran through camp. Told the kids to stay away. Didn't get a look to see if it was a cow or a bull. The cow ran off to the west into the RV park. WE drove into town, saw police lights, long story short, one of our cars reported a cow sighting. The cow had escaped. And run at least 4 miles to campus. free at last.
despite my best efforts, rather than warming up at 8 for our churchill game, we warmed up at 8:40. We went up 2-0, before losing 13-5.
Round 5 (our 4th game)
Churchill 13- Summit 5
Once they got going, we could't hang. We let them run by us to the endzone too much. Too much inexperience, vs too much experience. Too many seniors, vs too many sophmores. Too many big arms vs an offense than needs 4 passes to score. Again, they had 1 obvious great individual talent, and some other good players. They had no coach, which, I think HS teams should have a coach on hand so that I can talk to someone about 'game issues' without engaging the athletes: to do so is to be pedantic.
Summit Varsity vs Summit JV
13-3. Back to form. Vs teams willing and able to have a couple turnovers, varsity wins. My JV team had 2 players who were of 'a' quality, and specifically would have been great goal scorers defenders, but, I thought it best to let the JV team have some anchors. Appropriately chippy, but only lightly so. I got in a run during the pregame and early game, as I didn't want to 'over coach' one team or another. From 5-1 I just worked with each team a bit to get them to focus on improvement.
Summit 13-Crescent Valley 5.
We may have been automatically into 2nd before this game based on other outcomes and point diff. But I didn't discuss this with the team. Until about 5-4, I don't think CV's offense had a single turnover. I was very concerned. Their H stack was a slower, but equally effective version of Churchill's. But it faded, and we won. The coolest of the cool. And they deservedly won the spirit award. They constantly showed courtesy and respect, slapped hands after good plays, etc. I can only hope that they saw our team as showing similar quality.
In the 7 team round robin, the last round was 1-2, 3-4, etc.
We hung around a bit vs. churchill, but, they'd had a bye, they were better, our 11 person roster was just cooked. But all in all, a great weekend.
A note about the JV team:
Seeded 7th of 7, they showed steady progress throughout the weekend. Scoring better and better all weekend, it culminated in a big win over corvallis' new team. Against Grant, grant had a different guy get hurt. So we, at their request, played 3 girls every point. But they had to play 4 guys all game. A bit chippy, but basically fair. And, at 11-8, I told my team, I could shorten the lineup, or we could play it out with our open rotation. They chose the open rotation, and lost 12-9 after a couple long points ate up the cap.
A wonderful weekend for the team. Ironically, I was talking to a parent 10minutes before the end of the JV game, and I said, "it's been perfect and... well one more thing, but I'll tell you later." I was thinking, 'and no one has gotten hurt.' 3 minutes later, a player went down with an ankle injury (lots of swelling, but hopefully a sprain).
'horrible noises' by me.
But a great game by the team, yeah storm.