Let the second half begin. We head down the back stretch of Summer League. It’s an important point in the season because of new rules instituted this year for replacement players. To avoid the debacle we had last year which resulted in the controversy of the year, there’s new rules for replacements to make it more fair and to give captains a little more control over their replacements. So starting now, replacement players who are added from this point on are only temporary and will all go into the replacement draft on August 3 for the tournament.
That particularly comes into play already since last night Sherry Zhang of Ren, who was playing as a female sub on Scooby Doo last night, tore her ACL which is of course a really unfortunate thing. She had helped put together the new LA women’s club team Rampage, and that’s a really big blow to them. We certainly hope for Sherry to have a speedy recovery.
As for Ren who has now lost their first round woman to injury, they will get a temporary replacement for the next few weeks which is very likely to be fellow Rampage player Dory. But if Dory wants to play in the tournament, she’ll have to go into the replacement draft on August 3 and then could be selected by another team.
So that’s definitely a difference from how it worked in the past.
Okay, and now to the Felix vs. Lady game that was also played last night on a different field. We start with David Reed of Felix:
Felix has won every other game, but only vs. cats. And BOTH on lights. So something has to give.
We arrived characteristically prompt to a hot beautiful HOT sunset at Sepulveda. I made up a new drill that I tried to teach Nay on paper before the game, but she said it was stupid. I decided I was gonna run it anyway. But Lady was very insistent we start our game ASAP since the field guy was giving us guff about not warming up till 8 sharp and that he was shutting off the lights and closing the gates at 10:15. So we cheered and rushed on the line. We may do better without drills.
The game started off back and forth. Lady established they were going to force us backhand the whole game. It definitely threw our cutters for a loop as we tried to ham it up the ham jole. But Kirkham was licking his lips and feasting on backhand hucks to D-Con and Rune. Both were unstoppable going deep. Plenty of other cutters got targeted, but those two were automatic. The deep game gave us a lead, but also kept the door open for Lady as a number sailed out of bounds leading to some long marathon point on a valley night in the high 80s. It felt like we were in command but then I looked up from a conversation with Spaz in the center sideline and Lady had closed the gap to 6-7. We tightened up and took half 8-6.
(BTW I’m loving the new full bodied salt and pepper facial hair on Spaz. He looks like a rad frisbee warlock that can hypnotize people with his spinning eyes!)
During half I try to talk about the importance of moving the mark around with fakes, especially to the break side on a backhand force. Everyone politely listened to me, but when we started the second half Felix decided to resume hucking. I can’t really blame them. Our hucks looked good, our cutters were fast. It’s fun to huck. It’s not fun to methodically break the mark and work it up. I even got in a deep shot myself for a score.
The 2nd half was more of the same. The deep game giveth and the deep game taketh away. We’d go up a chunk and then Lady would creep back in through our errant hucks. They got within one again to make it 12-11. The final three points were kind of a blur, but were all battles. Lady was low on numbers. Fatigue/heat was an issue for them on every possession, but their athleticism is hard to match, when Lady goes full throttle NO lead is safe. At 14-11 a male Lady caught the disc trapped on the line inches from the endzone. At stall 7 he called TO. Out of the timeout he jacks a hammer to the break side that cuts a little too hard. Andy (our newest freshest face) was guarding the layed out Lady cutter and takes off sprinting deep, full field, drawing a triple team! This leaves the whole field open for Felix to walk it up to the red-zone. Andy sets a vert stack and busts open side catching it just outside the endzone. (We’ve been doing a poor job getting Andy touches, despite solid cutting, and this was a nerve wracking position to be in on game point). He fakes! He pivots! He spins! The defense parted like the Red Sea for Moses and with an unassuming yet elegant backhand right down the middle …. He scores! The full force of Felix erupts and rushes Andy, nearly crushing him with our excitement. What a way to throw your first goal in a league game.
We finally won a game with the lights on AND we finally popped our dog cherry!
Lady played a physical, but spirited game despite missing their sweetheart of a co-captain Colin. Christi was a delight as always and I thank her for forcing our game to start on time
Luigi just destroying us with his low low IO flick break. (I know he likes it and I still can’t stop it)
Stig skying the two shortest guys on Felix with aplomb. I think his butt hit Lippy’s face in the air. Nothing we could do there.
Betz getting open under all day and catching some zippy throws.
I know Lady is winless, but they clearly have talent. My pick for a 1 seed tourney upset. If they can wrangle their eclectic group of personalities that is.
We had a lot of things going for us tonight:
1. New Jerseys
2. Sam played his first game with us.
3. Me and Nay (and Garfield’s Buster) won bar trivia Sunday and are still riding that high.
4. Kelsey bought a bluetooth speaker and we finally got to hear her 40+ song playlist about butts.
I think Felix plays better with music. Every time I looked at the sideline someone was dancing and smiling.
Random other thought: Two Cheshire players both said that this was the first time they’d ever seen me without a hat or a buff on. I wear the buff at night out of habit from when I had long hair, and during the day I started wearing a dorky hat with neck protection (dad hat) and long sleeve hiking shirts once some new moles started popping up a few years back. We live in a beautiful sunny place and all have fab ultimate bods we wanna show off, but don’t forget to take care of your skin, not just for vanity, UV rays are no joke and they hit you every day in SoCal.
The health conscious David Reed comes to the table. It’s a pleasure sir.
Reminds me of the lyrics to the cheer for the team Big Hat at Potlatch:
I like big hats and I cannot lie
Those little hats make me cry
When the disc goes up and you look into the sky and the sun gets in your face you get burned
And your pigment turns
Skin cancer’s our concern
I don’t want no stinkin’ visor
I don’t want no fishing cap
I don’t want no beanie or yarmulke
I need a fat ten gallon hat
Baby got hat
Oh, that brings back good memories.
Possibly the best part of this recap is right in the beginning when Reed says he wants to run a drill that Nay says is stupid, but he decides to do it anyway. There’s so much to learn about relationships in that exchange.
Then there’s this quote: “It’s not fun to methodically break the mark and work it up.” Oh, my friend, I know several handlers who would strongly disagree with you on that one. I’m not saying I’m one of them. As a lefty, I don’t break the mark nearly as much as I should. But I know some players who probably feel their break mark is their favorite throw. Luigi may even be on that list.
If you type in Ham Jole on Google, it thinks you mean Ham Joke. The first Google Image that came up was this, and I thought it was funny and should be shared:
Our next recap is from Lady’s side. This is Christi Betz:
At the draft, Colin and I were told we had one of the best teams. The first summer league poll had us as the top pick for winning the season. And here we are, week 6. Still looking for that first W. Is this the Sports Illustrated cover jinx? Were we doomed from the start?
I got to the fields extra early because LA traffic is never predictable. Soccer practice was winding down, and my Lady teammates started trickling in. We started to warm up and toss around 7:45 in some empty field space, but the field security dude came out and kicked us off because our permits don’t start until 8. I then got a short lecture about how we’re the most difficult permits because we stay on the fields too late, and we need to be out by 10:15 so they can lock the gates. The guy was nice enough but not exactly the most upbeat way to start the night.
Eager to get the game going and not have lights become a deciding factor, we flipped for sides and quickly got 7 on the line. Felix came out to an early lead (maybe 5-2?) but we hung in there. After trading a few more points, Felix took half on an easy open throw to one of their guys who snuck away from us. 8-6.
At half, Stig channeled angry Colin to yell us into shape (Colin couldn’t make the game). We picked up some momentum and kept the game close trading points back and forth. We had some great throws and great catches. At 12-10 Felix, I still felt like we were within reach of our first win. But then 12-10 became 13-11 and then 14-11. We had the disc on our endzone line. At stall 8, a time-out was called to set up a play. The disc was checked in. A hammer went up…and then it came down… in the grass. Felix worked it back up the field and scored for the win.
In the end, we beat ourselves. We could feel the win within our grasp, but we couldn’t keep our cool and forced our own turnovers. I think warm ups next week might need to consist of some trust falls and meditation.
You don’t see a lot of trust falls in Ultimate. But let’s turn a corner. Ramp this thing up. Bring a ladder. Extreme trust fall.
That’s really unfortunate Sepulveda is having such a problem with us. I’ve never heard these issues with other fields. But if they need to lock up by 10:15 then I’ll let everyone know for future we have to stop at 10. Just sucks then they won’t let us warm up before 8.