USAU Club Championships – Day 1

The first morning–dew swathed across the short grass, thin fog dissipating in the rising sun–always stirs an excited anticipation. Only one member of Revolver had never experienced Sarasota, but even precocious rookie Russell Wynne had been battle-tested during our undefeated run at Worlds earlier this summer in Prague. Our other five rookies have all been here before with Jam, the Condors, or other squads, in the case of multi-divisional champion Sam Kanner.

Game 1 – Pool play, pool B – 9:30a vs Southpaw (Philadelphia, PA)
San Francisco versus Philadelphia–mirroring the NLCS, which SF won in 6 games! In a rematch of a close victory at Labor Day (in a game that we trailed at halftime), we minimized the impact of #12 Joel Wooten’s deep game by forcing him underneath and then blanketing the other younger, less-experienced downfield targets. The Philly throwers’ frustrations manifested in their facial expressions as they held the disc for long periods of time, rarely able to string together quick consecutive throws. Our O-line went unbroken and we closed out the game 15-7 in time to kibitz the second half of the game next door as Madcow delivered the first upset of the tournament against Johnny Bravo, making things immediately more interesting in Pool B.

Game 2 – Pool play, pool B – 12:15p vs Madcow (Columbus, OH)
We saw their youth, athleticism, and fearlessness on display only an hour before but Madcow was unable to fluster us in our first-ever matchup. Their couple of big guns could loft deep shots, but they weren’t consistently precise enough to prevent our defensive corps from collecting underneath and engulfing most of their errant hucks, including a couple of nice Ds by Martin Cochran. We never let off the gas and won 15-7.

Game 3 – Pool play, pool B – 3:30p vs Johnny Bravo (Boulder, CO)
Our most recent loss this season came at the hands of Bravo at Labor Day as dusk fell on a Saturday that saw our trifecta of ex-Bravos all injured (Martin Cochran with a broken hand, Beau Kittredge with bruised ribs and shoulder, and Mac Taylor with a black eye that swelled shut).  We had been looking forward to a rematch for a while. They appeared exhausted compared to how fresh we felt. We stepped around a pool of vomit on their sideline and helped them stretch out a few on-field cramps–their earlier unexpectedly tough games combined with an unusually hot and muggy day had clearly exacted a toll. Still, they fought and clawed like always, including great play on both sides of the ball from #16 Ryan Farrell despite early cramping. Our stout O-line only allowed one break all day en route to a 15-10 win.

Checking the day’s results found a couple of surprises, but we were not at all surprised to see Furious George advance from the bottom seed of their pool into the power pools. We would soon meet them and Chain Lightning in power pools, buoyed by the Giants’ 9-0 explosion in Game 2 that night, a game that also served as a welcome distraction from all things Ultimate.