Usually on Wednesdays, I like to post about my weekly health updates to share how I’ve come along since the end of July when I realized I weighed 210 pounds. I’m down to 194 (stayed the same the past week, a little bummed but there’s a reason for it) but this week, I’d like to focus on our Sectionals weekend, one of the primary markers for how my health and fitness was coming along.

Starting last Wednesday, I took time off from working out to give myself extra rest before the weekend. Though I ran over 22 miles and took somewhere around 50K steps on Saturday and Sunday, I failed to do much else the other days of the past week. I also ate a ton of food this past weekend, including pizza, cake and ice cream Saturday night to celebrate our teammates birthdays (twins) and then had Chipotle on the way home Sunday night because I hadn’t eaten anything all day. The other days were a lot of the same, portioning kinda well but not really paying attention, and going for a walk when I could.

Onto the Tournament

Heading down Friday night with an amazing car of people is always the best way to get into the right mindset and mood for a tournament. Thankfully I had amazing company, and the talk bounced all around from Ultimate to work to friends and even condiments (Lowry’s Salt sounds a lot like Flower Salt, and that’s all I’ll say). Saw a couple of our teammates at the rest area in Kennebunkport, and we were well on our way down to Massachusetts for our big weekend. Coming into the weekend, Blackfly was seeded 5th overall, 3rd in Pool A.

Saturday

Our first game was at 9am, so we all got to the fields at 8am and started getting ready. As we were getting ready, one of our captains explained the importance of having great attitude this weekend, and we were all accountable to keeping not only our own attitudes up, but those around us. Each of us was assigned an attitude buddy for the weekend that were paired extremely well. I’ll do a whole post on attitude buddies, but this set our minds in the right frame from the get go.

We had an interesting first match up against Cake Bo$, who had a great first few points against us at White Mountain Mixed a few weeks back. This morning was a little different, as we put the pedal to the metal and never let off. We played strong and hard, kept our attitudes and spirits up, and ended up winning 13-3.

Our next game against Super Cuts started off slow for us. We started down 5-1 before rallying back, getting our sideline pumped and taking half 7-6. From there we kept moving forward with high spirits and finished the game off 13-9.

Our third game in a row on Saturday against Big Fish ended in a shame. We never got our groove, our sideline was out of the game, and we kept making costly mistakes. Though they were seeded below us, they were really unranked, so we had no idea what to expect. We could have and should have beat this team similar to Cake Bo$, but instead fell 10-13 for our first loss of the weekend, and a potential pitfall against our rankings.

We had a bye during the 4th round of the day, and everyone really needed it. We took time to rest, ice, get some food and think about our next and final game of the day.

The biggest match up for us this weekend was the 4v5 game, against Mixed Nuts who was seeded 4th going into the weekend.  We started off this game strong, staying in every single point and trading them back and forth. This was a huge game for us, and could determine whether or not we would get an automatic bid into Regionals (top 6 made it) or if we would have to play in for the 7th and final spot. During halftime, we started getting pumped up, bringing our energy levels through the roof and bringing out our huge “8th man” to help out on the sidelines. From there, everything went our way, excitement ran high, and we finished off the game winning 13-9.

Overall Saturday was a huge day, and a solid win for us. We went 3-1, which probably was expected for the day, however our loss was not against the suspected team, but we did win our close match against Mixed Nuts. Everyone was flying pretty high that day, and we were ready to celebrate with some Pizza, cold beer, cake and ice cream, preparing for two huge match ups the following morning.

Sunday

First game started at 11am against the number one seeded team in the Section, The Ghosts. Costly mental errors, sideline was out of it, and we ultimately ended up falling 3-13. Playing against the best we needed to bring our best game. We didn’t, hung our heads and didn’t cheer on the sidelines. That is something we will need to improve on.

The biggest game of the tournament for us was against Tea Party, and unranked team that just went 3-1 the previous day, losing only to The Ghosts. Their first game today was against Mixed Nuts, and they lost. This meant that if we won, we would be seeded 2nd, and get an automatic bid to Regionals. If we lost, we would drop all the way to 4th and have to play in for a spot. Our sideline showed up HUGE this game, and we started rolling from the get-go. Tank, our fearless leader for Blackfly since early 2000’s even ended up getting two huge D’s off of his pulls (think kick-offs in football), one so close he got a Callahan (think interception in your scoring end zone). What we thought might be a close and difficult game went nice and smoothly with little errors, a huge sideline, and lots of great plays. We rolled 13-5 to secure our first Regionals for Blackfly since 2002.

Our first crossover game to determine Regionals seeding was against The Lions, the #2 seed of the tournament, who lost to Pleasure Town, the #3 seed, earlier in the tournament. Similar to our game against the Ghosts, we made mental and physical errors, sideline was not part of the game while theirs was, and we again fell 3-13. Really need to work on these things for Regionals.

The last game we played was to determine the 4th and 5th seed, which surprise surprise was a rematch against Mixed Nuts. This time Mixed Nuts played hard and thoroughly, and came out on top 9-14. Both times we played them, though close, were very spirited games, and actually a blast to play. We know that they will be a close game in 3 weeks, so it is vital to keep working on our game to surpass theirs.

Final Thoughts

Overall a huge success for Blackfly. 2 years ago, we were playing Division 2 Sectionals, and won the whole thing against a group of rag-tag pickup teams. The difference between when I joined the team then and now is light years apart, both individually and at the team level. Seeing this team grow, and my teammates get so much better has been an amazing feat, and really made me proud to call myself part of Blackfly. Lots of work to do in the next couple weeks before Regionals the 28th and 29th, but win or lose, we have come a long way. Excited to see how the team fares in the years to come.

Blackfly after Sectionals, September 8th, 2013. Picture courtesy of Mark Lessard
Blackfly after Sectionals, September 8th, 2013. Picture courtesy of Mark Lessard

 

Question: How do you think Blackfly should improve their attitudes and sidelines going into Regionals? The common theme was a high energy sideline helped stay focused and in the game, so with closer games and better competition, we will need to be there.

A Successful Sectionals Weekend

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