Dodgeball Winter 2013 Playoffs – Round 1

For four seasons I’ve been telling myself, one day the entire team will just click one week. Well I was most glad to find out that would occur during a playoff game last night.

Our opponent was Dodgeasserole (green team). When we met previously this season they handed us a loss, with their girls squad soundly handling our girls squad and our guys holding their own. So while we would be the underdogs, it wasn’t too out of the realm of possibilites that we could pull off and upset if we played great.

Unfortunately we were down two girls on the night, with an injury to Ginny and work obligations holding Eryn out. So we would be playing down down a girl the entire night to a fairly strong girl team. Not the best way to start, but oh well what could we do about it. Any and all help would be needed tonight.

Arriving on crutches, then MVP of the team Libby made a guest appearance to cheer us on for our big playoff game. It sounds kinda weird, but her just being there and yelling all the crazy stuff really got the team pumped up. Even though she’s far from playing, she really did make quite the impact on us all last night.

Well the first match was pretty hard fought. Our girls would end up losing a very close on, but wow did they play tough. I knew then, that even though we started off with a loss that we were going to have a legit shot tonight if everyone stayed focused on winning.

Our guys started the night hot and were able to keep up the pressure all game. Wes made a huge catch early that brought John B. back into the game and an eventual victory. The catch can be such a swing play, in this one was massive for us.

The back and forth of matches would continue the entire night. It was pretty awesome to watch the effort and smart play by our shorthanded girls. Even when they were losing a match, their tenacity would feed our guys to go out a play that much harder. We knew if us guys could keep winning, that our girls would eventually break through with a win or two.

On our guys side it was evident that Dustin was stepping up his game tonight. I did my best to make sure he got plenty of playing time and we rode our hot hands. I was glad to make some solid pegs on the night too and got a big catch that helped us win a game as well. My arm wasn’t as live as I had hoped it would be, but if you were midway I was going to hit you and that felt great.

The game continued to go back and forth, with some amazing plays on both sides. Megan made perhaps the greatest dodgeball catch I’ve seen ever. Falling to the ground and doing everything possible to keep that ball from touching the floor. Jared was making big catches too. I continually was reminding him to play hard, and he surely did.

Well the game eventually wound up at a tie, eighth games apiece. This meant a single tiebreaker co-ed game. So we had to pick our squad for this game.

John B. was an automatic selection, he’s simply our best player. Next I selected Julie as I figured she had made some catches on the night and I felt she would be most comfortable playing alongside John B. Next up I had to pick our second girl. It was near impossible to decide between Caitlin and Kristen, as both were playing extremely well and bring very similar, yet different skills to an overtime game. Ultimately Kristen won out in a rock, paper and scissors match to get the honors. Then I sent out Dustin and Kevin. Kevin for his ability to survive if that’s what it came down to and Dustin since he was running hot on the night.

I told our tow girls to play in an assistive role, getting the balls to our guys to throw and even acting as shields for John B. if need be to buy him more time in the match. The strategy was working for us. Before we knew it, there was just 1 guy and and 2 girls for the green. I knew we had a great shot at that point. Eventually it was down to 1 girl for green and she did a tremendous job to hang in there, but time eventually expired.

The Honey Badgers had just won their first playoff game in dramatic fashion. It was great, and I was so excited to see everyone play up to and beyond their potential last night!

We live to play another day!

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