Dodgeball Winter 2013 Playoffs – Round 2

Very excited to be playing on the second week of dodgeball playoffs for the first time, we knew we were facing a mighty tough task this week. We’d be facing off against That’s What She Said, whom has the finest girls squad in all of dodgeball. They’re all very good players.

This week we were lucky to have our full roster on hand, and everyone seemed to be feeling pretty positive coming off last week’s incredible performance. We discussed pre-game strategies and were ready to go.

Their girls took the first match, but ours held their own. At this rate it was looking like we might be able to win a few as the night went on. Our guys took the first match with a pretty solid performance. We seemed to of continued where we left off last week.

The Badgers got off to an early lead when the girls upset their squad and took a win. At this time we were all feeling pretty great and knew that we’d gotten off to the start that we needed to. Now we just had to keep applying pressure for the rest of the night.

Well that plan kinda didn’t pan out. Unfortunately That’s What She Said would go on to win the remainder of the matches that night. It stunk, to see us lose this way after having a great start.

I didn’t play very well. My throws just weren’t sinking like they usually do. It resulted in two of my throws being caught, which is the same amount that were caught in the previous ten games this seasons. Not good.

Despite the loss, I was still very proud of the team. I thought we handled things well, and did give it our all throughout the night. I didn’t see any quit from any one. Even when we were down 6-2 the troops still believed we could come back! I’m not sure we’d have such resolve earlier in the season, so that I was very glad to see.

It was also fun watching the championship game later in the night as well. One of the matches was so excited that a few of us were lying on the floor looking under the curtain just to get a glimpse of the excitement. It was pretty funny.

I’m also glad that many of the Badgers hung around to watch the later games too. It was a true honor to of crafted mat bleachers and hand out with the girls watching some good dodgeball. They’re a pretty great bunch, and I was very lucky to have them as teammates.

Hopefully everyone can return for next season and we can continue to improve.


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!


Dodgeball Winter 2013 Week 8

Going into the last game of the regular season, the Honey Badgers have had a very difficult time getting some wins. I’ve felt that our team has been playing alright for most of the season, but it seems that the other teams have been improving a great deal, especially on their girl squads.

We were really glad to end the season with the Banzai Executioners. Not only because they shared the same record as us, but they’re a very honest and fun team to play. They’re a fun bunch.

I really wanted us to give our best tonight and try to get what have seemed to be a most elusive win. So I gave my plea before the start of the game that we try our best to get a win, and was most glad in the results that I would eventually see.

Right out of the gates our girls came out strong. I felt that they played their best last night. They played aggressive and went after the ball, instead of sitting back and getting out of the way. I couldn’t even begin to count just how many catches they would go on to make throughout the night, It was pretty awesome to watch.

Not only was their play superb, but there were high fives, talking, and just overall great team morale going on. At times I think that is our missing ingredient, but not on this night.

Julie, Kristen and Caitlin really seemed to step up their game last night. They really seemed to be playing with more confidence. Ginny was her steady self and Eryn made some big plays of her own as well. They all played really great, especially early on to give the team an early lead as well as confidence.

Not to be outdone, out guys showed up to play as well. While there are times I doubt the intensity and focus of Jared, he was all business last night. Making big catch after big catch, with a huge acrobatic catch to seal an early match victory.

John B. who I saw clutching his shoulder very early on, wasn’t in good throwing shape last night. Being the true teammate that he is, he sound found ways to contribute to the team big time making huge catches as well as drawing fire on himself to free up others to get throws off.

Making a big play of his own was Wes with a huge catch that sealed our victory on the night. He’s always telling me that he’s bummed he hasn’t made many catches, and last nights made up for all of the previous attempts. Dustin also had a pretty impressive last stand and nearly stole a game for the Badgers. He was really bringing heat that game.

Banzai captain Kevin got me out 4 times last night! 3 failed catches on my part as well as a peg on me. Wow, he’s really improved and I’m glad to see that, even though it was at my expense. Besides that, I felt pretty good last week. While I’m pretty sore the next day, I didn’t have any significant elbow pain as I did the previous week. I also felt that I was moving around pretty well and getting close to my pre-injury speed and activity.

A huge win for the Badgers and hoping that we can carry it over into the playoffs next week!


Dodgeball Winter 2013 Week 3

The Honey Badgers had a double header this week. This always scares me a bit, because of all the throwing that our guys will do doing on the night. I always fear someone is going to burn their arm/shoulder out. Plus I’m still working up my arm strength/endurance and still have a throw count that I’m gradually building up.

Well to help out our cause this week, we happened to be issued a free agent. Bearded Joe (I don’t know his last name yet, and since we now have 2 Joe’s that’s what I’m going with for now). He instantly proved to be a great teammate and pretty solid player as well. I don’t know how we do it, but we always seem to do great with free agents.

Former Honey Badger great Lauren was on hand as well, not to play (fractured hand) but to present a great fundraiser coming up in May for MS. I’m going to do my best to get the team to volunteer and hopefully get more of the league as well. It sounds like a noble cause.

Our first game was against the Banzai Executioners. As always it was a fun and tight contest. We always enjoy playing them, and it was really neck and neck for the most part. We actually had to call the match short due to time, so I’m not exactly sure if they officially got the victory or if it will be made up at this point.

Overall I thought we underachieved a bit as a team (a bad trend), but did flash signs of improvement along the way. Eryn and Ginny really stood out for their improvement and earned Honey Badger of the Week honors as a result. I thought Chris really played a lot better too, and new addition Bearded Joe not only brought intensity on the court, but off the court as well cheering teammates on.

Our later game was against the new team, Sea You Next Tuesday. I haven’t seen them play before last night, so had no idea what we were up against. They had some talented players, but you could tell they were overall new to the game still.

We were able to defeat them, earning our very first official win of the season! It was pretty nice to finally get that win.

As far as my comeback tour goes, I’ve been very impressed thus far. I’ve been throwing extremely hard and pretty accurate as well. I even have been having success getting some solid, late movement on my throws as well. They’ve been coming off heavy and low, making them very difficult to catch (none have been caught thus far).

All that hard work training and rehabbing have freakishly paid off to me. There’s no way even two months ago I’d of told you I’d be throwing as well as I am today. Arm strength/endurance is still an issue though. The shoulder is doing better than ever, but the elbow does tire out and get’s painful pretty early on though. Gradually working it up every week does seem to build up strength without setbacks so far.

Enough about me, all in all I was very pleased with the team this week! Our girls played a lot more aggressive and that made a huge difference. I hope we continue to improve towards the playoffs.


Played Dodgeball With my Right Arm

I know this might not be a big deal to most, but last night was my return to dodgeball using my reconstructed right elbow!

Not only was I able to throw for the first time in 6 months, but I threw pretty damn well all things considering.

All my throws were tight and low, with many having some late movement on them. None were caught and a couple resulted in the few pegs. I’m not sure it could have gone much better for my first attempt at returning.

I only played in 2 matches to ease my arm back into form. Even though it was only 2 matches, both involved a lot of throwing and wow am I sore as a result. Last night I was a bit concerned that the soreness could be something more serious, but while still very sore I think it’s gone down a bit today. Hopefully it’s just soreness and I’ll be fine in a day or so.

The only real drawback on the night was that we lost the game! But, we did play a lot better than the previous week, so I’m hoping we can get some wins soon!

I still don’t think we’re playing up to our potential as a team just yet.


Dodgeball Winter 2013 Week 1

One of my favorite days of the year, the first week of a SJSL season! It’s great to see all the familiar faces, say hello, etc. It reminds me of the first day of grade school when you see all the kids who you were friends with but didn’t see much over the summer.

This season we had almost all of our players returning as well as the addition of 3 new additions (technically 4, but one didn’t show last night). One is my friend since 1st grade, so I knew Wes would fit right in a be a fine addition to the squad. And I must say I’m very much impressed by Megan and Chris as well. Both not only were fine participants, but picked up the rules right away and got along great with everyone. Should be a fun season.

The only negative on the  night was our opponent, 3-time champion The Ghostbusters. Not only are they very, very good, but we were playing with brand new dodgeballs last night. Brand new dodgeballs means a faster ball with more movement. This would wind up making shot work of many Honey Badgers on the night.

It really hard to say much about the game, we were pretty much dominated from start to finish. Our guys did win 1 match and it was pretty great. With our reaction you’d of thought we won the entire league.

Once everyone settles down, I do think we should have a pretty solid team. Our girls are all pretty athletic and if they play a bit more aggressively I do believe they can beat any girl squad. I just need them to be more aggressive in going for catches, so many of them are great at catching but they still seem committed to dodging all the time.

Our guys are looking ok too. We just drew a really tough match-up for our first game. But like I told everyone, the game will seem much slower playing the other teams now.

Despite the loss, I’m really impressed with our potential and know it will be fun.