Thursday, January 18, 2018

FREE-FALLING NICKER BALLERS



Boasters League round 3~~

You can’t really blame the Nicker Ballers for dropping so dramatically this week considering they had the bye. But the bottom did drop out rather substantially as they plummeted to last on the standings, now 7 points 8th placed Foss Nation who, by the way, hardly rocked the boat either this round. Bye weeks are a great opportunity for teams to make up past (or even future) matches, but the Nicker Ballers failed to take advantage picking up a paltry 6 points. Silver lining is that there is still time… let’s hope it is used wisely.

Over Served increased their lead over all other teams with a league best 46 points this week, a pretty decent effort. Rubbing salt into everyone else’s wound, they also have the most bonus points so far as well. Funny how the two always seem to go hand in hand. Mongoose are sitting pretty tied for 4th place, performing the best of the teams that have so far suffered through the bye week and they picked up 41 points for the round. Their bonus point count is also very healthy, as captain Paul Huth is on the prowl for his team members to show up. He will not divulge what he is threatening his players with, but it must be nasty… a lecture on the ‘let’ rule maybe?

Activity was reasonably acceptable last night. Plenty of eyes were on one of the early matches downstairs where Steve Brown (Vivio’s) had to use all his skill to overcome the speedy Blake Ellis (Mongoose). Obvious contrasting styles, Steve hand his soft hands and unexpected angles, Blake with his quick feet and sudden counter attacks. Entertaining squash, Steve took the result 3-0, but it was awfully hard work. I usually do not hand out coaching advice in these articles, but to keep it simple here: Steve: a little more patience at times before you shoot is needed. Some of those angles come over as forced. And Blake: watch your cross-courts! Too many of them and Steve was eating them up!

Paul Gormley (Over Served) picked up his second win of the season with a 3-0 over Tripp Kennedy (Paddy’s Dropshots). I’m mentioning this because Tripp came off the court yesterday and (half-jokingly) said I should move him down a spot in the league. For the first half of the season, in position 16, Tripp went 8-0 and absolutely merited promotion. He is finding it tougher now – as he should – but he is not outclassed at his current level. Paul’s words after the match: “He’s good!” Keep at it Tripp, you are improving and the wins will start up again.



Round 4 next week coincides with the “Meet the Candidates” night for the DAC elections later this month. That means that most of you will have a self-schedule match so you will need to be a bit more pro-active in arranging when you play. Winky-Dinks have the bye – can they minimize the inevitable damage in the standings with a decent amount of make-up matches? Can Nicker-Ballers dig themselves out of the deep hole they have made for themselves? Will Captain Huth punish his 2 players that did not turn up last night with a public square lashing? Will it ever get above freezing in Michigan again? What will the future hold…?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

BETTER SHOWING FOR WEEK 2



Boasters League round 2~~

Yes, it was a busier night in the court than week 1, but still not where we need to be. Plenty of squash to go around, but a significant chunk of it was pick-up games rather than scheduled league matches. Overall, more points were picked up this week as compared to last week, but that wasn’t particularly difficult to do considering last week people were still very much in vacation mode.

For round 2, Over Served outperformed the rest picking up 36 points and slightly increasing their lead to 7 points over Butter Nutz.  Mongoose – who sat out week 1 - were next in line with 31 points and have already overtaken Foss Nation on the standings. It is early in the season, so I wouldn’t read too much into that, only 8 points separate 5th through 9th, but falling behind the eight ball so soon generally does not end well.

Vivio’s understandably were the team to drop the most this week – 4 places to 7th – but they had the bye. They still picked up 10 points in makeup matches from week 1, and in reality are in a pretty decent position. It’s the teams that are just a couple of points above them, namely Nicker Ballers, Wardogs, and even Paddy’s Dropshots that need to be careful. Their bye week is yet to come.

Emphasizing some personal results for the evening… Colin Bayer (Over Served) was bitterly disappointed with his 2-1 win over Zac MacVoy (Foss Nation). He can’t believe he dropped a point let alone a game. Zac I am sure was equally dissatisfied with his 1-2 loss, especially since his brother Ryan has beaten Colin sometime in the past.

Brian Ellison (Nicker Ballers) on the other hand, was actually rather chuffed with his 2-1 victory over Sandy Selinger (Mongoose). Being on the losing side, Sandy was - as expected - a tad disgruntled considering that although losing 2 games he ended up with more overall points than Brian.

Chris Moyer (Nicker Ballers) appeared perfectly accepting of the fact that he was beaten fair and square by the ever-hustling Ian Edwards (Mongoose) 2-1. Chris’ praise for Ian went so far as to mention he wished he was more like him… Now, just to be clear, I am sure Chris was talking about Ian’s court coverage ability. At least I hope he was.

What will week 3 throw at us? (Probably more snow…) Nicker Ballers sit the week out, Mongoose and Vivio’s go at it, and as active as both teams are they could really help each other out. Can Foss Nation pull themselves out of the gutter? Can Colin Bayer win 33-0? Will the Detroit Lions hire a head coach who knows what they are talking about? Will it even matter? Stay tuned for the answers to these questions and more, same Bat-Channel, same Bat-Time…

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