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by Davis

As much as complaint is fashionable, I feel obligated to say that the Washington/B.C. Sectional Qualifier is not that bad a tournament. Obviously, the calibre of play is not elite from top to bottom. Furious and Sockeye stand on a tier above Voodoo and Blackfish, and after that, the remainder of the field tend not to take the game quite as seriously. Still, it stands as a test of focus. You have to prove you can unflinchingly dominate your pool against a variety of skills and styles, and then that you can still bring your A-game to the final. Well, we didn’t do that this time, and Sockeye did. That’s the uncomfortable truth, and it’s the foremost reason why we still don’t have the right to complain about sectionals being in our tournament calendar.

Interestingly, although we had more players this weekend than last, we still suffered personnel problems. In Santa Cruz, we were shorthanded, but we still possessed a productive mixture of fixed-role players. Thus, even though we were sometimes tired, the chemistry was still intact.

This time, the absences of Brown, Oscar, Gabe, and Norris put us at a shortage of dedicated handlers. Therefore, in turn, the mids or receivers who also happen to have big throws (or, in the case of the D-line, just happen to know the system) necessarily filled those roles. But with Brendo, Seraglia, and Loach out of the picture, our lane-cutting game was also missing some big targets. That reshuffling of staff had noticeable effects on our focus and our success rate. On the one hand, taking players out of their comfort zones can be a building experience; on the other hand, few teams like to do this at the end of a season.

As for the particulars of the game with Sockeye, well, they have always posed a problem for us, and the above situation only exacerbated that fact a little. Furious can beat several teams that have beaten Sockeye; nevertheless, Sockeye has the Monkey’s’ number. Our handlers struggled to get the disc in favorable positions. And cutters, in turn, looked confused and stranded when handlers failed to secure those familiar positions. Much of this has to do with the stylistic fact that Sockeye just happens to challenge certain dump-cuts that our D-line is normally content to contain in practice. The adaptation we must execute is to get in the habit of finding the cuts they are leaving unchallenged more often. It seems obvious on paper, but in the heat of the moment, it requires perception and a trust therein that are difficult to produce.

Alex Davis

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