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Furious vs Nomads IV

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One Last Sparring Match

by Nick Menzies


Likely the final installment of the 2012 Worlds Prep Spring Series,
the stage was set for another game at the beautiful Musquem Park in
South Vancouver. The Nomads have been ramping up through the spring,
adding some stars, getting into game shape and remembering how to
grind as a team. Furious has been working on strategic tweaks to the
offense and picking up the overall pace of our game, as well as
working on the little attitude things that bring success for a long
tournament against opponents we do not know well.

As a young player on UBC in 2005 we had a teammate, well known
throughout Canada for his field demeanor, Chris Mackie, who explained
that in ultimate you need to have two mental spheres, and be able to
switch back and forth. On offense, he explained, everything was cool
and calm. You look good and feel good, and are in your happy place.
Defense, well, that’s different. You are struggling to react to your
check, trying to catch up, trying to hold the force, poach off for a
second, back to your check, should have leaned to your right instead
of your left, whatever it is, you could have always done something
different that would have been better. You are constantly frustrated,
and that is your angry place. While we often as a team rely on the
“angry monkey” for the source of our intensity, we wanted to keep it
light and be in our happy place feeling good going into Japan. With
early pressure on the handlers, good work on holding Joey Hussein and
Al Bob’s throws to the open side, we struck out to an 8-2 lead at
half.

For me, playing the Nomads this year has been awesome. These are the
players I learned how to play the game from, and will always have a
tremendous amount of respect for their contributions to my
development. Mike Enns, catching some rays in his runners is still
trash talking me to be trash talking my own guys to fight. John Frame,
better known as Biff – one of the original pure defensive blockers has
been driving his shoulder into my chest all spring, positionally sound
physical defense that taught me to love dictating to my check how it
was going to be, all game long. To see some young furious player sag
off of Span on the far sideline, I was thinking of saying, “tighten
up, low left hand!” but the swing had already come, and Span had
already ripped a low flick huck for a goal. How could I go and
quickly explain that Span has some of the best field vision for
letting the initiators run around, and at the instant you think as a
defender “this guy is doing nothing” he roasts you for a goal or an
assist.

The second half was tighter, with the Nomads connecting on their
hucks, Dave Klassen getting open at will, and Joey showing off his
fitness by toasting Nathan Dandurand deep, but the damage was done,
and Furious won 15-8 or so. In the first half the Nomads zone had
slowed the Furious march to the endzone, but in the second half, the
zone offense was running pretty well, with some five pass scores with
big blades, zippy flicks and quick releases. The Nomads were missing a
couple notable players in Mauro Ortiz, Ennsie, and some other
mysterious stars of Furious lore, but the score is the score, and we
won, as we probably should. I remember in Ottawa last year about how
happy I was that the Nomads would be coming to Japan, and that they
would make Furious better. With Japan so close, I hope that we have
made them better as well, but they seem to be able to do that on their
own as they have for 20 years of kicking the dirt out of everyone in
the world. I thought early in the season that they had a tall order
ahead of them, but watching Dave P., brandishing his flashy new cleats
and moving snappy and quick, I would say they are favorites for the
gold. I can’t wait to show them what we have worked on for the last 4
years, and how we can find our angry place, clutch up and win like
they taught us.

Alex Davis

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