Friday, November 21, 2014

CLUB CHAMPIONS CHALLENGE



Hops Challenge – December 10

I know that we have all been spoiled rotten the past couple of years with the professional exhibition put on by our dear friends David Palmer and Thierry Lincou for this event. However, one of the best (if not the best) matches that we witnessed in last season had nothing to professionals, but was performed in the Club Championship final between Jed Elley and Peter Logan.

The two went 5 games, three of them to tie-break, including the 5th that fell 12-10 in Jed’s favor. So, in an attempt to repeat the past, we’ll have them play again for something even more important that DAC immortality… BEER!! No one plays harder when this precious item is on the line and I’m sure they’ll stop at absolutely nothing to claim the prize of not having to pay for the keg – the keg that everyone else will get to drink for free!

Before we witness such squash glory, you can register to play a match yourself. Whet your appetite by playing a best of 5 match against a tough opponent that I will arrange, and once you’ve sweat yourself thirsty, grab a cold one, a vantage point, and get ready for the action!

 Let’s get ready to rummmmmmmbllllllllle!!

In the right corner, weighing in at a misleadingly flimsy 140 pounds soaking wet, rumored to have found the ‘fountain of youth’ and to be a direct descendant of Methuselah, originally from Grosse Pointe but feels more at home in the wild, coming in with a 2014 record of 2-2 but a life-time record of ‘a lot’-‘a lot less’, the zippy little hippie, the impossibility of durability, PETER – I-have-never-owned-a-razor – LOGAN!!

And…

In the left corner, weighing in at 165 pounds (or a tad more after a long weekend with the boys), very fond of mixing in with those boys in scrums playing ‘hot potato’ (or “rugby” as it’s commonly referred to), originally from the vast expanses of the migrating wildebeests of South Africa, coming in with an impressive and perfect 2014 record of 8-0, the veracity of tenacity, the teeth gritter hard hitter, JED – there’s- never-been-a-beer-I’ve-turned-down – ELLEY!!

Peter has won the DAC Club Championship multiple times, and Jed is our current title holder. We should be in for a real treat. Not only will the keg be on the line, but for these two, almost more importantly, so will their pride!

If you wish to play a match of your own before the final showdown, make sure you register by Monday, December 8. We can take a maximum of 32 players; matches will start around 4pm. Even if you don’t / can’t play, I suggest you come anyway, drink their beer and cheer on the lads. Enjoy the atmosphere – it will be brilliant!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

CAN THE SPACE GECKOS HOLD ON?



Boasters League round 8~~

So it’s really turned into a two-horse race leading into the final round of the first half. “Space Geckos” lead the “Butter Nutz” by 14 points which sounds like a solid buffer, but they have the unenviable ‘reward’ of having to sit out the last round. “Butter Nutz” will no doubt make that up easily. The good news for the “Space Geckos” is that they have two weeks to get in as many make-up matches as possible. They have been doing well in that category, but with Thanksgiving in the mix, the task will be made more difficult.

The “Wardogs” have given themselves an outside chance of taking top spot by picking up a week’s best 35 points and are within arm’s reach of the top two teams. They will need to push very hard to overtake them though, I am sure their team captains are already e-mailing their players to get on court! Strangely though, the “Wardogs” – who played against “Vivio’s” yesterday – did not play a single match all evening. They picked up some bonus points and had 3 results come in early, but between the 2 teams only 9 players turned up – both “Space Geckos” and “Butter Nutz” had more representation than that on their own.

The “Wardogs” and “Butter Nutz” coincidentally have to play each other in round 9. Does that help or hurt?

The team trying to avoid ending up last (or are they?) is “Foss Nation”. They will need a season best performance in round 9 to avoid that dubious honor as – like last week – they remain 13 points behind 8th position. They actually play that team in round 9 (“Nick at Night”) so it is a very good opportunity to catch up. If, of course, they can get on court.

Activity last night was low, not helped by the wonderful weather we are getting. Who doesn’t want snow in November? Buffalo? From those who did brave the wintery blast, here a couple of noteworthy results: Kelly Smythe (“The Nicker Ballers”) scored her second win of the season in a not-so-easy 2-1 victory over Lauren Kirchner (“Nick at Night”). It’s great to see more women getting involved in the program. That being said, I have to mention Liz McClure (“Butter Nutz”) who beat Peter Fromm (“Foss Nation”) 2-1. Liz has only dropped one match so far and leads the “Butter Nutz” in points. Sante is no doubt very proud.

Speaking of Sante, he missed out on his chance to display his fashion prowess against Andy Adamo (“Foss Nation”). His planned stripping of his winning boasters league shirts after each game (he had them all on at once) couldn’t come to fruition as Andy had to retire injured after the first game. We wish Andy a full and quick recovery, and we look forward to their next encounter and Sante’s ‘vogue’ statement.

So next week is off as we for some reason celebrate a strange holiday that involves turkeys and pumpkin pie and football (?). It’s a great time to get matches in. The standings by the time round 9 even starts may be drastically different to what they are now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

JOY FOR JON AND GEORGE



2014 Doubles Select Tournament

Surprisingly, we did not set a record for registration numbers in this year’s Doubles Select event. We are getting more doubles players, and particularly for this tournament where you sign up as an individual, I expected an increase. We were only 2 players short in the end, so it was still acceptable.

Only two players in the club have managed to win this event twice – Shail Arora and Bob Garvey. One of those times was when they were paired up together in 2011. This year Shail was paired up with Steve Murphy and was bounced out in the first round 3-0 against Mike Petix and Bruce Shaw. Bob had a little more success as he and his partner – Tom MacEachern – won their first 2 rounds before losing 3-2 in the quarters versus George Kordas and Jon Dengel. As luck of the draw would have it, both Shail and Bob’s teams lost to the two finalists.

Before we get to that, let’s take a gander at other results. The closest match of the tournament goes to Mike Counsman and Adam Pabarcus (it was Adam’s first ever time on a doubles court!) who somehow managed to crawl over the line 15-12 in the 5th against Alan Howard and Joey Gaylord. Adam held his own pretty well considering his zero experience – which was more than made up by Mike’s – and the pair once again survived another 5-setter in the next round over Andrew Spohn and Joe Schaden to reach the semi final.

The forth match that went the full distance belonged to Ted Morris and David Devine who outlasted Dane Fossee and Jon Walton. Ted and Dave were a strong combination (one lefty), and had the potential to go further in the bracket. Unfortunately for them, they were cut down in 4 games in the following round against 2012 Doubles Select winner Frank Willard and his 2014 partner Terry Lang. Frank and Terry turned into my ‘secret’ pick to take the title based on the amount of experience both players possessed.

As usual, as soon as I make a choice on who I think will win, it turns into the ‘kiss of death’. Frank and Terry were no match it appeared for George Kordas and Jon Dengel as they went down in 3 straight games. George and Jon were into the final.

The second semi final also turned into the ‘kiss of death’ since I was leaning towards the Counsman / Pabarcus pair to take care of business against Petix / Shaw. Mike P. and Bruce hadn’t even dropped a game up to this point, but it didn’t take long for that to change. Mike C and Adam started strongly to take the first set before their opponents found their stride and rolled off the next 3 to win 3-1 and move onto the title match.

 It wasn’t the closest final we’ve experienced, but it wasn’t a white-wash either. George is clearly the dominating player in his team, so tactic would have it for their opponents to pummel Jon as much as possible. But Jon was standing firm and managed to keep the ball in play until George could assert his authority. They took the first game 15-13.

Mike Petix, Bruce Shaw, Jon Dengel, George Kordas
The second game didn’t work out nearly as well. Mike and Bruce are more evenly matched. Mike is a scrambler and covers the court well, and Bruce is a lefty and can be dangerous on the left wall. Petix / Shaw were too steady in the second game and the momentum swung into their direction as they walked off with the 15-9 win.

But squash is a funny game. Just because a tactic worked for one game, it doesn’t mean you can keep it up for the rest of the match. Mike and Bruce couldn’t execute as cleanly as they started the third game and slowly the ascendancy of George and Jon took over. They kept on top of the task for the remainder of the match and swept up the third game 15-8 and then the fourth 15-7. Congratulations to the 1014 Doubles Select Champions: Jon Dengel and George Kordas!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

SPACE GECKOS TAKE OFF



Boasters League round 7~~

As predicted, with their bye week, “Mongoose” dropped out of first place. Picking up a paltry 9 points in makeup matches over the week, they are lucky to be holding onto 3rd place now, just 1 point ahead of “Winky-Dinks” and only 5 ahead of the surging “Wardogs”. Taking full advantage of that was the “Space Geckos” who accumulated a whopping 43 points during the week and are now 12 points clear atop of the standings.

Their work, however, is far from over. “Butter Nutz” is on their heels and “Space Geckos” only have one more round to play before they sit on the sidelines for the final week and watch everyone else catch up. But, if “Space Geckos” continue to get matches in like they have for the past 7 days, it should be a photo finish with “Butter Nutz” to see who takes the first half glory. Bonus points may be a factor, and for now, “Butter Nutz” holds that advantage. For a second week running, they picked up 13 bonus points – no other team has picked up more than 12 all season.

Wardogs” have also given their chances a boost picking up a 3rd best 35 points for the week, and are now in 5th position. They will most certainly leapfrog “Winky-Dinks” next week who have the bye for round 8. Still lingering in last place is “Foss Nation”. They are falling further behind each week, and with only 3 matches played so far for round 7, they aren’t doing themselves any favors.

Plenty of activity last night, shout-outs go to: Mike Petix (“Winky-Dinks”) for his 2-1 win over Chris Van Tol (“Space Geckos”); Jim Stroh (“Nick at Night”) scored his third 2-1 win of the half against “Wardogs” captain Paul Ward; Steve Murphy (“Wardogs”) also collected his third 2-1 victory with a tough struggle against Chip McDaniel (“Nick at Night”) who takes his third 2-1 loss; and John Perkins (“Butter Nutz”) proved a little too steady for Kevin Prather (“The Nicker Ballers”) and remains undefeated with his 2-1 score line.

With 2 rounds to go, and three weeks to play them in, a lot can change. “Space Geckos” seem to have the momentum and are making a charge, “Butter Nutz” will not be shaken, and “Wardogs” are on the war path. Nor can you count out “Mongoose”. Will “The Nicker Ballers” put themselves into to equation? “Space Geckos” and “Mongoose” play each other next week which may help both teams since they are likely to turn up in healthy numbers. “Butter Nutz” have to convince “Foss Nation” to get on court, as do “Wardogs” with “Vivio’s”. The race is on.

Monday, November 10, 2014

COME, ALL YE SQUASH FAITHFUL!



Holiday Tournament – December 5

Who doesn’t enjoy Christmas? I get to spend time with the family, see the joy on my child’s face as she opens her gifts, not have to stress about work… it’s the perfect scenario to relax. Of course – as all husbands get more aware of every year –the weeks leading up to the day aren’t as tranquil as we feel the pressure of searching for the right gift for our lovely wife.

I am sure many of you have been told by your better half: “Please don’t get me gift this year, really, I don’t need anything…” Which, for us experienced husbands means, “You better get me something better than last year and I’ve made it perfectly obvious over the past few months through subtle innuendo exactly what I want…?” If you’re like me, you’ve missed every single signal she has sent and have absolutely zero idea what she is talking about. I’m starting to sweat already.

Unfortunately, the solution isn’t as simple as what it is when buying a gift for the annual Holiday Tournament. If purchasing a bottle of booze for my wife was all it took for her to be happy and forgive my indiscretions, I’d be a daily regular at the local store and she’d be an alcoholic. But, as the past years have proven, all of our members couldn’t happier when opening their Holiday Tournament gift and find the alcohol content of the liquid inside is at least double digit. Puts a new meaning to the words “Christmas Spirit”.

On December 5, starting at 5pm, we will be running the 11th annual Holiday Tournament. It is an event where you will get 4 matches (each match being 2 games of 15 points, or if we reach capacity registration we will play 3 games to 7 points) against a variety of opponents. No handicapping will be given out, and match-ups are drawn randomly. With such a format, it is no secret that the stronger players will end up on top, but it’s only a formality. ALL players who enter will receive a prize.

To play, you will need to bring a wrapped entry gift worth at least $20. Once the matches are completed, players will choose their gifts in the order of final ranking. Everybody wins!! Most of the gifts are alcohol related, which is the safe route, but if you are motivated to be creative and get something else, keep in mind what NOT to do:

  • NO cash. That’s cheating.
  • NO potpourri. That’s grandma-ish.
  • NO muffins. That’s a memory Patrick Petz doesn’t want to revisit.
  • NO canary yellow DAC t-shirts. That’s a horrible fashion faux pas.
  • NO Viagra. That’s a drug.
  • NO asking your squash pro to grab an item out of the sports shop and wrap it up for you one hour before the event starts. That’s just wrong… and lazy.
We can only take a maximum of 24 players, so register early. Registration deadline is Tuesday, December 2 – or until full. I encourage all levels of players to enter. Great experience!

So e-mail me your interest to play and while you’re at it, some ideas of what I could possibly be getting my wife as well…

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