My Circle Rules Football team, The Slow (James K.) Polks, had our eighth game this evening (previous updates here and here). Our team was on a four-game victory rally, and we showed up a quarter of an hour early in fine numbers and we were ready to gel.
Our opponents were The Flying Mordecais -- I had refereed a game between The Flying Mordecais and Shock and Awe which ended in a gigantic blowout in favor of The Flying Mordecais. A number of extremely tall players and a background in basketball gives them a huge advantage in the air, and difficult to go head-to-head with when trying to hold possession of the ball.
Within the first quarter, we had pulled ahead 5-1 with a commanding lead. Alex Johnson on defense proved to have a talent for smashing the ball a great distance, even in the face of wind, helping us quickly set up a lot of quick shots on offense quickly after robbing the ball from goal.
The second quarter kept the intensity up, moving the score to 8-3. Having more players in attendence, we were able to substitute early and often, keeping our players fresh and our strategies changing. Jabari Brisport, for instance, blew out onto the field early and sprang across the field like a jackrabbit. Andrew Butler kept us pumped up by reminding us that we are all actors: so we should give as our "emotional preparation" that we were down by two points, rather than up by five.
The third quarter, thinking that we were down by 2, we managed to push one more goal in, leading 9-3 -- Mordecai's coverage of the goal was getting better, and our previous strategies to get past the defense.
I had to leave at that point, but the fourth quarter was reputedly a moment for us to catch another wind and put some more away in the net. Final score was apparently 15-5; fantastic.
And really, beyond our well-organized team and our dedication to showing up punctually and working together, the real cog that put it in place is Andrew Butler, our team captain. In addition to knowing how to keep our heads in the game (and getting us orange wedges!) he has, over the course of this season, become a consummate coach -- he adapts our strategy to the team we're playing, arranges us on the field, adjusts how we're playing as he sees (from the sidelines) what is going on.
So, onward Polky soldiers! On to the finals.