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Potlach 2013

-- Thursday:
Most of the out-of-towners arrive. At T's and my place we build a balance beam, the Ark of the Covenant cooler and other Potlatch game stuff. There are some pics on facebook and we'll add some more. Big thanks to pickups Tim M, Tim H and Jude for coming over early and doing so much work. The Ark is pretty awesome and built to last the ages. I think we're pretty committed to the Ohio Jones theme now. A lot of us grilled lunch/dinner, worked on the game, and got our livers warmed up.
Afterwards some folks went to fireworks. T, Miah, Sara and I collapsed.

-- Friday 2-1:
First game at 9am. We start playing around 9:30. Played a team based on a Seattle league team, not a ton of skill but are very good at playing within themselves, and no liabilities. We start off down but win around 15-13. Lots of huck throwaways, and you can tell we haven't gelled.
2nd game against another Seattle league team, but this one with a lot of good pickups from nationals caliber teams. A tough fight, and I think tied at 14s before we lose 14-16 or 13-15. One of their girls has 3 excellent layout scores.
3rd game is pretty easy, we win going away about 15-8.

We lost Jude to an ankle injury but I think everyone else was still on two feet at this point. Rose got a layout D at the end of the day to open our account. Lots of near misses from the team on O and D. Worst thing was: we were looking deep a lot and missing. Best thing was: our D had a lot of hustle and never gave up anything easy.

My car had to head home to take care of the dog so didn't get to experience 
'Party Barath', whatever that is. Hopefully someone can fill us in.

-- Saturday 3-0:
3 pretty easy victories. Mac arrived and made things easier. We play the first game on another part of the field site, the only game in a different location the whole weekend. We started completing hucks and start gelling more.
We played Innuendo, Stella, and a blue team who just wanted the game to be over.
It was surprising that we went 2-1 the first day and the 2nd day got easier. I think closest game was 15-8 or so. We got a lot of layout Ds, we completed hucks, and finished games quickly against our inferiors, which was everyone else. In their faces.

Saturday night is the salmon and free red hook beer. We spend half our time waiting in lines for beer and food at the party. Then we danced, then we went back the the Ark to allow for a shorter line. We drink and play drinking game where drinks are drunk. More dance partying. Sleep.

-- Sunday 4-0:
C division (it goes from A-F I think) prequarters is seeds 12 (Ohio Jones) v 5, a Golden-Spike based team, a Salt Lake team that vies for Nationals. We had to step it up quite a bit to win this game, and I think it was the best opponent we played all weekend. Shane and Mac took knocks. I think we won 15-13. Good "Soup Kitchen" moment in this game. We clearly had gelled now and this is probably our proudest victory. Now that our game had gotten chillier we were swinging and using our women on under-cuts more. Our offense looked vastly improved.

Quarterfinal against the 4 seed is a game I can not remember. I believe it was easier than pre-quarters and semis. I think it was the T-Rex themed team. They dropped a pull early and barely ever caught another pull.

Semis we play a blue team. They had beaten the team we lost to Saturday in their quarterfinal. They went up 0-4 when we started slow. We match 4-4. They go up 4-8 at half. KP and John Bear were gone at this point. Mac was out hurt. Shane only hurt his head (which improved his game). At halftime we decide we don't want to lose and we're not that tired. Tied at 9-9 eventually. We take the lead 11-10. Hard cap comes at 13s with us receiving and it is DGP.
We work it up, get close but turned it in their endzone. It was a quick turn and they put it in play quickly. I remember turning to catch my man who was behind me, and finding another one of their men 15 yards deeper than my guy, with no coverage. I wish I could say I caught them both up for the ensuing huck, but really what happened is their huck came down just outside our endzone between their two guys. My guy and the other each thought the other was going to take it, and the disc hits the ground in front of all 3 of us.
We march it up and a reaching catch from Noel and it's the DGP victory.

At this point most teams have been done playing for quite a while. There's not a lot of consolation games at the end of 3 days of play and drinking and camping. Pickup Michael Berkenwald heads to a wedding. Pretty low on numbers and energy, and wondering how we can pull another game like that out of where-the-sun-don't-shine.
Fortunately our finals opponents are in the same boat, so game to 11. We start off looking a little fresher, I think give up a first-point break but then get up 3-1. Our team seemed to take turns being the go-to player when we needed someone with legs. We still get a good number of forced turnovers just by sticking with our men against tired opponents. We basically don't give up breaks and score a few ourselves along the way to a 11-5 or 6 victory.

C pool champions and a 9-1 record sound pretty good. Potlatch is a talented tournament and this is the best I've ever finished.

I could say lots of individual things about the players. A few highlights:

Weather was fantastic all weekend.
Soup Kitchen cooking with gas and flame.
Austin and Rose getting a few spectacular layout Ds.
JohnBear hammers.
Tim H with some big hustle plays late on Sunday when we needed it.
Tim M with a giant chasedown layout score and jacked-up spike.
Theresa started throwing hucks on Saturday which she was apparently practicing in secret.
Gabby, Shane and Michael for just not stopping.
Noel must have had more than 10 rescue catches.
Luda, Megan, Paul and Miah committed to punishing other teams late Sunday through disc movement and it clearly took a toll on tired opponents.
Next time we build something we should consider rocker boards for Jude and Diane.
Big thanks to Sara for a ton of water runs, that seriously probably allowed that DGP victory on Sunday.

Team: Please add what I'm forgetting. And write up the game we did and good ones the other teams did.

I had a great time, and we played way better ultimate that we had a right to with that much drinking and that little sleep. Next time you turf a forehand, you're just paying the devil back for this weekend.