Monday, December 5, 2016


Holiday Tournament December 2

Chuck Doyle, Patrick Petz (awesome sweater!), Sante
Nothing pleases me more than having a full contingent of players for a tournament! We maxed out with 24 registrations and not one single person cancelled during the week. It appeared we were heading into a true Christmas miracle, uncharted waters, smooth sailing… Of course, no tournament ever runs that way… The 5pm start time was strictly adhered to and since everyone turned up ‘on time’ we only started 25 minutes late with 2 players missing. Luckily, Colin Bayer had brilliantly foreseen this exact scenario and even though he didn’t enter the event, was ready to play - gift and all. Michael Craig was also aimlessly wandering the halls of the DAC and volunteered to step in for the other M.I.A. member. Ah, yes… perfect planning!

Randomly drawing matches adds a little to the excitement of the evening, and everybody had a chance to play against somebody that they had never competed against before. All of the matches were 3 games to 7, the shorter scoring system makes all points more valuable and evens the playing field just a little too. Of course, randomly drinking beers also adds to the excitement of the evening, or to the fuzzy haze of it depending on how many trips to the keg one had made.

It’s always a pleasure to see new faces at these events. Nathan Marsden was one of them and he went home no doubt thinking that he could have won all 4 of his matches rather than displaying a bagel in the win column. He lost each encounter 1-2. At least they were all competitive! Nathan’s partner in crime - Jeff Gembis - also had a bagel on his score sheet but it was in the loss column instead. You would think a 4-0 record would secure a top 2 spot at the end of the night, but such the nature of this event, Jeff only managed a 3rd place finish. That was due to the fact that 3 of his wins were 2-1, those lost games cost him. The 2nd place finisher actually had a 3-1 record…

The ‘Impressive Performer’ award I am going to give to Haytham Hermiz. Haytham went 3 for 4, all three wins were 2-1 scores, including a couple of opponents that I didn’t think he would beat. He was initially disappointed at his only loss - an 0-3 pounding from Jeff Gembis - but once I explained to him that Jeff plays in the #2 spot on the Boasters League, he didn’t feel so bad after all! A close second for this award goes to Jeff Rogers. His tactic of just popping the ball back, running down everyone else’s winners, would even be a lot more effective if he actually discarded his soccer shoes for squash ones. All of his matches were 2-1, he ended up winning three of them, and the more I look at who he played, the more those results confuse me! Talk about playing to the standard of your opponent!

JC Tibbitts and Sante
Every player in the tournament won at least 1 game. Of the 48 matches played, 25 of them were 2-1. I don’t know how many games ended up 7-6, but it was a decent amount. In fact, the first result of the event was Brian Bartes beating David de la Torre 2-1, all three of the games were 7-6! There is nothing more exciting in squash than a sudden death rally. I think it should somehow be reintroduced at the pro level.

The final match of the evening would decide who could select from the gift table first. Our good friend, and last year’s winner, Sante Fratarcangeli versus our other good friend and no year’s winner JC Tibbitts. Both players had won their first 3 matches 3-0. As the match started, my wife - as always - times these things perfectly and decided she had to call me. I managed to keep the conversation under the obligatory 30 minutes (love you, honey!) to witness the 3rd game between the 2 players and see that Sante ended up taking the match 2-1 and with it his second consecutive Holiday Tournament title!

He chose his prize - a bottle of Vodka (I think…) and a jar of olives. Wouldn’t have been my pick, I find olives repulsive. Amazingly, most of the gifts were alcohol themed - who’d have thought? Patrick Petz once again managed to select the strangest of all, sparking up haunting memories from 2005 when he selected half-chewed muffins inspiring the start of the ‘banned substances’ list, with what looked to be flower of some sort. I will have to find out exactly what it was, maybe that list will have to be expanded!

A wonderful evening was had by everyone, and the best gift of all was that the keg miraculously didn’t go dry!

Great crew for the 2016 Event!

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Boasters league round 8~

Barring a miracle of miracles, equivalent to that of the Detroit Lions being in first place in their division after Thanksgiving… oh wait… equivalent to a billionaire businessman winning the presidency with absolutely zero political experience… oh hang on… equivalent to U of M losing to Ohio State 5 times in a row… ummm too soon?... the Winky Dinks have the first half honors pretty much in the bag.

A 17 point lead over the second place Space Geckos is large enough, but since the Space Geckos have the bye next week, it’s the difference to the third placed Butter Nutz that is more significant. The 24 point buffer should be more than enough to secure top on the ladder.

Most teams put in a fairly decent effort over the past couple of weeks – given the Thanksgiving break – with make-up matches. Not including the Nicker Ballers who had the bye, all but one team picked up at least 30 points since round 7. The outstanding team was Foss Nation, and there is no surprise that they are now in last place. Bonus points also paint an obvious picture. The top 4 teams all have over 80 bonus points for the season so far, only one of the reaming 5 teams have picked up more than 70.

It wasn’t terribly busy last night on the courts, a little surprising as we get closer to the December 11 deadline for completing all the matches. A couple of firsts for round 8: Winning his first match of the season was Rich Stimson (Vivio’s), scraping past Marc Topacio (Foss Nation) 2-1. Also picking up his first win of the season was Paul Van Tol (Winky Dinks) as he took care of Jay Bonahoom (Nick at Night) 2-1; Mike Tusa (Foss Nation) can now breathe more calmly as he avoids the bagel in the win column with a 2-1 victory over Steve Boloven (Vivio’s).

On the other side of the coin, those who picked up their first loss of the season. Only one member can claim that this week: Patrick Hughes (Winky Dinks) suffered a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Michael Craig (Nick at Night) which is nothing to be ashamed of since Michael has also only lost one match so far as well.

So with one round to play, and 10 days to get all the matches in, everyone should be in “squash-mode” and scrambling to get on court. The Winky-Dinks are odds on favorite but they can’t rest on their laurels, and I’m sure captain Justin Winkelman will make sure they don’t. It is vital that you do get as many of your matches in as possible, since the minimum 5 match rule will be invoked and unless you have reached that many, removal from the second half is a high probability. There are still 31 players that are yet to secure their second half spot.

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