Amazingly, only one game was canceled and another was postponed due to weather. Early absences led to what proved to be a fateful schedule shuffle which saw our "free date" moved up to the fourth week. Had that not happened, it is entirely possible that last week's canceled playoff games would have occurred, albeit a week earlier...
Since that is not the case, the league is forced to use the final standings for the championship game. This created a somewhat controversial situation which saw Wellspring Parable chosen over Clark Physical Therapy. Although Clark does hold the goal differential advantage, Wellspring won two of their three games against Clark. Had the playoffs taken place, the entire controversy would have never happened. This is just one item that will be considered in future leagues (both field and box).
We are fortunate to be looking at nearly perfect weather for this evening's games. Clear skies, fairly low humidity and a day time high in the mid 80s create a recipe for a great evening at the lax field. Throw in the intensity of the championship atmosphere and you get pure excitement. No matter which team you play or cheer for, you cannot go wrong being at Indian Hills tonight.
Consolation Game - 5:45 pm - #3 Clark Physical Therapy vs #4 Mi Casa Rustic Furniture
Game Preparation - Clark Physical Therapy
Clark's midfield spent the off week training for this game by running nonstop from Waukee to Altoona on Thursday and from Ankeny to Indianola on Friday. Their Saturday consisted of a wall ball session from sun up to sun down. After a team counseling session on Sunday, Shoff decided to keep the rest of their training plans secret.
Game Preparation - Mi Casa Rustic Furniture
Mi Casa's preparation strategy was completely different. After last week's games were canceled several members of the team hit Buffet World. Still feeling competitive after preparing to face undefeated Lightning, the boys squared off in an eat off that would have put Kobayashi to shame. Thursday saw marathon sleep sessions and bedroom-to-bathroom sprints. My own preparation was augmented by a day at Adventureland on Friday and a weekend at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City. As part of my mental preparation, I have ignored the phone calls, texts, and emails from my teammates since Thursday.
Armed with a desire to enact vengeance upon the league commissioner, goalie Fitch is prepared to play at Brian Dougherty levels. Captain Shoff is looking to make a statement of his own by manhandling the Mi Casa attack and then making powerful runs down towards the net. Mi Casa plans to play a tough game despite the anticipated absence of Blay on the defensive end. The midfield unit is hungrier than ever and will work both sides of the field with confidence. Getting the right attack unit out and coordinated from the opening whistle could prove to be the key in this one.
Prediction: Anger leads to confusion. The Land of Confusion is where Mi Casa lives. Mi Casa by a pair.
Championship Game - 6:45 pm #1 Lightning Wear vs #2 Wellspring ParableGame Preparation - Lightning Wear
After finishing fourth in the Nebraska High School Lacrosse League finals, Bostwick is determined to win this league. To meet that end, he called the entire Bolts team out to the field last Wednesday for a scrimmage in the heat. When his side lost, Bostwick scheduled a second scrimmage for Thursday night. After Shelton refused to lay out Ben Couch, Bostwick made the big d-pole do one handed push ups on his knuckles in his full gear with the Brothers Griess sitting on his back for the rest of the night. Hunter Couch was hooked up to an IV full of 5 Hour Energy in order to tap into his legendary "Sugar Rush" persona and fire up the team. The team booked weight room time on Saturday and Sunday. They spent the last two nights sprinting from Valley Stadium to Waukee Stadium while cradling.
Game Preparation - Wellspring Parable
To get the younger players ready for the championship game, Zielonko and Nielsen spent the last week reading various fables and fairy tales to them. Although I fail to see how Three Bill Goats Gruff or Goldilocks will prepare the boys for the battle ahead, I have learned to never question Zielonko's tactics. I figured scheduled wall ball sessions would be in order, but it seems Crites' 7:00 pm bedtime prevented the whole team from getting together. Benny Arends refused to wall ball at home out of fear of waking the Bogeyman in his closet. Straw spent the week building his tactical skills by playing Call of Duty on XBox Live.
Despite their completely different training tactics, both teams will be ready to play on game day. Zielonko is a hardcore competitor and will carry the team himself if required. Bostwick and both Couches are the same way. Shelton and Nielson always bring their A-games. This game will be a battle for the ages.
Prediction: This is a battle of confidence over pure determination. In this case confidence wins and Lightning Wear remains undefeated with a 3 goal victory.
*Note, not all of the training regimes depicted are factual. Ok, so I made most of that crap up...