Two regional rivals go head to head in the Mixed final.
October 2, 2016 by Kevin McCormick in Preview with 0 comments
It’s finally going to happen: There will be a new National champion in the Mixed Division after years of Drag’N Thrust dominance. And, for the first time, the champion will hail from the Northeast region.
Boston Slow White unseated Minneapolis Drag’n Thrust as division champions in their semifinal, and on the other side of the bracket, Chris Mazur got out of the train and single-handedly pushed Metro North down the tracks over a pesky San Francisco Mischief. The stage has now been set for the regular season titans to contend for the national title.
The whole story reminds me of this hockey movie I watched as a kid. There’s this really good team, and they’ve been really good for a really long time. Let’s call them the Hawks. Then there’s this other team from a neighboring area, the Ducks, who are also really good as individuals, but aren’t quite on the same level as the Hawks…or so it seemed. The ragtag, misfit bunch took down the Evil Empire, when it mattered most, in the championship game.
For those less familiar with Mixed division history, in this analogy, Slow White is represented by the Hawks. Though they have yet to win a national title, they have more than a few regional titles from years past and have qualified for Nationals for twelve consecutive years. Metro North is a “new”1 team and had never won the Northeast region prior to 2016. In fact, Metro North was 0-3 against Slow White, all in fairly not-close games, prior to their upset win over Boston in the Regional finals.)
Ok, ok, what does any of this have to do with a championship preview? The answer is “very little,” but as with many things in the Mixed division, the primary focus was fun. So I hope you, dear reader, had some.
But in all seriousness, we may just be in store for an epic battle this morning. Boston Slow White has stomped on every team they’ve faced thus far, including regular season and Pro Flight Finale champions Philadelphia AMP and three-time defending champs Drag’n Thrust. In a somewhat different narrative, Metro North has survived three scares from San Francisco Blackbird, AMP, and Mischief in order to earn their finals berth.
Will the untested Slow White crumble against a team that just won’t quit? Or will the inevitable fatigue of Nationals finally rear its ugly head for an older Metro North squad? Only time will tell, but what we can be sure of are a few key players to make their presence felt.
For Slow White, fans in the stands should look for jerseys #1 and #15, Lexi Zalk and Tannor Johnson. Both made huge impacts in the semifinals rout and will use their height and athleticism to demand that Metro North plan around them on both sides of thee disc. #9 Jeff Smith and #28 Vicki Chang will move the disc for the Boston offense, while #5 Shaun Doherty and #16 Erin Rea will take on Metro North’s primary offensive assets.
Metro North will obviously want to continue utilizing #6 Mazur in every way possible, but will have other options if Boston can mitigate his impact. #18 Kendra Frederick and #32 Lauren Doyle have earned huge yards for Connecticut whenever their offense stagnated, while #0 Eugene Yum, #26 Andrew Bosco, and #24 Seth Canetti will serve as resets and distributors.
Whatever happens this morning, neither team will go down without a fight. These two programs are playing fantastic ultimate and are sure to put on a show for the crowd. And should Metro North find themselves in a hole late in the game, don’t be surprised to hear the faint sounds of “quack” emanating from the stands.
You can watch the Mixed Final at 10 AM CT on Watch ESPN.
Although they have small cores of players from several different teams, one of whom may or may not have had a duck-related name. ↩