Regionals 2011 Preview

September 30, 2011

10 of the last 11 national champions have come from the Northwest Region. Skyd Magazine currently places 4 NW teams in their top 6 open club teams nationwide. Only 2 teams from this region will go on to compete in the National Championships in October.

It is no secret, this weekend will be a bloodbath, and easily the most exciting regionals tournament in a decade.

Rhino has blossomed from great potential into true competitor. They were always on the doorstep, losing in last year’s gut-wrenching game-to-go to Furious on double-game-point.

Furious has found its balance between veterans and youth, knocking off a Revolver-beating Chain and proving itself at the top of the elite competition.

Voodoo’s unphased by its supposed “second-tier” nomenclature, and has twice given Sockeye legitimate runs for our money in meaningful games.

And Revolver, a team with one loss in the past year, but whom Sockeye has not yet faced this season.

This weekend is shaping up to be everything a fan could hope for, and the action begins bright and early, first round, 9am Saturday.

The Northwest’s best rivalry: Seattle Sockeye vs. Furious George. The 1 vs. 2 seeds in the pool, in the first game of the day.

A much-depleted Sockeye recently bested a much-depleted Monkey at Sectionals, although neither team puts much importance into that game’s results– Furious will regain Andrew brown, Oscar Pottinger, Seraglia, Gabe Saunkeah, John Norris, and more, and Sockeye will fill its missing ranks with Nate Castine, Andrew Fleming, Moses Rifkin, Alex Nord, Erik “The Kraken” Doesberg, Simon Montague, Julian Childs-Walker, and more as well. The first game of the tournament may be one of its best, as this game could end up deciding the semifinalst matchups frmo the B pool. Furious is known for its well-calculated set plays and isolated lane cutters gaining huge yards, as well as gritty physical defense and athletic aerial defenders– Sockeye will need to start the day ready, there can be no slow wake-ups.

Next up is the 4th seed in the pool, Wolves. The only California team Sockeye will be seeing in their pool, Wolves comes from the lineage of Wolf — a Northwest team of the last few years. Having won the Open Division at Solstice this year, Sockeye will need to keep focus to ensure not repeating their Sectionals performance against…

And then Voodoo. The same Voodoo who nearly surprised the unfocused Fish at Solstice, in a 14-13 nail-biter. The same Voodoo who took half on the Fish 8-5 at sectionals, before Sockeye woke-up and played gritty ultimate. This, as much as the Furious game, will be a battle of great importance, as Voodoo certainly comes in tto win, and Sockeye can not look past them at all, as has been proven twice now. Wes Simons, Todd Sliva, Sean Sears, Tom Roatto, Ted Werbel… every Sockeye players knows every Voodoo player and vice versa, having played together or against one another throughout the years in college, at goaltimate, at pickup. There are no stars in the eyss of Seattle’s other team, however, and they are out for Fish blood. The Civil War is on, and for the Fish to prevail, we must bring it from the start.

Finally, South Portland Knife Fight. Composed of Portland area current and former college players, SPKF will ensure that Sockeye doesn’t get a rest all weekend. After all, it is Regionals.

Coming out of Saturday, the 1 seed will face the A pool’s 2 seed in the Semifinals, who would be Rhino if the seedings hold out. To follow the tourney from afar, check out Bryan jones of Skydmagazine.com doing an audio play-by-play, as well as Sockeye’s twitter account.

This weekend has all the makings to be the best regional championship in the past decade, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.