Monday, May 22, 2006

Virginia State Championships- Recap

We held the 4th Virginia High School Championships this past weekend in Mechanicsville, Va. I know that more attention is going to Westerns, which it should be, but I did want to give everyone a recap of what happened.

It was clear from that start that there were two dominant teams in the state HB Woodlawn (Yorktown) and LC Bird. Both went to Easterns, with HB Woodlawn finishing in the final four and Bird finishing tied for 15th. Both teams went through pool play winning every game. Once you got past the top teams, I don't think anyone knew how the rest would fall out.

St. Christopher's (from Richmond) and Woodside (from Newport News) both had good Saturdays taking the second seeds. Woodside is a well disciplined team coached by Christian Lesnett and led by Aaron Richards a sophomore handler with unbelievable and smart cuts. Woodside knew what they needed to do to win the game. St. Christopher's might not be as disciplined but were smart with their throws and where to find the next cut.

Maggie Walker (from Richmond) with only 9 players led by Sami Ablouhosn as the main force behind their team took one of the 3 seeds and and Cave Spring (from Roanoke) took the other. Cave Spring returned for their second year. They played an intense defense, and ran hard throughout the tournament.

Patrick Henry (from Roanoke) and James Monroe (from Fredericksburg) took the fourth seeds. Patrick Henry was coached by Joe Antone, and in their first year of existence seem poised to make the step up next year. James Monroe was led by Maggie John and with only 9 players (one of which wearing a bee suit). Maggie has almost all of the throws needed for an elite player, and she is a sophomore.

The two B-teams took the fifth spots, HB Woodlawn B and Woodside B. Both were very spirited and well coached. There is a lot of potential on those teams that the A teams will be looking to utilize in the near future.

The quarterfinals had HB Woodlawn against Patrick Henry, Woodside against Cave Spring, LC Bird against James Monroe and St. Christopher's against Maggie Walker, with the last game being the most exciting. Maggie Walker went out to a 5-1 lead early on, then St. Chris started making their comeback. Maggie Walker took half 8-6. St. Chris tied it at 9's, then went up 10-9 when the soft cap hit so the game is to twelve. St. Chris scored again and all of the spectators thought the game was going to be over, but Maggie Walker clawed back and tied the game at 11. It was universe point, both teams were tired and there was some sloppy play because of it. Eventually St. Chris scored to win 12-11.

In the Semi's the St. Chris team didn't have too much left and they lost to LC Bird 15-1. In the other semifinal HB Woodlawn against Woodside, Woodlawn dominated winning 15-4. During this time we also saw the battle of the B-teams for 9th place. It was a fun game to watch with both teams being very spirited and playing games. The final score was 11-4 HB Woodlawn B over Woodside B, the score didn't matter though, because both teams had a lot of fun.

So the Third place game was set between Woodside and St. Chris. It was a hotly contested game, with some of the coaches getting into it with each other. After a moment to calm down, the game ended with everyone getting along. St. Chris won 13-4 as the younger Woodside team was wearing down after 7 games in two days.

In the other two consolation games Maggie Walker beat James Monroe and in the battle of Roanoke Patrick Henry surprised me and beat Cave Spring.

So the final was set between HB Woodlawn and LC Bird. They are the only teams to have won the state title, alternating back and forth. HB Woodlawn coming off their great Easterns performance were ready play. LC Bird was looking to prove that their Easterns performance was a fluke. Bird went out fast taking a 2-0 lead. Then they traded some points bringing it to 5-3. Knowing that this was not a big enough lead, Bird kept up their intense zone defense with the cup running hard, and their deeps knocking HB Woodlawn's hucks down field. Bird eventually won 15-7.


McCabe said...

awesome writeup nick, pretty sweet how even though there were only 10 teams at the championship there were also 2 b teams. speaks very well for the future of virginia and the seriousness with which the schools take their programs.

are most of the teams coming from the mechanicsville area? or was there significant travel to the tournament? im just wondering if the leagues are centered around a major city or more spread out.

congrats to LC Bird on the win

Nick L said...

Actually none of the teams are in the Mechanicsville area, all teams had to travel some. The site was chosen because the fields were good, and we could get them with relative ease. Some teams had to travel 3-4 hours, but most were within 1.5 hours. Mechanicsville is just northeast of Richmond. We don't have any youth leagues in Va yet, but the Greater Richmond Ultimate League is around.

Anonymous said...

How did LC Bird and Yorktown reverse roles so dramatically? From their Easterns performances, Yorktown should have beaten LC Bird with little problem. What happened to LC Bird at Easterns, or what happened to Yorktown at states?

Nick L said...

From the Bird perspective we brought a really young team to Easterns (and States), with very few having any real tournament experience. Most of the players didn't run at Easterns so we got beat by teams that wanted to win more we did. We also used our result from Easterns as a motivational tool to beat our main geographical rival (Yorktown). We were also missing our best player and captain (his brother was getting married the same weekend). Again, more than missing the one player it was lack of experience and desire to win.

Anonymous said...

l.c. bird sucks.

Anonymous said...

i dont know how i found this...but i am still really effing pissed about that game. the hb team was missing some key players at states. easterns was the real focus of their season.