Photo by Kat Ignatova/IQA Photo Editor.
In an epic rivalry game between the Silicon Valley Skrewts (Mountain View, CA) and the Lost Boys (Lomita, CA), Steve DiCarlo caught two snitches to lead the Lost Boys to a 120^*-80 victory in the tournament championship game. The Skrewts and the Lost Boys were clearly the two top teams at the Santa Barbara Blacktips’ (Santa Barbara, CA) Beachside Brawl. The final of the Beachside Brawl completed a highly anticipated trilogy to the California community teams’ rivalry, with the two combatants having faced off in tightly-contested matches in the Sunshine Bowl final and the Western Cup IV semifinals. The finale proved to be as epic as its predecessors.
There was no clear hierarchy below the Lost Boys and Skrewts. The University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ) defeated Remus’ Riverside Runners (Riverside, CA) 90*-70 in the preliminary round and Riverside beat the favored Blacktips 100*-80 in the quarterfinal. Riverside advanced to play the Skrewts, who they lost to 150-30*. Excluding the Skrewts, the Blacktips played the closest game against the eventually victorious Lost Boys in the preliminary round, 140-90*. Also, the Long Beach Funky Quaffles (Long Beach, CA), made their debut. Long Beach didn’t win a game, but they played close games with the Blacktips and Arizona. Long Beach co-captain Caylen McDonald commented, “We progressively got better as we got more play time, and we are excited and optimistic about the direction our team is going.”
Top: Funky Quaffles seeker embraces the snitch after his succesful catch. Bottom:Riverside chaser Tye Rush looks for a pass while Blacktips keeper Chis Lock goes for the tackle. Photos by Kat Ignatova/IQA Photo Editor.
To get to the finals, the Lost Boys defeated the Blacktips and Long Beach in preliminaries and Arizona in the semifinals, posting a +250 point differential. Keeper Tony Rodriguez had another great tournament and keeps showing, week in and week out, that he is one of the West’s best players. On the Lost Boys’ performance at the tournament, Rodriguez said, “We went out there and played as a team, when some of us weren’t playing to our potential others stepped up and filled that void.”
The Skrewts brought a depleted roster to the Cinco de Mayo Cup, but had most of their best players back for the Beachside Brawl. Heading into the finals, the Skrewts were 3-0, 3 for 3 on snitch grabs and had a +340 point differential. Greg Weber, a chaser who defended point and ran a great one-two passing game with keeper Kevin Oelze, was the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Beater Willis Miles also had a fantastic tournament, clearing out the opposition’s defense for Oelze and Weber to score, and was rewarded with a Most Outstanding Player nomination. Chaser Tye Rush of Riverside was the third nominee for the coveted MOP award. DiCarlo of the Lost Boys was named the tournament’s Best Snitch, with Henry Raschke of the Blacktips also being nominated. With DiCarlo seeking, Raschke was given the honor of snitching the championship match.
Top: Lost Boys chaser Liz Fisher, right, defends Skrewts chaser Tom Cantwell. Bottom: Skrewts seeker Sam Fischgrund wrestles with snitch Henry Raschke in the final game. Photos by Kat Ignatova/IQA Photo Editor.
In the final, the Skrewts jumped out to an early lead and were out of snitch range by the time the seeker floor was lifted. Then, with the score at 60-30, Weber went down with a broken arm. Following a twenty minute stoppage, the Skrewts and the Lost Boys traded goals until the snitch returned to the pitch. In the rivalry’s first two installments, the Skrewts either put the game into overtime or won on off-pitch snatches. The opposite happened when Lost Boys’ seeker Steve DiCarlo caught the snitch sending the game to overtime. Said DiCarlo, “My first catch putting them into OT almost felt better than just flat-out winning. But at the same time, that put more pressure on me than I’ve felt all season.”
In overtime, DiCarlo and his beaters handled the pressure well and gave the Lost Boys a tournament championship with a quick grab. The final score read 120^*-80. Of the second snatch, DiCarlo declared, “It was definitely one of my favorite moments as a Lost Boy so far.”
Dan Hanson embraces fellow co-captain Michael Mohlman during closing ceremonies. Photo by Kat Ignatova/IQA Photo Editor.
Rodriguez added, “I’m so happy to win my first trophy as a Lost Boy and I’m sure it won’t be the last.”
“[It] was a pretty incredible game,” says Skrewts captain Kevin Oelze. “Both teams showed tons of heart. [It] was our best game of the year, and [the Lost Boys] took our best shot and just absolutely refused to go down. All credit has to go to them for refusing to give.”
Logan Anbinder contributed reporting.