Monday, November 23, 2009

RPL Finale wrap up

Where to start - so much to remember - First - Dad did not take too many pics or vids at this event. He was way to caught up in the games and everything else going on. Friday Dad picked up Sawyer early from school at 11 am. It was a minimum day so Sawyer only missed the last hour of the day and not much was going on. We got his mohawk going (not allowed at school) then headed off fo Camp Pendleton to register for The RPL Finale being held on the Marine base at the paintball park. After registration and getting out ID cards we headed off to walk the fields. They ended up opening one of the three fields as well for us to get a little playing time on. After running out of paint Sawyer played a good game with some other older kids of "throw the paintball". He had a blast just running the fields and playing to end the day as Dad packed up the gear.

The next morning came early - as is we left the house at 5 am early. We got to the fields and had plenty of time to get ready for the 8 am start. As usual - we totally bombed on our first game. First game gitters are a curse for us but we think we figured out a cure on Sunday (I'll get to that later). It also didn't help that Sawyers hopper went down after 1 shot and the team had to play 4 on 5 as he fiddled with it until getting shot out. Game 2 almost continued with disaster as Sawyers trigger broke in the tent before taking the field - thank God for back up guns. Dad scrambled back to the pit - got his gun - got it back to Sawyer (shattering a pair of sun glasses on the sprint) switched over the hopper and air just in time to take the field.Max'd Kidz won the game thanks to a few superstar moves by Brandon. And they won the next one. And the next one. Then we had a really bad game with Brandon and Kyle both getting unlucky shots on them during the breakout and Larry getting called for a penalty on the breakout so we were down 2-5 after 2 seconds and quickly lost the game. And I mean quick. It was a brutal 2 on 5. A little shell shocked, we took the field for game 6 and got it back together and won. And then won again. And then won again bringing our record for the day to 6-2.

After the games as we were hanging out Sawyer was asked to shoot a segment by Rob for the new Derder Short Bus DVD. Of course he readily agreed. So off we went to an empty field to do the shoot. Now I won't spoil Rob's video here but it was GREAT. Sawyer has a shooting and speaking role. Todd, Nicky and Catfish were on hand as well to watch all the fun. It was a blast and we can't wait for it to come out next year. Sawyer also looks to have a "blooper" scene in the episode as well from one of his first times playing on an airball field.

After the games we headed out to get food and to the hotel, but on the way made a pit stop at the Marine Corp Museum on base for their heavy equipment. It was a lot of fun seeing all the great weapons of war. Sawyer really dug getting to hold real machine guns and rocket lanchers.

That night after getting cleaned up and getting our gear ready for the next day we all met at a bowling alley nearby to hang out and have some fun bowling and playing video games. But we called it an early night to be rested for Sunday.

Sunday morning 5am was a bit rough again but we could take our time more since we were now in town and so close to the fields. We got ready in the pits and the team went to an empty area to get warmed up running, shooting, practicing a few breakouts, laning, sliding - all just to get the blood flowing and try to get rid of those first game gitters. IT WORKED!!!

We played a very good team to start Sunday off and won with 3 guys left. For the first time in an event, Sawyer ran the flag in for the win. Larry and Kyle shot the back left out of the game quickly and that really opened up the game.

Next game - THIS IS THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE EVENT FOR DAD - We kill 1, they kill 1, we kill 1, they kill 1 - then Sawyer accidentally shoots Brandon out of the snake because he had pushed up so far - DISASTER and we are down 2-3 with Larry on back left and Sawyer back middle - but we quickly got another G to make it 2-2 with about 3 minutes to play. This is when it gets good. There two are basically mirrors to us back left and back center. Sawyer makes a move and bumps to the right brick - notices no one shooting from the right side and bumps to the dorito on the right - still no one shooting from his right so he dives into the snake (right side of field). He never stops. He books up the snake knowing there is no one on the tape and blows past all 3 knuckles. His dive in was perfect. Their back center was still shooting at the dorito. He gets all the way to the end of the snake and squares up his body to where he knows the player is - snaps up - gets the G. Now the stands and sidelines were full to watch this little Thomas Taylor look alike and everyone was watching him fly up the snake and get the G - the crowd ERUPTED - way more than even in Las Vegas. It was so loud that Larry thought the game must be over and peeked out and got shot - but Sawyer quickly turned and shot out their last player - 30 seconds left and Sawyer runs to grab the flag and deliver it - last man alive on the field - and get the team into the Quarterfinals.

The Quarterfinals were a mess. We lost. We pushed the first game to a 1 on 1 with Sawyer losing it when he ran out of paint and then we lost the second game as well. But we played great considering we were playing a D3 team. Yes, they snuck down a division and no one noticed until us. We protested. Lost the protest. Good news is a rule change will happen for 2010 to prevent it from happening again probably. Bad news is we were out of the event. Can't blame the RPL though. Cheaters just found a loophole in the rules. If it were not for a sandbagging team we hit at the wrong time who knows how far we would have gone. The kids were playing great and we had beat the 2nd and 3rd place finishers before. This loss kept us off the podium. The sandbaggers won the tourney of course - "Good for Nothings" with a ringer who was sandbagging even more than the rest, Junior Mohr. We cant wait for our kids to get a little more experience and little older so when we start to play higher divisions we can crush these 25 year old sandbaggers. Perhaps you can tell we really dislike it when grown men play down a Division or two when they know they can get away with it just to get a win they can't earn at their own level. OK. Next subject. So our tourney is over. But the kids still had fun, which is the most important part. And, we really played better. Next season is going to be great. To cap off the weekend, we bought Sawyer a pump gun from KM. He is going to start playing pump on occasion to improve his skills and other aspects of the game. He really looked good out there at this event. Right now with as well as his team and he are playing it looks like the sky is the limit.

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