(Back L-R): Mickie Oetelaar, Lauren Kraemer, Candice de Bock, Tyler Shaw, Mike Raiger, Ryan Clubb, Mel St-Louis
(Front) Ashley Clubb
On a blistering 31°C in August at Norm Perry Park, the Sarnia Ultimate Frisbee held its championship matches and crowned a first-time winner.
Starting at 9 a.m., teams completed in quarterfinals, semi-finals, and the championship match all in one day. Games were first to 15 points, with a time cap at 115 minutes if necessary.
The most exciting match of the quarterfinals came between the 11th seed Sea Bass and the Gang and defending champions: third seeded Suspects. After qualifying for the quarters by beating the sixth seeded Wolfpack, Sea Bass was priming for another upset by taking the game to a universe (deciding) point at 12-12. But they came up short on the last point, and the Suspects capitalized on a turnover near the end zone, winning the game 13-12.
The other three quarterfinal matches saw the top seeds advance with a little more ease. First seed Pants Party beat eighth seed ‘Nuff Said 15-7, second seed Hungate’s Mom beat seventh seed Bulldogs 15-5, and fourth seed Red Army beat fifth seed Floppy Discs 15-9.
The Suspects’ bid for a three-peat championship came to a halt in the semi-final round. Hungate’s Mom used some strong play from their ladies to take down the defending champs 15-9. Perhaps the two hour quarterfinal match against the Sea Bass took its toll on the Suspects, who had to settle for third place on the day.
The other semi-final started with Red Army shocking the league by taking a strong 7-2 lead against the top seeded Pants Party. Red Army entered the quarterfinals on a three game losing streak, but it was firing on all cylinders that day. Pants Party was never able to fully recover from the deficit, losing the game 14-11.
Red Army, qualifying for their second final in a row, lost last year after its main handler, Tyler Shaw, suffered a knee injury in the semi-final match. Shaw – still sporting a brace from last year – was not helped by the fact that he and his male colleagues had not had a substitute all day.
On the other side of the field, Hungate’s Mom was in their first final since winning the championship in 2004.
Within seconds of the first pull, Hungate’s Mom committed an unforced turnover, leading to Red Army opening the scoring. This set the pace for the first seven points, as Hungate’s could not string together enough passes to do any damage.
At 7-0 for Red Army, it looked as though this year’s championship match would be a dud. But two quick points by Hungate’s Mom, including a terrific running catch from Michelle Keith, gave the team new life.
After half time, Hungate’s continued to chip away at the deficit, using their substitutes to keep up the energy. Hungate’s worked the score all the way to 7-9, and it looked as though Red Army had already spent the last of their energy.
Red Army was relying on long passes to shorten the points, as they had all game long, and the strategy came through in the clutch. The game was capped by long bomb catch by team captain Ryan Clubb, and Red Army had its first Sarnia Ultimate Championship. The final score was 15-10.
Tyler Shaw had goal and nine assists, while Ryan Clubb, Ashley Clubb, and Mike Raiger each had hat tricks for the winning side.