2012 WJUC Team USA Diaries, Eli Motycka 8/12/2012
Posted: August 13, 2012 02:39 PM
Eli Motycka, Team USA U-20 Open
Sunday August 12, 2012
Greetings from Dublin! The past 36 hours have seen us in buses, airports, and a transatlantic flight - today we finally eased back into a semi-normal team routine.
On Friday, we had one last team practice at The Winchendon School before packing up our rooms and shipping off to the airport.
First, though, we had a few minutes to ransack Hannaford's, a local grocery store, for the various food and drink items we wanted for the flight and Dublin. Equipped with all the gatorade and candy we could rationalize buying (but not before we found Natan, having slept through our grocery store venture, swaddled in our USA flag in the back of the bus), we headed to Logan.
Safely at the Aer Lingus terminal, we checked in then hustled through security after a quick team meeting. Our Team USA caravan settled at the gate, got some travel tips from BVH, and accepted the hydration challenge of twelve bathroom trips from George before dispersing. A few games of Settlers of Catan, the boys' team's board game of choice, and trips to S'barro helped pass our three hours of downtime, after which we boarded and settled in for our flight.
Six hours later, we arrived to an overcast Dublin morning on little (if any) sleep, and, after going through customs, grabbed some Irish breakfast before boarding a bus to Dublin City University, where we'll stay for the entirety of the tournament. During the check-in process, we met some other teams and walked around the campus a little bit before getting our dorm assignments. Coaches Chase, George, and BVH organized us into the four houses of Hogwarts, each of which has a suite of five bedrooms and a common area, and we moved in. We quickly went to a local grocery store just for some sustenance, our second meal of the day.
The international experience continued with our evening activity when we met the girls' team and the Aussies for a team mixer, which included small group games and a larger rock-paper-scissors tournament. Fun was had by all. Dinner was at a cafe a short walk down the main street, after which we met for a team meeting in the Slytherin common room. BVH, George and Chase laid out the team rules once again, preempting our questions about any other teams' more lax policies, and we continued to get mentally ready for the week ahead. We headed to bed sometime between 10:20 and 10:40 and slept in till 9:30, the latest wakeup call since we arrived at Winchendon, which was well-received (living hour-by-hour seemed to catch up with us - as John Raynolds put it, "which day was Friday?"). With travel and lack of sleep somewhat behind us, at least for the week, we rested up for Sunday.
This morning, we headed to breakfast at the dining hall then hit the fields for a light practice, where we ran through a few pull plays and threw around. Lunch was at our local grocery store, quickly becoming a frequent stop, then we headed back to our rooms for some downtime before our individual meetings with coaches about goals and team roles. Tomorrow we begin pool play and finally take the international field as Team USA. Let's go boys!
For more information on these teams, visit USA Ultimate's 2012 WJUC page. The list of diary entries is available at the bottom of the page.