The first day of the Youth Club Championships is always a wonderful day. Everyone comes out bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to play. Mixed is an even more special spot – even the most intense and cut-throat games remain highly spirited with players, while still opponents, who are nice and friendly with each other.
Some teams came out of the gate sprinting today, while others came out much slower. The first round saw three match ups pitting consistently good teams against new teams, Seattle Mix-a-Lot faced off against the new San Diego Powerline; last year's runner up, the Bay Area Happy Cows took on Utah Swarm, and last year's champ, D.C. Swing Vote, matched up against New York 7 Local. Bay Area, Seattle and D.C. came out firing and didn't look like they were going to be stopped, playing games with very few turnovers, high-percentage throws and overall athleticism.
Philadelphia Forge, Maine Rising Tide and Oregon Flood also came out hot, with all three winning their first game quite handily. The real action came later in the day. The Rising Tide v. Happy Cows game was a roller coaster with Rising Tide taking half up by four at 8-4 before the Happy Cows turned it on, ending the Maine run. The Happy Cows tied the score at 9-9 and continued the break train to close out the game at 13-10.
Boston BUDA and Minnesota Superior didn't quite come out of the gate the way they should have. Superior is playing with mostly a whole new team this year and had trouble with their chemistry, but is a very athletic team all around. Superior was able to overcome some miscommunication and that lack of chemistry with their athleticism, by laying down huge Ds, but they were unable to capitalize.
After the third round of pool play, the rain started to come down, and with the rain, came possibly the best game of the day and definitely the biggest upset. Philadelphia Forge and D.C. Swing Vote faced off in the last round, and everybody came to play. The first point was a marathon that seemed to last forever, thanks to both sides getting monster Ds. It was a wonderful display of athleticism as well as spirit, with two teams giving it their all, high fiving and congratulating each other on sweet plays. The game came down to the last second as Philly won 12-11 on double-game point. All around, it was a wonderful day of young players leaving it all on the field, just as ultimate should be played.