Wednesday, August 28, 2013

40 & Over - Sectional Preview

Before the blog becomes too stale, I figured the next thing on the horizon worth commenting on is the upcoming Sectionals for 40 and over.  This should be a great weekend down in San Antonio, with both Men’s and Women’s teams at levels 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5+ traveling.  My guess is the Riverwalk Marriot will be one hopping place on Saturday night.

What I like about the 40 and over league is that it really does sift out a lot of the riff raff you see in 18+ and over.  There are no self-rates, and no young ringers.  Pretty much the playing field is level with everyone playing where they are supposed to be.  And whoever the psyco is with the obsession of Kelly, 4.5 is a 4.5+ league, allowing 5.0 players, so don’t pollute the blog with your Kelly rantings.

So here is the low down for the weekend:

3.5 Men
Keith Clark’s team is representing Dallas, and should represent well.  His team is comprised of many of the players he had on his 18+ team that reached the semi-finals at Sectionals, only falling to Freeman’s Houston team.  Clark’s team will need to be juiced and ready to go out of the gates, as they face Houston first thing at 7:00 A.M Friday morning, followed by playing Wild San Antonio  at 11:30 A.M. 

The good news is that this is a different Houston team, and only one player on their roster played on Freeman’s 18 and over Sectional team.  The fact that Clark took 2 out of the 3 doubles lines, and the dubs they did drop were  to self-rates, I like their odds.  Wild San Antonio is a  bit of a different story.  Their team is mainly comprised of players that also played 18 and over.  While their team was undefeated in flight play, they went 0-3 in City Playoffs and did not make the trip to Sectionals.   If Dallas wins both matches on Friday, they should be playing in the finals on Sunday morning.

4.0 Men
Greg Wiley’s team is representing Dallas, with Tom Peterson’s team representing Dallas Wild. Wiley has an impressive roster with top players from Le’s and Sisk’s teams with a few other of his Garland and Lifetime buddies..  Wiley’s team was not that fortunate with the draw, getting Wild Houston in their flight.  Unfortunately, Wild Houston is rostered with several players that played on Freeman’s 18 and over team that thumped everyone in Sectionals just weeks ago.  The good news is, the other 2 teams in his flight are not that strong, and should be good warm up matches before their showdown which is on Saturday at 11:30 A.M.  If Wiley gets past Houston, I like their chances to go all the way.

Peterson was a little bit luckier and has Midland, Amarillo, and San Antonio in their flight.  This is a solid team, but a bit of an eclectic collection of players that looks primarily like a merger of  Lakes players (some who defected to Garland and others who didn’t) with Klamecki’s Wagon Wheel team, graced with  the presence of Ohl & Beers  from Greenhill.  Outside of Klamecki being on the team, I see no reason they don’t win their flight easily, with perhaps a little bit of a fight with S.A.  While I haven’t had time (nor the energy or patience with Tennislink)  to analyze all of the teams, my guess is they face Houston in the Semis.  Since Wild Houston appears to be the stronger of the Houston teams, I tip favor to Wild Dallas to get out of the Semis and make the finals.  If Wiley beats Wild Houston, they should face NOHO in the Semis, and we could have an all Dallas final.  Now that would be a nice payback to Houston!!

4.5 + Men
As stated before, the plus sign is there for a reason, because this is 4.5 + 5.0's.  Dallas is represented by Greenhill Sweeney and has none other than Mr. Kelly on his roster along with Bent Tree’s Craig Bell, Spring Park’s Abbruzzese, and 3 other 5.0s.  Looks like a solid team.  But in the same flight they have Fort Worth which is Marc Rossouw’s Wagon Wheel team.  Marc did it again building an impressive roster of notable 4.5s from across the city to form a super team.  This time, I think he has the man power to go all the way.  While my knowledge of 4.5 players is limited, I like Sweeney’s team, but I think I like Roussouw’s team better (or at least know more of his players).  He has Myers, Feldman, Miles, Durten, Schwartz, and Mudsam, just to name a few, along with a couple of 5.0 rated players. 

In the opposing flight is Houston, San Antonio, and Austin.  While your inclinations would default to choosing Houston, you have to refrain as this is not a Freeman team, and none of these players were playing at the 18 and over Sectionals just weeks ago.  While I didn’t have the inclination to look up San Antonio’s team and Austin’s team, to see if they had any players playing in 18 and over Sectionals, I still think that whoever  wins the showdown at 4:00 PM on Saturday between Dallas and Fort Worth, ends up bringing home the title, regardless of who they face.   

So there is my quick and dirty preview to the upcoming weekend in San Antonio.  As much as I would like to be a part of the action at the downtown Marriot Riverwalk, I will be camping up north since all of our matches are at Blossom.  Good luck to all teams, and lets bring some titles back home for Dallas !!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Weekend Preview

At the request of posters, and because I’m tired of seeing the Caddyshack theme, a quick and dirty preview of this weekend.


Bazan by far has the easier path to Sunday morning, and I actually would be surprised if he doesn’t make it.  He starts off Friday morning playing QT-Laredo.  From what I can tell from Tennislink, this is the only team from Laredo, and qualified by playing a team out of Wichita Falls 3 times over a 2-day period.  That was all their whole season was comprised of.  In addition, they only have 9 players on their roster.  Laredo is a long way from Dallas, and wouldn’t be surprised if they are defaulting a line or two Friday morning, much less the rest of the weekend.  Bazan steamrolls them.

Their next match is Waco who historically has not put together that tough of a team.  They won their flight back in 2010, but outside of that, have typically ended up at the bottom of flight play.  While I wouldn’t fully discount them, I think if Cary gets through Friday, I say his chances of playing Sunday morning are looking good.  The only caveat here is that their match is at 2 PM on Friday at the peak of the sun and a very hot time.  But his guys should be well rested as Laredo is just a warm-up.

Saturday morning is North Houston (NOHO), who my guess, will be their toughest competition in flight play.   However, if they had any really good players, they would be playing for Freeman, so NOHO is the city’s leftovers.   Since it is a morning match and not too hot, I think this favors Cary and give the edge to Dallas.

Their last match is Wild San Angelo.  While it will be at the pinnacle of heat at 5:30 pm at LB Houston, it will be a cool down match and time to prepare for Sunday morning.

What’s nice for Bazan, is misery for Tony Le as he faces Houston right out of the gates Friday morning. His hope here is that all of Freeman’s boys can’t make it first thing on Friday in Dallas, which might give Tony an edge.  I don’t know all of Freeman’s players, but they had fairly easy wins in flight play, and the “grapevine” reports that he has a fairly stacked team.  Given the struggles Tony’s super-team has had this past season, I think he has a tough battle ahead of him.  That said, if he does pull off an up-set, his next toughest match in flight play won’t be until the end of Saturday against NETX.  In between, he has the Valley and Wild NOHO, which he should easily handle.  NETX went undefeated in flight play and looks solid on paper, so Tony can’t ease up here, unless he is already out of it with a Houston loss.

Sunday morning I think you see Bazan facing off against Fort Worth or Wild Austin, and Houston playing Austin on the other side of the bracket.  At that point, you need to come out and root for our home team to help them get through to the finals and heckle Freeman and squad.


Since this is so far out of my league, my insights are limited, but here you go. 
What is bad luck for Tony at 4.0, appears to be good luck at 4.5.  At least for flight play.  His 4.5 team has NETX, Midland and NOHO of which I think Le easily gets out of his flight. 

HOWEVER, and that is a BIG HOWEVER.  Fort Worth sits on the opposing flight.  Mind you, this really isn't a Fort Worth team, but rather another "Super-team" comprised mainly of Dallas ringers led by no other than Marc Roussouw himself.  (No wonder why he has been so silent on this blog!)  They appear to have tougher flight play with Austin in their flight.   While I think Austin is tough and gives them a battle, I think Fort Worth pulls through.

This then leads to probably the most exciting match of the weekend, which should be Tony Le's Dallas 4.5 team vs. Rossouw's 4.5 team in the Semis.  What a match.  I won't even try to speculate on who takes this one, but it should be good, and maybe filled with a little drama?

The winner of this will most likely face another Freeman team in the Finals.  Whoever wins, I hope a Dallas/Fort Worth team can take Freeman at 4.5, as I think Freeman will be walking away with the 4.0 title.

Regardless, best of luck to all of our Dallas teams!!

Disclosure:  The above is merely postulations and guess-work based on quick and rash analysis from Tennislink and on biases from past years’ results of cities which are no true indicators of future results.    It is no way to be deemed accurate or relied upon for purposes of placing wagers or the like.