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week 3 review

Category: The Sentinel
Created: Tuesday, 11 May 2021 18:44
Published: Tuesday, 11 May 2021 18:44
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 3634


Welcome to the Week 3 edition of the Sentinel! Did you do something amazing this week? I have to say, I couldn’t watch as many games as I wanted to this week but the people were certainly talking. Anyone hanging out at the bar seemed to have at least one big play or series to talk about during their games. I was giddy with excitement. Even in my limited time allowed on the fields, I caught some serious feats of athleticism. That said, here’s what went down.

Early in the morning, Tight Ends in Motion took on Sloppy Seconds. I’m not a betting man, but if I were, I would bet that this game was circled in Alex Buchalis’ planner since the schedule came out. SS are basically the Best of the Rest when it comes to the Tight Ends/Sticky Bandits friendship alliance. If they could squeak out a win against the proverbial Uber-athletic Big Brother, it would give them bragging rights for the season and probably into the summer as well. Alas, the Cinderella story was not meant to be this week as TE came away with the win 52-20. We did see the return of Lindsay Stoddard, much to the chagrin of SS. Stoner Dave also showed up big for TEs on both sides of the ball. Despite the loss, SS showed they have the talent to compete. Ryan Hogan is a name you will probably hear mention again as he showed some serious speed and field awareness. Buchalis apparently already knew this as he showed 100% confidence sending him deep to the endzone where Hogan made a one-handed catch for a 40 yard TD. 

Later in the day Sloppy Seconds were back to take on Eyes Downtown. Not to throw any shade on SS but this game was surprisingly close. At this point in the season, talk is D1 is a 3 horse race, especially with Why So Serious taking a forfeit this week due to continued attendance issues. SS came out strong and took an early lead against the newest version of ED. ED could not get a cohesive defense going, leading to some wide open plays for Ben Stack and Co. Despite being down 16, Bobby McConnell was able to right the ship in the second half and pull away with a 43-40 win. Next up, they faced Public Enemy. We all would have preferred both teams to be fresh for this game but with SS giving ED a run for their money, they came up short against their long time rivals and finished the day 1-1.

Slytherin the Endzone was back after a Week 2 bye. They took on Scared Hitless, who have had a slow start to the season but no one is ruling them out. Matt Newman made his 2021 debut and put all the QB controversy questions to bed. He was hot out the gate taking the quick passes when the defense gave it to him and not hesitating to take a shot down field. One particular toss that caught my attention was a bomb to Dawson Broad who brought it in with his fingertips. Taylor Pagano also added a pick to her stats on a failed pitch. D2 is still wide open as many teams already their bye so most teams have only played 2 games. Being the most recent addition to this competitive of a division, no one expected SH to run away with it. Dylan Day is seeing defenses that he’s probably not seen too much of but from what I saw of them last year I think they will be right in there with everyone else as the season progresses.  

The match-up between Wasted Potential and Show Me Dem TDs was one of the highlights of my day anyway. Both teams have faces I recognized but there were plenty of receivers making plays whose names I did not know. QBs Jay Jaskier and Tim Zielinski were both dialed in. WP came away with the win, leaving SMDTs sitting at 1-3 but 1-2 points their way and they could very easily be looking at 3-1. I wish I could say more about this game as a whole but until I learn the names of the players I saw making plays, you’ll just have to take my word for it that both these teams are poised to establish themselves as contenders sooner rather than later.

Blitzkrieg is showing no mercy to the gender teams in their division. They opened the season against Victorious Secret with a win and beat Lenny’s Ladies this past Saturday, 35-28. Offense has continued to struggle but they showed they can find the endzone when they need to. Allie Metzger made a sick juke to score a TD on 6th down catching LLs off guard as they expected a deep bomb attempt. LLs were able to rally back and bring the score within one. Robin Maluka came up with a big pick in the final minutes, giving her team a chance to take the game. With no time left on the clock, Joe K tried to fire a ball into the Joy Thompson but the Blitzkrieg defense came through and knocked it away.

I said the WP/SMDTs game was one of the highlights of my day because Peachy Platoon versus Mountain Dew Me was also up there in terms of excitement factor. These teams balance out well. While Dean Thompson has the edge over Joey Batts in agility and speed (especially as I’ve noticed a significant decrease in Joey’s speed as of late), Joey takes the title for play calling. Both teams have their quick receivers and both teams utilize their females well. In fact, I would argue these two teams are in the Top 3 for how well-utilized their female receivers are (I’ll let you ponder who the third team is). The McGregor/Thompson duel was back and forth; both teams had picks, highlight reel TDs and big stops. Scott McGregor had a goal line pick 6 that may or may not have been a tag but if the ref doesn’t see it you play to the whistle and not many people are catching this guy in the open field. Leseaon Washington answered back with another pick the other way, broke Joey Batts’ ankles and took it to the house. Not saying it’s 100% Joey’s fault but I am saying that play pretty much sealed the deal and PP took the win 32-25 (so yes, I am saying it’s Joey’s fault).

Early D3 favorite TopShot took on a struggling Grey Hair Don’t Care following their win against WolfPack. TS has been a force to be reckoned with so far this season. Granted, they probably would have done fine in D2 but it’s looking like next year we will get to see that. Dylan Jaloza has plenty of weapons to work with and he is using them well. Frank LaRue isn’t talked about as much but he is making a name for himself as TS appears to be running away with the division early on. Dave Eickoff seems to be having some trouble rekindling the fire we saw from them just a couple seasons ago. So far this season, GHDC has only managed 45 points through 3 games, placing them in the bottom 5 teams in the league for Score For.  They had a tough strength of schedule so far, but I hope moral can stay up long enough to get back on course.

Ladies and Gentlemen…Darryl Carr is back!!! The TSL universe finally feels back in alignment now. Cobblestone started the season with 2 bye weeks but now all is well and right in the world. That said, Darryl and Co were pummeled in their first game back by a bigger, faster, and stronger Practice Squad. B led his team to trounce CB, 40-8. Obviously not Darryl’s fault. Sam Lattuca was back as well and the Darryl-Sam connection was as strong as ever. PS looks right at home in D4 already. Watching this game really got me thinking…Everyone talks about Renee Lantz this and that, but unless my highly trained, watchful eye does deceive, it appears as though Kenny is moving to take the title of Best Lantz. This is a competition I encourage everyone to keep an eye on. GOOD NEWS! Darryl got a second chance on the day and fared much better against Not So Sticky (albeit I heard reports of some mid-game cramping). CB looked much more like the team we have come to know and love. Chris Carr had a big pick on Ricky Reckio late in the game, while Sam was given the rock and dropped dimes as if they never missed a beat. Defense was lock down and they came away with the win, 46-7.

Top 5 Notables from Week 3:

1. All the Mom’s who are involved in the league in any way possible. Whether it’s playing, supporting from the sidelines or picking up your adult children later at night we appreciate you all are amazing and we appreciate each and every one of you! Happy Mother’s Day!

2. Nicole Keller- speaking of moms, Nicole balled out for Lenny’s Ladies and Universal Waste Management. Her stat report showed at least 15 catches on the day.

3. Marissa Thompson- I knew the Thompson’s were quick but when Marissa triple deked her way to a pick 8 against XTC last week and it was honestly magical to watch

4. Garrett Beesing- Proved he can run with the big kids in D1 with an impressive TD catch for Sloppy Seconds, QBed a win against All We Do is Quinn, refs on a regular basis AND I even spotted him helping out the TSL Field Crew with check in. Garrett deserves recognition for not only his athleticism but his upstanding character as well.    

5. Darryl Carr- He’s back and we are all better off for it (except anyone who wanted a Corona later in the day)

Until next time, I’ll be watching…

Week 2 Review

Category: The Sentinel
Created: Tuesday, 04 May 2021 12:19
Published: Tuesday, 04 May 2021 12:19
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 5958


We are back with your newest addition of The Sentinel!

Week 2 was another successful week at the TSL. I’m starting to see some new faces make a name for themselves both on and off the field. Kudos to everyone following the Covid protocols. As I write this, I received news the state’s restriction are beginning to lessen. We will continue to exercise caution but things are definitely looking up. Let’s get to the games.

D1 has been less-than-thrilling so far this season, with most games being decided by 2 or more scores. Why So Serious had some attendance issues due to many of their players having a conflict with a men’s flag tournament or something. Pete gave it his best shot during both their games against Tight Ends in Motion and Public Enemy. Rough day for a double header, extra rough day to have a double header against those teams. Even after being granted special sub exemptions, WSW could not string together enough offense or defense to stay in their game against TEIM. We learned last week Dave Baker and Co do NOT take the foot off the gas and today was no exception. Bro has been impressive thus far. Bobby McConnell and Chris Cole should be more and more concerned about their ranking positions because Bro is coming for them. WSW did better against PE, granted they had more of their actual team there. I have heard talk that TEIM, PE and Eyes Downtown are the competitors in D1 but I don’t think we have really seen what WSW has to offer just yet so I am withholding judgement until we do.

I wanted to make a point to check out a new team, Wolfpack, this week. I saw many familiar faces in Garbacz, Russ Santucci and Joe Zogaria. I also saw A LOT of tight clothing (predominately among the male players unfortunately). They went up against The Untouchaballs in a defensive battle. Both QBs are new to the league so I guess that’s not completely unexpected. Wolfpack’s QB had some trouble stepping into throws and I did not see a lot of mobility out of him. He did make a nice completion deep to Santucci though that was definitely highlight-reel worthy. The Untouchaballs are probably the best 0-3 team in the league right now. Scheduling did them no favors but D3 is proving to be among the top competitive divisions. Melanie is a name you will be hearing as this season progresses and, I’m calling it now, a D3 female MVP candidate. After squeaking by 12-7, Wolfpack went on to play All We Do is Quinn immediately afterwards. Once again, time in the endzones was limited but this time it did not work to the Pack’s favor. Vince Taverna spread the ball around to his receivers. It is not easy to throw against the height of the Wolfpack’s defense but I did see an impressive back of TD pass to Joe Schwab. AWDIQ came away with the win 22-17.

When Doves Cry had a double header against Peachy Platoon and Losing Streak. I did not see a lot of the PP game but I caught the tail end in which WDC scored a TD to tie the game. They went for the conversion but Topper took a sack. Ya hate to see it. I’m not putting it all on Topper (this time) as from the snippets I saw and what I heard it was a good game. Peachy looks like they are getting back on track. The fireworks happened in the latter game against LS. I mentioned them last week and we all see they have athletes. LS took an early lead but WDC is chock full of veteran experience and athletes who fought their way back into it. In my humble opinion (and of the games I saw), this was the Game of the Day. It had everything you would want in a competitive, two hand touch co-ed football game. This was one of those games where I thought “if these teams play each other 10 times, WDC will win 5 and LS will win 5.” WDC was able to hold on with no time left to get a defensive stop resulting in a 34-31 win.

Later in the day Peachy Platoon took on Passed Our Prime. As I said, PP’s week 1 was in no way representative of them as a team. They are getting back into the groove of things. Having a double header is apparently no problem when your entire team is young and in shape. I could say POP had a tough start to the season but looking at the teams in D2 there really are no “easy” games. Jeremy Olson and Co put on a good show. Their females learned the hard way that PP’s females are quick and that speed is utilized well. They also were short at guys which did not help their cause so I find this is another team that we haven’t seen their full potential. Dean Thompson showed he is coming for a higher spot in the Power Rankings. With their win over POP, Dean has tied Topper with 95 Points For, the most in the division.

Show Me Dem TDs is the former Uncle Rico’s Time Travelers. This team changes their name seasonally so I can’t even say I was surprised when I found out who this was. They played Universal Wealth Management (aka The Kellers).  SMDT pretty much dominated this game. Tim Zielinski threw well and they seem to be recovering from the loss of Chris Nelson. Granted, UWM has been struggling early this season on defense. Scott Keller Sr has not been in attendance either to help make up for the point differential. D5 has a couple teams that could be playing up a division but SMDTs should have no trouble righting the ship from here but I think UWM will struggle to keep up. SMDTs did have trouble later in the day against Interdimensional Lightning Falcons. I didn’t see the game but the score (46-24) indicates SMDT used up all their energy a little too early.

Zack Attack beat Breast Friends and Interdimensional Lightning Falcons to land at the top of D5. Both were close games that were won by 1 score. Breast Friends had some uncharacteristic drops. Jay Elphick was a bit too much for the ladies to handle and Zack Elphick used what was being given to him.

Now let’s get to this week Top 5 Notables:

1. Freeballers- Have to give props to a team that gets a shut out. Woodpeckers got to experience the difference between D6 and D4 this week and despite the size and athletic talent WP have, FB held them to a big ol’ goose egg.

2. Derrick Bongiovani- TEIM has talent up and down their roster but someone who always seems to be making big plays but getting no press is Derrick. It’s time his name is put among the stars of the league.

3. Brandy Clark- Not only did she play great on When Doves Cry, I also heard she balled out on Breakfast Club, leading her team in TD catches.

4. Brent McKenzie- missed week 1 only to come back and elevate the game of every other person on TMA, including getting himself a TD on the day.

5. Jordan Lawson- kept the game close against current D2 favorite When Doves Cry then took over for Joey Batts and lead the Cunning Stunts to a victory over Freeballers, 43-19.

That’s all for this week. It really has been great to see everyone hanging out and watching games this season. The atmosphere is almost back to “pre-covid” days which I’m sure we all can agree is long overdue. Please remember to continue to follow the regulations still in place.  I am looking forward to week 3 as historically, that’s when the last remnants of rust are rubbed off and elite level play begins to shine. Remember, I’ll be watching…

Finals Review

Category: The Sentinel
Created: Wednesday, 28 October 2020 11:33
Published: Wednesday, 28 October 2020 11:33
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 4949


Well TSL, we made it through the season! No it was not the typical season for us but I for one still had an amazing time each and every week we played and I hope you all did too. Shout out to our fearless leader Topper for going to bat for us and making it happen when the odds were against us. Also props to the Field Crew for all they did to make sure things ran smoothly. Championship weekend is always an exciting day and this year was no exception.

Starting in D1, the start of the playoffs were moved back a week as an extra precaution which meant that aside from the top 2 of the division, all teams had 9am games and would need to win 3 in a row to be champions. Not an easy feat by any means. Marketing Mayors took on Why So Serious? in tight match up. Terrell Bolden has been solid at QB for his team and with another season under his belt, I could see him leading his team to greatness. They have the talent with Pete, Kedron and their females; I saw Pete make a highlight reel worthy catch deep in the endzone with the toe tap for a TD. Unfortunately Marketing Mayors still has Andy Smith who continues to be borderline uncoverable, especially on the deep routes. Cory Turner showed off some one-handed catching ability as well in their win to move on to the semis.

MM met up with Tight Ends in Motion who ended in 2nd place earning them a first round bye despite some big injuries/scheduling conflicts throughout the season. The replacement players stepped up big, most notably Bro Kleckler at QB and Robin Makula who was acquired through a trade. I’m going to be honest and it might offend people but hey, this is the media, that’s kind of our thing. Looking at MM and TEIM I would say MM has the edge talent-wise. Now I’m going to Tarentino this and tell you right off the bat that TEIM wins this game to move on to the championship. So what’s the deal? The deal is that TEIM plays within a system and that system seems to have MM’s number. MM could not stop Bro and Co on defense and could not figure out how to get passed Stoner Dave on offense. The result was a 37-22 win for TEIM.

Eyes Downtown might have been surprised to find themselves in a play-in game for the playoffs but let’s be honest, they haven’t had the best season to this point. Gryffindor has proved that persistence paid off. When they first moved up to D1 they weren’t in anyone’s mind come playoff time but Joey Batts and the crew have continued to battle and recruit. This is a classic tale for all those afraid to move up that it is possible and once you get to D1, you can add whomever you want to the roster. That said, Gryffindor found themselves down by 20 early in the game. Some may have thought that was all she wrote but think again. They battled back, taking the lead late in the game. Eyes Downtown wasn’t about to go down without a fight either though. In their last 2 possessions, Matty Mohr caught a bomb TD pass from the 50 yard line followed by Chris Franjoine getting by Anthony Battaglia on a streak to put them ahead. Gryffindor wasn’t able to come back again and ED moved on to face Public Enemy.

Public Enemy versus Eyes Downtown. We never get sick of seeing these two teams play each other. Bobby McConnell and Matty Mohr tend to bring their A game. Chris Cole and his team always want to win, but against them it’s at more of a personal level. It’s even better when both teams have all their horses in the race. Jeremy Burr was back after seemingly missing quite a few games this year. This game was close right up to the end. Unfortunately for ED, Burr sustained what looked like a pretty serious injury. We hope he is okay but he could not finish the game. It came down to the end when Cole sailed a pass over Mohr’s head to Mike Boccio who showed off his vertical, taking the win and advancing on to face TEIM in the championship.

The championship game was another nail biter. TEIM had an early lead when PE spent too much time celebrating their win over their rivals. Cole took several sacks and things were looking bleak for the defending champions. With 12 minutes left they were down 20. PE rallied, cutting the lead to 6 followed by 2 consecutive stops on defense. Heather Cepchowski sacked Bro on 6th down leading to a turnover on downs. With 15 seconds left, PE came down again and scored to tie it up then getting the conversion to go up by one. TEIM had one more shot with seconds remaining. Eric Kleckler got them passed midfield off a quick pass from Bro. With one last play, they threw it up for one last chance but Jon McGrath was there to knock it down and give PE their second consecutive championship.

Scared Hitless and Frodo Swaggins finished the season with matching records. Both have speed, height and talented females. Scotty Dro was late but made it in time to play offense for his team. Josh Schneider even showed up for the first time this season for FS. That was about the end of things going well for them though. SH shut them completely down on defense, allowing only 8 points against a QB claiming he wants a shot at D1. The tall guy they had rushing didn’t give Scott any time and even got a pick off the line. On offense, SH showed they were a force to be reckoned with. Cat Peters was a huge addition to this team and their QB Dylan Dayy has been climbing the Power Rankings all season.  Tristan Drescher had some big plays all season and added the right mix of speed and height to help his team to the win.

All We Do is Quinn and the Untouchaballs went into double OT, with both offenses refusing to back down. I didn’t see a whole lot of this game but I did see the end and that was plenty. AWDIQ had the lead early but made the age old mistake of looking ahead too soon, wondering how the Frodo Swaggins game was going. Untouchaballs stayed focused and battled back to send the game in into not one but 2 overtimes. AWDIQ had the ball and were driving. Vince Taverna played well all game but he almost made a fatal error throwing a pick on their final drive. Alas, the gods were on his side and the player was out of bounds so Vince got another chance. He capitalized on that chance by finding Troy Boller along the front goal line. Untouchaballs argued that he was short but everyone on the sidelines agreed with the refs call of a good TD and a win.

AWDIQ met up with SH for the D3 final. These teams did not play against each other during the season so no scouting report could be done unless a team watched their opponent play someone else. SH’s game plan was the deep routes against AWDIQ’s man defense. AWDIQ refused to make changes and the result stayed the same with SH taking the lead at half time. During half time, there were too many roosters in the hen house, with everyone arguing with each other. Quinn finally made adjustments and were able to execute some semblance of defense. Tori Ticco played outstanding for AWDIQ but SHs’ Dylan Dayy found Kynan Vandenburgh on another deep ball and took the D3 championship title.

The D5 semi-final was between Practice Squad and Zach Attack. After a whirlwind season last year, ZA was awfully quiet this time around. I saw another offensive shoot out with both QBs preferring the deep ball. Zach Elphick plays a smart game and utilizes his females well. B is not afraid to sling it downfield and let his receivers make a play. Andrew Piatek made some nice defensive stops for ZA but unfortunately for them they fell short and PS advanced to the D5 final.

Cobblestone met up with Mountain Dew Me and the result was what you would expect. Darryl Carr could not get his receivers away from the speedy defenders of MDM and no one could stop them on defense. Honestly that’s really all there was to it, but Darryl’s hair looked phenomenal.

So the final was Practice Squad versus Mountain Dew Me as it should be. ANOTHER double overtime! This game was obviously a close one. Both teams played very well and it could have gone either way. Jordan McGregor showcased his speed while Cody McGregor showed off his arm and route calling. B played a solid game, spreading the ball around to all his receivers. The game was theirs to take but B missed Renee Lantz wide open in the end zone and instead tried getting it to her brother, Kenny, who pulled up with an injury and MDM took the title.

The Dilfs and Slytherin That Endzone met up for the second time this season. The Dilfs won the first match up but that was when Slytherin did not have Newman and Taylor Pagano. This time around, all hands were on deck. The Dilfs were missing Dubey so Travis took over at QB. Slytherin started in a zone defense but switched to man right away. The Dilfs had some uncharacteristic drops which stalled out two of their drives. They were unable to stop Matt Newman’s deep ball. When drives stall out, you need to make a stop on defense, which the Dilfs were unable to do. Slytherin took the win and advanced to the finals.

Jabronies and Sticky Bandits went back and forth for the lead all game. These teams know each other well and had game plans set to capitalize on the others weaknesses. They stayed within a score throughout the game with the lead changing often. Both teams loved the deep ball all season and this game was no different. Close games often lead to emotions running high which was proven true again. Ricky Recckio and Ben Stack were at each other all second half. Recckio’s rushing threw Joe Miano for a loop as he is not used to size and speed coming at him. By the end, SB had a 2 score lead that Jabronies could not overcome.

The D2 championship came down to the 3rd and 4th seed of the division. Based on the last couple seasons, it seems the top spots in this division are not where you want to end up. But for Slytherin and Sticky, they definitely earned their right to be in the championship. And what a game it was. Back and forth action in the first half with the only defensive stop coming from a Ricky Recckio pick on the first play. Dave Baker had himself a game, adding a couple Tds to his stats including the play of the half when Mike Thomas throws it up to Recckio. The Slytherin defender made a play on the ball but Baker dove through the mess of bodies to make the catch. Newman answered back though and Slytherin went into the half up 3. In the second half both teams had some big drops but Recckio came through for his team again with a pick, finishing it off with a deep TD catch. SB utilized stall tactics to end the game and win their 2nd consecutive championship. Fun fact: I overheard players talking and apparently that was the 150th win for the Sticky Squad. 

In D4, the playoffs were off to a lame start when Uncle Rico’s forfeit at the last minute resulting in the Angels getting a fast pass to the championship. Bold strategy. The Buffalo Solar Solutions/Overcompensators game made up for it though. A high scoring affair with 2 elite QBs on either side resulted in an offensive battle, which is always fun to watch. Larry Chruscial looked like the Larry of old that we honestly hadn’t seen much of this season. Andy Clark showed us why they were the top seed in the division. Fast forward to the end of the game and OC had a substantial lead. A huge upset was in the air. But BSS remained poised and continued to come at the OC on offense. Caitlyn Mason is not a name you may hear a lot of but she’s honestly one of the best girls in the league, yes I said league and not division. She’s small, quick and does not drop the ball. Captain Dan Gonzalez helped lead his team to a come-from-behind victory that came down to the wire with Clark putting the team on his back and launching the ball down field. BSS moved on to face the Angels in the finals.

This was a rematch we all wanted to see. The last time these guys faced each other, BSS won fairly easily. They took advantage of the Angels’ weakness (which is height) and fed the tall guy on their team. Sorry your name still escapes me. Email the league with descriptions if it bothers you. I expected to see much of the same. Both teams came out hot. The Angels have not had the fire they used to but that could be because they were missing some of their big names every week. The spark was lit for this game though. Bobby McConnell figured out a way to get the ball to his females while Andy Clark struggled to make connections. He appeared to be injured as I noticed some limping after the play on several occasions and did not target the tall guy nearly as often as in their first meeting. Still, the Angels pulled out all stops. The game was close and a back and forth battle. Bobby had a huge pick that swung the momentum away from BSS and towards the Angels. From there, the Angels went to a systematic, take-what-they-are-giving-you offense and were able to come out with the D4 championship.

And last but not least in D6, TMA took on Graves Brothers in the semifinals. TMA kept the game close and probably could have pulled off a win if they were able to bring in some would-be interceptions. GB played a hurry up offense and sent the ball long often. TMA had Nick Smith back but were missing Drunk Meg’s Brother. Nonetheless the game was close. GB had all the momentum in their favor but that almost came crashing down when a player attempted a pitch that landed in the hands of Diana Bernal. Steve Miller made a defensive play to prevent the turnover that some considered excessive but resulted only in a loss of downs. GB went on to win and advance to the finals.

The Tater Tots took on The Bambs at the same time and admittedly I didn’t see much of this game. The Bambs looked to be running with a skeleton crew while the Tater Tots had their usual cast of characters. Dylan Jaloza played well unfortunately their defense could not get the stops they needed. The Bambs’ Derrick Sekuterski has been quietly balling out this whole season. They know how to use his height and I saw him sacrifice his body on several occasions. The females of this team are also not talked about a lot but I saw Marissa Padilla make some impressive catches for her team. The Tots’ usual run and gun offense was working effectively but as the old adage goes “defense {gets you to the} championship.” Or something like that.

So that left us with Graves Bros and The Bambs in the finals. I’ve heard it said there are few harder things than beating a team twice and more and more that’s proving true. Last time these guys played each other Graves Bros came out with the win in a high scoring affair. This time the scoring was there but both teams improved upon their defense. I can’t say I saw any real big, game changing plays but both teams put together a solid performance with the Bambs just showing they had the edge on football smarts and route running.

And that brings us to the close of the TSL 2020 season. Congratulations to all the champions as well as everyone else who made it through this chaotic season with us. We are so grateful to you all for allowing us to be a part of the greatest co-ed football league in the area. Remember to continue to check back on the Facebook and Topper Sports League page to see who was nominated for awards. I know a lot of nominations were being thrown around at the end of the season. We still aren’t sure how the awards will be announced but make sure you are around for when they are because it is always a good time. Until next session, I’ll be…resting my eyes.

Week 1 Review

Category: The Sentinel
Created: Tuesday, 27 April 2021 18:16
Published: Tuesday, 27 April 2021 18:16
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 7818


“Wel-come back, welcome back, welcome back, wel-come back”


The day we all so anxiously awaited finally arrived! The weather was perfect which could only mean that our good friends Lenny and Rameer were clearly enjoying themselves upstairs watching us all. Week one was a huge success. We thank you all for following the Covid protocols at the fields and at the bar. I know some were hoping to be back to complete normalcy by now but for now we are working with what we have and everyone is doing a stand up job to ensure the safety of everyone involved. But enough about that. Most importantly is the reason we all gather each and every Saturday and that is the football (yes, I realize some of you have ulterior motives). It may be week 1 and I probably say it every year but most of you have not missed a beat. The off-season training and practice pays off again and provides me with plenty to take notice of this season. Props to Sticky Bandits, Scared Hitless, The Angels, Mountain Dew Me and The Bambs for moving up after winning your respective divisions last year. And a special shout out to Practice Squad for making it to the D5 championship and moving to D4 this year.  I am super pumped to be able to watch some games again and be able to tell all you fine folks about the cool shit that I saw. So let’s get started.


In looking at the standings, I saw a good number of new teams so I wanted to make a point of seeing some of what they will be bringing to the table. I began with Lenny’s Ladies and Travis Henry’s Kids. I heard tell that THK has played together in another league so I was curious to see how they stacked up in the TSL. Their first opponent was Lenny’s Ladies.  Joe K was back at QB, unfortunately the Ladies had some early season attendance trouble. LL is still considerably new and many of the ladies playing this weekend experienced their first taste of safety on defense.  THK demonstrated that they knew the game well enough to take advantage where advantage was to be taken. D6 is a competitive division this year and I think these guys will be right in the thick of things down the line.


I also took a gander at the All We Do is Quinn versus Grey Hair Don’t Care game. Despite losing Rawdog in Free Agency, AWDIQ continues to dominate with speed. GHDC just could not keep up. Vince Taverna is making an early play for a spot on the Power Rankings with his agility and accuracy on the run this week. It may be Week 1, but Vince and the rest of AWDIQ is already looking towards that D3 title.


When Dove Cries (previously known as Hofbrauhaus previously known as 1 Todd 2 Many) took on Scared Hitless for the latter’s first D2 match up. Things did not go great for SH as they seemed to have some trouble getting into a flow. I blame early season and new division jitters. Jamie Warren was missing for this game; however, Joey Ruderman (Farr? I know she married Jeff Farr but not sure of the name change situation) has made her return. Drew Colosimo brought in some new talent in Devin Linder who I have my eye on for an early D2 MVP. Devin has speed, hands and height (a combination even Topper can take advantage of). WDC looked solid and looking at their roster I think there are going to shock some people, especially with the 16-1 odds reported by the Godfather.


Next up we have The Untouchaballs against The Angels. Matty Ice is back for the Angels and they looked very much like the team we have come to know and love. Katie Salisbury is also back and was right back into being a dominating presence on both sides of the ball. Matty ran the offense he is known for where he scrambles around for 35 seconds then throws it up to one of his females down field. It may be unorthodox but it works. I saw one bomb to Casey Oliphant that no one on defense was ready for. The UTs played a solid game but could not stop the Angels on defense. I did notice a new female on their team who’s name I did not catch but she was fire. Great hands, solid routes and speed-this lady is going to do great things this season. Their QB was not someone I recognized although he seemed to have the speed, youth, and agility to play a very Matty Ice-like game once he gets some experience under his belt.


Losing Streak is another new team to our league, although they also previously played together elsewhere. They took on early D2 favorite Peachy Platoon. With Dean Thompson back in attendance it’s hard to bet against these guys but LS was able to come in and give them a run for their money. Chris Nelson moved up from D4 to a place he will fit in much better (although to be honest, he’s still playing in a division too low for where he should be). QB Jordan Lawson showed he knows the game and how to use his players. New teams coming in at D2 is always dicey but I think these guys will be right at home and offer some great competition this season. PP did not look like their usual selves so there may be some rust to get rid of as the season progresses. I also did not see Moriah Williamson in attendance. Definitely will be keeping an eye on both these teams this season.


Bullet Club took a win over Passed Our Prime. POP is technically new to the league although they did play in our inaugural indoor session this winter. BC had some big off-season signings with Scotty Dro and Rawdog. I did see Chad Griffin was back which adds yet another receiver over 6’2. The game was back and forth, both teams displaying a boundless amount of speed, height and route running. POP QB Jeremy Olson brought over a solid cast of players. Keyon Elias had a great game and really kept his team in it.  POP drew up great plays and proved they can run in D2 but BC just had the edge with guys that can stretch the field and a QB that can sling.


Cunning Stunts pulled out a win over Buffalo Vice (previously known as Buffalo Solar Solution). I have to start off with a shout out to whomever designed the Buffalo Vice jerseys because they are amazing. These teams know each other well. Both have few, if any, changes to the roster. Joey Batts and Co were operating with machine-like precision. Brandy Clarke had 2 picks (at least) which caused a huge momentum shift in the game. QB Andy Clark was able to utilize his girls and find his receivers but they could not keep up with CS’s scoring.


TMA was short some familiar faces with Ferger and Brent not in attendance. Their first game was against WoodPeckers (previously known as Pteratacos). Side note- what’s with all the name changes?? It’s hard enough to keep track of new teams and players, get it together. Just kidding. Anywho, the score says TMA lost 32-15 but we found out later that some shady shenanigans went down. Now normally I don’t like putting people on blast unless they do something embarrassingly funny that we can all get a good giggle out of but Joe and Mark Buscaglia of WoodPeckers, requested they move down from D5 this year after not doing well last season (even though they didn’t do that bad last year). Topper, in his graciousness, allowed them to move down then they show up with 3 players who we learned played college football and are at least a head taller than most people in the league. Shady antics like this are exactly why there is drama about division placements every year and rules that prevent our top tier players from playing in lower divisions. I’m sure Topper would love to be able to trust everyone at their word who says “This is my team, we should be in a lower division” but because of people like this he can’t. There is no glory in asking to move down, stacking a team then winning a game because you lied and basically cheated. In no way are we blaming the players as I’m sure they had no idea they were being added to a roster just for the single purpose of dominating the lowest division of the league. Joe and Mark, in my opinion, are frontrunners for League Villain and it’s only Week 1. For Shame! End rant. That said, TMA held their own pretty well. Johnny Dio subbed in at QB and played like the OG he is, offering a calm attitude and demeanor throughout the game. TMA did go on to beat Tater Tots later in the day. Besides an early score, TMA’s defense shut down TT’s Dylan Jaloza-less offense (that’s my confusing way of saying TT’s regular QB was not there). Nick Smith and Universal Sub Molly McDermott came through with a couple picks and Diana Bernal had 2 touchdowns. The scoreboard said 39-9 but don’t let that fool you. At full strength and once the early season rust wears off, Tator Tots are going to be right in it with the rest of this competitive division. They did defeat BiPolar Express earlier in the day, but unfortunately I was not able to see enough of that game to comment.


To end, I am going to go back to my Top 5 Notable Performances. These are going to be singular plays I saw from a player or team but not enough happened to comment on the entire game. I might also comment on some overall performances or improvements from players or teams throughout the season. Pretty much, this will be the cool (or not-so-cool) shit I saw or took notice of each week. So here we go:

1. Dave Baker: From what I heard, he broke the collective hearts of Sticky Bandits by choosing Tight Ends in Motion late in the off-season then proceeding to run up the scoring in their D1 debut. Cold Dave but we love a good drama.


2. Mountain Dew Me feat. Joey Batts:  I have to give credit for MDM jumping up 3 division after adding Joey Batts to their ranks. Of course, having Jill Battaglia is obviously the reason for the move but they pulled out a win against XTC (formerly known as Dilfs) in their D2 debut.


3. Bullet Club: I’m not sure what kind of signing bonuses they offered but BC went all kinds of Bill-Belichick in the off-season with bringing Griffin out of retirement and signing Dro and Rawdog.


4. Kelly Sabo: All the ladies of Breast Friends played exceptionally well. Kelly had herself a game with one particular great catch in the closing minutes of their game against Wasted Potential to put the game away. 


5: The Untouchaballs QB: I apologize for not knowing your name and while those of you paying attention can see they did go 0-2 on the day, the schedule master did not do them any favors. Add to that, I heard it was his first time playing. He held his own against the Angels and Frodo Swaggins. I’m calling it now, this guy is going places.


That’s a wrap on Week 1 of the Spring 2021 season review. As always, I had a great time being able to take in some A+ football this week. Thank you to everyone who came out, hung out, and helped out. Until next time, I’ll be watching...

Playoffs Round 1 Wrap up

Category: The Sentinel
Created: Tuesday, 20 October 2020 19:01
Published: Tuesday, 20 October 2020 19:01
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 1526

 The first round of playoffs are in the books! Last week I used the old adage anything can happen any given {Saturday}. Usually that means an underdog can overcome a higher seed or a favorite is taken down by a lesser known team. The divisional 1st round of playoffs however really stuck to the script. Besides Vaspian taking out En Fuego and Freeballers besting Cunning Stunts, every other game went according to plan. Untouchaballs did beat out Grey Hair-Don’t Care but since GHDC hasn’t had a win (excluding forfeits) since Sept 12, I can’t really say this is an upset. Even with no D1 games being played this week, there was plenty to watch on all fields.


Peachy Platoon looked like they were going to get the upset win over Jabronies when they came out with an 18-0 lead. Joe Miano and Co., however, kept their composure and rallied back to score 26 unanswered points, including with a deep TD to Ben Stack to end the first half.

Like I said, Freeballers got a win over Cunning Stunts for their 2nd win of the season so props to them. I don’t want to take anything away from them but I am going to. The Stunts didn’t have Joey, Jill, or Katie Keller so they were missing not only solid players but their QB who holds it all together. Cole filled in to throw which is great offensively but his left handed bullets are tough to adjust to and he’s less than an ideal defender. Nonetheless, Freeballers is finally looking like they are starting to get it all figured out. Unfortunately they came up against Uncle Ricos next and were not able to pull off the win. It was closer than many would have predicted (again I’m told UR was missing the Nelsons) but being able to run with the 3rd place team in a very competitive division shows me Freeballers just needs a little experience to make some waves in D4.

Once again, the Cinderella Story came to a quick ending as Vaspian faced Frodo Swaggins following their victory over En Fuego. Things looked good for Vaspian as Scotty Drosendahl decided the divisional first round of playoffs was not worth showing up to apparently. FS was left to play with 3 guys, 3 females and Garrett at QB. Luckily FS has solid females but the game did end in a tie which led us to overtime. Both teams were able to score gender TDs on their possessions however, Vaspian failed to convert the extra point while Nick Buczek pulled one in, sending FS on to the semis with or without Scotty.

The Overcompensators have been having anything but a great season. Their only 3 wins came from the 2 last place teams in the division (Stunts twice, Freeballers once). Family Feud and Some Dudes also had a rough go at it with only two wins. One of them was a big win over Uncle Ricos though so that’s got to count for something. These 4th versus 5th place match up is usually where anything can happen but OC turned on at exactly the right time and crushed FF. Their name finally made sense to me when I heard QB Steven, Laura and Riley are all siblings. To put it nicely, Steven lost his composure and Laura put him in his place. Not cool. The game ended early, hopefully for a family meeting including an airing of the grievances leading to conflict resolution.

There was only one game going on at 11:00 due to the D1 postponement so I was able to watch quite a bit of the TMA vs Blitzkreig game. It was a defensive battle that could have gone either way. Honestly, it seemed to me like TMA wanted it more. They came out buzzing in the first half and then after a drive full of drops, Blitzkreig came back to close the gap to 20-15. TMA was able to hold on and sealed the deal with a Ron Webber TD. After making an entrance running onto the field from her road trip to Oswego, Diana Bernal played an outstanding game, including a TD complete with celly. TMA’s defense had a great game but they will need to generate more offense and find their females in the endzone more often if they want to keep going next week.

Hofbrauhaus Buffalo faced the Dilfs who I heard were almost very short handed as Katie Keller, Travis and Val were all effected by the D1 postponement. Katie decided to be a nice person and sub for Gryffindor last week which got her put on the Can Not Play list. Travis also played in that game so he was out as well (and Val lives with him). Sources say Travis “didn’t want to let his team down” so he, Val and Diana Bernal found a rapid testing site in Oswego and got the clearance needed to play. Topper had a rough day finding and connecting with his receivers. He was able to use the height his team boasts but could not get a series of downs together to put up points. With Dubey making regular appearances this season, the Dilfs have looked like a top notch team (I’ve also seen them making a stand at the bar consistently as well). I want to take credit for lighting a fire under Kevin Zack as I heard he took my critique to heart last week. Remember Kevin, I can’t watch the whole game so I can only report on what I see. THIS week though, I saw Kevin making a stand on offense. Slants across the field seem to be his specialty but I saw a deep bomb with Aaron Balcerzak in coverage that Kevin was able to bring in with ease.

Sticky Bandits and Morning Wood had a bunch of big plays leading SB to a 7 point lead with under 2 minutes. The ball was in the hands of Aaron Ertel at the 12 yard line. Russ Santucci was wide open in the endzone. Ertel knows he can scramble all day. What happens? Andrew Kicak picks it off and runs it back down the field where a lateral to Laura Streeter ends the playoff dreams for MW. Ya hate to see it.

The Slytherin That End Zone/ Bullet Club game was another that could have gone either way. A defensive battle with two teams who are neck and neck for points against, this game seemed to be in the hands of Slytherin early on. A pick 6 and forced punt put them up early. Matt Newman capitalized with a gender TD to go up by 2 scores only to throw 2 picks after BC changed up their defense. JJ was all up in his face rushing, tipping 4 balls from the line. It looked like BC’s game from the half when they were up 16-15. Fortunately for Slytherin, Newman kept his cool and sent Taylor Pagano on a crossing route with 29 seconds left in the game. He rifled it at her, putting his team up 24-16 and advancing them to the semis.

Mountain Dew Me didn’t even so much as give TOX a hope or a prayer in staying with them. Not to say there aren’t athletes on TOX but they just did not match up against MDM’s speed. Jordan and Kyle are too fast for even the most athletic of defenders to run with and they play all out; diving to make a catch, ankle breaking cuts to deke defenders, etc. Add to that Cody’s ability to scramble and there’s just not much TOX could do to hold them out of the endzone. Topper’s rough day continued as he struggled avoiding their defenders and even when he was able to connect with his receivers, luck was not on his side ending in bobbled passes landing in MDMs hands.

Practice Squad showed they should have had a bye this week as they just demolished Intentional Pounding 40-0. B was clicking with all his receivers and spreading the ball around. He connected with Kenny Lantz, floating a deep ball where only he could get it. Both Kyle and Ashtin Fiegel contributed to the win as well with their shifty YAC. IP had some nice plays but are just not at the level PS has been. The latter proved they are contenders for the title despite their loss to MDM early in the season. 

Lenny’s Ladies featuring Jeff May lost to Tater Tots 39-16. The Tots have perfected their game against gender teams. Deep balls down field then out at the one finishing with a gender TD is the recipe they have used and succeeded with all season. Jeff had no answer for Nick Angelo despite his impressive passing and play calling. Where was Jeff Easton, you ask? Apparently, manager Joe K forgot to tell him the game time [face palm].

BiPolar Express was the 3rd of 4 gender teams to make an early exit in the playoffs, leaving only the Angels to represent Girl Power. Their game against Graves Bros was close all the way through. GB had some uncharacteristic drops and could not win a 50/50 toss up to save their lives. Things didn’t look like they were going to go their way until the 29 second mark when they were able to punch in a TD to take the lead. BE attempted a game winning Hail Mary but it fell inches short.

That brings us to the final week of the season. With the playoffs under way, I am hoping to see at least a couple upsets this week. The finals is when everyone usually brings their A game so we will see if that holds true when it matters most. Now more than ever, I’ll be watching…


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