Speedball Tournament June 8-10, 2016
Joe Taft, Veritas Sports Editor
The second annual Jared Lewis Quirk Speedball Tournament at Rockland High lived up to the hype. The returning champs, ‘God’s Children’, came back for a second run at a title. The large crowd in the gym saw an all-girls’ team battle through a couple of close games, as well as some other intriguing opening round matchups.
The ‘Spartans’, led by Kevin Strobel (WNE) as their goalie, defeated ‘The Lumberjacks’ in the first round and took ‘God’s Children’ to overtime before losing on day two. ‘Devil’s Disciples,’ led by the Kimball brothers, used a heavy-soccer tactic, and had a goal differential of almost +20 heading into the final day. ‘Bar Down’, captained by Joe Taft and Brett Schneider, played the Cinderella role after losing their opening game. They won both their games on the second day, including an upset win over the ‘Spartans,’ to advance to play on Friday. The ‘Thunder Donkeys,’ a team of strictly sophomores, rolled through the tournament to advance to the final day as well.
Though seventeen teams entered, only eight found themselves playing on the final day of the tournament. In the first game, ‘Bar Down’ continued their underdog prowess, defeating ‘Diversity’ in an overtime match. ‘Donnie’s Burgers’, led by Ian MacDonald and Pat Gorman, beat the ‘Barn Burners’ in the second game, also an overtime win, to move on to the next round. Bar Down was defeated by last year’s runner up, Team NB, and the young ‘Thunder Donkeys’ very nearly reached the championship before losing in a shootout with the whole crowd on their feet.
After the dust cleared, it was the championship matchup everyone was hoping for. Joe Kimball’s ‘Devils’ Disciples’ taking on Matt Clougherty’s ‘God’s Children.’ ‘God’s Children’ took the first game, setting up a decisive final game to crown the champion. The team’s battled hard, and at the end of regulation, defense was clearly the name of the game. A zero-zero tie heading into regulation was not what everyone expected from two high-flying offenses. Sam Collyer ripped a shot past Dylan Bernache in OT to capture the championship trophy for the ‘Disciples’. Collyer’s superior arm strength led him to the tournament MVP trophy as well.
In the end, the tournament raised nearly $4,000 for the Jared Quirk ‘Good Guy” Scholarship. Some feelings may have been hurt on the court, but everything was for a great cause. Jared’s name will live on forever through the tournament, as well as through the mark he left on all of his classmates and friends.
photos by Abby Condon, Carolyn McCarthy and Hannah Boben.
Teams in addition to those mentioned were: Angels, Hands Off, Vicious and Delicious, Magical Mambas Scoop and Score, Hell Hounds, Diversity, and Italian Meats