As part of our ongoing quest for improvement, team PR1ME headed 3 hours northeast to Chattanooga. Because of the cancellation of the D3 Division of the MiLP, members of Pro team Chattanooga CEP and most of their newly formed D2 team members invited us to an Open scrimmage. We were excited for the opportunity.
Our day started with a 5:45am wakeup, time change, and by 11:00am EST the gates were fully opened, and the players set up the field, the New Jersey Layout. After that the day proceeded quickly. Game after game up to around 20 points.
Many of CEP's Pros were there, some for only the first few points but most stayed throughout: Zuppa, Fyfe, Goldsmith, Williams, Nicola. The Southeast in general is sparse with talent, so the D2 faces were recognizable. Some harking to days way before this scrimmage. (Shout out to the boys from NC and GA!) Given that the D2 team had only been formed mere two or three weeks earlier (with only one practice I believe), I thought they did well. Given that there were also some seasoned D1 and now almost a full season Pros against us, I thought we did well.
The real clash came with styles. CEP liked to use the middle of the field, allow us to make mistakes, and finish when the outcome became nearly certain. (I remember their D3 team that won the CFOA series back in '08 having a similar style.) PR1ME likes to be more aggressive, looking for a quick finishing blow. One strategy is not, and was not in this instance necessarily superior to the other. Though, I would say a more patient style is something that higher level teams are more versed in.
In the end I thought the day was very productive. While we usually have to travel 6 to 7 hours to find higher level teams, we were given the opportunity to play a little closer to home. A few weaknesses were exposed. Many strengths were reaffirmed. I hope the fellas at CEP can say the same. In the end it's the thirst to find better and better competition that will keep us moving around the country, until we don't have to travel anywhere to find the best. We hope it will be us.
Thanks to CEP for having us and best of luck to them in Pro and D2. All the members of team PR1mE want to play at the highest level. We hope we can get the opportunity to face them again some time.
Some highlights courtesy of Michael Day: