Friday, April 1, 2011

PR1ME Third in TX

An off the cuff photo session. Left to Right: Cameron McDonald, Griff, Chris Roark, Tyler Ewing, Mike McGowan, Vince Martinez, Mike Bianca, Evan Manners, Mike Paxson, and cute baby. (That's actually not Pax's daughter. Think he just grabbed her off a stroller and said "get over here." No, actually she's a friend of Pax's kid. She wanted to be in the picture and like most Dads with a daughter, he just couldn't say no to a cute little face. But he says no to me all the time, what gives??? Also, not pictured are Stacy and Darrell McDonald and Brenna Searcy. You guys are the most awesome supportive people ever!

A lot of “firsts” happened at the PSP. Well, it was the first PSP of the season. The PSP’s first trip to Galveston Island, TX. PR1ME’s first season intending to play all four PSPs, and the first time for all of the individuals on PR1ME playing all four.

While it was also mine and many on PR1ME’s first time to ever podium at PSP, the only thing missing from this list of “firsts” was, well, “first place.”

After some in depth scouting, we knew we understood our bracket and possible opponents. We also knew we would most likely meet the likes of Revo, Detroit Action, and LA Heat even prior to the event. (We had Dark Carnival marked as well; I’d like to find out from them what went down.) Even so, we knew we’d have to take advantage, and felt we had. PR1ME felt very strong thru the Quarter Finals with a point record of 20-2. Comparable only to the eventual winner Revo’s 17-3 record after the quarters. We went through the typical mantra: warnings of complacency, “don’t get cocky,” “that bye can be a curse,” and “watch out for those teams that had to fight to get in.”

Exalt Thrasher Pant "field testing." Head to their facebook:

This was a controlled and controlling layout. The team that would lose focus and lose patience would fail. In a tournament plagued by ridiculously low scores like 2-1, 3-2, and even a ludicrous 1-0, we felt we knew when to strike. Finishing most of our matches at the score limit, not the time limit. However, when met with our first real test against LA (Louisiana) Heat. They kept their focus throughout and struck when we not so much lost focus as individuals, but didn’t focus as a team. I give LA Heat all the credit in the world. Winners win when they have to. Given a one and done scenario, they laid it down and kept us from hanging the flag in the waning seconds. But to say we didn’t give them a gracious opportunity to allow it to happen would just be false. Losing a 5 on 4 (from before the buzzer). Concentrating lanes on one side of the field. Changing gameplans on the fly. These were traits characteristic of that game that were not characteristic of team PR1ME throughout the tournament. One and done. Now you gotta sack up and play for 3rd. We did so. Finishing out with a 26-8 point record. Unlike us, Revo didn’t flicker for a second, and wrapped up 23-3 with Gold around their necks.

Brenna, keeping us organized and making us look way better!

I’ve been congratulated by many a friend and family member for our placement. And I’m grateful for them and my teammates for gathering the last strands of motivation to get that half-entry for Chicago. Otherwise I would’ve just been plain done with life. But I’m not sure I’ve ever been that furious after a match. That doesn’t quite capture it. I was LIVID. I threw all my gear down. Yelled at my coach, quickly apologized (because he’s a big mean man), and walked away. I barely got back in time for the last match. I know most of my brothers on the team felt the same way.

The Alien Independence feasting! Get in their social network: AlienPB

If there’s a lesson from all this, I’d say, watch out for tunnel vision. We could taste that finals match coming. We needed to breathe easy and focus as a team and your individual job in a TEAM context. A friend of mine pissed me off recently by saying “I think you guys got cocky.” They weren’t there and they couldn’t be more wrong. I think the players concentrated on bottom up “my game, my lane, or this gun battle” to achieve the desired results instead of the equally or more important top down game dynamic “my teammate’s lane is here, his job is this, my job complements that by doing this.” Or maybe we just needed a war earlier in the tournament.

Unlike the PSP’s infamous frozen trip to Austin, TX in 2006, the weather in Galveston was perfect. Team PR1ME wasn’t. While no one should expect perfection, everyone should strive for it. PR1ME will seek it through the coming months to ensure an improved performance. We know PR1ME might get what it’s asking for in Chicago. A war. If not, we’ll bring the war with us. Mark my words. It’s going to be Prime Time in Chi-Town.

Thanks Alien and Animal for shipping us gear directly to the event. Customer service is a lost art these days and you gu. Also, thanks to Exalt - barrels were slinging the GI Paint no problem. We're working on a Thrasher Pants review to be posted soon!

*SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Our friend and teammate Daniel Jones wasn’t able to attend Galveston for one of the few reasons we could ever allow, he got married to longtime girlfriend Kim. Congratulations Danny!

*I’d also like to extend a congratulations to LA Swat out of Dothan, Alabama for winning FIRST PLACE in D3 5-man. The LA is for “Lower Alabama” for those of you that don’t know. This is a team that’s been around a while and these guys have been grinding it out all over Alabama. Their victory has been a testament to their work.

Congrats to members (left to right) Pate Smith, William Caulfield Jr., Levi Dahlquist, Scott Coleson, and Kyle Johnson. Thanks for making Alabama proud!

*Guess while I’m at it I might as well send some props to Zulu Warriors for their first place finish in Memphis MSXL March 20th. They got guys from Bama, FL, and Mississippi. PBNation might put a limit to how many times you can type letter “Z” in a row after this. Good job boyzzz!

Looks like Dirty South paintball is going to be a force to be reckoned in 2011 and the years to come!