The co-ed dodgeball team has been one of Laurier Brantford’s most successful extramural teams over the past two or three seasons. Almost every tournament has resulted in the team making it to the finals. However, that’s where the success ends as the majority of the tournaments have ended in second place finishes. The trend has continued this year.
Although the Golden Hawks were able to beat Humber Lakeshore in their first tournament of the year in early October, but their rivals got revenge two weeks ago on home court.
Fourth year veteran of the team, Adam Zack felt the home court was definitely an advantage for Humber and was one of the main factors that the Golden Hawks lost. Humber also plays a full court game, something the team isn’t used to playing on. “It was a new environment; we’re used to playing smaller gyms, so having all that open space around you … at least for me, took me out of my game a little bit,” Zack explained. “We can definitely beat people in that condition, but it could’ve been a factor [in the loss].”
Humber Lakeshore has always been the toughest obstacle for the Golden Hawks. Zack knows that they’ll most likely be the team they will be facing if they make it to the finals of a tournament. “[Humber Lakeshore] is a very well coached team … they’re one of those teams that you always want to beat, too,” he said. So far the team has actually gotten the better of them with a record of 2-1-1. But that one loss was obviously a big one.
He takes a lot of pride in that record and even in the last tournament’s loss, Zack still felt that the Golden Hawks are strategically sound and they have the ability to adapt to the different situations a game may present.
They already play very well in their current formations; everyone is on the same page. With four years of experience playing for Laurier’s dodgeball team, Zack has seen his fair share of players come and go, but even with the turnover this season, the team is as unified as ever.
“It’s actually been a blessing to have a bunch of new people on the team,” Zack said. “Since they come into it not knowing the ins-and-outs of competitive dodgeball, they’re ready for me to put knowledge in their brains.”
The new players can also bring a new approach to the game as they learn the team’s strategies, Zack felt. Obviously it has worked as the dodgeball team hasn’t missed a beat.
However, now comes possibly the toughest test for the co-ed dodgeball team: waiting. The Golden Hawks don’t have another tournament until January, which leaves them with more than two months of time off in between tournaments.
This leaves Zack a little nervous, but because of the strong foundation the team has built with their collective knowledge of their formations and strategies, it will come down to fine-tuning and simply keeping everyone in the “dodgeball mindset,” he explained. “Just keep with it the entire time, just polish what we already have … we’ve won a tournament so we know we can win.”
As a veteran on the team, he needs to lead by example and that’s the biggest aspect of his game that needs to be consistent on and off the court for the purple and gold. “My biggest strength that’s a large contributor to the team is just being there as a leader for the team … making sure they have support … and having an eye out for my other teammates,” Zack said.
This role comes with added pressure for Zack, but it’s something he embraces. “The pressure is a little higher, but it’s nothing I can’t handle,” he said. “I actually love that pressure; it makes me play better.” He’ll need to continue to bring this attitude for their next meeting with their rivals from Humber Lakeshore if they want to finish the co-ed extramural dodgeball season on top.