We’ll get right down to it. The second we looked at Kansas’ score reporter page, we raised an eyebrow. The HorrorZontals are a storied Ultimate program with plenty of experience and success in the past. Needless to say, we were a little surprised to see a lot of red and very few games on the page.
We knew how our line of questioning would start off for the Kansas captains, where have you been this year?
“When making out our schedule this Winter we automatically put Centex on there,” the Kansas captains wrote to us in an e-mail. “This gave us enough room in our budget to go to one other high-caliber tournament. It was between Pres Day and Easterns. Seeing the competition and the fact we haven’t gone to Easterns as a team in over 5 years we decided on Wilmington.”
While that explains Kansas’ thought process in scheduling, get the best tournaments you can get for the money you’ve got, it doesn’t explain why the team’s results read three forfeits for Saturday.
As it turns out, the early reports of Centex running into weather trouble were true. Kansas, fearing a result similar to what happened at Trouble in Vegas, the Zontals immediately began trying to work something out independent of Cultimate’s alternate field site in San Antonio.
“At 10:00 a.m. we were trying to contact other teams to get a scrimmage in,” the captains wrote. “By 11:00 a.m. we had found a spot to practice a couple of hours and decided to call it a day. At 1:30 when we found out that games had been moved and were still on we thought it was against our best interest not to go down there after we had already had a pretty intense practice.”
Despite getting four losses on their record, the HorrorZontals don’t regret the decision.
“On Sunday most teams we talked to thought we were the smartest ones and wishing they had done the same,” the captains wrote.
The team has plans to make up for lost time though. As a result of missed competition, the team will be holding an invite with Kansas’ club team Prairie Fire and Kansas State after Sectionals and before Regionals. The Zontals hope that resolve, and an intense practice regimen, will be enough to win them the South Region this year and help them finish high at College Nationals.
“Our goal this season has always been returning to Nationals and putting ourselves in a position to play on Sunday,” the captains wrote. “Specifically, (another goal is) winning the South Region.”
With players like Justin Kaminsky and Bret Hidaka leading the charge, the Zontals expect to play well at Easterns and, like most teams, use the tournament as a chance to improve their already impressive talent set.
“We’ve come to Wilmington to play and play the best we can as a team,” the captains wrote. “If we can do that we anticipate playing in Finals. As long as we compete to the best of our ability and show coolness in the face of pressure the weekend could never be considered a failure.”