Posted by anthony in Oct 02, 2010, under 2010 HIGHLIGHT
I was asked near the end of EPL tournament season to make a comparison of EPL vs GPL (now known as GPL/MAPL). I had to really sit and think about it, and quite honestly the differences are pretty subtle. When BKLYN K-OS first started out we decided to do GPL series. I can’t remember exactly why, it may have something to do with travel and the location. One big difference between the two is the fact that GPL would use the exact same field location at OA Chesapeake city for each event. That made it easy to figure out expenses on hotel, gas and tolls in advance for the whole season. In contrast, EPL switched it up through the season moving from Top Gun to Wanna-play to LVP. We as a team didn’t mind this so much, but I did notice that the outcome of how many teams that would sign up varied by where the tournament was being held. This may have factored into the 3 man being canceled for East Coast cup. None of the teams from the south wanted to travel up to PA, and it seems not many of our local teams wanted to travel that far either.
While I understand the reluctance of some wanting to put the miles on their cars, or having to invest in a rental, plane tickets or whatever, why are people so willing to travel out to Florida, Vegas and Chicago without blinking? I understand that those tournaments are more high profile then EPL or GPL, but I feel if you’re invested in you’re team, take them anywhere the competition is.
And speaking of competition, We played great teams in the EPL as well as GPL. It just seems that there were more teams to go up against at GPL, and again I wonder does this have anything to do with location.
Another difference between the two leagues is or should I say was, at that time, the ID systems that were used. The year we played GPL they used Players ID, unlike EPL who uses the APPA system. I prefer the APPA. I feel it was more capable of tracking players tournament history and was easier to prevent sandbagging. I am in no way saying that sandbagging was occurring at GPL, I just personally believe that APPA is a better tracking system. Maybe GPL recognized this since they are now also using APPA.
Another difference is the how media is handled. GPL had one company that they used for all events that you had to make arrangements with and purchase your pictures. EPL had in house photography, but also allowed you to use your own photographer IF you obtained a media pass in advance. We were fortunate enough to be able to hire Hec Farrulla of BPS productions to work with us that season, but we underestimated the demand for media passes and failed to secure one in time, but that’ on us. Hec was still able to take some fantastic shots of us given the limitations he had to work with. I’m not sure if GPL has changed their policy about photography.
One more small and maybe to some people insignificant difference is available concessions. GPL arranged special VIP tents with tables for some teams as well as great food concessions and portable pro shop (that ran great sales). Now most teams don’t do a lot of eating when they go to tournaments, but most of us travel with our families and friends so these concessions are more appreciated by those who travel with us and spend the next 5 hours or more supporting their team. That being said EPL was held at paintball fields with in house pro shops, so any equipment needs could be met if needed.
As for reffing, I can say that we didn’t have any major issues with the refs at GPL, I wish I could say the same for EPL, but unfortunately I cannot. I wont go into detail about what occurred, but if you were at the last event of the season you either know or heard what happened.
The year we played GPL the 7 Man series was canceled somewhere near the middle or maybe the end of the season due to not enough teams signing up, I felt bad for those guys, little did I know we would face the same thing this year when the 3 Man at East Coast Cup would be canceled for the same reason. So I guess in that aspect there is always the possibility of this happening no matter what league you play in.
There is one thing that was exactly the same at both events, and that was the generosity, kindness and respectfulness of our hosts. Before we even went to our first GPL tournament, Cyndi Poole was there with advice and kindness for a team that was struggling and had no idea what to expect. When we met her in person she was even greater. After that if she noticed the deadline approaching for an upcoming tournament and we weren’t registered, she would call me up and make sure we hadn’t become discouraged and we would keep pushing on. Thank You Cyndi.
At EPL I met Chad Rotella, he was also cool from day one. He was always there to answer my questions and always listened fairly to any issues we may have had, and if there was a solution he let me know. He gave me and my team the type of respect that I’ve seen shown to pro and veteran teams. I was fortunate enough to really get to know Chad and eve n if the season hadn’t ended well for us, I would have still felt good about doing EPL this year. Thank you Chad.
Well that’s my comparison, if that’s what you want to call it. I have nothing but respect for both leagues. People ask whats BKLYN K-OS doing next year- GPL or EPL? My answer: I don’t know…..maybe both?
You’ll just have to stay tuned to find out
Posted by anthony in Apr 25, 2010, under HOW BKLYN KOS STARTED
Recently people have been asking me what made me want to start a paintball team. So I decided to share with the blog readers the beginning of our journey.
In the early part of 2008 a couple of my friends asked me to come out with them to play paintball. I was reluctant at first, I didn’t see the fun in running around and shooting people with paint. Eventually they wore me down and I agreed to go. So one Sunday I joined them on a trip out to Skirmish PA. Before the day was ½ over I was hooked and I found a new hobby. When I reached home that night the first thing I did was turn on my lap top and started looking for the marker that I would buy. I chose a Tippman , being that Tippmans were the best guns for scenario play.
After a few weeks of playing with my friends they asked me to join their paintball team NY Spindown, and of course I said yes. We would try and play at least twice a month, I personally tried to play almost every week. We would take turns playing at different fields, but our field of choice was Cousins SI. It was more convenient to get to, the price was right and the staff was always good to us. There were times when we would arrive at the field with 30 or more people, half being members of Spindown.. We’d arrive before the field opened and would stay until they called out for the final game of the day, if they had let me I would have stayed until nightfall.
It was at Cousins that I got my first taste of Speed ball. I liked playing speed-ball, but because NY Spindown is a scenario team, that’s where I kept my focus. As much as I liked to play with NY Spindown, I kept finding myself drawn more to speed-ball, and the more I played the more addicted I became to the game. For me the difference between the two games makes all the difference in the type of player you are. What I mean by that is in scenario its about the the hunt. You wait and calculate your next move as you hunt your prey. Speed-ball is more about that split second decision and being fast on your feet and with your fingers. Both games are part mental, but speed-ball involves more of an adrenaline rush, and I’m all about the adrenaline rush.
As a member of Spindown one of my duties was to find tournaments for the team to play in and I found out about the SPPL and finding out about the SPPL led me to NPPL and other high profile speed-ball tournaments. I knew Spindown wouldn’t be interested in entering the speed-ball tournaments, and that’s when it hit me………..
Why I cant I do both, Speed ball and scenario? It would have been easy if I could have just gotten my team mates on Spindown to make the transition from one style of play to another whenever we needed to. But the reality is that most paintball players prefer one over the other. Your either into speed ball or into scenario. While I didn’t mind scenario, given the choice I’ll play speed ball every time. Another factor that played into it was how expensive it is to be on a team, so imagine playing for two.
When I started playing paintball I would take some of my co workers along with me. At first they were reluctant to go. Didn’t understand what got me so excited about getting shot at with balls of paint, but eventually I wore them down, and once I got them out there they were hooked . That being said I worked out a few details in my head and took my idea to work. My first potential members were a group of 5 plus me. After about two weeks it was me and 3 people. Taj Bynoe, Kelmon Thomas and Acholi Southerland. We were a small inexperienced group, but we all brought a little something different to the team. Kelmon had speed somewhat like mine, on a good day Taj could keep me covered while I made my way to the 50. And Acholi although she was really new to this (and preferred scenario at first) took every hit with the best of them. She still has bruises from those early scrimmages in 2008.
So I had a team and I thought about my next move. Next I started to ask advice from experienced players. The first place I went was Cousins Paintball in SI. I sat down to talk with Pete and Tommy to tell them what I wanted to do. They gave me some good advice in those early days. They offered the field to us for practices and set up scrimmages against team Vengeance. I also went and talked to Cecilia Journet at Stingray Ops. She gave me advice on equipment we would need to start, what to expect from my team and other valuable tips I still use to this day.
Next I sat down with my team so that we could discuss everything I had learned so far. First we needed to evaluate the equipment that we already owned and figure out the equipment that each person would need. Like I mentioned earlier, the game is expensive, but you already know that. So the markers that a couple of my guys owned were not what you called top of the line, but at that moment all we cared about was getting out there and playing. Too bad our markers didn’t agree.
We would find ourselves going to Cousins for a practice and someones gun would always, and I mean always not want to work. We could have tested the guns out before we go to the field and it would work perfectly, but as soon as the countdown started and the ref said go, one of my players would be crouched behind a bunker trying to figure out why his gun is not shooting. Needless to say it was frustrating. But faulty markers would end up being the least of my problems back then.
I figured we could work through our equipment problems by the time we were ready for a tournament. I had started building my own collection of markers-every time I would buy one, I’d see one I like even better and I had to have it. So between my Ego, Proto and the two Ions I owned I figured we would be ready in case of an equipment failure. And that’s basically what we did. If we were at a practice or scrimmage and someones gun was giving them problems, I would pull out one of my back ups (usually one of my IONS, I only lent out the Proto as a last resort, and my EGO NEVER) and we would just keep playing and worried about fixing our guns later. I still was concerned because I didn’t want to be the only person on my team with reliable equipment.
By this team I had been talking to Cecilia Journet often about the team and what ever problems we were facing. I asked her what would be the best way to go about getting sponsors. She told me right off the bat that it’s pretty difficult to get a sponsorship for a 3 man team, and that most companies wanted to put their focus on the 5 and 7 man. I told her I wanted to try anyway, the worst that they can say is no. She advised me to put together a good resume, calling on the phone or sending a email was not going to cut it. Once Cecilia saw the finished resume she offered to be our first sponsor. I can’t tell you how good It felt that someone as experienced as Cecilia had enough faith in a team that was just starting out with no tournaments or wins under their belt to offer us a sponsorship. I felt like we were really on our way. Doing the resume was a piece of cake. Going more then two weeks with Acholi not having to revise it was another story.
After searching the internet for possible tournaments we could do that year I settled on GPL. I researched and checked out the stats and teams that played the previous year. I knew there would be a lot of competition to go up against. I saw there were teams like us who were playing for the first time and there were teams that had years of experience. I wanted to go hard, I wanted mostly to play the experienced teams. I figured I would be able to tell how much work we really needed, and what areas we needed to work on. We were pretty ambitious that first year. And that’s not to say we’re not ambitious now. I mean we were ambitious in a somewhat crazy way. The original plan was for us to play GPL and EPL in 2009. We had a complete calendar mapped out. There was this one weekend where we intended to play GPL in Baltimore and as soon as that tournament was over we were going to drive to Virginia and play in another one. Like I said we were ambitious and hungry.
We were in the middle of February and the first GPL was coming up in April. I was working on setting up as many scrimmages as possible for the team when Taj informed me that he can’t afford to play on the team anymore, it was too expensive. I was a little mad but not too upset yet. We still had 3 people on the roster so all I really needed was a backup. I offered a spot to another guy name Daryl, he was more then excited to play on the team and I took his enthusiasm as good sign. So in Taj place Daryl started attending the practices and scrimmages. Taj would continue to go with us to video tape and take pictures.
We were two weeks away from GPL when Daryl told me that he can no longer play because like Taj, he couldn’t afford it. I was still breathing OK, I still had 3 on my roster. We would just pray that we wouldn’t need a backup. Exactly 3 days after that, I lost Kels, for the same reasons as the other two.
As my pressure stated to rise I could only think three words WHAT THE F***!
Now I was really starting to stress out. You can’t enter a 3 man with 2 people, and I didn’t have a clue as to who I could get to be my third. I was still basically new to paintball and didn’t have a wide range of associates that I could get to play just for this first tournament. I started a thread on PB Nation looking for team members. I wasn’t too hopeful, but there was no harm in trying. A few days later I got a response from a young guy named Nick. Nick was a speedball player who was supposed to play on another team that a friend of his was starting, and it fell apart before it really got started. I set up a day for us to meet up and play paintball. Although I was a little desperate I still wanted to see how he played and if he was someone I could get along with.
Nick suggested that we go play at a field in New Jersey (sorry I can’t remember the name), he knew some of the guys who work out there and the prices were pretty decent. I took ride out there early on a Saturday morning with Taj, Daryl and Acholi. Although Taj and Daryl had left the team I didn’t want to ride out there with just me and Acholi so I decided to take them along. We all met up at a gas station, Nick arrived with 2 cars of people. I thought to myself, if he sucks as a player maybe one of the other guys in the car could play and would join.
Like Nick said, the fields and prices were decent, but being that it was a Saturday it was pretty busy out there and we played with our group mixed in with some walkons, also it was predominately scenario games. It was a little hard to pay attention to how Nick was playing when I was involved in the games usually playing on the same side as he was. Also at that time I was still into scenario, so once I started to play my concentration was on taking out the opposing side. In between games we did get a chance to talk and he seemed like a pretty cool guy. I also noticed that his friend Steven seemed to be a good player so on that day I decided that if they were really interested they could join the team. That day I noticed also that Nick was limping. He said he had turned his ankle running down the hill. I was hoping it was just a slight sprain and didn’t give much thought to it.
I felt a little better, but I was still anxious thinking another bomb was going to drop on me, and one sort of did. Nick called me two days after we played in New Jersey and told me he went to the doctor for his ankle and was told he may not be able to play for 4 weeks. I sat and asked myself “Am I being tested?” Is this Gods way of asking me how bad do I want this. Was I going to throw in the towel or just keep pushing on. I seriously felt like saying f**k this, and just let it go. After my mental rant, I took a deep breath and figured out my next move. I called Steven and asked him if he was serious about joining the team with Nick, of course he was. I knew Steven was a student and my fear was that he would have a problem with the expenses. He said that he would have no problem with buying paint and paying his share of the tournament fee.
With not much time left I tried to set up a schedule of practices and scrimmages to get us ready. I called up Tommy at Cousins and he said that we could come early Wednesday mornings and he would let us use the fields to ourselves for a few hours, also Wednesdays were when Vengeance did their conditioning and practice so he would have them scrimmage against us. Me, Steven, Nick and Acholi would set out to go play. Nick couldn’t do anything because of his ankle, so he would just watch. Taj would ride with us to take pictures and video. The funny thing is, Taj would usually end up practicing with us so we could do 2 on 2. Tommy would come to the field and teach us a few drills to use that would help with our technique. We would arrive at the field 10:00 in the morning and practice until 3:00 pm. If Vengeance was practicing that day, we would stay another 2 hours to scrimmage. At that time it seemed perfectly normal to me that I had my team spend a whole day practicing. I thought all teams did that, I found out later that my practice schedule was considered a little unconventional compared to other teams. I didn’t care, if you wanted to be on my team you needed to be ready to work hard and long hours.
The day before that first GPL I was nervous hell, but ready to play. Now a couple of days before, Nick said his ankle was fine to play and he was ready, I thought great. Now although I had Steven and Acholi on the roster, we still needed a back up. Being that Acholi and I work at the same job, the both of us going away to a tournament at the same time was like planning the great escape. At any moment something could happen and Acholi would have to stay behind. If that happened it would leave me and Steven. So with Nicks ankle being better we were good. I remember I was sitting in the office and I got a phone call. It was Steven, he said Nick was on the way to the emergency room because he fell down the stairs and broke all his front teeth. I was Pissed and about to break the phone in half. They waited about 15 minutes and called me back to say they were joking, I was still pissed. At that point I wasn’t taking any chances. I grabbed Kels and Taj, told them pack a overnight bag, bring their old Jerseys and Pants. Hell or high water, BKLYN K-OS was playing and I was making sure I had enough people on that roster to be back up.
Before I get into what happened at our first tournament, did I tell you about how all my equipment and gear was stolen? I tend to put up a mental block when it comes to talking about that. But it’s only fair that I tell the whole story, and not just the pieces I can deal with. So here it goes.
It was about two weeks before that first GPL, April 1st to be exact. I’ll never forget the date because I remember Chols thought I was playing an April fools joke when I called her. The night before we had all went to practice at NYC. I remember I was having problems with my Ego and I was set on fixing it instead of using any of my back ups. I guess because I intended on using the EGO for the GPL I needed to figure out what was wrong with it and fix it right then and there. At that time I used to carry all my gear, and when I say all, I mean my extra mask, extra tank as well as my Proto, upgraded ION and of course my EGO. I even used to pack my extra jersey and pants. I spent that whole evening at NYC taking care of my gun and by the time I fixed it there was only time for one last game. I dropped everyone off that night and when I got to my building I was too tired to lug my gear bag upstairs. When I woke up the next morning I went down to the car to take my kids to school. I noticed the broken glass before I could even get close to the car. My car was broken into and my whole gear bag was gone, the only thing they left behind was a few paintballs. Not ashamed to admit that I felt like crying. You may think that it’s because of the expensive markers that I lost, but honestly the first thing I thought about was the gear bag itself, my jersey, pants and my Dye mask. Why, you may ask? Because those were Christmas gifts from my kids that they picked out for me. They didn’t pick it based on brand names, but because those items came in daddy favorite colors. Well to sum up the rest of that day I filed the necessary police reports and flirted with the idea of not going to GPL, but my anger fueled my determination and I started to think of what I would do. I went to StingRay and told Cecilia what happened and with her help I got a new EGO in time for GPL and wouldn’t have to breakout my pink Ion (story for another day) and use it. Back to where we left off last week……………..
We left for our first tournament and we were in high spirits. We were anxious and played the what if game all the way to Maryland. What if we do really good? What if we make it to the finals? What if we take first place? It was a long shot, but it was fun to imagine nonetheless. When we got to Maryland we checked into our hotel, dropped our bags and went to checkout the field. When we got there the fields for 3 man were already set up and there was only about 3 other teams there checking the lay out. Although everyone was friendly, you could tell they were sizing us up, as were doing the same. We met the event coordinator Cyndi Poole, a very cool lady by the way. She welcomed us with open arms, told us not to stress too much and to make sure we had fun. We stayed on the field until the sun started to go down and then called it a day. We picked up some food on the way back to the hotel and talked about what we thought would happen the next day. The intention was to eat and good a good nights sleep, but it didn’t happen that way. I guess we had a lot of nervous energy and needed to vent. We were up for the next four or five hours ( to Chols dismay) playing practical jokes and just being silly. In our defense, the hotel was hosting a lot of paintball teams that weekend, so we weren’t the only ones joking around. We finally decided to call it a night, and arranged for a wake up call (Chols) and went to sleep.
We woke up or should I say we were awoken around 5:00 am and started getting ready. As I drove I started to feel nervous. Actually I think I was more anxious then anything. I was wondering who would we be playing. How many other newbie teams would we be playing. Would we be the best or the worst of the new teams, and a lot of other thoughts kept racing through my head. We got to the field parked the car as close to the field as we could get. I went to check in and had everyone pick up their I.D cards. I went to look at the field again, just to make sure nothing changed. Now all we had to do was wait for them to start.
I was getting impatient, I needed to get that first game out of my system and work out the nervous jitters I had. 9:00 am came and it was time for our first game. We were playing a team called 7 Below, I never heard of them and knew nothing about them. It was me, Nick and Steven. Steven got shot off the break and I made it to the 30. Nick made it to the snake but as he tried to advance he got shot out. Back then, we were still learning about the importance of good communication skills, so I was last man standing and didn’t know it until I got shot out. The first five games we didn’t score any points. By the time we played the sixth game of the day we were able to get at least one or two players out on the opposing side, unfortunately I can’t say that we won any of the games that day, but we managed to score 25 points for the day. It’s not the greatest end to the day, but it felt good that we made it there to play considering how many times we thought we wouldn’t make it. There was one team, and I won’t mention their name out of respect, who packed it in after losing the first game. As far as I know they never returned to GPL and I’m not even sure they’re still together. I didn’t care how bad the day was going, I was never going to let my guys just give up because things weren’t going in our favor. At the end of the day we said our goodbyes to Cyndi and the rest of the GPL staff and headed back to Brooklyn.
Not too long after that GPL Nick would leave the team due to personal reasons. Taj would rejoin the team again briefly, but stated up front that he wasn’t sure what would happen. We played the second GPL with me, Taj and Steven. We didn’t book a hotel room and decided to drive there and back the same day. Never again will we try something like that. That day went a little better, although I did slide into a bunker and broke my Ego in half and cut open the side of my face. Even with the blood running down the side of my face, my only concern was whether or not the gun tech from Planet Eclipse could fix it, and he did. We even managed to win a game that day and held our own against some of the more seasoned teams ending the day with 34 points. We still didn’t place in the finals, but I was happy that we showed some improvement.
Being that Taj wasn’t clear on his future with the team I posted a thread on PB Nation looking for new players. A guy by the name of Clint Edwards responded. Not only was he a paintball player, but he played for the RIT Tigers, a college tournament team, I expected good things from him. We spoke and arranged to meet at NYC paintball. Clint asked if it was OK to bring a couple of friends of his down who were also interested in joining. I was more than happy to meet them since I wanted to expand my roster and not run into the same problems we had before. I met Clint (Romeo) Edwards, Luis (Paw) Rosario and Louie (Azure) Araneta. Long story short, They were, and still are cool guys. We talked shop and played paintball that night. Romeo had speed and a playing style similar to mine, Paw had raw determination and Louie had this positive energy that I liked. It was time for GPL #3 and I was taking Clint and Luis with us (Luie wasn’t able to attend). I wasn’t sure what the lineup was going to be, but I put everyone on roster. By this time I had figured out that a winning team wasn’t going to happen overnight, so I was a little more relaxed. That day I only played 3 out of the 8 games, and I only played those three because we were going up against teams that had solid reputations(for example ETHER) and I wanted to know if I could hold my own. I really wanted to see how the new guys played and if they even liked the tournament aspect of paintball. Well actually I wasn’t worried about Clint, he had tournament experience. But I needed to see how they meshed on the field, not only with me but with Steven. We did OK considering this was our first time playing together as a team. The day ended with us earning 25 points, less then the second time, but even with the first.
Back in Brooklyn I started to focus on what we needed to do as a team to get to where we wanted to be. There was only 2 Tournaments left in the GPL series and I wanted to end the season on a positive note. I scheduled the next practice at what was at that time our home field, Cousins SI. We all agreed on a time and day that was good for us all. Clint and Luis told me about another guy that wanted to join the team and asked if he could come along. I said no problem, like I previously stated, I didn’t mind expanding the roster, especially if the person was dedicated to the sport as well as to being on a team.
So we all met up at Cousins and Luis and Clint introduced me to Manuel Arboleda……..
Although he seemed a bit nervous Manuel was a cool guy. At that moment I just viewed everyone there as my new team members, I wasn’t sure who would play what part as far as positions and leadership. Everyone was there that day in Staten Island, even Taj who had once again returned to play. I knew that at some point I was going to have to decide who I would make my co captain. Because of my hectic and unpredictable work schedule I needed someone responsible and trustworthy to lead the team when I couldn’t be there. Also, because of the amount of people on my team, I had enough to make two 3 man teams. I flirted with the possibility of doing 5 man, but I felt it would be best to start off slow and gain experience before we jumped to that next level. I didn’t want to leave 3 people in the role of back up, I wanted to give everyone the chance to play and get the training they needed to become better players. I was well aware of the fact that some guys were stronger players then others. One of the first things I learned when I started out was that if you’re in a tournament and you’re running “HOT”, you don’t switch out players just to give everyone a chance to play. I have heard other players and team captains disagree with this, and at times I don’t always agree, but back then, that was my intention. If my strongest players were winning, I wouldn’t mess with the formula just to save hurt feelings. So I decided to make two teams and try to divide the talent evenly.
We ran various combinations throughout the day to see who worked best with whom, whose talent complimented another s and so forth. At the end of the day I had three possible candidates for my co captain. At first it was Taj, but I only briefly entertained the thought. He was first because he was an original member, but what worked against him was is unpredictability when it came time to play. Taj was either having a good day or a bad day and you didn’t know what type of day he would be having until the day was ½ gone. Also I couldn’t have a co captain who would leave the team every 3 months. My next choice was Clint (Romeo). I liked his style, the way he handled himself on and off the field. Clint was already an experienced tournament player and I knew in my absence he would know how to run the team and keep them motivated. Unfortunately for me, Clint went away to school and was only home for summers. I didn’t think it fair to have one person co captain during the winter and then take it away when Clint came home for the summer. Taj and Clint both agreed with all the points I had just made and knew that neither one of them could be the co captain. Since I did respect Clints opinion I asked him to help me decide who the next best choice should be. After looking everyone over and discussing who would bring what aspect to the position, we had both decided on Manuel (Manny) to be my co captain. I was having a team meeting after the practice and everyone knew that I would be announcing who I gave the position to. Because the majority of the team was made up of new people, I don’t think any of them thought it would be a new guy, especially one that I had just met 6 hours earlier. There was assumptions on who the person would be, but unfortunately for that person, it didn’t happen in their favor. The look on Mannys face when I announced him as the co captain was priceless ( I think he teared up a little), he was surprised to say the least. When I left the guys that day I can honestly say I felt positive about my team and the direction we were headed.
No sooner had Manny gotten his position, that he was put to the test. The next GPL event was coming up and we were excited and ready to go. About two or maybe three days before we were scheduled to leave I found out I wouldn’t be making the trip. Without going into detail, my leaving for that tournament would have put my job in jeopardy. If I’m not working, I can’t play paintball, so losing my job was not an option. I was torn between canceling the trip, or just letting the guys go without me. I knew they had to go, even if I couldn’t . This was Mannys first test, he would have to lead the team without me. All the excitement we were feeling not a week earlier was now nervous energy. I went to see the guys the day they left, I helped them run some more drills before they left for Maryland. I was so tempted to jump in that van and say to hell with it, but I couldn’t.
As I watched them drive off I had mixed feelings, on one hand I wanted them to kick ass and bring a trophy back to Brooklyn, but on the other I felt like if they did win I wouldn’t be there with my team.
Well they didn’t place that day, but I was still proud of them, for going out there and giving it all they had. We didn’t do the last GPL tournament of the 2009 season, I still was having my own technical difficulties and wouldn’t be able to go, and we all agreed that we wanted to focus on conditioning and training for the 2010 season.
I lost a couple of players before the 2010 season started, but I gained some great ones in their place.
Acholi had to stop playing for a while due to personal reasons, but has taken on the task of team manager. I now have Eugene Zee who like me, was a former scenario player that quickly adapted to the style of speed ball. He was recomended by our coach Alex Journet. I was going away for a couple of weeks and decided that instead of having Eugene wait for me to return, that I would let him start practicing with Manny and the other guys. While away I recieved positive feedback from Manny and was looking forward to meeting him. I liked Eugene right away and was impressed with what I saw as far as his skill on the field. When Eugene found out that we were struggling with having our jerseys made and finding the right logo, he took it upon himself to not only design the jersey and make a custom logo, but he found a great company where we could have the jerseys done for a decent price. And Cesar Rodriguez who from the day I met him impressed me with his dedication to a team that he wasn’t even a member of yet. Before he was an official member of K-OS, he went with us to our first EPL of this season and gave the team support, I had decided that day to skip the probation period and he would be a member of K-OS, I consider it to be one of best decisions this year.
This team is still a work in progress.I wish I could say that things get easier as time passes, but every week we face a new obstacle. We don’t always agree, we sometimes fight to get our point across and it’s not one big love fest, but this is a family.
We thank everyone whose been with us from the beginning and continue to support us.
We welcome all competition whether friendly or malicious.
For those of you who we haven’t met but support the team we thank you and look forward to one day meeting you.
For the haters who wish us the worst and the demise of the team: We look forward to meeting you on the field.
This part of the blog is finished, but our story is far from over………………………..