Week 2 of South Jersey Sports League’s Dodgeball season began with the distribution of team uniforms. The reigning champion Ghostbusters donned their familiar lavender shirts citing superstition as their reason for retention. Last season’s runners-up, The Bonsai Executioners, have traded in their light grey shirts for a dip into royal blue. When asked about the change Ed Shepard, owner of league sponsor Bonded Babysitters and team captain, said, “We asked for Superman blue. I was expecting the red tights and cape as well. Maybe next season.” Newcomers Vicious and Delicious, the first team in league history to opt for hot pink shirts, are obviously not afraid to stand out. V&D player and owner of Doo Wop Coffee Shop, Jason Kramer told me this about his team’s uniforms, “The shirts say a lot about our team. The name says the rest: The guys are vicious. The girls are delicious.”
As the league continues to grow, it’s interesting to see evolutions in how teams prepare for their match. The first fifteen minutes, which used to be spent wandering around chatting with friends, have now become practice time. This week, Vicious and Delicious predominantly practiced catching high-speed balls. The Ghostbusters began with simple long tosses before working on higher velocity throws. Realizing that velocity is meaningless if accuracy isn’t at a premium, the always hard tossing Executioners lined up their teammate Eric against the wall and unloaded on him. Terror Squad directed their attention towards strength and conditioning with ample amounts of stretching and cardio.
The first match of the night was a rematch of last season’s championship with Ghostbusters and Bonsai Executioners seeing one another for the first time since their hard-fought battle last December. Last season’s Executioners had no girls on their roster which forced all their players to play in every game. After adding 5 females to the rotation this offseason, the Executioners hoped to cut down on fatigue and increase their success against their rivals. Unfortunately for them, the skill level of the Ghostbusters was impossible to overcome. The champs jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never looked back. Seeing the ‘Busters work with such precision shows that they are in a league of their own. Following their undefeated season last year, it’s becoming increasingly likely that the Ghostbusters are destined to become the SJSL’s first ever dynasty.
Tuesday’s other match featured Vicious and Delicious meeting Terror Squad for the first time. Between the teams, more than a dozen new players took the court. The inexperience didn’t hamper the intensity of this one though as the teams traded hard-earned wins early on. The highlight of the match came during game #8 came when Jason Kramer and Rich Davis were the final participants. Rather than dodge one another endlessly, as is the case with most one on one match-ups, Kramer called Davis to the center of the court and the two had a draw reminiscent of something you’d see in an old western. Kramer won the showdown proving that he had the fastest hand in west (side of the gym) but in the end it was Davis’ Terror Squad who were able to pick up their first victory of the season.
The Honey Badgers took on the Lightning Donkeys in the late match, but the desire to consume BBTs at Charlie’s was too great for me to stay in the gym any longer. Fortunately, Joe D’Agostino, Honey Badgers team captain, always put together a great recap on his blog. You can check that out here.
In addition to all the action on the court, South Jersey Sports League was honored to welcome Claire Lowe of the Ocean City Gazette. Claire did a great interview with Jon Smith, the owner of the league! The video is available here. The media coverage of SJSL didn’t stop there! Jon called into Mike Gill’s SportsBash to discuss the expansion of the league and the opportunity it offers to adults in South Jersey.
Thank you to the Ocean City Gazette, Claire Lowe, 97.3 ESPN Radio, Mike Gill, our graphic designer Sean Kolman, all the players and all the refs! We’re so grateful to have your support. This league wouldn’t be possible without you!
Ryan Simmons is the new Highlights and Features Editor of the South Jersey Sports League. On a weekly basis, he’ll be serving up recaps, photos and even some video. His work will be posted to this site as well as the official South Jersey Sports League page. To follow his numerous other endeavors, be sure to become a fan of him on Facebook. If you want more information on the SJSL, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.