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Written by Josh Rhoton   
Thursday, 06 July 2017 17:03

Morenci friggen Michigan here we come. It is that time of year again where some of the KWL’s finest head out for a weekend to play in the NWLA National Tournament. There are some changes this year all around both for our team and the event as a whole. We asked some of the players heading down this year to play to offer some of their thoughts on all thing wiffle related for the tourney.

Some of the pros for a team is always brought up right away. The most popular questions every year of course are who is going to hit and who is going to throw well. The answers to those questions this year seem to be the same that they have been for the past couple years. When we asked Justin Gregory, David Ayres and Josh Rhoton who would be up there in those categories the answers all came back similar. Rhoton needs to get it done again. He had a great year last year (that’s right I did) and he needs to bring that back. (Personally speaking here, this year hasn’t been great. The ole knee is messed up and I’m built like the Michelin man. We shall see if I can put those same numbers up again.) Gregory was also brought up as a hitter that can perform well. If Hogan and Ayres do their thing and the back of our rotation can hold it down, there is no reason we should not be back in the top 8.

The big topic outside of just our own team is what the event might be like this year without the Galloway money going in to it. It will be different. See some of the things that were brought up when we asked the question of the different set up this year…

  • Gregory - Do you think the differences from Chris Gallaway leaving will impact the play of the tournament?  And why or why not? I think the glitz and glamour of Gallaways productions were the big hook to get the tournament started, and it definitely made it an incredible experience but besides losing some bells and whistles, I don't expect the play to change much. I think people show up for competition and pride first and everything else second.
  • Ayres - Do you think the differences from Chris Gallaway leaving will impact the play of the tournament?  And why or why not? I hope it doesnt but I am curious to see how it does change.  Players have become accustomed to certain things so drastic deletions could be detrimental to the tournament.
  • Gregory - You played in Morenci for the 2016 Regionals.  Do you think the town can handle the national tournament?  Based on your Regionals experience, what will the on field atmosphere be like? I don't think the town can handle it, in a town with one subway, a pub that serves things off a hot plate with a side on animal feces, and a grocery store that sexually harassed Hogan and I... I'm not sure they are ready. I think the teams that were there last year will know what to expect but the other teams, especially those not used to tiny villages like that will be in for a big surprise. I am hoping that because of the limited accommodations it may force a lot more  camaraderie  between other teams than before.

So there are some issues that are being brought up. I personally think everything will be okay and fine. This is wiffle, not the college world series so we will all manage just fine.

The last thing that we touched on when we were discussing items were the additions and losses this year on the roster. This year we are not going to see some of the “upper tier” players make the trip to nationals. Buckallew and Jennings will not make the trip after playing the last couple of years. Vanstreain will not be able to come out for another year and we lost Marz to retirement. With that said we are adding pieces that should fit nicely to the group. Mark Ford, Thomas Scheffert and Nate Thompson all bring good arms on the mound and athleticism on the field. They should be great additions. Throw in a returning AJ Tate and we should have a great squad heading to Morenci this year.

Well there ya go people. Bored at work so I through together a rough article on what we have to look forward to this year in the NWLA. Our main focus is the same that it always is. We compete, but we have a good time. It’ll be some of the best wiffle you have ever seen a group of drunks play and that’s a fact!

 
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