Written By James “Bigalow” Bingaman
Cactus Pricks (6.6.42) def. Haboobs (2.6.18)
A convocation of eagles. A colony of seagulls. A cast of hawks. After this weekend it’s safe to say that the Hawks have a cast. Once again, the recruiting engine in the Phoenix area was working overtime thanks to the dedicated efforts of those in the club that want to spread the good word about footy and the Arizona Hawks. The two aptly named teams hit the field with each side able to lineup with 16 plus change. In the blue was the Cactus Pricks lead by Jason “Ponyboy” Wilhelm, while the Haboobs were lead by wiley back, Dan Hall. In an unusually cool and overcast day (only 90+ degrees), the two teams battled it out, with most on the field experiencing their first game of footy. While slated as a metro game, this was a chance for players to gain confidence as the Hawks prepare for Western Regionals in the coming weeks.
After warm-ups and an explanation of the rules, the first quarter saw newly recruited Aussie, Kent win the first few taps. This must have angered Pony, as he trotted up and down the field and slotted two majors, while contesting almost every marking contest. Dan and Travis were battling each other all day, with each taking small wins as the game progressed. Ultimately, Dan held down the backline with the Cactus Pricks getting most of their scoring through Pony, James, and Dave. On the other end of the field, Barry and Greg only allowed two goals, even though Justin, Preston, and Alex put consistent and ferocious pressure on anyone that went near them.
The battle in the middle between Hudson, PJ, James, and Phil saw each making runs along the wing, with Olivia, Dani, Angel, Cassie, Melissa, Leigh, and Angel all making solid contributions for each of their respected sides (seriously, the Lady Hawks are dominate). Newcomers Donald, Alex, Justin, Craig, and Sean all showed off their athletic ability while also trying to understand the world’s most complex form of football; kudos to all of you. Even Darren “Dad” Henderson got involved, even if his own teammate felt like slowing down the veteran (looking at you, Mel). For a game involving so many new faces, there was not a lot of down time spent explaining the rules, with many catching on quickly. Looking back, the most impressive aspect of the game was the level of spoiling and contesting seen on any given possession. When the ball hit the deck, there was a cast of Hawks ready to scoop up the remains. The level of physicality was encouraging to see, even if Mike “Scissors” Whetzel almost flattened a bunch of the Cacti. The Hawks are getting bigger, faster, and smoother with nothing but positives coming from this Saturday morning clash. For now, the Cactus Pricks own bragging rights, while the Haboobs can dust themselves off and get ready for the next contest.
Goals: James, Pony (2), Dave, and Travis
Behinds: PJ (2), and Dani
Goals: Justin and Hudson
Field 1 - 1235 N Center, Mesa, AZ