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Is Southpaw for real?

October 15, 2010

I’m interested to find out. A Nationals birth in an inaugural season is impressive by any stretch, but I think Southpaw will have reason to be disappointed if they turn in a happy-to-be-there performance. The roster certainly isn’t short on experience and talent, as it’s made up of a lot of guys from Pike (with two former Pike guys that spent time with Chain Lightning and Ironside), AMP, and Hooray for Coed, along with some college talent from Cornell and Pitt. Really, the big question heading into the season was whether or not all of these parts could gel effectively. From what I saw in Greenville, they’re in good shape.

One of Southpaw’s strengths at Regionals was cohesion, especially among their handlers. They are generally very disciplined with the disc, preferring to move it incrementally rather than try to beat you with firepower. Once they have the disc, they really try not to leave much to chance, and from what I could tell from the sideline of my own game, their win over Ring was a result of their refusal to turn the disc back over when they got a chance to earn a break. It also helps that on the sidelines, Southpaw is pretty positive, recognizing that they have a real shot at making a run. It looks like they get along with their coach, their veterans are vocal, and their young guys seem attentive.

What could get Southpaw into trouble is a team that can really disrupt their handler sets while not giving up too much in the cutting lanes. While organization and predictability have helped them come together in only a few months, this could be a problem when teams force them to go to second, third, and fourth options, as some of their handlers aren’t really ideal downfield cutters. What I’m basically saying is that while Southpaw has done a great job of getting on the same page, I wonder if they’ll be able to adapt against teams that have been playing at a high level together for a while.

Southpaw is probably going to get a favorable seed since it’s unlikely that Ring will be allowed to slide all that far. They’re also going to face teams that are firing on all cylinders in every round, and that didn’t turn out so well for them at Labor Day. Power pools definitely seem reachable. Personally,  I’m hoping they raise some eyebrows since a strong showing from the Mid-Atlantic is always a good thing in my book.

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