[ TC ] Doing Work on Labor Day – BIFC

This past Labor Day weekend, the BIFC (Blue Ion Football Club), travelled up to Asheville for the Beer City Cup. This was the first annual 8v8 style tournament being put on up there, and we fervently accepted the invitation extended to us to come and play. In order to create this elite squad, we pulled together most of the same players from our winning Memorial Day Tournament team; consisting of a handful of players from the BIFC regulars and two other teams we always compete against locally.

Although several divisions (including Co-Ed) had some cash prizes for winning, for our Premier Division it would consist of 10 teams playing Round Robin style, and competing for a $2000 cash prize.

The stakes were high, knowing that we could have fun but spend money….or win it all, and have money to spend.

The Essential Rules:
8 vs 8, smaller fields/goals, new turf (nice and soft for cleats)
2 groups of 5 teams each
25 minute x 2 halves
4 games in Preliminary round
Top team in each group play in the final

Point System:
6 points for Win
3 points for Tie
0 points for Loss
1 point per goal scored (up to 3 in a game)
1 point for a shutout
Thus 10 MAX points per game

IMPORTANT Rule (you’ll see why shortly):
Forfeit – If a team is not ready to play within 10 minutes after game time, it’s a forfeit and the other team gains the full 10 points for that game.

The Games:
With that said, and with the point awarding system, there were MANY mathematical possibilities to ending up top in the group. But obviously, like most tournaments, you don’t want to lose, as it makes it much harder to win it. And so…..

Warming Up Day 1

Game 1:
We lost.
This was our Welcome to 8v8 style play. Playing a local Asheville team (named Smush FC), we got off on the wrong foot, playing a 2-2-1-2 formation, and were scored on twice in the first 10 minutes.
We quickly adjusted to a 3-3-1 formation and came back to make it 2-1 at half time. The rest of the game was dominated by us, with shots being barely saved, hitting off posts, and plenty of ball control.
Final: 2-1

Game 2:
We bounced back and got into our groove. We broke thru scoring 5 goals against another local Asheville team that was comparable with the first team. Solid competition, but we started getting hot.
Final: 5-1

Game 3:
Playing a Latino team from Hickory, NC we scored 4 goals, and then shut it down on defense.
Final: 4-0

When Saturday was complete, we knew what was needed for our final game of the opening round on Sunday….we wanted to win, and if possible, get the Max points for it. After all, we were chasing the team we lost to. We also needed a little help from some other teams.

Chris watching another game

Game 4:
As we readied for our last game, we heard that it was possible the other team wasn’t showing up. Another team from Hickory, NC already out of the competition, a forfeit would give us the max 10 points for the game. As it got closer to game time, and eventually past the 10 minute forfeit time, I discussed with the referee and then one of the tournament directors. Another team earlier that day was awarded a forfeit that helped them in the standings. And although our team was ready and wanting to play, we felt the forfeit would give us the best chance.

There was some debate over whether they would award it though. The other team, having called to say they were “in traffic” coming from Hickory, showed over an hour late to play the game. We chose to play, but discussed this game as being a “friendly” as we already should have been awarded a forfeit.

The game ended with a 7-2 win. Thus, it would have been 9 points awarded as opposed to the full 10, with that 1 point hanging in the balance.

The Perfect Storm:
We knew the scenario on points with the 2 last teams playing – we needed a win or a tie from one team. If we had only received the 9 points and not the 10 for the forfeit (as they were trying to contend), a tie at 3-3 or more would still knock us out of the finals. With 10 points, a tie would still put us thru.

What happens? The worst case scenario. It ends in a 3-3 tie.
One team thinks they are going thru to the final, while we felt we were entitled to be there over them.
Debates and discussions commence with the tournament directors, referees, and two teams. And despite us believing in the forfeit, we agree to have a “Playoff” to see which team should go on to the finals and solve the controversy.

Needless the say the other team was not happy about this … we were confident that we would succeed, and meanwhile, the team awaiting the outcome was able to rest up before the Final.

Scott, Patrick, etc resting before finals

Playoff Game:
Pumped for this game, and to show the team our first game was a fluke loss, we cranked in some amazing goals and won 4-1. After that, it seemed apparent:
a) no one in Asheville really liked us anymore
b) we were on a roll

The Final:
Having that extra game, and only 45 minutes of rest before our final, we were tired but now even more determined. The team we faced was another team from Charleston named The Shockers, with players none of us knew personally. With a couple hundred fans watching the finals for the grand prize of $2000, we managed to “shock” them winning 3-1 (with that last goal coming with only 2 minutes left, and quite possibly my fault getting beat on the play).

Back to the hotel rooms….showers and drinks in readying to go out and celebrate our hard earned victory money. First, our hotel rooms were now all paid for. Then, the entry fee to the tournament. And lastly, an open tab on me for the night for all of us to drink on. I think that would about take care of the $2K in grand fashion.

Drinking in the shower

The Players (front to back, left to right):
Chris Hall (goalie)
Matias Rojas, Brad Putnam, Jason Wiggins, Scott Milroth (Golden Boot for 7 Goals), Justin Feit
Theodore Yessian, Jabari Seabrook, Justin Linnemann, Patrick Baxter, Randy Owen (injured), Sage Martina, Haskins Howerton (injured)

BIFC Full Squad Asheville