Virginia States

04/11/08 in Fredericksburg, VA

OPEN Division

Place Team
1Harvey Brandt / Cody Kirkland
2Dave Hesselberth / Carlton Howard
3Jon Freedman / John Kirkland
3Conrad Damon / Jeff Lewis
5Stewart Hubbs / Drew Preiss
6Mark Horn / Chris Horn
7Al Bonopane / Jon Cohn
8John Elsner / Jim Elsner
9Richard Paschal / Jeff Woessner
10Jack Cooksey / Sam Kaye
11Eric Olsen / Eric Wootten
12Bob Cooksey / Jim Gaarder
13Rick Sader / Bethany Sanchez
14Phil Cappa / Dale Crawford
15Glen Todd / Leo Rohr
16Wayne Biever / Nathan Joswiak
17Brian Spaeth / Gus Webb
18Ryan Olsen / Louie Cohn
19Tony Ellis / Dave Steger
20Ron Turner / John Bradway

Tournament Level: B

Thanks to Harvey Brandt for the results.

 Well, it is several days since returning home, almost a week since the gathering of one of the strongest fields in the VA States DDC history, the ribs are now almost healed enough to let me sit at the computer and type the story.
 This was the 11th DDC event associated with the VA States Overall tourney, and the third time that it has counted as an overall points event. The competitive field has always been good, this year it seemed even stronger. 20 teams (19 actually started and 1 was added after the first round robin) contested for the title on a warm, sunny day with shifting but not too strong winds.
 In order to make it as fair and equitable for each and every team to have their best shot at overall points, and to give enough teams a shot at the top round robin pool, I made the decision to go with 3 pools initially. Then take the top 3 teams from each pool into the round robin for determining the semifinalists. This did make for a greater number of games than we have played in this event in the past. But with the depth of the field, it seemed to be the fairest way to go. This did result in one of the teams in the finals playing a total of 19 games for the day, all to 15 points. 
 Here are the initial pools:
 (finishing spot in the pool, initial seed in the pool, names, and record)
 Pool A
 1 / 1 -Jon Freedman / John Kirkland 5-0
 2 / 3 - Jim Elsner / John Elsner 4-1
 3 / 2 - Richard Paschal / Jeff Woessner 3-2
 4 / 5 - Bob Cooksey / Jim Gaarder 2-3
 5 / 4 - Eric Olsen / Eric Wootten 1-4
 6 / 6 - Brian Spaeth / Gus Webb 0-5
 A seed bust from the Elsner brothers.
 Pool B
 1 / 1 - Dave Hesselberth / Carlton Howard 5-0
 2 / 2 - Chris Horn / Mark Horn 4-1
 3 / 3 - Stewart Hubbs / Drew Preiss 3-2
 4 / 4 - Jack Cooksey / Sam Kaye 2-3
 5 / 6 - Leo Rohr / Glen Todd 1-4
 6 / 5 - Tony Ellis / Dave Steger 0-5
 Minor seed bust of 5 over 6.
 Pool A
 1 / 1 - Harvey Brandt / Cody Kirkland 6-0
 2 / 2 - Conrad Damon / Jeff Lewis 5-1
 3 / 3 - Al Bonopane / Jon Cohn 3-3
 4 / 5 - Rick Sader / Bethany Sanchez 3-3
 5 / 4 - Phil Cappa / Dale Crawford 2-4
 6 / 6 - John Bradway / Ron Turner 2-4
 7 / 7 - Wayne Biever / Nathan Joswiak 0-6
 Lots of fun here, as both Cappa/Crawford and Bonopane/Cohn lost an early game to a lower seeded team. This set up the final matches of the pool with the 3rd through 6th place finishing teams having identical 2-3 records and playing each other. Not only did you have to win your match, you had to have the correct team win the OTHER match so that you could advance. Bonopane / Cohn won their critical match by 2 over Cappa / Crawford and then had Sader / Sanchez win there match by 3 over Bradway / Turner. Bonopane / Cohn then advanced in the 3rd spot.
 First Pool
 This is where the fun began. Games were going mostly according to the original seeding. Except for Brandt and Kirkland falling behind 11-6 to the Elsners before rallying to win, and then falling behind 11-6 to Stew and Drew but failing to pull that one out. The winds were shifting all the time, never really strong but bad enough to make things very interesting for all. Heading into the final round, Freedman / J. Kirkland and Brandt / C. Kirkland were pretty much locks to advance at 6-1. Damon / Lewis, Hesselberth / Howard, and Hubbs / Preiss were all 5-2. With Hubbs / Preiss facing Damon / Lewis and Freedman / J. Kirkland slated to face Hesselberth / Howard. Freedman / J. Kirkland decided to conserve energy and forfeit to Hesselberth / Howard as both would still advance and the number 1 seed probably wasn't available to either. Damon / Lewis turned away Stew and Drew. The surprise was Bonopane / Cohn taking the final game from Brandt / C. Kirkland. Perfectly positioned to be the #1 seed, Brandt / C. Kirkland watched as Al and JC played probably their best game of the tourney. 
 So the top 4 seeds all ended up with identical 6-2 records. But Brandt / C. Kirkland had gone 3-0 against the other teams so were able to retain the top seed and hence the pick for the semis. But what a choice. Who do you take? #1 ranked player in the world, Conrad, along with very athletic Jeff? #3 ranked player along with the #7 ranked player, and former VA champs, John and Jon? Or one of the longest running teams, #4 ranked Dave and #9 ranked Carlton? 
 Brandt / C. Kirkland both agreed that it would be Conrad and Jeff. Jeff was nursing a turned ankle and couldn't get his usual push off for chasing down burns and dumps. Brandt / C. Kirkland won in straight games, 17-13 and 15-7. In the other semi, it was Dave and Carlton taking out John and Jon, 15-10 and 15-12. But mostly it spoiled the father and son face off between the Kirklands. 
 The finals were a back and forth contest till the end. A good crowd got to see some outstanding action between determined teams. Lots of great front tipping and solid defense from both teams. Dave and Carlton have been champions of VA in the past. Harvey as well. But Cody is 15 years old and was seeking his first victory of any major event. His game is extremely solid and exciting now and has even got good enough for his dad (the aforementioned J. Kirkland) to FINALLY commit to playing with Cody at this summer's US Open. But dad may have waited too long if his goal was to be on the team when Cody got his first victory. 
 Dave and Carlton took the first game in a close 15-13 finish, after a tie at 13s. Harvey and Cody came back to take the second game in an easier 15-10 result. The third game went the distance with no one ever stretching out any real lead. Back and forth till the end, with some bruised ribs thrown in for good measure. The final score was 16-14, going to Harvey and Cody. 
 1- Harvey Brandt / C. Kirkland
 2 - Dave Hesselberth / Carlton Howard
 3T - Conrad Damon / Jeff Lewis
 3T - Jon Freedman / John Kirkland
 5 - Stewart Hubbs / Drew Preiss 5-3
 6 - Mark Horn / Chris Horn 3-5
 7 - Al Bonopane / Jon Cohn 2-6
 8 - Jim Elsner / John Elsner 1-7
 9 - Richard Paschal / Jeff Woessner 1-7
 And here are the listed results for the Second Pool. There was lots of great action there as well, with 3 teams in a tie for the top spot. I'll list them as they finally sorted out after the top 9 teams from above. These games were to 11 points as we didn't want to kill any teams before the full weekend of overall action. And that is another story.
 10 - Jack Cooksey / Sam Kaye 8-2
 11 - Eric Olsen / Eric Wootten 8-2
 12 - Bob Cooksey / Jim Gaarder 8-2
 13 - Rick Sader / Bethany Sanchez 7-3
 14 - Phil Cappa / Dale Crawford 7-3
 15 - Glen Todd / Leo Rohr 5-5
 16 - Wayne Biever / Nathan Joswiak 4-6
 17 - Brian Spaeth / Gus Webb 3-7
 18 - Ryan Olsen / Louie Cohn 2-8
 19 - Tony Ellis / Dave Steger 2-8
 20 - John Bradway / Ron Turner 0-10
 Your DDC scribe