Stampede Runs Wild
By Ed Hooper

There were no surprises at the top in D-II.  It was the Texas Stampede wire-to-wire.  The only real challenge to the Stampede was the Magee Eagles, who had a lead in the first half of their pool play game only to lose by 12 in the end.

©Paralyzed Veterans of America; Sports ‘n Spokes. Photo by Mark CowanIn a role they didn’t relish, the Stampede played in D-II for the very first time.  But they settled in and kicked some serious butt along the way.  Three starters were named best of class: The irrepressible Bobby Boothby, Troye Collins, and Mark Zupan.

There was very competitive action, however, in the rest of D-II.  Pasadena Texans, led by 1.5 Steve Kearley and 3.0 Dave Bynum, lost an overtime heartbreaker to the Michigan Storm and suffered a one-point loss to the Lakeshore Destruction, and then later lost to the Tampa Generals by 1 in crossover play.  That’s three losses by a total of 4 points.  Ouch!  The other side of that are big wins for 6 and 7 seeds. 

Another story in D-II was youngster Joel Wilmoth, an axle-bending amputee who doesn’t even need a wheelchair in his day-to-day life.  Lakeshore’s Wilmoth is a 3.5 on the rise.  He will be stepping up to Demolition land next season.  Just what the Alabamians need, another monster hitter.  Wilmoth’s Destruction team, with Eddie Crouch’s floor experience,  finished 5th after being seeded 8th.  Crouch will no doubt be moving on up to the Demolition next season with Wilmoth.

The Michigan Storm is another team about ready to step up, losing a heartbreaker to Sam Gloor and Sharp Shadow in the 3/4 game.  Their loss to rival Chicago at sectionals kept them out of D-I.

Magee’s Adam Bencsik, again D-II MVP, dominated play, except against the Stampede.  The Eagles had hoof marks all over them after that 47-28 final.  But D-II is alive and well.

By the way, we didn’t hear too much about the 40-second clock in either division, except who should actually man them and where to get them inexpensively.  Scores were higher and the action better.  We have some things to get better at around the league, and we will. 

Special thanks to Kentucky TNT for stepping up with six days notice to fill in for the California Quake who withdrew. Pictures courtesy of Paralyzed Veterans of America; Sports 'n Spokes. Photos by Mark Cowan

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