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Pterodactyls dominate Knock & Roll

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Written by Marco Dispaltro

In what some considered the best field of teams to compete anywhere on the planet in 2011, the Tucson Pterodactyls proved to be tops at the 11th Annual Knock & Roll tournament. Along with Tucson, teams from Phoenix, Denver/Portland, Great Britain/USA, USQRA, Switzerland, Germany and Canada completed the exceptional field of teams.

Canada was favoured to win it all and gain some measure of redemption from a disappointing World Championship. Up and down play including some flashes of brilliance, but also inexplicable blunders led them to a harrowing road to the final. Tucson defeated the Canucks by double digits to take home the hardware.

Tucson led by stalwart star Chuck Aoki, also saw their share of obstacles on their way to the championship. But inspired play from Derrick Helton, Levi Bohon, and lock down defensive play from Chad Cohn proved too much for anyone to handle.

Denver/Portland came in with great expectations with a star studded line up, but late game mistakes proved to be their downfall in their attempt to get to the finals. On the last day of competition they captured 3rd place, but only after successfully winning a controversial protest on 0.5 Rebel, Peter Schreiner’s chair with 2 minutes left to go in the game.

The German Rebels club team, along with Tobias "don't call me Fabio" Sandberg from Sweden showed great resiliency on their way to a solid 4th place finish. They also proved to be more of a challenge than anyone could have anticipated, but maybe just maybe coaching had something to do with that. Although controversial and outspoken, we must give credit where credit is due and let the past go. Give Coach Soares, who has had a hand in the development of our sport, and has proven time and again to lead teams to best ever finishes wherever he's gone. Give him the recognition he deserves providing it doesn't go to his head.

The Phoenix Heat showed great heart and determination, but playing undermanned they couldn't muster up the juice to land a semi-final spot. The iron man squad of 4 finished strong by taking care of business in the 5/6th place game against the USQRA Force.

Speaking of the Force, once again they proved to be hungry and focused to kick the world's butt by outworking everyone. Every year they come closer and closer to making it on the big stage. Keep it up Coach McGuirk, you and your boys are looking great!

Coming into position 7, the Dudes from GB/USA started slowly, but overwhelmed the Swiss to finish strong. The Swiss team fought valiantly but in the end with the loss of Roger Suter, class 1.0 extraordinaire who got injured the weekend prior in Tampa, the Swiss couldn't garner enough momentum to slow down the speed of the other teams and finished 8th. It still proved to be a successful US tour for the Swiss, who took home the title from Tampa the week prior.
 
We would like to thank and congratulate Palm Beach County Therapeutic Recreation Services, who once again put together a world class tournament. Special thanks go out to tournament head honcho Nick Priolo, and a big thank you to all of the other staff at Parks and Recreation who made this a fantastic weekend!
 
To everyone else, including a world class field of referees, table officials and bus drivers, you were awesome!
The 12th Annual Knock & Roll International will be held January 20-22, 2012 in Lake Worth, Florida and we hope to see you there.
 
K&R Tournament notes:
All but one of the final placement games finished with 1 goal spread.
Average point spread for the tournament was 10.1 goals difference.
Average point spread between the top 4 teams was 4.5 goals difference.

2011 K&R All Tournament Team:
Best Low-Pointer: Chad Cohn (Tucson Pterodactyls)
Best Mid-Pointers: Patrice Simard (Canada) and Derrick Helton (Tucson Pterodactyls)
Best High-Pointer: Tobias Sandberg (The Rebels)
MVP Chuck Aoki (Tucson Pterodactyls)
February 6, 2011 — 9:45am