JV Owls Screech Past Coyotes in Nail-Biter

Coach McDonough
For the second straight week, the Country School JV Owls faced the daunting task of sharing a frisbee field with a team that outsized them in height. Never to be deterred, however, the squad showed heart, resilience, and the fearless attitude that has characterized the young season thus far.

With a strong wind blowing north to south, and an Independent Day School squad ready to receive the opening toss, the Owls tossed off to the waiting Coyotes.

From the outset, however, size proved to be a non-factor for the Owls as the game’s first points were scored on a 10 yard toss from Jimmy O. toward the end zone. As the disc wafted in the wind, a scrum of players from both teams readied for it to drop, but in the group of six, it was the smallest among them–Gideon M.–who timed it perfectly, snatching the frisbee out of the air with a one-handed grab to put the owls up 1-0.

A back-and-forth exchange of dropped passes and rushed throws from both teams ensued over the next few minutes as each squad maneuvered with the wind. Still, with the wind at his back this time, Jonah M., unleashed a laser pass, landing it into the grip of the full-sprinting Veronica S..

The 2-0 cushion for the Owls would only last for so long, however, as the Coyotes mounted a run of their own, stringing together a fast break of passes, finally landing one in the outstretched paws of a teammate just over the end line.

Over the next 10 minutes, Jimmy O. and Jonah M. would each sling their second assists of the game, the first into the fingers of Patrick Becker, and the second being another JM.-to-VS combo with Veronica snagging her second score of the day.

Ruling the midfield throughout the afternoon, and tossing the disc with great confidence, Emily A. capitalized on a Coyote turnover by zipping an assist of her own to Jonah M. to extend the lead to 5-1.

Another Coyote score made it 5-2 before JO lofted a deep backhand throw to Veronica, putting the team up four, and securing a first half hat trick for the 6th Grade speedster. 

While offensive play fills the statsheet, defense enables the moments of glory, and it was the hard nosed play of Emmy L. Patrick B., Tash F., and Simone N. in the trenches that led to many Coyote turnovers. Whether it was midfield knockdowns, box-outs on high-lofted tosses, or tenacious man-to-man attention, those three leaders set a tone that was matched by everyone on the field.

The halftime score was 6-3 as the teams headed to their benches to talk over the first half and discuss strategies.

“What do you notice out there?” the coaches asked the group as they caught their breath and grabbed their waters. 

“We are playing good defense.”
“Our passing is really important, but we’re doing a nice job with all the wind.”
“We aren’t getting mad at each other.”

Sometimes, as a coach, asking a question is more important than giving feedback, and this was one of those moments, indeed. The team understood what was important, saw the benefits of their teamwork and camaraderie, and new that the positivity they felt on both the sidelines and the field would be contagious whether passes were caught or not.

As the second half started, the Jonah-to-Veronica campaign pressed on, with Jonah earning his fourth assist, and Veronica snagging her fourth score of the day. 

The final score was one of the days many highlights as Jonah again sailed a pass into the wind. The bench groaned as the wind caught the disc, sending it deep into the corner of the end zone. Suddenly, though, the sprinting blur of Quinn C. dashed into view, stunning the crowd and snatching it out of the air by his fingertips. With an emphatic yell, Quinn spiked the disc into the grass in what was unquestionably the highlight play of his young frisbee career.

That Owl score would prove to be the final one for TCS, but the Coyotes were still on the prowl. Losing 8-3, and with about 12 minutes left to play, the IDS team mounted a valiant comeback attempt that fell just short. Scoring four unanswered goals to reduce the deficit to 8-7, it looked like the Owls might see another game slip through their grasp in the final minutes, but terrific play in the defensive zone from Tash F. saved the game. He seemed to be everywhere, dashing between players, picking up unguarded opponents, and initiating quick stall counts on the opponents. When the final horn sounded, the team celebrated raucously on the sideline, gave a cheer to their opponents and shook hands.

TCS next plays on the road Tuesday in a rematch of their opening game 11-11 barnburning tie versus the OLM Cougars.

341 Opening Hill Road, Madison, CT 06443
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Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent school serving students in PreSchool-Grade 8. The Country School is committed to active, hands-on learning and a vigorous curriculum that engages the whole child.