2015 Chicago Co-Ed – Championship Night (August 10)

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Updated: August 13, 2015

Entering the final Monday Night of the Summer, we knew that we would Crown 1st-Time Co-Ed League Champs.  The question obviously remained, just who that would be?  The Night started with Final4 Indoor Kickball before moving the Winners outside to compete for the Championship on the Softball diamond.  We’ll take it Game by Game below and find out who took home the Crown!  Quickly, here is the Weekly Highlight Video, full of extra Championship Night clips!  OK Let’s Recap!

Final4 – Kickball

1. Team Wolter (Dr. Jacob D.D.S.) v. 4. Team Friedman (Muchacha Salsa) – 1. Team Wolter Advances

All season long this Rookie squad simply stormed through the competition and as the Playoffs began they were a clear front-runner to win the whole thing. Of course, we are talking about #1 overall seed Team Wolter..  They have an incredible run to the Final4.. One that many Rookie squads could only dream of repeating.. However, standing in their way of the Championship Game was another rookie squad.. One that came out of the gates a bit slower than Team Wolter, but turned it on late and a Team that has accumulated quite a few impressive Ws in the past month.  #4 Team Friedman came into the Final4 Game knowing that one Rookie squad would be apart of the Championship Game, so why not them?

As the Game got underway, Team Friedman utilized the momentum they’ve been building in the past few weeks and actually jumped out early to a 6-0 lead on the #1 overall seed.  Kickball is a long 9-inning Game and Team Wolter would eventually settle in.  The big deficit almost relaxed them.. They realized they just needed to play and not worry about expectations.. They began to chip away at the lead and by the middle innings they had actually flipped the script and taken a big lead.. By the Game’s end, Team Wolter had expanded on their lead to take the Win and move on to the Championship Game!

For Team Friedman, it was an immensely impressive run in their debut season.  They won a Playoff Game in their first season as well as making a trip to the Final4..  Not many Teams can ever say that and they did it in their first run in All Sports Series. This is a group that has a very young core and they will only get stronger in future seasons. They very well can win a Crown in the next couple of years.  Keep an eye out for them. Thanks for playing!

6. Team Lazarov (Danley’s Garage World) v. 7. Team Fischer (Jam ‘n Honey) – 6. Team Lazarov Advances

While the first Final4 Game was a match-up of Rookie squads, the second Game was the polar opposite.  Both Teams Lazarov and Fischer have been around the Co-Ed League block and both longing for their first taste of the Chicago Co-Ed League Crown.  Both Teams completed “upsets” last week taking down higher seeds. Its been mentioned repeatedly but bares repeating.. Team Lazarov’s core is apart of the Hakimian/Lalez Men’s League dynasties.. They have Guys that on this squad who have more All Sports Series gold than any other.. Team Fischer on the other hand, comes into the Final4 with more Playoff Ws this season than any other Team.. They defeated both the UM Alumni as well as 2014 Champs Team Steinbauer to make it here.. The other Final4 Game had wrapped-up much faster than this one, so midway through this Game, both Teams knew that #1 Team Wolter was waiting for them in the Championship…

As the Game started, it was clear both Teams badly wanted that Championship bid.. Team Fischer would strike first and then both Teams were off to the races on the offensive end.. Eventually Team Lazarov would get one of their patented big innings and extended a sizable lead for themselves.. Just needing to a couple of innings to punch their tix to the title Game.. Team Fischer refused to go down without a fight.. Both Captain Blair and Caroline Schwartz were great at the plate.. However, they just ran out of time and couldn’t complete the comeback.. Team Lazarov was going back to the Co-Ed Championship for the first time since 2013!

For Team Fischer, their ride ends in the Final4, but they can leave this season knowing they really have something.. They are a player or two away from being able to really run through the Regular Season and into August.  They have the type of core Championship Teams are built upon.. They just need to add a bit of depth and they are right there.. It’s exciting to think about the future of the Co-Ed League with Teams like them knocking on the door.  Congrats on a great run and thanks for playing!

Championship – Softball

1. Team Wolter (Dr. Jacob D.D.S.) v. 6. Team Lazarov (Danley’s Garage World)

In many ways, this was a fitting pair to conclude the Co-Ed Season.  As mentioned above, #1 Team Wolter, a Rookie sensation had really run roughshod over everyone this Summer.  Their final hurdle to the Championship should be the biggest and that in many ways is Team Lazarov.  Not only have these guys played in a Championship Game before (2013), but the core of this Team has won more All Sports Series Leagues than any other group.. They are the Dynasty.. “To Be the Man (and/or Woman), You have to Beat the Man (and/or Woman).”

Team Wolter would strike first and get a 3-0 lead in this one.. Team Lazarov, showing the heart of a champion, not only tied it up but would eventually take the lead.. Team Wolter had been down before this season and they weren’t going to let a little deficit early in the Game scare them.. They took their next at-bats and put up a huge inning, that would give them a fairly large lead as we went in to the back half of the Championship Game.  It would now be up to their Defense and Captain Jeff’s pitching on the mound..  Team Lazarov would chip away as they got 3 in the 6th to make it an 11-8 Game. The score would stay there heading into the 7th, thanks in large part to Tara Ferguson’s phenomenal grab in left field for Team Lazarov. Seriously, it was the Catch of the Year, and she kept the Game within reach for her Team.  Team Lazarov did get base-runners in the final frame.. Team Wolter simply refused to lose and made a huge play to get the first out of the inning as they through out a runner at Home.  Shortly after, the last out was recorded and Team Wolter had officially done it! Rookies, no more… They are the CHAMPS!  More on them in a second..

For Team Lazarov, they’ve had about has hectic of a season as humanly possible.. They’ve lost many mainstays to California for work this Summer and many Teams would have just packed it in.. Not the Dynasty though.. They laced ’em up and got to work.. Getting to another Championship Game in the process.. This was their 7th Championship Game appearance for the Lazarov/Hakimian/Lalez/Dorfman core..  Just incredible to think about.  This is a Mt. Rushmore Team and they have everything to be proud of. Thanks for always as playing!

Now to the CHAMPS — What a ride. There are a few Teams who ever swept the Regular Season and Playoffs. Let alone in their debut season. It just doesn’t happen.  This is group has everything that you could ever want in an All Sports Series Team and the focus not just for them but the entire Chicago Co-Ed landscape shifts to how far this Team can take it.. The first-ever Chicago Co-Ed Champs — Team Bartlett (whose Guys just took the Men’s League Crown this Summer) — won Back2Back in the League’s first two seasons.. They also mixed in an undefeated year to boot.. Team Wolter has all the tools to match that and then who knows.. They are the unquestioned favorites in the Summer of 2016. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves we should allow them time to rejoice in this first (of potentially many) Crowns.  A true Team, Congrats to the Champs, Team Wolter!

 

That’s it for the Co-Ed League this Summer, thanks for playing and we’ll have something coming in the Spring! Until then…

– Holden