The Stampede kicked off 2015 play at the Metal and Muscle Invitational over the weekend. The 3 day tournament featured 10 of the nations best teams and a squad from Calgary. The Stampede ranked second going into the event had high hopes of being able to match up with the best in the country. Those hopes were dashed because of early season mistakes and classification issues. "We had hoped to have a better showing" said coach James Gumbert . "Every time we would have a good run of plays and cause some turnovers, we would give them back".
The losses on the court were also seen in classification. Newcomers Nate Whitten and Victor Meza were classed ineligible and the results had its effects on the team "we thought there was a good chance to get both Nate and Vic classed, unfortunately it didn't happen" said Gumbert. The loss of the two big men hurt in several keys games.
While the weekend had a run of lows, several areas of promise did occur. Alex Pabon, Jordan Sorrenson and Jarred Compton got their initial classes and saw significant time during the tournament. "There is a lot of room for growth and we saw some encouraging things from the entire team" said Gumbert. "We have to get back on the practice court and get the new guys in lines" he said. "It is always an issue getting the team on the same page and doing the same thing".
When they do get back on the court the newcomers will be surrounded by veterans Symons, Kirkland, Schacherbauer, Meredith, Curtis, Groff, Butler and Whittaker. "I like the players we have and believe that by the time we get to nationals, we will be competitive". "It's going to be a fun season for sure" said Gumbert.
The next few weeks will be spent in the gym preparing for the upcoming friendlies. The Texas Cup. The matches will be November 22nd in San Marcos. For more details, check back here or at www.fearthesteer.com.