I know it’s seemed like an eternity, but 36 days after the Bulletproof Tigers defeated Dizzy Llamas Black in the first ever Co-Ed West Championship, we’re back and ready for a new season and a new champion. That’s right, the Bulletproof Tigers will not repeat, because they aren’t even back to defend. Two of their players could win back to back titles under a new banner, but now I’m getting ahead of myself. Welcome back everybody. Some things are the same this season and some are going to be a little different. What are the similarities? First and foremost…ME…no I’m kidding…but not really. Four teams are back with slightly different rosters.

What’s different? Well you will play at a new school. Games will be at the Argenziano School in Somerville. There will be four new teams in the league. Yup…that means 8 teams instead of 6…yup…that mean’s everybody makes the playoffs…and yup…that means there will be 6 PM GAMES!! Deal with it. Go into work early and leave early. With the Tavern on the Hill a little bit out of the way we’ll need to find a new watering hole, but I think Tibbs already has an idea…don’t worry Monstars.

1. 2 Legit 2 Quit
Last Season: 9-0 in Co-ed East, lost to Genzyme in East Semis
Returners: Everybody
Losses: Nobody
Key Additions: Mystery Guard?

I hate to do it, but these guys start the season on top of the rankings for a couple of reasons. Not only have they been successful in two co-ed seasons (last season in the East), but they are basically the same team. There are several similarly talented squads in this league, but this is the only one that has very little change to deal with. They’ve already learned to cope with the ultimate statistic and attention whore, Tommy Kahana. They are no longer affected by taunts such as, “Come on ref! I know Tibbs signs your pay check, but what the &%#$?!” I do worry about how well they hold up when Vig and Amanda miss a portion of the season for their wedding. Way to put the team first guys. You just had a month long off season. That’s ample time for everything…bachelor party/bridal shower/wedding/honey moon…though I question their dedication, they still open as the team to beat.

2. Hide Ya Kids, Hide Ya Nibs (f/k/a) Hide Ya Kids Hide Ya Wife
Last Season: 5-4 in Co-Ed East, lost to DL Blue in East Quarters
Returners: Jane Stockton, Nate Dogg, Meg Driscoll, Matty Austin
Losses: Steve Belowski, Steve Iorio, Lauren Rappoli, Scott Tarentino
Additions: Alleigh Marré (Monstars), Nibs The Balla (DL White), Matt Forlizzi

This MIGHT be the best team in either co-ed division once they gel. They are incorporating players from three different co-ed teams and one co-ed rookie…Jane Stockton, Nate Dogg, Matty Austin and Meg Driscoll from Hide Ya Kids, Hide Ya Wife, Nibs the Balla from DL White, Alleigh Marré from the Monstars and B1 Superstar Matt Forlizzi. I’ve never seen Matt play, but Tibbs was kind enough to send me his player stats. Have fun with that everybody. You know that phrase “live by the three, die by the three”? This team is going to live and live WELL with the three ball. Too many shooters for all of them to have off nights. I would not recommend coming out in a zone against either of the top 2 teams on these rankings. Nate Dogg and Meg should get lots of single coverage in the post. I can’t confirm, but I’ve heard that team captain Jane Stockton is going to have the entire team wear matching Headbands, shooting sleeves, high socks and live strong bracelets for their namesake Nibs the Balla. Expect some Nibs to drop some science very soon.

3. Winter Hill Gang
Last Season: 5-4 in Co-Ed West, lost to DL Black in West Semis
Returners: Danielle a/k/a Mrs. Boozer, Boozer, Chris Johanson, D-Boll,
Losses: Dave Celli, Sara Doherty
Additions: Sweet Lu (B-Tigers), Jerry Botelho (B-Tigers), Kate Barry (Thank You Jagermeister), Matt Hayes

Mrs. Boozer had some restructuring to do this off season with the loss of reining Co-ed West female MVP Sara Doherty and male First Teamer Dave Celli. She did a good job finding some capable replacements. Sweet Lu and Jerry Botelho join a team that was already the biggest and most physical in the league. If we could ever have an interdivisional match I would love to see them play Genzyme. I think we’d need the security guys from Jerry Springer in attendance to keep the peace. However, this team isn’t all braun. They also added Kate Barry, formerly of Thank You Jagermeister. She’ll do her best to fill the void left by Sara. Matt Hayes is the X factor. If he can contribute in the back court, this team could do some damage, but they’re going to have to figure out how to play some man to man to compete with Team Tibbs and Team Nibs. Danielle likes zone defense more than Jim Boeheim.

4. Monstars
Last Season: 5-4 in Co-Ed West, lost to the Bulletproof Tigers in the West Semis
Returners: Apolo Swecker, TJ White, Ivy Bernier, Ryan Walsh a/k/a The Tequila Ninja
Losses: Micah Witri, Captain America, Alleigh Marré, Jamie Griebner, Kendra Keegan
Additions: Kaitlyn Hennigan (Boston Beer Company), Tasia Blough (Monstar Season Ticket Holder) Andrew Rohman, Grace Bloodwell, Mike Cassell

This team did a lot of scrambling to get a roster together. Fortunately they held onto Kevin “Apolo” Swecker, but on the flip side they bid farewell to Micah Witri. Swecker was one of the most dynamic scorers and one of the most polished drinkers in the league last year. His return helps, and apparently the addition of Andrew will keep the Monstars tall without Micah, but Andrew still has big shoes to fill. I’m excited to see Ivy and Tasia on the court together. I don’t expect this due to score a ton of point, but I believe they will be absolutely relentless and tenacious on the defensive end. The addition of Kaitlyn is a very good one. She is coming off a winless season with the Boston Beer Company, but she was one of the few bright spots, dropping 20 points against a tough DL White Squad…presumably at least 15 of which were right in Nibs’ eye. I don’t know anything about Mike and Grace, but if they turn out well, this team will rise above this 4 spot.

5. Western University Dolphins
Last Season: N/A – Free agent team
Returners: Jerry Antone a/k/a The Walking Physics Lesson (DL Black)…everybody else is new

I haven’t seen any of the free agents play, but there is some serious talent on the roster. Tibbs sent me the stat pages for a few of the players, and the only question marks are chemistry and dedication. I’m interested to see how many people will stick it out and what this team will turn out to be. If they gel, this team could contend with the best in the league. If they don’t they could be near the bottom of the barrel. I’m expecting big things from Bryan Gamroth. I think he’ll be a pretty solid player as his stats show that he held his own in a very tough B1 league, but more importantly he already suggested a bar within walking distance of the gym for post game shenanigans…that’s how you win awards in this league

6/7. Dizzy Llamas Green
Last Season: 2-7 in Co-Ed West, missed playoffs
Returners: P-Mills
Losses: Everybody Else
Additions: Everybody Else

Here’s what I know. Green will never be outhustled this season. They have the Godfather himself, P-Mills, Kami-Ghazy and Dustin Williams (as long as his ribs are healed from falling out of a moving truck…or maybe he jumped? Either way, at our first softball game, Dustin made sure to tell me to get him in the write ups. Be careful what you wish for, brother. You’ll be in the write ups, I promise that) With a backcourt of Ghazy and Dustin, this team will lead the league in the following categories…steals, turnovers, fast break points, missed fast break layups, overall hilarity. Mills says they are going to score a lot of points. I still have my doubts. I’ve heard good things about Alyson Humphries. Kariuke Thande previously played B1. I’ve seen B1…those dudes are good, but Thande didn’t exactly put up numbers, so I’m expecting more tenacity and intangibles…it just seems to me like those are the two things that DL Green already has plenty of. I know that Mills is still tweaking rosters, but until I see reason for this to change, they start down here.

6/7. Dizzy Llamas Black
Last Season: 6-3 in Co-Ed West, lost to Bulletproof Tigers in the West Finals
Returners: Phil Putis
Losses: Mike Reddick and a bunch of other people…but mainly Reddick
Additions: Henry Dineen (DL Green) Darrell Maule and a bunch of other players unbeknownst to me.

Tough for me to handicap this team only knowing a few guys on the roster, but this is what I know about them…Darrell is very tough on the inside. He’ll get a lot of rebounds, but just needs to find that scoring touch. Phil and Henry do all the little things right. I know it’s a cliché, but Phil really does have a nose for the ball. He’s very sneaky so I recommend you don’t underestimate him. Henry had a quite winter season, but the last few times I’ve seen him at the CAC, he’s been doing those boot camps, so at the very least I suspect that he is in terrific shape. If he gets aggressive he’ll be tough…but that team badly needs a scorer. No Comtois might lead to some big problems in Llama Land

8. Kiss Our Passes
Last Season: N/A – All new team with all new players

For all I know, this team could be great…but I don’t know a damn thing about them and you need to earn your respect in the CAC co-ed! For starters, I’m not feeling the team name…but hey…to each their own. No worries Reggie & co. You should be able to pass AT LEAST one of the Llama teams…damn I should really be nicer to P-Mills since he’s doing our write ups in the Wednesday league. Sorry Llamas!! I hope to see K.O.P. move up the ladder quickly!

MVP Watch – A few players to watch for with the pre season pick in bold
Gentlemen (I use that term loosely) – Matt Forlizzi (HYKHYN), Kevin “Apolo” Swecker (Monstars), Tommy “RoY” Kahana (2L2Q) – I have not seen Matt play, but the stats speak volumes. He’s a great shooter and scored over 20 points per game playing B1. The Colby College product will make HYKHYN tough to beat if all those three point shooters can gel together. Apolo may have to put the team on his back without Micah and Alleigh. We’ll see how the new pieces fit together…and Tommy is just Tommy. Love him or hate him, he’s going to be there and you’re going to know it. I know TIbbs is looking to put another guard on the roster. I wonder if that will affect Tommy’s precious statistics.

Other guys to watch – Bryan Gamroth (WU Dolphins), Nate Dogg (HYKHYN), Tibbs (2L2Q), Nibs The Balla (HYKHYN)

Ladies – Meg Driscoll (HYKHYN), Loren Turner (2L2Q), Sweet Lu Botelho (Winter Hill Gang) – Meg is coming off a solid season in a tough East Division, where she was named to the first team. She is very strong in the middle, gets to the line consistently and has an array of post moves that will keep her three-happy team strong in the middle. She’ll get some tough competition from another strong post player in Sweet Lu (that will be a fun one on one match up to watch) and one of the deadliest shooters in the league regardless of gender, Loren. Loren’s got the attitude to go with it. The first time I played that team two seasons ago, I got tossed to the ground by Loren and Amanda simultaneously. The whistle blew, and Loren scowled at me and then stepped over me. I don’t think I’ve ever been so intimidated by a girl that’s half my size.

Other girls to watch – Jane Stockton (HYKHYN), Alleigh Marré (HYKHYN), Kaitlyn Hennigan (Monstars), Ashley Wetherell (2L2Q), Caitlin Vestal Tibbetts (2L2Q), Kate Barry (Winter Hill Gang), Mrs. Boozer (Winter Hill Gang), Alyson Humphries (DL Green)…damn…the quality of girls in this division has really improved! And that’s WITHOUT reining MVP Sara Doherty!

I’m not going to do a full playoff bracket, but I will predict a championship…

Hide Ya Kids Hide Ya Nibs 63
Too Legit To Quit 59

HYKHYN earns the right to lose to the WOMS in the unification game. WOMS will beat Wheels of Steel in the East finals, so Loren has the rare privelege of losing in TWO division finals of the same league!

It’s going to be a great season! See you all Monday!!