In a matter of just five sessions, co-ed basketball at the CAC has completely transformed from a one division eight team “lets all go to the bar after the game” kind of league into a four division juggernaut with super teams left and right while still maintaining that “good people and tasty beverages” kind of vibe.
Over the last two years, there have been some great champions, so let’s sort out the best of the best, starting with #10…by the way, the current season is NOT being included in this countdown, and neither are any teams prior to Spring of 2010…they weren’t that good anyway.
#10 – Shirt Before The Shirt – Winter 2011 – Caitlin Tibbetts, Loren “The Mad Bomber” Turner, Ashley Wetherell, Amanda Vigneau, Rob Vigneau, Tommy Kahana, Tibbs
This was the first unbeaten regular season for team Tibbs, though they were unable to go the distance, falling to Genzyme in the East semifinals. This team got it done with just three guys and no Terry. It was Tommy’s first season on the J-Shore franchise and it helped to have Loren going crazy from beyond the arc at 51%. You could probably argue a higher finish for this team, but falling flat on their faces THREE wins shy of a uni title hurt their rank quite a bit. Just the first of three examples of how Tommy is NOT clutch in the playoffs
#9 – Game…Blouses – Spring 2010 – Jane Stockton, Lauren Rappoli, Mike Reddick, Nate Dogg, Nibs The Baller, Matty Austin, Dave Celli, Rory Duyon
Another undefeated regular season team that came just shy of championship glory. The Blouses took CAC co-ed by storm that season, blowing out most of the league. They advanced to the finals by virtue of a triple overtime thriller over the WOMS thanks to some clutch free throw shooting by Celli (making 1 of 3) to tie the game at the end of regulation. Unfortunately, this was the first of back to back championship game goose eggs for the three headed monster. They fell to an Adam Biehler led Genzyme squad in the championship
#8 – Raindance – Fall 2011 – Britt Spackman, Sarah Wood, Liz Hansen, Ibrahim Toukan, Mike Hagerty, Matt Smith, Mike Kearney
The trend of unbeatens to fall in the playoffs continues. Last season’s Raindance team appeared to be unbeatable. Combine female sharp shooters with athletic big men, and the best all around player in the league to tie it all together and this is what you’ve got. Mike Kearney & company could do no wrong until they reached the semi finals of the co-ed tournament. That’s where they ran into DL White. Matt Roberts, the Claffey brothers and Nicole Wolff were able to finally take them down, but more on that squad still to come. (spoiler alert!)
#7 – Wheels Of Steel – Spring 2011 – Loren “The Mad Bomber” Turner, Keri Downs, Justine Hill, Nick Altschuller, Bryan Anrdt, Dan Slade, Matt Monroe, Tristan “The Pegasus” Mouligne
The Wheels return to co-ed after a session off was a great one. It was Matt Monroe’s last season before heading to Connecticut. Big Bryan Arndt returned to the Wheels after almost a year off, Nick, the Old Scholar had a career high 12.5 points per game, and The Pegasus…well…he’s just ridiculous. This team almost never got off the ground, because they didn’t have any women (story of their lives). With some recruiting help from yours truly, they were able to land to Loren Turner, which led to Justine Hill, and Keri Downs. They cruised through the East schedule without a loss and eventually lost to Just Look At It in the uni game, also know as “The Monroe-Tarzan game”
#6 – Weapons of Mass Seduction – Fall 2010 – Erin “EJ” Johnson, Heather Marino, Sara Doherty, Evil Harvey, Paulie Mitrano, Will Diieso, Mike Rocco
For my money, this is still probably the most talented team after assembled at the co-ed ranks, but it’s all about championships, and lets be honest…sometimes luck or a lack thereof plays a factor. After destroying everything in their path for the first couple of months of the season, Rocco went down with an injury and Will caught pneumonia. The WOMS made it to the semis, before losing to Game…Blouses for the second straight season
#5 – Genzyme – Spring 2010 CHAMPS – Gwen Browne, Andrea Burgess, Adam Biehler, Keith Schofield, Pat Lawson, Van Tran, Sam Sok, Chris Gugliotta, John McEnelly, Pradeep Mammen
Genzyme struggled at times through a mediocre regular season where they lost a lot of games playing a very long bench, but once the playoffs rolled around, Biefler, Browne & Co. were unstoppable. The same could be said about my Game…Blouses team, but since this one came to be prior to the advent of the 2 girls on the floor rule, they might be pretty vulnerable now…not that I’m bitter or anything. They beat Game…Blouses 62-51 in the finals. Blouses made a run, but McEnelly put the final nail in the coffin when he hit a three right in my face to make it a 7 point game with about 2 minutes to go and then back pedaled down the floor wiggling his hand in the air…calm down dude, it was the first three of your life…ugly ass lucky jump shot…seriously…not bitter at all.
#4 – Weapons of Mass Seduction – Winter 2011 CHAMPS – Erin “EJ” Johnson, Sara Doherty, Heather Marino, Awesome Harvey, Dave Celli, Paulie Mitrano, Rory Duyon
This team, may not have the high end talent that a lot of other teams on this list has, but the WOMS were the epitome of a TEAM. Nobody averaged as many as 13 points per game. They won games, by outworking and out thinking opponents. It also helped to have arguably the best collection of female talent the league had ever seen (JLAI vs WOMS girls = toss up) until “We’re Here For The Gangbang” W-12. The WOMS absolutely dismantled a Genzyme team that still had Keith, Gwen, Jakeen and Lawson in the East finals 76-39. The Uni finals wasn’t much of a game either when Slim Jim didn’t show, even though we pushed it back specifically so he could play!
#3 – Dizzy Llamas White – Fall 2011 CHAMPS – Nicole Wolff, Jen Kuzmick, Carissa Everett, Mark Claffey, Mike Claffey, Nick Bruce, Phil Putis, The Minotaur
People were slow to believe in this team, and I admit to being in that camp. There were two very big differences in this DLW team, and the DLW team a season earlier that was pretty damn good, but not elite…the obvious difference was the addition of former UConn Huskie Nicole Wolff…good Lord that girl can play. The more subtle difference was Mark Claffey’s progression from good player to game changer. The season prior to this one, he was a solid contributor, but the post season run that he went on was Tim Thomas-esque. I know, different sport, but Mark stepped up his game in a big way, and his brother saved his best basketball for the stretch run as well. The Minotaur was a beast in the middle, and they breezed through the playoffs easier than I thought possible.
#2 – Shirt Before The Shirt – Fall 2010 CHAMPS – Laura “LJ” Jasinski, Caitlin Tibbetts, Amanda Vigneau, Loren “The Mad Bomber” Turner, Adam Kneeland, Rob Vigneau, Terry Henderon, Jason Tibbetts
The most impressive thing about this team is that they won a title playing 2 or 3 girls at once when only one was mandatory. They started the trend that led to the 2 girl minimum. Terry Henderson was an absolute beast, Loren was hitting threes from everywhere, and everything else find of fell into place. They led the championship almost wire to wire as Game…Blouses got as close as four with three minutes to go, but SBTS held on for a 51-40 win. They had some good very good teams in the three seasons to follow (26-1 regular season), but never made it back as far as even the division finals.
#1 – Just Look At It – Spring 2011 CHAMPS – Jane Stockton, Kelsey Simonds, Meg Driscoll, Alleigh Marre, Nibs The Baller, Nate Dogg, Matt Forthrizzi, Matty Austin
From day one, I picked this team as my champ, and for the first three weeks they made me look like a f*cking moron, losing to the Monstars, then SBTS, and then Western U. Then, something clicked…Just Look At It didn’t lose again that season. They avenged all three of their losses and steamrolled their way to a championship, beating Shirt Before The Shirt, Western U and a REALLY good Wheels team en route. Nate Dogg was huge on defense, Forthrizzi was unstoppable and Nibs played the best defense this season that I’ve seen out of him yet! However, the key to this team was the girls in the post. Kelsey and Meg created mismatches that opponents couldn’t figure out how to defend. It’s a great debate, and personally, picking between the top three felt like splitting hairs, but JLAI, despite a rough start is the best team yet. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish!!
CHALLENGERS ON THE WAY!!
There might be a new number one in just a month as we get set for the co-ed tourney starting next week.
–Raindance is a strong team again with the addition of Marc Reilly,
–BOOM Goes The DynaMIT reloaded with Ian Sugel and Tim Canon after an improbably finals run last season,
–Western University probably has the best player in any division in Gary Corbett…don’t forget about L-Mac and Sharkey.
–Sexy And I Know It is one win away from an undefeated season in the toughest division co-ed has ever seen
-Mike Reddick has hopes of buoying Child Please and the Monstars towards their first championship
-And We’re Here For The Gangbang has the best collection of girls that the CAC has ever seen in the co-ed ranks…sorry…not debatable.
Keep in mind, no team has EVER gone undefeated in the regular season AND won the championship…Western U, Snowdance, Sexy and The Gang Bangers hope to change that.