Top OTL Teams Shift Emphasis From Fun to Games : While Not Quite Deadly Serious, They Want to Win
It was nothing out of the ordinary, just Kevin Murray, a four-time Over-The-Line champ, lounging on a beach chair sipping a beer Saturday during the 36th world championship tournament on Fiesta Island.
What didn’t seem to jibe was what Murray had to say.
“We are serious about this,” he said, tilting his beer back. “The top 20 teams are out here to win. There’s another 30 tournaments during the year that we can have fun at.”
Murray took another sip and thought about what he had just said.
“Of course, right now I’m having fun,” he said. “But when I play, it’s serious.”
Murray, part of the Hot Rocks threesome that has won four titles this decade, now plays with Local Motion and teammates Jon Esquera and Stan Sutton.
And no, Murray wasn’t just letting the beer talk. Local Motion does indeed take the game seriously. That can be seen in the fact that it was one of only eight teams remaining in the Men’s Open winners’ bracket after Saturday.
No simple accomplishment.
“There’s 30 teams out here this year that can kick your (behind),” Murray said. “There are more good teams now than ever before. It used to be maybe five or 10 teams could win. Now there’s probably double that.”
Steve Miner of defending champion Beachcomber echoed Murray’s thoughts.
“There are 12, 15 teams that could win this tournament,” he said. “It’s just a matter of who gets it done at the right time.”
Like Local Motion, Beachcomber (which also includes John Torschia and Billy Bright) remains undefeated.
The other six unbeaten teams are: Sun Diego, Zips Team Bozo, Captain Morgan Original, Ryno Athletic Club, Team Club Sportswear and Honads of ’89.
The one big absentee from that list is the Pennant Pups, last year’s runner-up. The Pups--Kevin Williams, Al Scott and Derek Thompson--lost their first two games of the double-elimination tourney and took a quick exit.
“That just goes to show the level of competition this year,” Murray said.
The Beachcomber also had some unexpectedly tough games early on. It won its second, 13-9, over E.M.B.'s--a modest margin of victory for the defending champs so early.
In Beachcomber’s third game, The Buc Stops Here--last year’s Century division winner--stayed close before losing, 20-14.
Said Miner, “We could have easily been knocked off in that one.”
There were no surprises among the four undefeated teams in the Women’s Open division: Island Gecco Maui (Camille Medina, Mary Ann Casillas and Tess Michelucci), Y95 (Nina Loffrado, Mary Watson and Debbie Watson), MGM Realty (Janet Hunstable, Rose Teeple and Marylin Medina) and Big Dogs (Kim Osuna, Julie Dossett and Tammy Collins) remain.
There was one unusual game in the Canardly division (men’s over 40), when the Roakus Brothers (George Ellis, Mike Walker and Bob Aguilar) took a 14-0 lead over We May Not Hit (Bill McIlwee, Jon Knight and Gary Bell) in the second round. It was unusual because the Roakus Brothers ended up getting skunked, 36-25, after four innings. OTL games go five innings unless a team has built an 11-run advantage, at which point the game is called.
The tournament resumes today at 7:30 a.m., and the finals should begin around 1 p.m.