Thursday, December 4, 2008

“That’s a Wrap!”

Well, I know have to apologize for not getting this out sooner! I really don’t have a good excuse except to say that I’ve been quite busy the last couple of weeks with work and getting ready for the Holidays. Sorry! (Boy some of you aremore excited about this than us!)

So here is my update from our trip to Canada: Thunder Bay was just as I had remembered it. A good time and very good people. I got to catch up with a few friends and play in a great facility. We ended up 2-3 which was a disappointment to us. We actually played very well and consistently but made a few mistakes by being a bit too aggressive with our strategy and not executing those shots. I would simply call them high “risk/reward” situations and in those situations we just need to be more aware of what NOT to do. The great thing is that the team continues to learn and grow with every game. I cannot tell you how valuable it is to play with teammates with that attitude!

So now it’s time to start wrapping up the last part of the “Cash” season and begin to prepare for playdowns. More on that later. For now you should know that we have two “Cash” events left to compete in. The first is this weekend in Madison, WI. This annual event features most of the top teams in the U.S. much like St. Paul and Duluth. However, the format is a bit different. There will be “pools” of teams that each play a round robin. At the end of the round robins (within each pool) at least 2 teams with winning records will advance to the Championship round on Sunday. To do that we’ll need to have no more than 1 or 2 losses within the pool. It’s a good format because each team is guaranteed to play plenty of games, which is important at this point of the year. Scores and updates should be on-line and can be found at

After Madison we head to Eveleth, MN (yes, all of the glamorous places) in two weeks then we’re off for the Holidays. We’ll have individual and team practices set up over that period of time and maybe some scrimmages as well. Once we get into January the Olympic Trials Playdown process will start. I will send another update with the details on that process when we get closer, but I do want to let you know that the first round of Qualifying is January 7-11th at four different locations. We had originally hoped to play in Grand Rapids, MN (the home of Gemini Sport Marketing, our primary sponsor) but weren’t able to make that happen. But we will be playing close to home in Centerville, WI, which is just across the border from Winona, MN. So if you’re interested in seeing part of the Olympic Trials process, please feel free to make plans for that weekend to be in Wisconsin! J

Okay, that’s it. I’m heading out to “Mad Town”! Thanks again for all your well wishes.

Vancouver is just a little over a year away!

John Benton
Team Shuster

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