by Bruce Johnston
The day after category one hurricane Earl roared through the Maritimes – uprooting trees, laying waste to trailer parks and cancelling Saturday – the final event of the Atlantic Xtreme Paintball League (AXBL) was played.
The four man AX4 teams normally play matches on Saturday. The five man AXBL teams play on Sunday. To finish the event on time and ensure that everyone would make their flights home on time, AX4 games were intermixed with AXBL and would be played on Sunday, all games were shortened by 10 minutes and the All Star game was cancelled.
The morning of Sunday September 5th dawned as a perfect day for paintball. The small crew that had been hard at work Saturday evening were successful in their bid to repair the damage and have everything ready. When finished, Overkill Sportz, in Mount Uniake, Nova Scotia showed no sign of the Hurricane Earl damage of the previous day.
Despite the delay, the best four man and five man xball teams from across Atlantic Canada took to the field to decide who would become the 2010 champions.
The five man division saw the East Coast Outlaws (ECO), anchored by former Philadelphia Americans NXL Champion Jeff MacDonald, bring their perfect record up against the two teams capable of replacing ECO at the top of the podium. Both South Shore Hype and Newfoundland Wreckhouse came ready to play and eager to take the AXBL crown for themselves
In a game that saw ECO claw back from an early four point deficit. ECO tied South Shore 7-7 in the most entertaining game of the season. This tie ended South Shore’s hope but opened the door a crack for Newfoundland, who’s fate was in their own hands. Their fate was in there hands. The Wreckhouse squad came up short, losing to Hammonds Plains Hustle. The Wreckhouse lose gave ECO the 2010 AXBL title.
The four man AX4 league saw the return of one of the great teams in Atlantic Canadian paintball. The former Atlantic Canadian Champion, Atlantic Storm, after a three year hiatus, made a spectacular return to competitive paintball. A flag hang in the final minute of the team’s first game of the season against the Halifax Cyclones was the closest Storm came to losing a game. Atlantic Storm proved to be the powerhouse of the league, going undefeated all season to capture the AX4 title and earning a spot in AXBL for 2011.
Congratulation East Coast Outlaws and Atlantic Storm on fighting Mother Nature and the other teams for your well deserved wins. Now that 2010 is in the books, planning can begin for 2011 and the opportunity for these teams to make it two in a row.