by Matthew R. Smith
During the October team meeting at The Chuggin’ Rhino, our 2010-11 jersey sponsor, when the question was posed to the team “What went right and what went wrong this year?” it was agreed that nothing went wrong. A year ago, in the same location, most of us were meeting for the first time and I’m sure none of us realized where the season would take us.
After a chilly and fun off-season, January day at PSI’s Frozen Tundra scenario, our 2010-11 season began early with an invitation to participate in the Kill-house tournament held at Hornets Nest paintball in Ancramdale, NY. The War Hounds were able to put in three teams. While we didn’t place we were able to walk away satisfied with our showings, particularly because it was the first time a few of us had ever shot together. Passing through this trial-by-fire at the Kill House we were able to walk away with something far better than a cash prize- we were introduced to Bravo Squad, a team of teenage paintballers from our region. Bravo Squad, impressed by how the War Hounds represented themselves, expressed interest in becoming the “young gunz” team of the War Hounds. Bravo Squad’s players can often be found at War Hounds practices and running with us at scenarios.
Taking to the road, the War Hounds were privileged to play against some of the regions best players at Army of Darkness (Poco Loco/TSSOC), West Point Spring Combat Classic, Boondock Saints (Hornets Nest), and the Global Crisis (PSI) scenarios all while running at least one practice per month and conducting a raffle to help cover our entry cost into the Woodsball World Cup.
June really set the pace for the remainder of the War Hounds season. In May we were invited by Pasadena Paintball Park in Curtis Bay, MD to attend their Guadalcanal Scenario as a third entity. The team was admittedly dubious about such an invite. We wondered why they would want to bring in a team from five hours away; was it political? Did they want to shoot some New Yorkers? We just didn’t know. We mustered ten players, which at that point in the season had been our best turn-out, and drove down to Maryland. I cannot stress how wrong we were to be skeptical. We were met with heartfelt camaraderie and had the opportunity to play some hard-fought paintball against some of the most honest, stand-up players any of us have ever encountered. In the end we didn’t end up playing the third entity but played for the American side. After a rough initial break-out, we regrouped and spent the rest of the day pushing the opposing force around the field only leaving the field when we needed paint.
I can confidently say that we surprised them with the game we brought. Ultimately, we walked away from that event with MoFo and Producers awards. Accomplishing that- playing a field that we’d never been to before, against home teams and walking away with awards really brought the War Hounds team together, gave us a huge boost in confidence and set the pace for the rest of our season. Pasadena Paintball Park and Bob Crandall took a chance on us and we took the chance on them. I think we both came out better for it. To quote Bob in a recent post on the War Hounds Facebook page
hey how are you guys this is big bob from Pasadena Paintball Park. We have been thinking alot about all of our games this year and the teams we had I thought I would drop a line see what’ happening and just tell you guys thanks again for coming down to school us in paint ball we really enjoyed your team you play hard and honest much respect to you . Maybe after january we can talk about coimng north and retuning that can of whoop ass you left down here. till then guys stay cool shoot to thrill
Revitalized, while attending ION, Risk-it-all, and the Black Market War scenarios, the War Hounds started working toward the Woodsball World Cup. Things really started to come together for us and in the end it paid off. The War Hounds were able to take home first in the amateur division! Please read the first paragraph again; Yes a bunch of guys, most of who had only been playing together for nine months, won.
We’re not done yet this year either. We will be attending the West Point Fall Combat Classic in October and the PSI Customer Appreciation game in November. We’d like to send a very sincere thank you to all of our sponsors who helped make this an amazing season: Paintball Sports, Inc (2010, 2011)., ZUKOdesigns (2010, 2011), 68Caliber.com (2010, 2011), The Chuggin’ Rhino (2011), Ray’s Paintball (2011), and Ninja Paintball (2011). We hope that you will choose to continue to allow us to represent you next season and would be grateful for the opportunity to represent others.
Look for big things from the War Hounds next year: a clinic with Mr. U himself; a bigger, better raffle; a charity game; the War Hounds defending their WWC title in the HCPL; getting out to new fields and events further from home and everything else we can throw at you!
You can visit the War Hounds and keep up with them daily on their Facebook page – War Hounds Paintball