I have the night off since city league kickball games got rained out this Friday (4th time this year). So what better way to spend it then diving into future matchups for my favorite league, Kaw Valley Kickball.
I will be covering matchups of players who are facing their FORMER teams this year in rank play.
Shane vs Muddy Waters
The first matchup that I’ll go over is Shane who is currently on Johnny’s Tavern, vs his former team, Muddy Waters Studio. I don’t know the details, but Shane decided to leave the defending champions, for his current team. My guess would be his Kickball365 connections with Michael and Kerry played a part in his recruitment to Johnny’s possibly? With the departure of Tim Fredrickson, Johnny’s needed a 3rd baseman, and Shane has seemed like a perfect fit. He’s been considered as a MVP so far and is likely one of the main reasons Johnnys has made the 1s this year. He knows what it takes to win a KVKL championship. Can he bring that culture to Johnny’s? All I know is that it will be a tough task to beat the mighty Muddy. A matchup within the matchup, two top level 3rd basemen Shane vs Eli Tinoco will also be fun to compare.
Nicole vs Muddy Waters
Nicooooole Flanders. She is the 2nd player being covered that has left the defending champions. Long time Rats player, she joined Muddy in 2019 and won a title immediately. I don’t know the circumstances of her departure either, but I know she landed in a great destination. Not only does she join Kansas Tree Care who is always a favorite to win the Cup and who has won it as recently as 2018, but she joins her now husband, Kenny no shirt Flanders. Nicole leaves a female cast of Kal/Jessica/Clare/Tierney to join Angela/Janae/Liz/Mags. Both groups are some of the best women in the league. Besides that blowout in the 2018 Championship, games between these two teams have been close. Does Nicole tip the balance? Will Kenny be unleashed now that he doesn’t have to worry about sleeping on the couch if he crushes his wife’s team?
Turtle vs Post Haus
KTC is the benefactor of another big off season pickup, my dude Eric Turtle. Turtle was a long time member of Wildman/Jackpot which is now Post Haus. He won the title with Wildman in 2017. As a new member of Post Haus this year, Turtle was one of the main players I was excited to finally be able to play with. I had played city league and fall ball with most of the players on Post, but Turtle and I had never crossed paths. It was such a bummer when I heard Turtle had decided to play with KTC this season. From what I understand, he is neighbors and/or good friends with the McKee Bros. Those two are very good brothers to know if you’re in the market for joining a dominant team. He’s been playing fall ball with them for a few years as well. Turtle is one of the nicest guys in the league, and I wish him the best. Can his kind soul soften the hard hearts of Post Haus and their feelings of betrayal? I can’t speak for my teammates, but they might be #hungry for turtle soup. But Turtle has a great group to back him up when we play.
AO vs Red Legs
My brother Antoniooo Garciaaa aka AO. As far as I know, AO had played his whole career with Red Legs. Jose on Red Legs is a top 1st basemen in the league, leaving AO not much opportunity to shine at that position. But with the departure of Shane, Muddy Waters had a spot open for AO to thrive in. AO is not only killing it at 1st on defense, but I am sure he’s kicking in runs being in the 4th/5th spot in a lineup that features three of the best kickers in the league, Jimmy/Isaac/Eli. Shout out to James Findley who not only lost AO this off-season, but also Ariel Ludwig, a killer leadoff or 2 spot kicker who went back to D-Holes, and yet James somehow captained his team to the 1s. AO has the stronger team no doubt, but don’t count out Red Legs as they are the dark horse in the 1s in my opinion.
Julie W vs Harpies
Not only did Muddy Waters replace Shane with AO, but they replaced Nicole with Julie. Julie is a badass who is fast as hell. She started her career with Pizza Party, who is now Muddy. She has since played with Channel 6, Love Garden, Harpies in 2019, and then has returned to Muddy Waters this year. As you can see, Julie is no stranger to being on a top team. The main question is, did she leave Harpies too soon? Grant has done nothing but elevate his team each and every year, and they are young. Has she risked the potential of winning one title right now with Muddy, when she could possibly have multiple championships with Harpies once the league has aged? Would Grant let her come back if she wanted? If I was a captain I’d always make room for her. In regards to this upcoming matchup, Julie and Muddy probably have a 95% chance of winning. But we play the games for a reason and Grant has given Muddy a loss before due to certain players missing, so anything can happen.
Keith Pipkin vs Love Garden
For me, this matchup is the most entertaining. The board must have thought so as well, seeing as we’ll get to see Keith and JDE vs Love Garden under the lights at Game of the Week to end the 1st week of rank play. From what I can find, Keith had been with Love Garden from at least 2016, and has been a big reason why LG has made deep runs in the playoffs year after year. But he has also been a staple on any JDE team that is captained by Avery Brow, whether it be indoor soccer, city league kickball maybe, or any other lawrence rec league sport, not including KVKL. In 2019, both JDE and Love Garden were both in the 1s. This year Keith makes the move from LG to JDE and now both teams are in the 2s. Going into the game, LG has scored the 4th most points in the league, while JDE is the number one defense. LG did not fare well the last time they played a good defense. But since that game they are motivated and with JDE’s offensive output, LG might only need 7ish runs to get the dub. The X-factor to this game is whether long time Squid player Jake Frydman makes the trip to play. My only tip to LG is to not test Keith’s arm if he’s in right field. But they probably know that already.
Bickel vs Shirt Factory
Bryant Bickel. Owner of Hurtz Donut. Sponsor of the D-Holes. Bickel had been a long time member of the D-Holes. At the height of his career, he helped lead his team to a Twain trophy W. In 2018 Bickel made the decision to try and help Happy Shirt, the greatest franchise in KVKL history, get back to their championship ways. After two seasons on the team that is now Lawrence Shirt Factory, Bickel has come back home, to the
D-WHAT, D-Holes. Alex Hawman who has been on the D-Holes for years has said they are 0-3 when playing Shirt Factory. But every time I look at the score or hear about their game, they get closer and closer to beating them. Could the addition of home team hero Bickel be what finally puts them over the hump against Shirt Factory? Rumors are that Shirt Factory has recruited retired players to come out and help them, after their 4-3 close win over Dropstoppers gave them a scare. Not only is this a battle of the exes, but it will be a battle between future spouses, the legendary Steve Harder (SF) and Arianna Auxter (DH). This slugfest between two veteran teams will not be one to miss.
Finallyyy enough focus on the top teams. We are skipping down to the 6s.
Rashaad vs Mahomies
Aubrey vs Mahomies
We have Rashaad who is with Hookah House this year and we have Aubrey who took her talents to Louise’s. Both are former subordinates of the KVKL fan favorite, Jason Cougar Hwang and his team Nick Lerner’s Mahomies. So no shade intended, but usuallyyy when players leave Cougar’s farm system team for greener pastures, they are leaving for a better team. But both players find themselves on teams that are in the 6s. Could the reason for that be that both players went to brand new teams in the league? Probably. Will Cougar and his team with experience make Rashaad and Aubrey pay for leaving? Probably. As for why both of them left, I can only speculate. Does Rashaad work for Hookah house? Does he just like hookah in general? Is he friends with my boi Hazem Chahine, the captain and owner of Hookah House? Did Aubrey leave because there’d be more playing time for her on Louise’s? Did she just like the bar Louise’s in general? Did she get sick of the in game yelling and post game emails from Cougar? I don’t know how long either of them played on the Homies, but I hope they had the privilege of playing with Dana Shoup. He was a role model for how to be, as a person, for this league. RIP Dana.
These matchups are a battle of players who used to be on the same team in 2019, but who are facing each other on their new teams this year.
Kristin C-S and Bunt N Grind vs Eddie Munoz and R-Bar
Kristin used to be the captain of Grandstand Glasskickers/ElectriKick Eels and Eddie was her long time teammate. This year Kristin decided to step down as captain, and when no one wanted to take over, the team dissolved. Kristin ended up joining Bunt N Grind who she had relationships from playing city league with them. And Eddie was picked up by R-Bar, formerly Jayhawk CrossFit. Both players have been used to the 6s for years. But not only are both players in the 4s this year, they both have a chance to be in contention for the Plate on their respective teams.
R-Bar is looking like the most improved team from 2019. BnG now has one of the strongest lineups of females with Kristin/Maisy/Amber and led by the superstar Olivia, and everyone knows teams are only as good as their ladies. I’m gonna give the edge to BnG because I’ll never pick against my boi Barry, but I am positive that Eddie and Kristen will enjoy seeing each other on the same field again.
Yace and Young Spine vs Kevin Frost and Pawsh Wash
Yace and Kevin were also unfortunate casualties of the Grandstand/Eels getting disbanded. Kevin was picked up by the kickball mom Erin Adams and Pawsh. And Yace sponsored her own team, Young Spine. They will both meet in a matchup in the 5s. Kevin is on a veteran squad that is pissed they are in the 5s. And Yace is excited to have basically a brand new team that has never played kickball, and not be in the 6s. As good of a coach as Yace is, it seems like she’s just got too many new players each and every week, and not enough veterans to help. Aaron and Ashley do what they can, and my gurl Morganna Wright has been traveling most of the summer. All I know is that if Kevin gets on the bases, no amount of coaching can prepare your team for the insanity that will ensue. I’ve witnessed it first hand. He runs with no regard to consequences. Like a bat outta hell. Like one crazy mofo with no fear. Will make veteran teams look silly. It is impressive. So Young Spine throw two bases ahead of where Kevin is running and just pray he runs into the player holding the ball because that’s your only chance to get him out.
Out of the 9 matchups of players vs former teams, I won’t say which exact ones win, but I’ll say 4 players out of the 9 will beat their former teams. Between ex teammates, I’ll pick Kristin and Kevin to triumph. Sorry Eddie and Yace, prove me wrong! I swear I’m Gym Class Rejects for life.
If there are any other battles of the exes that I missed, and I’m sure there were, let me know! I want to know! I can include them in a future recap!
Finally shout out to Seth Sanchez, Jake Frydman, Thomas Joel, and anyone else who has written for Sundays in the Park. Reading any type of content you have posted over the years is always so fun to read. I’m hoping to have brought story lines of the league to light like you guys do. And thanks to Ben and the board for the approval!