By: Bubba Lara
Here we are once again, and I am late with this as usual. It is the end of the season and we are going to take our breaks for the upcoming holidays. Get fat and happy on food while visiting family. But that is not why I am here right now. I am here to talk about how this season went for Arizona Paintball. And I must say that I think that we have had a good season bringing it back. Every team went out there gun slinging and taking back what’s ours.
Phoenix Rising D4 took a first place and AZ Elite also brought home a first and a third. Also we had AZ Bandits take first place in WCPPL D5 Vegas, and 3rd in WCPPL D5 Oceanside, giving them 3rd overall for the 2016 D5 WCPPL Series. AZ Stormerz also took a Second place in UPL. I am wishing that I was there to watch these teams and their fights for the gold so I can give more in depth detail, since we all know how I love to ramble on by now. I think that will be my goal for next season is to follow all the AZ teams to more events and get this all jotted down fresh so I can make these segments a lot more interesting. Then we have AZ Goats. Fresh young talent that you guys might remember from an earlier interview with Brandon Hoelscher a couple months back. They kicked in the doors at Vegas NXL D500 bringing home the gold. Then taking 4th in Dallas. I wish I could have been there to watch these guys in action.
So on to Scottsdale Elevation. I have been anxiously waiting for this part, not because I play for them, but this was one hell of a season for us. Our D4 line played the UPL Series and the Semi Pro line played the NXL series. The Semi Pros brought back a 3rd place out of 19 in Nashville and everyone knows that it’s not an easy fight at that level. The D4 line brought home 5 trophies this season. “But Bubba, there is only 4 events in UPL…” Yeah, I know there is only 4. But there is also the huge 5ft. trophy for Season Champs. And we brought that home also. First two events in Las Vegas were 1st places. The third in Lake Elsinore we took 3rd, and the final event was back to Vegas and we took 2nd. And that was a tough battle.
When we were playing for first and second place, we were down 3-1. Managed to come back and tie it up with an amazing close out game from Jared Gilgren snatching up that flag and running it in with 1.24 seconds to spare. Talk about nail biting. But he pulled it off and managed to tie it up taking us to overtime. In the end, we lost to Ghost Busters and brought home second place. Not complaining, that was another tough fight to the end. We were all bummed that we didn’t get the gold. But when Edwin Dolgopyat came over and told us that we won the Season Championship, that made everything a lot better. It was what we came for after all.
So overall, I think AZ had a great season all around and we are making a good strong comeback. Putting ourselves back on the map and making teams fear us again. We definitely had a good year bringing back a good handful of hardware and making a lot of friends along the way. We even had one guy saw us and started telling his team “You guys want to see a good team, and see how a good team plays? These are the guys to watch!” Which is flattering. Another person from Cali helped me find my gear when it was stolen, and he and his team made a point to come up and say hello. And then my favorite has to be the Team Mayhem. During our finals this past event they were chanting “ELEVATION” the whole time. That is a good, warm feeling.
Once again, there I go rambling on. But we all know how my mind works. So this is the end. Good job to AZ Goats, Scottsdale Elevation, AZ Elite, Stormez, Bandits and Phoenix Rising for bringing hardware. Let’s do it again next year again. I also hope to see Phoenix Epic, Tucson Souless, Lost Dutchman, and all the rest get out and bring back the goods.
Until next time. Play safe and keep them guns rolling.