A 4 month adventure which began with an email to the grand master Todd Martinez about the prospect of trying out for a team that has built a legacy around a program dedicated to excellence and winning, the Los Angeles Ironmen.
Months of training in preparation finally led to the long awaited day which would host some of the best players and free agents in the country making their pilgrimage to the Mecca of paintball, San Diego. They all came for one reason, to compete against each other for a much coveted place on the legendary team.
The adventure began with a midnight journey Thursday night. Making my way down from the San Francisco Bay Area with Nate Baluyut who finished the final leg of the journey through a torrential downpour preluding to the possible weather conditions of the weekend. We reached our destination early Friday morning and met up with a few of the Ironmen and got to spend time hanging out and talking paintball.
Later that day we made a trip down to the Dye factory, the facility was abuzz with an energy of excitement for the weekend as well as the upcoming season. The players of the Ironmen have a focus about them that can only be described as a deep hunger to bring success to the team this year. With their recent pickups thus far, it is easy to see that Coach Todd Martinez is putting together a squad full of depth and talent that will be eager to bring the Ironmen back to the top.
After a solid night of sleep, and a nice ride to the Paintball Park at Camp Pendleton, and accidentally rolling my car into a ditch. The tryouts would begin early Saturday morning. The weather held up and the sun graced us with its presence to make way for a great day of competition. Top Players from all over the US, Mexico, and Canada and the Ironmen began with 1v1’s. Lots of them. It was a great start to the day setting the tone and the pace. After plenty of 1v1’s were played, squads were broken down and 5v5 points began. Race to 3 matches were played with many of them being close games. And would go on through a long and fun day of super long slides, sticky mud, and great paintball.
LA Collision also made an appearance to play some points against the Ironmen as well as the Squads of tryouts. Which added for a little extra flavor to the day.
At the end of the first day, mud everywhere, many of the players assembled at a local eatery for delicious foods and beverages, and with plenty of leftovers to take home. Some fun bonding over food, football, hockey, and drinks after a day of paintball is always an excellent way to end such a fun day.
Sunday would be a little cold, feeling bad for anyone who didn’t have clean or fresh gear to put on. This day would be one full of tough games and fierce competition. The Ironmen would be playing non stop points against 5 tryouts given game plans from Todd. Many great points were played. The Ironmen are looking very strong with their new pickups and will definitely be a top contender this season.
Overall the weekend was incredibly enjoyable. The weather held up even though we were facing dismal conditions from the weather reports. The paint from Valken and APX shot straight and was great to use. The Dye guns worked great even in the wet and muddy conditions. And Camp Pendleton’s field was in a beyond perfect condition with what we could’ve been facing after this monsoon like downfall. It was completely and totally a fun weekend of paintball. Thanks Todd Martinez, Dave Youngblood, Dye, Raza, Valken, all of the Ironmen and their staff that made everything run smoothly, Camp Pendleton, and all of the Tryouts and friends who played their hearts out over the weekend. And thanks to Don for helping me get my car out of the ditch Saturday.