This past weekend I flew in for my first practice with the X-Factor guys. Saturday was uncharacteristically chilly and it drizzled off and on all day. (I blamed SKemp. I had to. Otherwise it was on me.) Sunday was warmer but still overcast, a good day to do some work. Even so there's no mistaking where you are. Every other old shed or barn has been converted into a bbq joint and for breakfast, if you're in a hurry, it's the drive thru at Las Palamas for a chirizo and egg served up in a hot tortilla.
Our home field is the latest project of the tireless owner (and Poppa) of team X-Factor, Alex Martinez. Saturday saw the nets go up on the second turf field while a local 3-man tourney was being run on the other turf field. Besides that there is an airball field on grass, a hyperball field, a miniature Alamo to attack and defend and more acreage for future expansion. Once the team had gridded out the field we setup one of the Sup'Air sample layouts and got down to business.
For the guys the weekend was a continuation of the preseason effort that began early in January. For me it was a first step in getting to know the players better, observe their play in more depth and begin the dialogue that will put us all on the same page working toward our shared goals. Alex Martinez, Ryan Brand and the guys made it easy as did the not unexpected discovery we already share a lot similar ideas about the game and how it ought best be played. There will be one more tryout weekend in a couple of weeks but there is no doubt in my mind that the essential pieces are here and the best that can happen is we add depth to a strong foundation. While I continue to take the measure of things and tread carefully I am, if possible, more excited about our prospects for the coming season than I was before. We've already got a surprise or two in store for Dallas.