Michigan duo claims KanJam World Championship
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • August 13, 2012 @ 9:03am
It took overtime in Game 7 of a “best-of-seven” series, but Michigan duo Trevor Cole and Scott Johnson (Schlotzsky’s) fought off a stiff wind to become the first non-Western New Yorkers to claim the KanJam World Championship Saturday at the Gratwick Hose picnic grounds.
Matched up against former champion Team Domination (Mark Lopian and Bryan Irish-Jones from Clarence) in the final, Schlotzsky’s appeared to be the underdog after Lopian and Irish-Jones knocked off three-time reigning champion Rebel Survivors (Eric and Dan Klavoon) in the semifinal. In a see-saw battle, which included a three-overtime Game 3, Team Domination forced a decisive Game 7 with a resilient win in Game 6.
“It couldn’t have been more fitting—Game 7, overtime in Game 7—it was perfect,” Cole explained.
Schlotzsky’s held the hammer—the final throw (equivalent to last at-bat in baseball)—in Game 7, and despite trailing 21-19, both Cole and Johnson earned one point by slapping the frisbee into the side of the kan to send it to overtime.
In the baseball-style “extra innings” format, Schlotzsky’s nabbed the win with a 2-1 result in overtime.
The howling wind raised the pressure, as minute-long stoppages were common as the competitors waited for the wind to die down.
“The pressure was higher with the pausing, but we’re quick throwers, we just get the frisbee and go,” Cole said after the championship victory. “It was tough waiting for the other team—we don’t like to wait.”
“The wind was a bigger factor than who we were playing frankly,” Johnson added.
The championship came in Schlotzsky’s third year participating in the KanJam World Championships. While the team finished second in its debut year, Cole and Johnson dropped to 10th in 2011. The victory run included nail-biting 3-2 wins (in best-of-five series format) in the Division Quarterfinals and the Division Semifinals before more comfortable wins over top-seed Philorkus in the Division Finals and Team 10-13 in the Conference Finals.
Both Cole and Johnson received $250 gift cards to Olympia Sports, while the runners-up took home smaller amounts. The winners also had their names etched into the KanJam Championship Trophy, which bears the names of the winners from the last 23 years.
Here’s a gallery of rather heavily Instagrammed photos:
Cole (in gray) and Johnson (in black) pose with the KanJam Championship trophy.
Team Domination’s Mark Lopian skies for a high frisbee in the championship game.
Lopian jams in a bucket for three points.
Lopian aims his throw toward partner Irish-Jones.
Johnson eyes the frisbee as it sails toward him.
Cole is prepared to slam the frisbee inside of the bucket.
Irish-Jones watches his throw sail through the air in Lopian’s direction.
Johnson focuses on the frisbee knuckling and dipping at him due to the wind.