This player is hitting a tornado flick.

Kladen Smith, Reporter

3……2……1 GO! Calls the announcer. I win the kickoff by getting the first ball. Jon yells, your left”. I attempt to pass the ball to him but then I see one of the opponents jump up to aerial to it, but Jon is already there as he read our opponent’s movements. The ball bounces off the backboard. Now I have two options. I can either A: wait for the ball to get to the ground with the risk of the 2nd opponent being there and make me lose control of the ball. Or B: I jump up for an aerial and put it in off the double-tap from the backboard which has a risk of me missing because I have to do more maneuvers but it loses the risk of the opponent being there. I make my move. I jump up and start boosting at the speed of light, the 2nd opponent sees this and decides to try to challenge my move. But he’s too slow, I hit the ball with so much power that it is basically impossible to save and BOOM! It is 1-0.

I was really relaxed after the first game, but I was still ready for the next game. We still had to go through rounds 2 and 3 then the quarter and semifinals and then the finals to win this tournament. We felt like it was a long shot but we thought we could at least make it to the semi-finals. Round 2 and 3 flyby, quarter-finals were a little struggle but we were winning with at least a 3 score advantage at all times. The semi-finals were “THE STRUGGLE!” as it was said into the mic. We were one to one in wins and this was the tiebreaker, we were down 3-4 and this team had some ultra defense. With saves, we have never seen before.

I have control in the right field, I look over to where Jon is and he is a perfect pass to the top left corner. By the way, the strategy is starting to work, I pass it to Jon for a misdirection on the opponent, the opponent jumps with his car moving closer to the ball every second. It’s almost like time has slowed at this moment. I just watch gracefully, praying that he will not get a single touch on that ball but it’s a near miss and Jon has gathered himself together to make the pass back. I am in a position, he passes to the front of the opposite goal, I see the opponent playing goalie as I see this I also see Jon has made a rotation to behind me for good measure, but now I sense this opponent is in front of me, I have to get the ball behind him into the net. So I had made my move, I double jumped and boosted to hit the ball, I hit the ball off the backboard, Jon aerials past the opponent at a never before seen speed and finally after some tactical and strategizing work, he dumps it in. 4-4

The screen starts to read 3……..2……..1 Jon is on kickoff, I see as he is hitting a speed flick on the ball for kick-off, I am simultaneously going to the left of the field for a refill of boost. They pinch the ball between their cars into the left field, which is perfect for me so I start my drive with a little touch of the ball and I start boosting. I see the guy on my right boosting towards the ball that I have in my control, the car starts nearing closer and that’s when I make a sudden stop with the ball on top of my car, it nearly rolls off, but I keep control and the opponent flies right past my face and does nothing to benefit his team but bad position “Faking.” I say with the flick into the right field. Jon pops up at a time so early that it seems like he was ready for it. He pops it left. The ball bounces off the side wall right to the position of where I am. I pop up with a spin that reads breezi flick, I boost and flick the ball right. “NO WAY,” I said as I was jumping with excitement. But there is no time to celebrate, we still need to win the finals.

So now we’re heading into the next game with our hearts pumping out of our chest. Now it’s my turn on kickoff, I make the speed flick, the ball starts roaring across the field, but I see that Jon has already read the play and is in position. He jumps up for an aerial but it’s a near miss. The opponents have decided to try and rush the ball, I start boosting as fast as I possibly can and I barely save the ball by throwing my car in front of the ball. Jon has recovered and has started to make his way towards me, I throw the ball up in the air, and Jon at the same time has started to aerial to make a counter drive to the opponent’s goal. I make the pass. Jon gets a good enough touch on the ball and enough power to go and hit the backboard. I’m up in the air with enough time to put an even amount of weight on each side. I am stable and boost towards the rebound of the ball and dump it right in front of the double-tap. It is now 1-0 in games.

It is now the game point and me and Jon are really popping off at this point. But now we’re going for kickoff and Jon is the one kicking off. I decided to stay back as a countermeasure to the opponents if they were to get the ball. But I see and Jon has lost the kickoff but thank god I had stayed back or there would have been another match, I saved the ball with a ground pinch into the ground. Now this ball because of the ground pinch has gone at the speed of light up the wall and Jon has stabilized himself with enough boost and barely enough time. I see him go up for a wall-to-air dribble. He hits it and is boosting with the ball on top of his car in mid-air. He says,” Kladen I need you to be here for this pass.” I was already there and he dropped the ball down to the ground. I flick it back up with a backflip and Jon instantly puts it right through the goal. “No freaking way,” Jon said, trying to hide his excitement. “Yes, way” I continue with, “we just won the platinum tournament.” I was excited to have been put under that title. It was something fun and I got to see that all that time and effort was not put to waste.

This player is hitting a tornado flick