2022 KVKL Top 36 AP Poll — Week Six

  1. Kansas Tree Care (6-0)
  2. Harbour (5-1)
  3. Post Haus (5-1)
  4. Red Lyon (5-1)
  5. Love Garden (4-2)
  6. Honey Badgers (4-2)
  7. Ladybird (3-3)
  8. JWE (4-2)
  9. Shirt Factory (4-2)
  10. Johnny’s (3-3)
  11. Corksuckers (4-2)
  12. Brew Tang Clan (5-1)
  13. Red Legs (1-5)
  14. Free State (4-2)
  15. Home Loans (5-1)
  16. XXXoxo (3-3)
  17. D-Holes (2-4)
  18. Bald Beavers (4-2)
  19. KBC Tropics (3-3)
  20. Young Spine (4-2)
  21. Drop Stoppers (3-3)
  22. 23rd Street Brewery (3-3)
  23. Bunt N Grind (3-3)
  24. Jazzhaus (3-3)
  25. AsteroidHEAD (3-3)
  26. Woost (2-4)
  27. Ghosts (3-3)
  28. Soda Jerks (2-4)
  29. R-Bar (1-5)
  30. Schoonies (2-4)
  31. Sacred Sword (1-5)
  32. Reading Rockets (1-5)
  33. Late Fees (1-5)
  34. Pawsh Wash (1-5)
  35. Kicking Assets (1-5)
  36. Empire (0-6) 

Sight Unseen Power Ranking — Week 5

After getting down to Lawrence last week, where I had the always amazing opportunity to participate in the Game of the Week, it felt like time for another iteration of the Sight Unseen Power Ranking. Also, Seth messed his up, so here we go.

  1. Kansas Tree Care (5-0)
    The lone undefeated team after 5 weeks.
  1. Harbour Lights (4-1)
    Harbour is playing lights out right now (sorry). Since last ranking, Harbour Lights beat Love Garden by 6 and JWE by 9. You won’t find many better 2 week stretches than this by any team all season.

  2. Post Haus (4-1)
    Doesn’t have wins on as many top teams as Harbour, but owns the closest loss to Kansas Tree Care of anyone on the season for what it is worth.
  1. Love Garden (4-1)
    Since last ranking, Love Garden suffered their first loss of the season, a disappointing 6 run loss to Harbour Lights. We followed it up by narrowly holding off Honey Badgers in the Game of the Week, where we looked great on offense but struggled mightily to handle the Honey Badgers’ aggressive baserunning on defense. Love Garden will need to improve dramatically in that department to have a shot at taking down Post Haus in their huge week 6 matchup. 
  1. JWE (4-1) 
    JWE rises two spots since the last ranking despite losing to Harbour Lights by 9. However, we should note that JWE put up 15 runs in that losing effort — more than twice the number of runs either Kansas Tree Care or Love Garden managed to score against Harbour. Lacking the quality wins of the teams above them, I’d think JWE will need to go 2-1 or better in their remaining games against Red Lyon, Harpies, and Post Haus to stay in the top 5 at the end of the season. 
  1. Red Lyon (4-1)
    Oh how the turntables have turned. In weeks 1 and 2, Red Lyon was getting stomped by the Honey Badgers and barely holding off the mighty KBC Tropics by one run. It seemed like regression had come for the Lyon. Now, fresh off 3-run wins against Lawrence Shirt factory and Harpies, the early season struggles already feel like a distant memory. 
  1. Honey Badgers (3-2)
    The Honey Badgers move up a spot after a win against D-Holes and close GOTW loss to Love Garden. Honey Badgers answered any questions I had about them as a top-10 or better team with the offensive savvy, reliable defense (I can’t really think of any crucial errors), and never-quit energy displayed in the Game of the Week. If they handle business like they should against XXXoxo and grind out a tough win vs. Lawrence Shirt Factory, they should be locked in for the best ever tournament seed in franchise history. 
  1. Ladybird Harpies (2-3)
    Ladybird drops three spots after suffering two losses in the last two weeks. Losing by 6 to Kansas Tree Care is on par with what I’d expect. The 3-run loss to Red Lyon was a surprise, but not a horrible loss by any means either. Giving up 20-runs in the loss, however? That’s trouble. I’ve heard Grant is hurt and either not playing or not 100%. Whatever the reason, The Harpies has given up 57 runs on the season through 5 weeks, which is simply not good enough to achieve whatever high expectations the Harpies have for themselves. The good news is they still have 5 weeks to get right and figure it out before the post season. 
  1. Lawrence Shirt Factory (3-2)
    Lawrence Shirt Factory also drops a few spots after two reasonable losses in the last two weeks (3-run loss to Red Lyon, 6-run loss to Post Haus). No need to sound the alarm. Despite the name, this is a team with a young core. A loss or two, might be the motivation these kids need to get to the next level. They’ll look to bounce back against Red Legs, which should be a fantastic week 6 matchup. 
  1. Red Legs (1-4) 
    I threatened to keep Red Legs as a top 10 team with a 1-4 record. After a 7-run loss to Post Haus and a 10-run loss to Kansas Tree Care, I still genuinely think it’s justified. In fact, it may even be selling the Red Legs short. It just comes down to how insane the Red Legs’ schedule has been so far. You can’t really overstate this point. For example, the Red Legs have lost four games so far. The worst team they’ve lost to is ranked #5 on this ranking. How about their only win? That 3-run win against Home Loans looked questionable at the time. Not as much today. Those Home Loans are now sitting at 4-1 on the season. At the end of the day, when I look at the composite of the Red Legs’ results, I think they can pose a legitimate threat to teams 6-9 on this ranking. 
  1. Johnny’s (3-2)
    Johnny’s is another team that started out slow, but now appear to be righting the ship ever so slowly. The last two weeks have been good to Johnny’s place on this ranking. A one 1-run loss against JWE shows they can still hang with top tier KVKL teams. The 9-run blitzing of the D-Holes show that they can keep play at a level that keeps teams below them in the rankings at arms length. We know Johnny’s has top level kickball experience. The KIFA podcast reminded us that they have some of the best ladies in the league. If they keep piecing things together, there may be no team with bigger tournament upset potential than Johnny’s at the end of the year. All of that is to say that the Johnny’s vibes are changing. Excited to see how they come out in the week 6 GOTW.
  1. Brew Tang (4-1)
    I have Brew Tang moving into the top 12 for the first time in KVKL history. This is a tricky one for me because I, in true sight unseen fashion, haven’t ever seen Brew Tang play, nor do I know their players. The results though speak for themselves. Scoring 20+ runs in both of the last two weeks is good. A 17-run win over Asteroid Head, especially, strikes me as top team kind of thing to do. We have to wait a few more weeks, but I’m excited to see Brew Tang tested by Free State and Johnny’s. Win both of those games and know ‘em or not, a top 10 seed in the tournament should be an inevitability. 
  1. Free State (4-1)
    Free State continues to rack up wins, earning positive results against Jazzhaus and 23rd St. over the past two weeks — two teams that have flashed promise this season. There one loss to Red Lyon is also looking better and better. Free State just lacks a signature win to vault them into the top tier of teams, rather than on the cusp of it. Well, no better time than at the GOTW for that.
  1. Corksuckers (4-1) 
    Corksuckers are on a 4 game win streek, which will sadly be coming to a close on Sunday. (They play Kansas Tree Care.) I got to watch a bit of their game against KBC Tropics this week. The Corksuckers don’t blow you away with athleticism, but they have the feel of a team that just knows situational kickball really well and aren’t going to beat themselves. They have Clint (I think) keeping everything in order as the pitcher. Their 3rd baseman is really good as well. Those attributes together are going to be enough to win a lot of KVKL games.
  1. D-Holes (2-3)
    D-Holes fall a couple spots after losing to Honey Badgers by 11 and Johnny’s by 9. Even though these aren’t upset losses, you would have liked to see more competitive results for D-Holes to keep their number 11 spot on the last iteration of these rankings. I still believe in the D-Holes to be a top 12ish team at the end of the year by ability. Unfortunately, the schedule is doing them no favors as they have Harpies, Red Lyon, and a hungry Home Loans team as there next three opponents. 
  1. Home Loans (4-1)
    Hello. Home Loans is jumping 5-spots up the ranking on the strength of their recent 3-run win over KBC Tropics and 4-run win over R-Bar. They are a young, athletic team still just learning the game. Who knows where their ceiling is, but it is likely higher than this. Should they get past the enigma that is Bald Beavers and Young Spine (playing better lately), their week 8 match up with D-Holes will be a really exciting clash.  (I can’t imagine too many people were circling that one at the beginning of the year.)  If Home Loans goes into that game 6-1, I imagine that at least some people on the podcast will be legitimately picking them to win that game.
  1. XXXoxo (3-2)
    XXXoxo stays at #17 on the ranking list this week. I said in the last ranking that I was putting XXXoxo towards the top of the range where they could conceivably be ranked. I think scoring 27- and 21-runs respectively in their last two games proves this ranking right. Unfortunately for XXXoxo, because I already had them at the top of the range, there wasn’t anywhere to move them further up. Should be a sneaky good game against Honey Badgers this week, I’d think. A win there would put XXXoxo into the conversation for top 12.
  1. Drop Stoppers. (3-2)
    This next range of teams from 18-23 or so gets incredibly difficult for me to pull apart. I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to Drop Stoppers first. They have the best win of any of these teams, 4-2 over Corksuckers all the way back in week 1. Over the last two weeks they won one big (Bunt N Grind) and lost one close (Young Spine) to two teams in this same range. That’s good enough for a one spot bump since week 3 rankings. 
  1. Jazzhaus (3-2)
    I’ll take Jazzhaus next in this range, who are also moving up one spot in the ranking. Still one of the most athletic teams in the league,  Jazzhaus seems to be figuring some things out now at the midpoint in the season. The 1-run loss to Free State points to an upward trajectory, and handling business against Ghosts might be the “get right” game Jazzhaus needs to springboard off of as they start the most crucial stretch of their season. Jazzhaus finishes the season against Ladybird Harpies and Lawrence Shirt Factory, so they’ll really want to get as many wins as possible in this three game stretch against Sacred Sword, XXXoxo, and KBC Tropics.  
  1. 23rd St. (3-2)
    23rd St. has won all the games they were supposed to this season, and also lost the expected games. I’m cooling on them a bit after their last two results, where they only managed to squeak by Ghosts by one run, and then weren’t able to get the legs going against Free State. The thing that impressed me most about 23rd St. early on was that they were scoring 10+ runs in their first three games, but they haven’t hit that mark since. Fortunately, the schedule breaks nice to get the offense firing again. They should be favored in all their remaining games, making an 8-2 season possible for this squad.
  1. KBC Tropics (2-3)
    KBC Tropics drops 5 spots after suffering two losses in the last two weeks. Neither of the results are horrible — a 3-run loss to Home Loans and a 1-run loss to Corksuckers — but I had KBC Tropics previously all the way up at 16 in the ranking. To hold onto that spot, they needed to come through with a win in at least one of those. Also, I had the pleasure to watch a lot of the KBC Tropics game on Sunday. They hung tough with Corksuckers and fought to the end, but they are still thinking through things too much on offense and defense, rather than just playing. That will just come with time. 
  1. Bald Beavers (4-1)
    Bald Beavers is also up one spot in these rankings, and all they do is win, apparently. The issue with ranking them higher than this is that all four of their wins are against teams that will be at the very bottom of this ranking. The reason Bald Beavers are as high as they are is that they were competitive in their loan game against a team in the top half of the league. If Bald Beavers can pull out a win against Home Loans this week, then we will really have to reevaluate how good this team is. For now, let’s just enjoy the fact that they are squarely next to KBC Tropics in the ranking. 
  1. Bunt N Grind (3-2)
    Bunt N Grind drops one spot after losing decisively to Drop Stoppers and winning against Pawsh Wash, but giving up 13 runs in the process. As I mentioned before, I think teams 18-23 all feel in a similar tier to me, and for now Bunt N Grind has the short end of the stick. 
  1. Young Spine (3-2)
    The last team with a winning record to enter this list is Young Spine. After an 0-2 start, Young Spine has rattled off three wins in a row. Young Spine earned easily the most impressive result in franchise history this past week with a 5-4 win over Drop Stoppers. In the weeks prior, Young Spine barely escaped with 2-run wins over Pawsh Wash and Soda Jerks. 
  1. Ghosts (2-3)
    Ghosts drop one spot after a couple of losses, 9-8 to 23rd St. and 10-5 to Jazzhaus. Both of these results indicate a team that is closer to the middle of the league than to the bottom. Unfortunately, Katie’s 8-2 projection is now out the window. My projection: Ghosts finish the season 5-5.
  1. R-Bar (0-5)
    R-Bar who has clearly angered the scheduling gods actually moves up two spots after racking up two more losses. In those losses, R-Bar fell short of Corksuckers by 2 in the GOTW, the #14 team on this ranking, and then by 4 to Home Loans the #16 team on this ranking. Those results show a team that is probably closer to the middle of the KVKL pack in terms of ability. R-Bar has two reasonable chances of earning their first win of the season in the next two games, where they will face 23rd St. and Drop Stoppers.
  1. Asteroid Head (2-3)
    Forever the streakiest team in the KVKL, Asteroid Head can get shut out by Bunt N Grind one week and then drop 28 runs (!!) on Schoonies the next. When the legs are on, they can really rival the place kicking of any team in the league, you just can’t really bank on that in any given week. 
  1. Woost (2-3)
    I hope Dan Mauga recovers well from the collision he was involved in on the way to his KVKL game. It’s important, not only because Dan is a great guy, but also because anyone who has ever played with or against him knows the type of impact he makes on a kickball field. Woost has a tough schedule down the stretch too with Brew Tang, Free State, and Love Garden still remaining on the schedule.
  1. Pawsh Wash (1-4)
    Pawsh Wash kicks off what I would call the final tier of teams. They followed up their GOTW win with a close loss to Young Spine, who has been playing better as of late, and a reasonably competitive game with Bunt N Grind. That and the head to head win against Kicking Assets is enough to give them the nod for #29, a fall of one place from the previous ranking.
  1. Kicking Assets (1-4)
    Kicking Assets move up a couple of spots after earning their first win of the season and then scoring a respectable 9 runs against XXXoxo. Kicking Assets plays Young Spine this week in a game that should tell us a lot more about these two teams. Even though they are only separated by 6 places, it feels like a wide gap at this portion of the ranking. 
  1. Louise’s Schoonies (2-3)
    The Schoonies have already notched two wins this season, but one of those came over Empire by just two runs, in one of the closest games that Empire has ever played in the KVKL. Schoonies scored a bunch in their game against Asteroid Head as well, but also gave up a million runs. Maybe Schoonies are better than this ranking, but at the same time they are playing against the winless Late Fees this week, and it kind of feels like a game that Late Fees take down in a high scoring affair.
  1. Reading Rockets (1-4)
    Reading Rockets rise two spots after earning their first win 7-1 over the Soda Jerks. Reading Rockets have also played ghosts very close and held every team they’ve faced this year out of the absurd amount of runs scoring range. Despite their current rank, Reading Rockets should be favored in two of the games remaining on their schedule against Late Fees and Empire.
  1. Mass St. Soda Jerks (1-4)
    Soda Jerks got their first win of the season in a surprising 12-5 win over Sacred Sword. They also lost a disappointing one last week against the Reading Rockets. The result is a bump up the ranking of a couple spots. This week they have a winnable grudge match game against Pawsh Wash, which looks to be the last winnable one before an absolutely brutal four game stretch against Honey Badgers, Love Garden, Brew Tang, and 23rd St. Maybe they can give 23rd St. a run for their money as well?
  1. Sacred Sword (0-5)
    Sacred Sword can’t find a win. After a very respectable 13-11 loss to Home Loans, I really thought that Sacred Sword was poised to win against Soda Jerks and Bald Beavers. Sadly, they lost both games by 7 and 9 runs, respectively. I’m not sure if they have an inconsistent roster, injuries or what, but dropping those games is going to hurt as their schedule doesn’t get easier from here on out.
  1. Late Fees (0-5)
    Late Fees are scoring more than 9 runs a game on average this year. Unfortunately, they are giving up more than 20 runs a game. (A good portion of those runs can be attributed to Harpies dropping 40 on them.) It’s really hard to win KVKL games when the other team has a better defense than you, and it seems that that has been the Late Fees issue thus far. 
  1. Empire (0-5)
    Lastly, we have Empire who is still in search of their franchises’ first win. It feels more and more in reach each week. A 10-8 loss to Schoonies in week 4 is proof of that. Scoring 8 against Brew Tang last week is also a positive sign. I’m not betting on it, but I don’t think it is outside the realm of possibilities that Empire can give Ghosts a scare this week. Otherwise, Empire’s week 7 clash with Reading Rockets will be their last best chance to earn a win in the regular season.

2022 KVKL Top 36 AP Poll — Week Five

  1. Kansas Tree Care (5-0)
  2. Harbour (4-1)
  3. Post Haus (4-1)
  4. Love Garden (4-1)
  5. Red Lyon (4-1)
  6. Honey Badgers (3-2)
  7. Ladybird (2-3)
  8. JWE (4-1)
  9. Shirt Factory (3-2)
  10. Johnny’s (2-3)
  11. Red Legs (1-4)
  12. Brew Tang Clan (4-1)
  13. Free State (4-1)
  14. Corksuckers (4-1)
  15. XXXoxo (3-2)
  16. Jazzhaus (3-2)
  17. Home Loans (4-1)
  18. D-Holes (2-3)
  19. Drop Stoppers (2-3)
  20. 23rd Street Brewery (3-2)
  21. Bunt N Grind (3-2)
  22. Bald Beavers (4-1)
  23. KBC Tropics (2-3)
  24. Woost (2-3)
  25. Young Spine (3-2)
  26. AsteroidHEAD (2-3)
  27. Ghosts (2-3)
  28. Schoonies (2-3)
  29. Pawsh Wash (1-4)
  30. Reading Rockets (1-4)
  31. Kicking Assets (1-4)
  32. Soda Jerks (1-4)
  33. R-Bar (0-5)
  34. Sacred Sword (0-5)
  35. Late Fees (0-5)
  36. Empire (0-5)

2022 KVKL Top 36 AP Poll — Week Four

  1. Kansas Tree Care (4-0)
  2. Harbour (3-1)
  3. Post Haus (3-1)
  4. Love Garden (3-1)
  5. Ladybird (2-2)
  6. JWE (4-0)
  7. Honey Badgers (3-1)
  8. Red Lyon (3-1)
  9. Shirt Factory (3-1)
  10. Johnny’s (1-3)
  11. Red Legs (1-3)
  12. Brew Tang Clan (3-1)
  13. Free State (3-1)
  14. Drop Stoppers (3-1)
  15. Corksuckers (3-1)
  16. D-Holes (2-2)
  17. XXXoxo (2-2)
  18. 23rd Street Brewery (3-1)
  19. Home Loans (3-1)
  20. Jazzhaus (2-2)
  21. Bunt N Grind (2-2)
  22. KBC Tropics (2-2)
  23. Bald Beavers (3-1)
  24. Ghosts (2-2)
  25. Woost (1-3)
  26. Young Spine (2-2)
  27. AsteroidHEAD (1-3)
  28. Schoonies (2-2)
  29. Pawsh Wash (1-3)
  30. Kicking Assets (1-3)
  31. Soda Jerks (1-3)
  32. R-Bar (0-4)
  33. Sacred Sword (0-4)
  34. Late Fees (0-4)
  35. Reading Rockets (0-4)
  36. Empire (0-4)

Sight Unseen Power Ranking – Week 3

Last weekend, I played kickball in St. Louis, so this iteration of the sight-unseen power ranking is extra authentic. Here’s my take on where teams stand after week 3.

  1. Kansas Tree Care (3-0)
    Kansas Tree Care now has the best two wins of the season, 6-2 over Harbour Lights and 9-8 over Post Haus. Not much else to say about the undisputed champion of Kaw Valley.
  1. Harbour Lights (2-1)
    A quality win against a top-10 Honey Badgers squad keeps Harbour safely in the #2 spot.

  2. Love Garden (3-0)
    Love Garden handled business against Red Legs without allowing more than one run in any inning and hangs on to the #3 spot in this week’s ranking. With no more games between Kansas Tree Care, Harbour, and Post Haus remaining on the schedule but all three teams playing against Love Garden in the next four weeks, Love Garden now finds themselves in an interesting position as the barometer for which the other top 4 teams will be measured. Here’s how I see the short-term implications. If Love Garden beats Harbour this week, then they will be a clear-cut #2 in next week’s ranking with Harbour falling to #4. If Love Garden loses, they’ll likely fall to #4 on the strength of Post Haus’ showing this week against Kansas Tree Care.
  1. Post Haus (2-1)
    Post Haus made a legitimate case for the #2 spot on the power ranking with a great showing and ultimately 1 run loss to Kansas Tree Care this week, compared to #2 Harbour’s 4-run loss in week 1. However, having lost their most recent matchups against both Harbour and Love Garden, I can’t quite bring myself to jump Post Haus over both teams after a loss (even if it is as quality of a loss as you can get in the KVKL… even with Simon blasting out of the park grand slams.) It is close though.
  1. Harpies (2-1) 
    Harpies proved they are still one of the KVKL elite teams, and, importantly, showed they can clamp down on defense in their 11-3 win over Johnny’s. Harpies still have games against Kansas Tree Care and Harbour Lights on the schedule, which are looking much less like foregone conclusions after this result. Harpies can really cause rankings to go haywire if they can find a way to knock off Kansas Tree Care this week. Good luck, kids!
  1. Shirt Factory (3-0)
    I have Shirt Factory jumping JWE and into the #6 spot in this week’s power ranking. I’m just slightly more impressed with Shirt Factory’s results thus far in the season, highlighted by dropping 17 runs on a Dropstoppers team that had only given up 2 runs through two weeks of the season. It also points to a dramatic improvement for Shirt Factory, who only managed a 4-3 escape vs. Drop Stoppers last year. 
  1. JWE (3-0)
    Another week, another big win for JWE. It’s hard to know what to make of the fact that they allowed 6 runs against Kicking Assets and 5 runs against Woost and just how seriously they were playing in these games while way out in front. Regardless, they’ll need to go into another gear now as their season starts in earnest. JWE has Johnny’s, Harbour, Red Lyon, and Post Haus as their next four games. 
  1. Honey Badgers (2-1)
    There is no shame in losing to Harbour Lights, who seems to be taking on Kansas Tree Care’s annoying trait of never dropping games to lesser competition. I thought it might have been closer than 9 runs, but, on the plus side, scoring 6 on Harbour’s elite defense speaks highly of Honey Badgers’ offensive capabilities. 
  1. Red Legs (1-2) 
    The new scheduling system (so far, so good!) is going to do some weird things to the power ranking. This is an odd case. Red Legs are 1-2, with their only win coming in a close game against Home Loans, and the jury is still out on how good Home Loans is. However, Red Legs lost to Love Garden and JWE by a combined 8 runs, showing they can hang with good teams. With Post Haus and Kansas Tree Care as Red Legs’ next two opponents, a couple more reasonably close losses could justifiably see Red Legs staying in the top 10 at a 1-4 record. Is that crazy?
  1. Red Lyon (2-1)
    Red Lyon posted their best result of the season with a 10-5 win over Free State. With Shirt Factory, Harpies, and JWE coming up next, Red Lyon will have three shots at a statement win and move higher in these rankings. 
  1. D-Holes (2-1)
    It’s good to see D-Holes putting up some runs! D-Holes jump up a few spots this week off the strength of this offensive showing and losses from a few teams ahead of them. Also, D-Holes’ results against Shirt Factory and Bald Beavers look better as those teams continue to win. 
  1. Johnny’s (1-2) 
    Johnny’s 7-5 win over Harpies in pool play last year feels like a long time ago now, having lost their last two meetings by 7 and 8 runs respectively. This is still a talented team with earned experience in high-level KVKL games that may give them an edge against teams below them in these rankings, but so far in 2022, they aren’t clicking at all.
  1. Brew Tang (2-1)
    After a decisive 11-5 upset victory over XXXoxo, Brew Tang finds themselves on the cusp of the top 3rd of the league. Perhaps the upset isn’t that surprising, rank 17 over rank 15 per last week’s standings, but it still feels big. This is both because of the decisive 6-run margin and because a new team finding this level of success this early into their KVKL existence is rare and exciting, even if Johnny’s and Red Legs are both recent exceptions to this rule.
  1. Free State (2-1)
    Free State falls 10-5 to Red Lyon and drops a spot in the rankings. Not the worst result, but not one that points to Free State taking big strides forward as a team this year. They have Jazzhaus next week in what should be one of the best games in the week as both teams look to bounce back. 
  1. Corksuckers (2-1) 
    The biggest risers in this week’s ranking are the Corksuckers. Moving up 7 spots this week, clearly, I had them too low all the way down at 22 last week (sorry). Holding Jazzhaus with the speed that they have to 1-run in Corksuckers 5-1 win is honestly amazing. Without seeing the game, I have to assume that Corksuckers are defending the bunt at a high level, and stopping the bunt is a great way to stay in and win games in this league. 
  1. KBC Tropics (2-1)
    KBC Tropics get bumped up a spot in this week’s ranking, which has more to do with Jazzhaus and Dropstoppers falling than it does to beating Empire and allowing 9 runs. Because KBC Tropics’ schedule doesn’t afford them the opportunity to play against any more of the top tier teams, they will need to make a statement in their next two games against the Corksuckers and Home Loans to show that they deserve to be seeded in the top-16 come tournament time. 
  1. XXXoxo (1-2)
    XXXoxo is the hardest team to rank this week. I flirted with dropping them as low 20 in this ranking, but ultimately decided to give this team the benefit of the doubt. While they are 1-2 on the season, XXXoxo has one great result in the 22-4 blowout over Bunt N Grind, one decent result in the 1-run loss to Free State, and one not-so-great result this week against Brew Tang. At the end of the day, I think I still pick XXXoxo to beat any of the teams below them in the ranking and probably a couple ahead of them. 
  1. 23rd St. (2-1)
    Another week, another 23rd St. offensive explosion? I’m still looking a little sideways at giving up 13 runs to Kicking Assets in week one, but I’m starting to believe in the offense. I don’t think 23rd St. is in a position that they’ll look past any game on their schedule, but assuming they win decisively against Ghosts this week, then their week 5 tilt with Freestate will have a lot riding on it and approaching pick ‘em territory.
  1. Dropstoppers (2-1)
    Dropstoppers falls a couple spots after getting smacked by Lawrence Shirt Factory 17-1. I’m reading into this result that LSF is much better than they were the last time the two teams met, not that Dropstoppers are much worse. Also, LSF may have had this one circled on their schedule as to make a point of avenging their near loss in 2021. (Can you avenge a win? If you can, then LSF is probably the team to do it.)
  1. Jazzhaus (2-1)
    Oof. Rick’s Jazzhaus squad tumbles eight spots down the ranking after the 1-5 loss to Corksuckers. I believe Rick when he says Corksuckers played error-free ball, but that doesn’t fully explain the offensive disappearing act. A team with Jazzhaus’ athleticism should be able to manufacture runs on anyone with a few well-placed bunts and a sac fly. Jazzhaus’ ranking wasn’t helped either by the fact that Asteroid Head got shut out 11-0 by Bunt N Grind, taking the shine off of the GOTW win a bit. 
  1. Home Loans (2-1)
    Home Loans drops one spot this week despite the 16-14 win over Sacred Sword, getting jumped by Corksuckers. A more decisive win against Sword might have kept Jazzhaus’ slide going, but as it is, a 2-run win over Sword isn’t earning a tremendous amount of confidence. It was great hearing Home Loans get some love on the podcast last week, and it’s clear that they have earned some believers with their play thus far. I’m not 100% in on them yet, but a win against KBC Tropics next week will go a long way towards convincing me and the rest of the league that Home Loans are for real. 
  1. Bunt N Grind (2-1)
    Bunt N Grind is up two places after their shutout win 9-0 over Asteroid Head. A shutout is always impressive, and Asteroid Head is no slouch on the offensive end. A quick record check shows that it is the first time Asteroid Head has been shut down in at least 3 years, and probably longer. (Records only go back to 2019 on the KVKL website.) I still have Bunt N Grind towards the bottom of the 2-1 teams, but a win this week vs. Dropstoppers will have me reevaluating that. 
  1. Bald Beavers (2-1)
    Bald Beavers starting 2-1 is one of the most surprising developments of the season so far. They followed up their close-ish loss to D-Holes by jumping out to a big lead early against Late Fees and then maintaining it the rest of the game. Wins over Late Fees and Empire aren’t the most impressive wins, but all you can do is win the games in front of you. With Reading Rockets, Sacred Sword, Home Loans, and Schoonies coming up next, is it possible that Bald Beavers could get out to a 6-1 start in their return season? Yes. It’s possible. Is it probable? I’m still leaning no.
  1. Ghosts (2-1)
    These Ghosts believe in themselves. Say what you will about Katie’s 8-2 podcast prediction for the Ghosts, but so far they have found a way to win both games they were expected to win, albeit by one run each against teams that will appear towards the bottom of this week’s ranking. Despite these results not inspiring a lot of confidence, if the Ghosts do find a way to beat the red hot 23rd St. this week, the 8-2 prediction will very much still be in play.
  1. Woost (1-2)
    Woost put up 5 runs in the 17-5 loss this week to JWE, which is surprisingly the fewest runs JWE has given up to anyone all season. The glaring problem for Woost so far this year is giving up 10+ runs to everyone that they’ve faced so far. I don’t expect that to change this week against XXXoxo. 
  1. Asteroid Head (1-2)
    Yeah, a 0-9 shutout loss to Bunt N Grind is going to cause a drop in this week’s ranking. In this case, Asteroid Head falls 5 places. The shutout loss is an especially surprising result for Asteroid Head after putting up 16 runs in week one against Soda Jerks — 6 more runs than Lawrence Shirt Factory managed. Asteroid Head also looked competent on the offensive end against Jazzhaus in GOTW, and, frankly, scoring has never been Asteroid Head’s issue. That said, they can be hot and cold, and this week they were, apparently, very cold.
  1. R-Bar (0-3)
    R-Bar stays in the 27th spot after a 22-9 loss to D-Holes. The good and bad in this result are obvious. Putting up 9 runs on D-Holes is solid offensive output. Giving up 22 runs? Not so good. Because R-Bar’s schedule has been so difficult thus far, they are one of the more difficult teams to rank appropriately at this point in the season. Despite being ranked #27 here, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see R-Bar give Corksuckers (#15 here) a close game or even win. This is a testament to the parity between teams in and around the middle third of the league. 
  1. Pawsh Wash (1-2)
    Pawsh Wash shoots up 6 places after an impressive performance and upset victory in GOTW (9-5 over Kicking Assets). Pawsh Wash seems to be honing in on who is on the team week in and week out, and that looks to be a pretty solid collection of players. If they show up consistently with this GOTW squad and start to gel with positions and kicking lineup, I think they can hold on to this spot and possibly even move higher up these rankings by the end of the season. They’ll have a big test this week against Young Spine to see if they can keep the hot play going in a regular, non-GOTW setting.
  1. Young Spine (1-2)
    I mentioned last week that Young Spine just needed to find a way to keep teams out of double digits to start racking up KVKL wins. This week they did just that, earning their first win of the season in a 4-2 defensive battle with Soda Jerks. It remains to be seen if they can keep the defense going this week against a team averaging greater than 1 run a game. The rapidly improving Pawsh Wash will be a big test and should be a great game this week. 
  1. Sacred Sword (0-3)
    Sacred Sword moves up 2 spots with the 12-10 loss to Home Loans. Adam Mitchell doesn’t strike me as a big moral victory guy, but I think this is a good result for Sacred Sword based on how well Home Loans has been playing this season. Sacred Sword is another team that is probably too low in these rankings just by virtue of how difficult their schedule has been so far. We’ll get a better idea of where they stand over the next few weeks in the coming weeks when they’ll play Soda Jerks, Bald Beavers, and Asteroid Head. Getting back to .500 by the end of the year isn’t out of the question, and would represent an awesome season for Sacred Sword with the difficulty of schedule factored in.
  1. Schoonies (1-2)
    Schoonies fall one spot after another lopsided loss, this time to 23rd St. They will look to bounce back this week against Empire, and they should. It’s hard to fault Schoonies too much for giving up 20+ runs to Honey Badgers, but to 23rd St., I’d have thought they might have kept things a little more reasonable. 
  1. Kicking Assets (0-3)
    It was a disappointing result for Kicking Assets in GOTW. When I turned on the Twitch Stream for the game in the 4th inning, I was surprised to see Pawsh Wash with a lead, but even more surprised to see that Kicking Assets had been kept off the scoreboard to that point in the game. Credit to Pawsh Wash for locking down Kicking Assets’ legs, but it is also a worrying sign for Kicking Assets that their reliable offense can be locked down so easily. (I understand Kicking Assets was also missing some key players and leadership, which definitely hurts in the GOTW setting.)
  1. Late Fees (0-3)
    Late Fees came up short against the Bald Beavers this week in a 10-4 loss and fall three places in this week’s ranking. Late Fees are giving up 20 runs a game on average, boosted by the 40 runs Harpies scored on them in week 2, and double-digit runs in all three games. I’m also surprised that they only managed 4 runs this week after solid offensive performances in weeks 1 and 2. Perhaps it is worth noting that this is also the second week in a row that I’m surprised by the number of runs put up against Bald Beavers, so perhaps I’m just not giving enough credit to Bald Beavers’ defense. 
  1. Reading Rockets (0-3)
    Reading Rockets came 1-run short of a big upset against Ghosts. Also wind in their sails is that the 1-7 loss to Corksuckers looks oddly similar to Jazzhaus’ 1-5 loss to Corksuckers this week. That’s enough to give Reading Rockets the benefit of the doubt and to jump one spot over the freefalling Soda Jerks. 
  1. Soda Jerks (0-3)
    It’s odd to see Soda Jerks this far down the power ranking. Last year Soda Jerks beat Asteroid Head, Ghosts, Schoonies, Late Fees, and gave close games to other teams as well. This year, Soda Jerks are averaging exactly 1-run through three games of the season, and you can’t point to any games on the schedule as surefire get right games. 
  1. Empire (0-3)
    It wasn’t the long-sought-after first win this week, but putting up 9 against KBC Tropics is a great offensive improvement from weeks one and two, and just generally solid offensive output. (Red Lyon also scored 9 against KBC Tropics.) That makes me think it is much more likely that Empire’s first team win will come this year. How about this week against the Schoonies, who are averaging more than 20 runs against in the last two weeks? I think it is possible. 

2022 KVKL Top 36 AP Poll — Week Three

  1. KTC (3-0)
  2. Harbour (2-1)
  3. Love Garden (3-0)
  4. Post Haus (2-1)
  5. Ladybird (2-1)
  6. Shirt Factory (3-0)
  7. JWE (3-0)
  8. Honey Badgers (2-1)
  9. Red Lyon (2-1)
  10. Johnny’s (1-2)
  11. Red Legs (1-2)
  12. Brew Tang Clan (2-1)
  13. Corksuckers (2-1)
  14. D-Holes (2-1)
  15. Free State (2-1)
  16. Jazzhaus (2-1)
  17. 23rd Street Brewery (2-1)
  18. XXXoxo (1-2)
  19. Bunt N Grind (2-1)
  20. Home Loans (2-1)
  21. KBC Tropics (2-1)
  22. Drop Stoppers (2-1)
  23. AsteroidHEAD (1-2)
  24. Bald Beavers (2-1)
  25. Woost (1-2)
  26. Ghosts (2-1)
  27. Pawsh Wash (1-2)
  28. Young Spine (1-2)
  29. Schoonies (1-2)
  30. R-Bar (0-3)
  31. Sacred Sword (0-3)
  32. Kicking Assets (0-3)
  33. Soda Jerks (0-3)
  34. Late Fees (0-3)
  35. Reading Rockets (0-3)
  36. Empire (0-3)

Sight Unseen Power Ranking – Week 2

For those who don’t know me, I’m Jake Frydman, Kickball road warrior, 10-year player for the Love Garden Squids, and KVKL superfan. I moved to St. Louis before the 2019 season. I thought my time in the KVKL was over until the possibility and flexibility of remote work made it possible for me to commit to a few weekends in Lawrence last summer, and I once again found myself immersed in KVKL culture and as a full-fledged member of the Squids. This year, I’m hoping for much of the same. While I don’t get to watch or play as many games as most, I thought I’d still offer my mostly sight unseen take on a power ranking to complement Seth’s AP poll. Here’s how I see things after week two.

  1. KTC (2-0)
    The champs remain undefeated, with the best win of 2022 win of the season (6-2 over Harbour Lights.) 
  1. Harbour Lights (1-1)
    Uninspired play in the week 1 GOTW isn’t enough to knock Habour and their back to back to back championship appearances out of the number 2 spot. 
  1. Love Garden (2-0)
    With a quality 11-6 win over Harpies, Love Garden appears to be resuming right where they left off in 2021 as one of the only teams that pose a legitimate threat to the KTC and Harbour’s title game expectations.
  1. Post Haus (2-0)
    The other legitimate title contender at this point in the season is Post Haus. Perhaps playing with a chip on their shoulder after a quarterfinal exit in 2021, Post Haus has dominated their first two opponents of the 2022 season. 
  1. Harpies (1-1) 
    A five-run loss to Love Garden and surrendering 14 runs to Late Fees doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence that Harpies are poised to improve on their 2021 final four appearance and highwater mark as a team. They can score with the best, but it seems like they have work to do on the defensive end.
  1. JWE (2-0)
    Finding a quality win over Red Legs in week one and handling business in week 2, JWE has shown they’ll remain towards the top of KVKL in 2022. Always solid, it is hard to imagine JWE falling out of the top 10 this season, but questions remain if they have the ceiling to take down one of the top teams.
  1. Honey Badgers (2-0)
    The week one 12-5 win over Red Lyon might be the best win in team history by Honey Badgers, and they rolled a lesser team the way we expect top teams to in week 2. With red flags showing early for some of the following teams, the door is open for Honey Badgers to find more consistency and a signature win or two in 2022 that plants them firmly into the top tier of teams.
  1. Shirt Factory (2-0)
    After Love Garden barely avoided a second-round tournament upset to Shirt Factory last year, I suspected that people were too low on this team to start the season. A 5-run win over D-Holes and a shutout win in week 2 over Soda Jerks feels like vintage Shirt Factory results. Catching a glimpse of their week 2 game, I was struck by the number of young kids they had trotting around the bases. Young athletes coached by the Shirt Factory vets seems like a recipe to get better throughout the season (and they are starting out pretty good.)
  1. Red Legs (1-1) 
    Losing a close game to JWE in week 1 is nothing to hang your head about. The 3 run win over Home Loans (2-8 record in 2021) is raising alarm bells, but I expected Home Loans to take a big step forward this year, so I’m assuming that is what is going on here.
  1. Johnny’s (1-1) 
    Last year Johnny’s finished in a 3-way tie for 3rd in the 1 Pool with quality wins over Harpies, JDE, and Red Legs. This year, it feels like Johnny’s is heading in the wrong direction losing to Post Haus by 9 and barely scraping by 23rd St. by one run.
  1. Red Lyon (1-1)
    Perennial top 12 team, but starting slow, with a 12-7 loss to Honey Badgers and a 9-8 escape against KBC Tropics. Red Lyon isn’t a team that shows up every week or shows everything they have until the tournament, but still, these results aren’t great.
  1. Jazzhaus (2-0)
    Call this the GOTW bump. 10-3 over Woost and 12-6 over Asteroid Head are solid, if not wildly impressive results, but Jazzhaus looks the part with athletes all over the field. More importantly than that, many of these are familiar faces. Even a bit more experience for this always athletic squad may result in really good things in the coming weeks for Jazzhaus.
  1. Free State (2-0)
    Starting 2-0 with a nice win in their increasingly close rivalry with XXXoxo and thwacking of Sacred Sword (23-6), Free State is off to a sneaky good start. The floor for this team is really never a question, anchored by some of the best 3rd base defense in the league, the question is if their ceiling can be any higher than 12-15ish, where they’ve hung out for the past few years. 
  1. D-Holes (1-1)
    I have Jazzhaus and Free State both jumping D-Holes from pre-season seeding. Starting with a 10-5 loss to Shirt Factory isn’t too bad, but I’m not sure what to make of the 7-2 win over Bald Beavers. From my understanding, Bald Beavers is a brand new team. Only putting 7 on the board gives me pause from a team that struggled to get runs across the plate quite a bit in the second half of last year. (All my love and support to the Hawmans right now. Love you guys.)
  1. XXXoxo (1-1)
    Nearly eking out a win against Free State and then putting the hurting on Bunt N Grind is a solid start to the season for the team that pulled off the biggest postseason tournament upset last year (11-10 over Honey Badgers). XXXoxo at 15, highlights the parity in this part of the seeding from 7 through 15, I can see any of these teams beating each other without it feeling like a big upset. 
  1. Dropstoppers (2-0)
    The last remaining 2-0 team in the standings picked up wins on Corksuckers (4-2) and Empire (17-0) in shutout fashion. 16th has them moving up one spot from the preseason ranking. Giving up only 2 runs in 2 games is impressive no matter who you’ve played. Perhaps they should be higher, but only scoring 4 against Corksuckers indicates offense may continue to be Dropstoppers’ undoing as they face tougher competition. They will have the chance to make the case for a much higher rank this week against Shirt Factory who they very nearly knocked off last year. 
  1. Brew Tang (1-1)
    Entering their sophomore season, Brew Tang has done what they are supposed to do thus far in beating Sacred Sword decisively (16-4) and losing to KTC, but less decisively than one might suspect (8-1). That result against KTC is definitely something to build on and note. Teams that lost to KTC by more than 7 runs last year include Harbour, Harpies, JWE, and Johnny’s among others.
  1. KBC Tropics (1-1)
    For all intents and purposes, this is a brand new team. Week 1, their first-ever game, was a surprisingly decisive 15-2 win over Young Spine. Week 2 was even more impressive, where they gave Red Lyon every bit that they could handle in a 9-8 loss. I got to catch some of this game, and KBC was playing like they didn’t know they were supposed to lose and was just one bad baserunning error from the massive upset. (It may turn out to be not that big of an upset by the end of the season).
  1. 23rd St. (1-1)
    23rd St. has been putting runs on the board this year. That is huge for a team that has always had solid defense but struggled to score. Like KBC, this team was one run away from potentially earning the biggest win in team history in the 11-10 loss to Johnnies. On the less positive side, they are giving up a bunch of runs, more than 10 a game. If they can keep the offense and get back to their calling card strong defense, then 23rd St., could really rocket up the ranks from where they have been in years prior. 
  1. Home Loans (1-1)
    Home Loans is the third team in a row here with a result this year that is tough to figure out in week 2. While Home Loans fell by 3 runs (8-5) to Red Legs, rather than by 1 like KBC and 23rd St. in their respective games, it is still a quality loss. Last year, I was blown away by some of the talent Home Loans showed even in their 40-3 loss to my Love Garden Squids, and was even more impressed to see how far they’d come by the end of the year when they posed a genuine threat to Jazzhaus in the playoffs in a (16-13 loss). I figured if their best players didn’t get poached, they’d surely be much improved in their sophomore effort as a team. So far, that seems right. 
  1. Asteroid Head (1-1)
    Asteroid Head represented themselves well in the GOTW loss to Jazzhaus. They definitely know how to play the game, and when they show up can give competitive games to strong competition. This result following a 16-1 win over Soda Jerks in week 1 makes me think we possibly have a more committed Asteroid Head team this time around, even if they are always going to be a fun first team.
  1. Corksuckers (1-1) 
    Corksuckers are starting off the season 1-1 with a narrow loss to Drop Stoppers, and a 7-1 win over Reading Rockets, a surprisingly close result against a team that managed only two wins in 2021. 
  1. Woost (1-1)
    Woost has started the year slower than I might have thought. Jazzhaus seems poised to be solid this year, but last year Woost beat Jazzhaus by 2, this year they lost by 7. They bounced back with their first win of the season finding an 11-10 victory over Young Spine, a much closer result than preseason seeding would suggest.
  1. Bunt N Grind (1-1)
    Bunt N Grind got a quality and, in my opinion, surprising win over R-Bar in week one (11-9). They followed that up with a blowout 22-4 loss to XXXoxo, which was also surprising (I would have thought they’d keep it closer). 
  1. Ghosts (1-1)
    It’s difficult to know what to make of Ghosts either after a close win to Late Fees (10-9) and a blowout loss to Harbour. I’ve got them right around where their preseason ranking is until we know more. (I’m taking the quite-a-bit under on Katie’s prediction of 8-2 for the Ghosts, though.)
  1. Kicking Assets (0-2)
    While still in search of their first win of the season, Kicking Assets has shown some solid offensive capabilities across two games. Putting up 13 runs against 23rd St. and 6 against JWE is nothing to sneer at. They’ll have a good chance at evening their record out over the next couple of weeks, and if their defense improves even just a little, they can definitely move up the ranks.
  1. R-Bar (0-2)
    I have R-Bar as the second-best 0-for team in the league after their close loss to Bunt N Grind, and then a loss to angry Post Haus (which doesn’t tell us much.) The problem is, R-Bar may remain the best 0-for team for quite some time. I don’t have them favored in any of their games for the rest of the season based on these rankings. Keep your spirits up y’all. 
  1. Bald Beavers (1-1)
    Bald Beavers are back for the first time since 2006 according to the website, though I think I remember them being around in 2012 my first year in the league. Regardless, they started their return campaign with a big win over Empire (22-2) and then a surprisingly close loss to D-Holes. The jury is still out on how good this team can be, but they likely won’t be at the very bottom this year.
  1. Late Fees (0-2)
    Late Fees followed up taking the Ghosts to extra innings by scoring 14 runs on Harpies. That’s three more than Love Garden scored on Harpies the week prior. Unfortunately, Late Fees also gave up 40 runs, which is typically a pretty bad sign for KVKL success. 
  1. Schoonies (1-1)
    Schoonies got their first win of the season in week one over Reading Rockets (11-6), and then they got whomped by Honey Badgers (22-4). Like so many other teams in this range, it is hard to know what to make of these lopsided week 2 results. Schoonies may be much better than last year as they enter their second season, but we won’t get a read on that until we see their week 3 result vs. 23rd St. If they can keep it close or win, we may be on to something. 
  1. Young Spine (0-2)
    Despite what I’m sure was a disappointing loss in week one to KBC, who it turns out might be quite good, Young Spine showed resilience in giving Woost a great game. Unfortunately, they came up just one run short (11-10) from their biggest ever win as a club. That result definitely shows potential, but part of the recipe for success has to be finding a way to keep opposing teams out of double-digit runs.
  1. Sacred Sword (0-2)
    Sacred Sword hasn’t shown a ton in the first two games of the season, losing 16-4 to Brew Tang and 23-6 to Free State. They’ve also had a really difficult slate of games to start the season. Scoring 10 runs against some quality defenses is something they’ll look to build on as the defenses get less stingy over the next few games. 
  1. Soda Jerks (0-2)
    Soda Jerks are off to a disappointing start, scoring only once through two games. Getting shut out by Shirt Factory is understandable, but the lopsided loss to Asteroid head is surprising, especially after beating Asteroid Head 9-7 late into last season. On the bright side, the next four games all look winnable.
  1. Pawsh Wash (0-2)
    Pawsh Wash has unfortunately been on quite the slide over the past few years. This year, they might as well be a brand new team, and as I understand it the week 1 and week 2 teams may as well have been completely different from each other. They’ll have to find consistency in who is showing up week in and week out before working on the little things like offense and defense. Once they have that though, the rest should follow and they do have some solid new players (at least on the week 2 team). 
  1. Reading Rockets (0-2)
    Reading Rockets held Corksuckers to 7 runs in week 2, which is something to build on. They also lost to Schoonies by much less than last year. It seems like this team is improving, but so is everyone else it seems.
  1. Empire (0-2)
    Entering their second season, Empire is still in search of their first win as a team. It looks like it is going to be tough, but it is certainly not impossible. I wish y’all all the luck in the world in getting that first W this year!

Good luck next week everyone!

2022 KVKL Top 36 AP Poll – Week Two

2022 KVKL Top 36 AP Poll — Week Two

  1. KTC (2-0)
  2. Harbour (1-1)
  3. Love Garden (2-0)
  4. Post Haus (2-0)
  5. Ladybird (1-1)
  6. JWE (2-0)
  7. Honey Badgers (2-0)
  8. Shirt Factory (2-0)
  9. Johnny’s (1-1)
  10. Red Legs (1-1)
  11. Red Lyon (1-1)
  12. Free State (2-0)
  13. Jazzhaus (2-0)
  14. D-Holes (1-1)
  15. XXXoxo (1-1)
  16. Drop Stoppers (2-0)
  17. Brew Tang Clan (1-1)
  18. Corksuckers (1-1)
  19. 23rd Street Brewery (1-1)
  20. Bunt N Grind (1-1)
  21. Home Loans (1-1)
  22. Woost (1-1)
  23. AsteroidHEAD (1-1)
  24. KBC Tropics (1-1)
  25. R-Bar (0-2)
  26. Sacred Sword (0-2)
  27. Kicking Assets (0-2)
  28. Ghosts (1-1)
  29. Young Spine (0-2)
  30. Soda Jerks (0-2)
  31. Late Fees (0-2)
  32. Schoonies (1-1)
  33. Bald Beavers (1-1)
  34. Pawsh Wash (0-2)
  35. Reading Rockers (0-2)
  36. Empire (0-2)

2022 KVKL Top 36 AP Poll – Week One

  1. KTC (1-0) 
  2. Harbour (0-1)
  3. Love Garden (1-0) 
  4. Post Haus (1-0)
  5. Ladybird (0-1)
  6. JWE (1-0)
  7. Honey Badgers (1-0)
  8. Johnny’s (0-1)
  9. Red Legs (0-1)
  10. Shirt Factory (1-0)
  11. Red Lyon (0-1)
  12. Free State (1-0)
  13. Jazzhaus (1-0)
  14. D-Holes (0-1)
  15. XXXoxo (0-1)
  16. Drop Stoppers (1-0)
  17. Bunt N Grind (1-0)
  18. Brew Tang Clan (1-0)
  19. Woost (0-1)
  20. Corksuckers (0-1)
  21. R-Bar (0-1)
  22. AsteroidHEAD (1-0)
  23. 23rd Street Brewery (1-0)
  24. Sacred Sword (0-1)
  25. Kicking Assets (0-1)
  26. Home Loans (1-0)
  27. Ghosts (1-0)
  28. KBC Tropics (1-0)
  29. Soda Jerks (0-1)
  30. Late Fees (0-1)
  31. Schoonies (1-0)
  32. Young Spine (0-1)
  33. Bald Beavers (1-0)
  34. Pawsh Wash (0-1)
  35. Reading Rockers (0-1)
  36. Empire (0-1)

Thanks to all those that have signed up for shifts at Busker Festival this weekend, we’re going to raise a lot of money for KVKL + Charity. If you’re downtown Friday-Monday, grab a beer and checkout Pogo Fred, he might be a better athlete than Kenny. Good luck in Week 2!

Full schedule of events here

A Tale of Two Tiers

Not many players in the KVKL have the experience of playing in both the 6s AND the 1s in their career. That list of players is even shorter for players who have won The Cup and have played in the 6s. This article is covering the personal experiences and perspectives of Elizabeth Karr and Hannah Blodgett. Liz went from 6 to 1 and Hannah went from 1 to 6 this season. My boi Phil Chiles fits this criteria as well. But what is unique about Liz and Hannah, is that they both at one point played for and won The Cup with the same team, KTC.

Liz joined the league in 2016. Her sports background is track and cross country so it’s no surprise she’s one of the faster ladies in the league. My boi Eddie Munoz, her coworker and friend, introduced her to city league and KVKL. She played on the Grandstand GlassKickers/Electrikick Eels from 2016-2019. That team disbanded, and for 2021, Liz was asked by KTC to play for them. While on Grandstand/Eels, they went 0-5 in pool play each year, but were usually able to get 1-2 wins a season in rank play and with the tournament included. On her first season with KTC this year, they capped off a undefeated season going 15-0 and winning the championship in a walk off win in extra innings.

Hannah joined the league in 2009, first playing for the Ghosts. I’ll always remember Hannah as being the girl in gold shorts that would sneak up behind Paul Santos and grab his butt. She’s the reason the Diana Plate has a kickball painted in her hands and why The Cup is now gold. In 2011, she met the great Kris Marshall who let her play with his squad. She won The Cup in 2012 when the team was named Abraxas Death and Taxes. After the 2013 season, Kris gave the reins of captainship over to Hannah. From 2014-2019, Kansas Tree Care became the name and sponsor of the team. They won The Cup in 2018. After the 2019 season, there was a disagreement with how the team should be run and who should be captain. Most of the core members and the sponsor Cuinn left, while Hannah recruited her own team. She had too many people bail on her in 2021, so she gave up her team spot and just sponsored the team Home Loans. Her heart and her pride were hurt, but my boi Phil Chiles came in and offered her a spot on the Rockets which she accepted. The Rockets were in the 6s this year.

When asked what she liked most about playing in the 1s, Liz said that she enjoyed the challenge. She knew if she wanted to get better, she’d need to play with and against the best teams. The challenge of making defensive plays and getting on base was fun for her. She also liked that the team defense was way tighter. What Hannah liked most about the 1s is the attention that her and her team got from being so good. She grew up with lots of siblings, so she needed/wanted attention haha. She was always getting crap for being one of the worst players in the 1s, which made her a target, but Hannah loved that. Her favorite thing to do was yell ‘kick it to me!’. She also liked getting a rise out of players in the 1s who took it too seriously.

The main thing Hannah didn’t like about the 1s was the lack of playing time. She said you really have to have your own kicking spot to improve and get that confidence. Liz went from having her own spot kicking at the top of the lineup to having to split kick at the bottom, but she never mentioned play time being an issue. One thing that both Liz and Hannah had in common on what they didn’t like about the 1s was the pressure to do well each game. Liz’s stress levels were way higher this season and Hannah hated that they would kick players off the team in order to recruit better players. Where the opinions of these two ladies differ on is how encouraging they thought their team was in the 1s. While Hannah felt like she was always the biggest cheerleader and uplifter of spirits, she didn’t feel like her teammates reciprocated that. The focus seemed to be more on talking strategy than cheering on whoever was up to kick. This is in exact contrast to Liz’s experience on the team. Liz said they never got down on her for making mistakes and instead were always giving her tips and encouragement all season.

When asked what she liked most about the 6s, Hannah said she liked how super chill it was. Calls were rarely argued and no one got too upset at anything. Her team would cheer on every play, whether it was good or bad. And they would play all their ladies who showed up. Liz really liked that it was a lower stress group to learn how to play kickball. She said there are some good players in the 6s, so playing there still presents challenges to new players. What Liz didn’t like about the 6s was all of the defensive errors and failed hero throws that occur. When I asked Hannah what she liked least about the 6s, she said there was nothing she didn’t like. Apparently teams in the 6s drink Malort, and she said she even liked that ha.

I asked both ladies if their role on each team was different. Liz said she was a bigger presence offensively and defensively while in the 6s. She rotated between 2nd base and short stop. When kicking, her main goal was to move the lead off runner while also getting on base. When in the 1s, she was at rover where her main focus was to be prepared to back up any plays at 3rd. Kicking in general has been difficult for Liz while in the 1s, so she’s still figuring out her role on offense with the support of her teammates. Hannah’s role was basically the same. Self-appointed role to cheer the loudest and talk the most crap haha . While not being a captain anymore was sad and humbling, she did enjoy not having the responsibility of making sure players showed up and on time. Admittedly, Hannah is one of the worst refs in the league, so she wants to say ‘you’re welcome’ KVKL for not reffing at all this year ha.

Liz couldn’t pick between which team she had more fun on. She said they were both the most fun! Hannah on the other hand said she woulda made the switch to the Rockets sooner if she knew how much fun it’d be with them. Winning the KVKL championship was one of the highlights of Liz’s life so far. While Hannah will miss twerking on the trophy, some of her best memories in the 1s are tainted with how she was approached by her friends to step down as captain. Hannah unfortunately lost friends with her transition from 1 to 6. Liz seems to have had ex teammates be nothing but happy for and proud of her with the transition from 6 to 1. It’s hard to tell which one of these awesome ladies had more fun this season. I walked up to a Rocket vs Young Spine game in week 2 and I would have never guessed that the Rockets were losing by 20 because it looked like they were all having so much fun, led by Hannah. The Rockets have their own point system, so according to Hannah they are undefeated in their own world. But if you’re Liz, it had to be super fun to be on a team that went undefeated in real life.

-Marcus

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