Step aside, Lakers. There’s a new dynasty in Los Angeles.
Zach and All His Friends stormed into their third straight intramural inner-tube finals and captured their second consecutive championship with a 24-4 win over Keck Graduate Insitute (KGI) Wednesday night.
Zach and co. came into the league two years ago under the steady, guiding, and gentle hand of captain Zach Barnett PO ’11. The Wig 1 Front Hall sponsor started with a rag tag group of doe-eyed freshman, but he saw a ferocious and fiery well-oiled machine surge into the tournament finals that first year.
While Zach and co. failed to achieve immortal glory then, as they fell to star-studded Housekeeping, their second-place finish lit a fire under their tubes.
“I think we knew then, as we left the pool, heads down and hearts broken, what our destiny was. To become the most legendary inner-tube team to paddle on the waters of this here earth,” fearsome attacker Katie Kistler PO ’12 said.
And paddle to glory they did. After a grueling 11-10 victory over Pup ‘n Suds in last year’s finals, Zach and All His Friends ran through this year’s competition, winning every game by at least 15 goals.
“We did not want to leave any doubts this year. We are who we thought we were,” Nick “Papa McStuff” Frederick PO ’11 said.
While Zach and co. certainly proved to be the dominant team in this year’s league, KGI’s valiant effort should be commended. The past two seasons, Keck made it to the semi-finals and then lost in that round. This was the school’s first-ever trip to the finals and its best finish in the long and storied history of inner-tube water polo.
“We sent our advance scouts to their semi-final game to work out a game plan. They saw a formidable squad, one that would push our resolve to the brink,” Adam “Red Blur” Kinnard PO ’12, one of Zach’s ten friends, said.
But World Inner-TubeWater Polo Inter-Collegiate Association of Intramural Leagues (WITWPICAIL) MVP Joe LaBriola PO ’12 is too much for any team to handle. LaBriola led Zach and co. in scoring for the third consecutive season, and his patented no-look and behind-the back shots (patent nos. 1,234,567 and 1,301,102, respectively) landed many a bulge in the old onion bag in the final match.
Last season’s free agent acquisitions Nicola Parisi PO ’12 and Morgan Ingemanson PO ’13 teamed up on offense, alongside Kistler and Annie Sahl PO ’12, to create an unstoppable tandem of two-point scorers. Simply put, they could not be stopped. Sahl, who missed the regular season due to her questionable commitment to attending Tuesday night class, came back for the finals and immediately picked up where she left off last season. The KGI defense had no answer to her fierce attacking style.
After the first half of play, Zach and All His Friends held a 14-1 lead. The championship would be theirs.
Or would it?
The win might not have been possible without the team’s fearless leader, coach Jesse Caro PO ’12. Coach Caro, seeing the championship in jeopardy, dove into the pool with two minutes left to play. While this was his first-ever appearance in a game, Coach Caro knew what had to be done.
He magically pulled off the “I can’t get into my tube! How do you get into your tube?!” feint upon entering the pool, directly leading to a missed shot by a KGI player.
And the victory was sealed.
“This win is dedicated to all the coaches that told me I’d never amount to nothing, to all the people that lived above the pools I was tubing in that called the refs on me when I was just trying to make some money to feed my daughters, and all the tubers in the struggle. You know what I’m saying? It’s all good, baby baby,” long-armed defender Will Hummel PO ’12 said.
“I think we stamped our names into the annals of history with this win,” finely-toned goalie Peter Chinman PO ’12 said.
When asked if they would repeat next season and carry on the legend of departing seniors Barnett and Frederick, Hummel said, “Yes.”
Zach and All His Friends’ legend is already spreading, and memory of their momentous achievement will live on, whether through fire-side tales or the scent of a champagne shower emanating from a certain South Campus bathroom.
Ed’s note: All quotes (and many facts) have been fabricated