Two weekends ago the Knights Hall crew rolled out of the north with a fury that hasn’t yet been seen in American Steel Fighting. Perhaps I’m biased because they are boys but I don’t think I’ve seen that sort of dominance, even when the Striking Eagles or the Russians have taken to the lists. We’ve been called the Mordor of the sport before and I think we earned our Death Knight reputations with the recent performance. Over the course of the weekend we fought our southern neighbors twice once in a Chapter Match and once in a regional meet done with chapter match scoring. New England Executioners proved the name was no mere boast with an 11 to 2 victory over the Atlanctic First swords and the Nashua Knightmares performed much the same feat the next day with a 11 to 3 victory over the New York Sentinels.
These victories stand out pretty strongly on their own but when you consider both were down away from home and out manned they seem even more striking. I won’t claim false modesty and say that I’m not boasting of these achievements because I am. I’m supremely proud of my teams and the display of violence they put on. We were on top form both days and while I don’t want to gloat I do want to revel in that victory.
This is not meant to take anything away from my southern brothers and sister. They fought hard and well. Sam Awry gave me the best Long Sword match we’ve had yet, taking 1 round, ceding me 1 and splitting a third at the Sentinel match after kicking my ass in a friendly the day before. Ray Whitte took shot after shot from our biggest bruisers and kept coming. Damion was his usual pesky self sneaking into our back field and wrecking havoc. On a 1 to 1 level the south represented themselves well.
What they couldn’t match was the precision and team work that began to show over the course of the day. We’ve always had a exceptional level of violence with Jaye and Cat brutalizing any victims they could get their hand on. With the addition of Al, the crippler(he’s retired 3 fighters for the day in 5 events)and Brandon finding his stride with the short axe there isn’t a domestic team that can match our punishment output. And it became clear how much of an advantage that was as the rest of the team opened hips, legs, and backs for attack letting the chopping begin. Throughout the course of both days we were able to work 2 on 1 take downs, switch opponents, control the field, and enforce our will through a united front that was just not something that could be matched.
On Saturday Andre, the captain of the striking eagles joined the Executioners, who were out manned, giving us a significant advantage. However in the third melee set both he and Jaye, probably our most valuable asset, joined the Sentinels for a set. We took 2 of 3 rounds that set despite having lost two of our biggest threats to the opposition and our third biggest threat having just fought a singles set(the most draining aspect of this sport). There were certainly other mitigating factors over the weekend and I wouldn’t be prideful enough to say this would be the outcome every time. I do think though it shows the work we’ve been putting in at the hall pays off. More than anything else I was able to think, to see, and consider and choose my actions from a toolbox we’ve put together. I wasn’t just out there running around trying random things hoping they’d be useful as I’ve felt in the past. And having watched the tape I know there wasn’t a member of my team in that boat.
While there were dozens of highlight moments I want to call out one in particular. On Sunday both the Sentinels and the Knightmares gave two brand new females fighters a chance to shine in the melee with the big boys. They both earned mad respect. In addition, the first female singles in chapter match history happened and that was pretty cool. So hats off to both you girls for helping to lead the way for females in this sport domestically.