Last night, two nightball superstars met for the first time in over a year as Adam Daimler (of the Lutherville Bulls) and Yancey Fellows (of the Columbia Arrows) found themselves on opposite sides of the gulch, at least for half the match. At midpoint, Daimler invoked a power play to compel Fellows over to his side, and the two played the remainder of the contest as teammates. “It’s nice to see,” said Harold Nicks, the manager of the Arrows. “Adam and Yancey go way back. They were rookies together in the legendary 8 (C) Protection. And here they are again.”
When the match started, Daimler picked a twelve o’clock position, which consigned Fellows to six o’clock. Speed to the center was of the essence, and speed is something Damiler still has, though he was helped immensely by Samuel Zalon, a second-year player who, in his short career, has been scapegoat twice and sky-topper once. The score soared from 7 (C) to 8 (B), and even a secondary letter adjustment could not slow the Bulls. Fellows, defending, enlisted the assistance of six-foot-four stalwart Oscar Howerton and his wife Anna, a former volleyball player who, after a rocky start, has learned to use her long legs and quickness from corner to corner to cover most of the stations of the court. “I was proud to be singled out,” said Anna. “But at the same time, I had to be careful, because I had a feeling the power play was coming. You don’t want to put Yancey two or three up if Adam is coming right back with a reclamation.”
“It’s not personal,” added Oscar. “You can extend aid. That’s part of the nature of a first half. Just know that when you go and get it back, you’re flattening the same circle that your team used to establish its position.”
THE TOP PANEL MANEUVER
The Howertons began the second half with an offer out to Zalon, who rebuffed them by way of a stick-to-stand maneuver. Without Fellows, they turned to Charles Penner, who recently returned to action after a broken nose sustained when the rookie Christopher Byford opened a top panel into his face. “I forgive Chris,” Penner said. “It was an accident, but it also gave me a chance to rethink my game. I think I had been depending too much on denial and not enough on adoption. You have to balance the mental and physical aspects of the game, or you’re nothing more than an automaton. That was something I couldn’t have known when I was Chris’s age, or even Sam Zalon’s.”
The final sequence, which put Lutherville up 4 (A) – 8 (A), was one of the most inspiring of the season, with a Whirlwind, a Threat, and a Ground all in rapid succession, followed by Fellows and Daimler collaborating on a Run of the Mill. “It took me back to the good old days,” said Fellows, who then struck the Lifter pose fans will remember from the Eruption Cup series that followed his first Player of the Year award.
Lutherville, now atop its division, visits Porter two weeks from next Wednesday, with Columbia hosting Otherworld Falls later today.