by Don Dougherty
Last year’s regular season MILL Champions, the New England Blazers, have gotten off to a terrible start and are almost assured to miss the playoffs this year. After winning their season opener against the New York Saints, they have lost three in a row; one to the World Champion Philadelphia Wings, and two to the Baltimore Thunder.
Third year coach Ron Fraser is surprised at his team’s disastrous start because, ‘we definitely have better personnel this year than we did last.” He explains the Z Forces bad start stating, “No one is playing well right now, the whole team has lost its focus. We re not covering our zones very well…we need good sound defense.”
The Blazers appeared to have picked up where they left off last year, winning their first game against the Saints, and then jumping out to a 6— 2 lead against the Wings in their second game just before the end of the first half, and a sloppy third quarter cost them the game. They went on to lose back—to—back games to the Thunder.
When asked if he’d written season off (since the Turbos are 4—0 and the Blazers 1—3) he said, “No, still in this, remember, last year we started 0—2 and won the regular season. Besides, we still have two games left against Detroit , so we ve got our destiny in our own hands.”
Coach Fraser did point out one positive aspect of his team, “We still have a balanced scoring attack, just like last years.” But the retirement of veteran John Fay has hurt the team in the leadership department, and perhaps that is why there no focus on the team. “I’m looking for someone to step forward and lead by example, like Fay did last year, ” he added.
If the Blazers are able to “refocus” they may have an outside chance at making it to the MILL Championship game, but it is doubtful Still, they can make things very interesting, and they did bounce back from an 0—2 start last year to host the Championship game , Don’t count the Z Force out just yet!