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Great Western Series Portland 1998 coverage!
Summer is here and the GWS is back at the Enchanted Acres Paintball Park in Scapoose, OR (a bit more than a stones throw from Portland). The teams of the GWS are breaking in a couple of the newly laid out fields that will be the scene for this year's NPPL Portland tournament (replacing Atlanta in the series). Dan and Liz Bonebrake, owners of the field, site recently re-built one of the tournament fields - field one - adding new bunkers, and clearing underbrush. With a hill in the center, b this field can be quite a challenge, the curvature is perfect for shots to lob from one side of the hill to the other so players can fire on unseen opponents. The screen bunkers on the screened spectator side of the field often become pivotal as whichever team controls them has a very good spotting position to call in fire.
The beauty of pacific northwest forest was capped by perfect weather as the 10 player teams hit the fields in the morning for their preliminary games. This year's 10 player turnout was smaller than in the past, with 4 AAA (GWS Amateur) and three AA (GWS Novice) teams in attendance. All of the teams were placed in one division for the round robin preliminary games. Heading into the finals, AAA Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters were the favorite with 605 points followed by Phantom Force II with 547 and Outsiders who had 472. In the AA, KAPP moved into the finals with 429 points followed by Lofty with 300.
Serving as referees were Freaky Intentions, Rat Paq, Raid'n, and Outrage.
The finals were lead by the Outsiders which is a new merged team consisting of players from Ground Zero from central California, and the Hammerheads of Southern California. Both teams had been strong in the GWS in the past, each taking series titles. This melding of teams appears to be a success as they are doing very on a series level. They were followed by Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters, who edged ahead of Phantom Force II by 4 points - one elimination.
The battle for Novice first and second place proved to be very exciting. In their two games, Lofty and KAPP tied their scores. Neither team had penalty points asessed against them in the finals, which is a normal tie breaker. It came down to KAPP having come out of the preliminaries with a higher score to claim the title of first place.
Saturday morning begain overcast with a light rain that didn't manage to penetrate the trees down to the field, but dampened some gear left in truck beds in the parking lot. By mid-day the clouds cleared to sun which brought warmth with it as the teams played their games.
Sunday morning, under sunny skies the teams resumed the preliminary rounds. These games were reffed by Outsiders, Phantom Force Novice, and Knights In Action. The rookie division was too small to go to semi-finals, so the top rookies went straight into finals while the top 6 Amateur and Novice teams played their games to choose the finalists for each division.
Before the finals started, tournament promoter Dan Bonebrake explained that he had a problem. He had and extra STO Autococker that needed to be given away so he decided to hold an auction. The bidding started at one Power Bar. Power Bar, being a sponsor of the tournament had provided plenty of Power Bars, and Power Gel packets for the players. Everyone started searching their pockets for Power Bars to claim the prize. The two main bidding contenders were the Outsiders and Phantom Force. Phantom Force prevailed with some last minute donations claiming the STO with a bounty of over 200 Power Bars. They graciously donated the brand new 'cocker to one of the young members of the novice team Personal Threat.
Phantom Force Red maxed both of their finals games to take the first place trophy, followed by Phantom Force Black and Team America. In the novice division KAPP maxed 2 of three games to claim the title. Rapid fire pulled second maxing one of their games as did thrid place Ground Control who edged out Fatal Swoop/Genesis.
The top finisher in the Rookie division was Rat Paq with a max. Aliens grabbed second, with Ragin Gators in third place.