Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pick your playoff run

Two fantastic runs to the quarterfinals. But what if there could be only one?

The Arroyo Grande boys basketball team went from wild card to CIF-Southern Section Division II title contender with three straight upsets before falling in the quarters this past winter.

And Tuesday, the Eagles boys volleyball team gained entry into the round of eight for the first time in school history by beating Santa Ynez in convincing fashion after a first-round romp and a PAC 7 championship regular season.

Which one is more special? Which will be more memorable? Normally, those questions might not be very relevant, but two of the team's key players in the runs for each team are two in the same.

Seniors Daniel Wrage and James Tringham came up big in both sports. Which one would they choose?

Wrage honestly ranked the basketball run as his best memory. The team won on some of his own late-game heroics. And the underdog story of a fifth-place team that squeaked into the playoffs with an at-large bid was dangerously close to becoming an instant legend.

Without picking a preference, Tringham felt special being a part of Arroyo Grande boys volleyball's deepest playoff run to date. The Eagles beat San Luis Obispo in six of the eight games between the two teams. Now everything they do is setting a new program standard.

"We had a good year, we won league and now we're in the playoffs," Tringham said. "I don't want to say this is expected, but this is fun."

I was ready to give my own judgement and tell everyone which playoff run is more important to the school and the respective sports in the long run, but, as Wrage reminded me, volleyball isn't finished yet.

I'll hold off on a decision before seeing what Arroyo Grande can do against Santa Barbara on Friday. But that doesn't mean you have to.

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