By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)
To mitigate the hunger of a fan base starved for more Kronum League action, we’ll be bringing brief weekly updates of current adult rec league action, in addition to a weekly question-and-answer session. For further Kronum information, you can check out the league’s official website at www.kronum.com.
To get a different perspective for this week’s Q&A, we sat down with Aidan Obrecht, who was first introduced to the sport through the high school rec league while at Chichester HS in Boothwyn, PA. Aidan now plays in the adult rec league, currently for the Twerk Horses, and is one of the leading ambassadors for the sport through social media. We discussed the transition between the high school and adult rec games and how to increase visibility of Kronum as a whole.
Back when you were playing in the high school league, I assume you were repping the Kronum gear, trying to recruit, etc. What was the reaction of people at school or friends you talked to about this new emerging sport?
I actually played soccer here at Maple Zone growing up so I was able to get most of my friends who I played soccer with to come out and play. Then, I told everybody at my high school about it, and one other group at my high school got a whole team going. It was spreading around school very quickly. But I graduated after that one year [of playing kronum], and going back, and now no one really knows anything about it.
So with your group of friends, everyone came out all at once and it was pretty well-recognized. But once you all moved on, it just completely dropped off. What do you think would be a solution to help it stick around?
I’ve heard all this talk about the new portable nets coming into effect and I think a lot of it will come from that. You need someone young to be able to go in and introduce the sport, establish the fundamentals, and get a foot in the door. Get somebody to really put the time in over the long haul to make it stick. Once I graduated, it really fell out of the equation. I wish I would have found out about it my sophomore year so I could get momentum going into the next year and the next year and so on. Get more people involved.
Now you’re playing with the adult rec league. What in your mind was the biggest transition in gameplay between the high school and adult leagues?
Speed. (Long pause) Speed.
Was there ever an occasion where an opposing player did something, maybe you were trying to defend, and you just thought, ‘Wow, I’m not in the high school league anymore’?
Just playing against guys like Scott Kennedy, Kyle McGrath, Matt Parsons, all the captains, their knowledge just hit me. In the high school league, unless you’d really known about Kronum before, you really didn’t know what to do strategy-wise. For instance, the goal zone was kind of non-existent at the high school level. So that [usage of the goal zone as a weapon] kind of blew my mind. I was playing wedgeback at the time, and I started to recognize that, while they’re also able to throw it right by me.
Was there one moment you could really pinpoint that you were putting things together and say, ‘I’m starting to get this’?
I built my own net [at home] actually, out of PVC and everything. It was in-between the spring and the summer between rec league seasons. I took hours at a time learning how to jump throw because I was a feet guy primarily. So I kept working on that jump throw and used the hook throw on occasion too. I remember coming into that next league and it immediately translated into results.
You stepped onto that field, made that first jump throw, and said to yourself, ‘Alright, I can do this’?
I took my first hook throw and it actually bounced off the bottom of the crown and went out of bounds. So while it didn’t quite work out, I still couldn’t have done that before. So I took the steps to make the slight corrections and make it go in the net next time.
Given your involvement on social media, as far as the sport as a whole growing, what do you think would be the number one thing to help improve visibility?
In all honesty, the portability of the nets. I read how Kyle McGrath talked about needing that backyard element and getting it to spread that way. It’s spread among Delaware County, Chester, Bucks, Neshaminy [High School] it’s really catching fire. We just need that grassroots elements to come up and let it spread.
Finally, what would be the ultimate goal for you personally?
Personally, I want to make the pro league at some point. I started putting on mass as much as I could, so I’m thinking maybe not this upcoming pro league but maybe the next. Not just as a player but as a fan, I want to see the sport progress. You know that everything you do helps this sport take a step forward and it means a lot.
This interview was slightly edited for conciseness and clarity.
Adult Rec League Week 7 Action
(5-2) The Prospectors 77 (3-5) Farris Wheels 64
The wheels came off early for the Farris squad as the Prospectors built a 20-point lead in the first half, which quickly ballooned to 30 in the second stanza. The Wheels did make a late charge as Kevin Marron drilled not one, but two 8-point kronums late in the game to pull his team within 10 points. However, Dan Geiger buried a penalty shot to stem the tide and the Prospectors rolled on.
(6-2) The Prospectors 118, (1-7) Ole Miss Alum 68
With Ole Miss locked into the 9th seed and eliminated from playoff contention, one might have thought they would rally for one last-ditch strong performance to end the year. The Prospectors had other things in mind though, as Drew Amoroso got the offensive onslaught started early with an 8-point kronum. With it still a one-possession game at halftime, Dan Geiger then turned things up in the second half with an 8-pointer of his own. The combination of Geiger in the middle and Anthony Barbera on the outside flex piled on the points for what turned into a laugher. The Prospectors will carry the top seed into next week’s playoffs.
(5-2) Dirty Mike and the Boys 69, (4-4) nWo 60
Down five points in the final minute, nWo had two shots at a game-winning 8-point kronum to overtake the Boys and end the regular season on a winning note. Unfortunately for the wrestling buffs, Jim Bradley’s attempt just missed off the bottom portion of a ring and Joe Ferrigno’s follow off a rebound was saved low of the crown. Out of timeouts, and thus unable to foul, nWo looked on as Dirty Mike and the Boys ran off the clock for a well-earned victory.
(3-5) Urban Legends 89, (5-3) Dirty Mike and the Boys 84
Despite a big game from Jeff Emme, who continued the kronum-heavy night with 8-pointers in both the first and second half, the Boys didn’t have enough to overcome a strong effort from the Legends. Mike Ragan, Kevin Glover, and Mike Ragan carried the Legends’ offense throughout the game, although the Boys fought back to make it a one-possession game in the final minute. However, Joe Petrino’s attempt in the final seconds banged off the crown and the Urban Legends held on for the win.
(5-3) Bronum 57, (4-3) Twerk Horses 50
This game was a defensive battle throughout the contest with neither team able to separate themselves and build much of a lead. In the closing moments with the Horses down 4, Kyle McGrath leapt from the cross zone for the potential game-tying points but the shot ricocheted off the crown into the waiting arms of Bronum’s Shaun Stevens. Stevens converted the penalty shot and one final effort by the Horses’ Brian Concio to win the game with an 8-pointer was saved by Ryan McGlensey. Game, Bronum.
(5-3) Air Pops 91, (4-4) Twerk Horses 59
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the Pops were led offensively by the tandem of Mike Quintans and Matt Parsons, with everyone else chipping in with some shots from the flex and plenty of backdoor dunks. That recipe and their usual tenacity on the defensive end carried the Pops to victory as it has for the majority of this regular season. With the Horses playing the late games and a back-to-back, they looked to run out of gas in the second half, going on a long scoring drought as the Pops brought the game open. Both teams will be in a crowded middle of the pack and are capable of making some noise in the playoffs.