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Flip Throw-In story (Please tear me a new one)

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by Money007, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. Money007

    Money007 Guest

    Hey guys and gals,
    Had this idea about a high school girl that does a flip throw-in for awhile, but I'm just not sure how well I pulled it off. Is there anything you want to hear more about? Anything you want to hear less about? Hold nothing back!

    Christina Akoh’s throw-in is no normal overhead toss.

    The junior midfielder takes about a 10-yard head start, strides into a handstand with the ball secured between her hands then springs forward like a mousetrap, releasing the ball at the height of her momentum and landing on her feet.

    “It is pretty fun to do,” Akoh said. “Afterwards, I usually just stand on the sideline and wait for the goal.”

    What results from Akoh’s flip-throw is an automatic scoring opportunity for the Lady Warriors and lots of dropped jaws.

    “It is amazing how far she can throw it,” Oconee County senior captain Marianna Moore said. “It is like an extra corner kick. We have scored like four or five goals off of it. Even if it’s not a goal, it’s always a fight for one.”

    Akoh’s weapon assisted a game-clinching goal against Stephens County March 16. It assisted two goals in a 6-0 win over North Oconee in the first game of the season.

    Perhaps most notable, it gets the Oconee County boys team to stop joking around in the press box and pay attention to the girls’ game.

    “It even impresses the guys,” Lady Warriors coach Paul Dallas said. “That is really rare. Everybody loves it. There is a lot of flair and art in soccer. It is part of the beautiful game.”

    Akoh first started attempting the flip-throw in her freshman year at Cedar Shoals, but her fondness for flipping her body upside down developed much earlier.

    “I’ve been doing front hand-springs since the first grade,” she said. “In ninth grade, my coach saw me doing them and mentioned I might be able to do it.”

    After transferring to Oconee County for her sophomore season, Dallas began working with Akoh in refining the flip-throw while she competed on the junior varsity team.

    “We practiced it a little and she got to where she could do it one out of three times,” Dallas said.

    “I kind of fell a lot,” Akoh said. “I wasn’t even touching the ball to the ground. It was like a flip in the air, but really, really low.”

    Dallas moved Akoh to the varsity roster after spring break last season and saw an opportunity to unleash her talent in the second round of the Class AAA state playoffs against Riverwood.

    She pulled it off successfully, minus a small slip on the landing, and gave a talented Lady Warriors’ team yet another weapon.

    “Just seeing her do it was like a goal,” Dallas said. “It was great as far as the intimidation factor. The other team was like, ‘Oh my god.’”

    Between her sophomore and junior seasons, Akoh became worked on it enough that her flip-throw is practically automatic now.

    She said adjusting her hand position and watching a college player do the flip-throw helped perfect her own technique.

    “I had to not hold the ball so close and hold it on the outside of the ball,” she said. “I was watching a girl from Notre Dame do it and I watched how she leaned, less going up and more going out. That helped me.”

    Her teammates have had to adjust, also. An average throw-in in the girls’ game is around 15 yards. Akoh’s is almost double that.

    “The first thing I do is get to the back post,” Moore said. “We didn’t realize how far she could throw it. We would stand in the middle and it would go over our heads.”

    The Lady Warriors’ opponents are starting to take notice.

    “People know it’s coming,” Dallas said. “But then she can throw it short. The next time, they don’t know where it is going.”
  2. Sweetness

    Sweetness Member

    I like it.

    Well-written, clean and kind of a creative angle. That's one of those little details you could see six-or-seven times in a game that would normally get lost in the shuffle. Nice reporting. Kudos.
  3. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    Agree with sweetness. My only question was how rare is this in your area? Maybe a quote from the coach saying how many times he has seen it on other teams, and has he had girls that could this before?

    The whole boys' team watching thing might have been a little forced, but I did enjoy this.
  4. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Good job, money.

    We did a piece on local girl who does flip-throw as lead to our HS soccer preview package last fall ... with sequential photo package of her doing a flip throw and a breakout box with a physics teacher at her high school -- who saw her do it in practice and "was fascinated" by it -- breaking down the "science" of it.
  5. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    Not a bad story at all. One thing: what makes the flip lead to an automatic scoring opportunity? Is it a force issue? Does this flip add velocity? Does it intimidate opposing markers? It would have been nice to get someone, like a coach, to explain just what makes the flip throw more than a fancy parlor trick. Good otherwise.
  6. Money007

    Money007 Guest

    Thanks for the responses guys. It looks like I might need to add a graph or two. How about the length of it? It is just over 600 words. Do I lose anybody at any point?
  7. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    I wouldn't go a lot longer unless you know it's going to be a centerpiece or you're adding a fairly important element.
  8. I remember in the rural outreaches of Virginia there was a kid who could launch the ball on throw-ins. The coach would float his big, 6-1, 6-2 defenders in the box and it was pretty much an automatic goal. Team would then sit on the lead (11 players behind the ball) and score another goal late against the run of play to make for horrible soccer. I wrote a story from the angle of other coaches and how BS a tactic it was.
  9. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Covered a boys state title game this year in which the only goal came off a flip-throw ... into the goal.
  10. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    I really like this, but it needs a photo to illustrate the point.

    Also, in the lede, you use "strides into a handstand" ... strides = walks ... you'd be better off using an active verb like "flips" or "upends" or "twists" to really drive home the action she's taking.
  11. Money007

    Money007 Guest

    There is definitely going to be strong photo support. I have a series of eight shots of her in the process of it that will kind of surround the story - a couple of her not even touching the ground.

    I had been messing with that lede a little bit and was tripped up with the part Cadet mentioned. I'll definitely work on a more descriptive way of working that. Thanks!
  12. Maybe if those coaches spent more time teaching their kids how to friggin' defend in the air instead of bitching to you about "BS tactics" they would have been more successful.

    Just sayin'

    Good story, but the only thing I did wonder was how rare it really is. I've certainly seen flip throws (and most competitive teams have a player that can launch a long throw into the box when the situation warrants it).

    What kind of art are you using?
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