Friday, December 19, 2008

Week 7 Result

Derech Etz Chaim played Lobos, one of the best teams in the league, in Week 7. They showed their potential and issued a warning to the rest of the league that DEC is not a team to underestimate. DEC won the first game 14-6, and even though they lost the second game 13-12 on a controversial call, they came away with a moral victory on the night.

Next, DEC takes on Ohr Dovid in Week 9.

Here are the highlights from Week 7 vs. Lobos...

Friday, December 05, 2008

AFI Weeks 1-6 are in the books

Derech Etz Chaim are keeping pace with the front-runners after 6 weeks of play in the AFI season. They currently sit in tenth place with two games in hand on the leaders. You can now find current standings on the blog.

DEC has posted the following results:
Week 1: DEC 15-7 Dan Cohen/DEC 6-6 Dan Cohen
Week 2: DEC 12-6 Pizzeria Efrat/Pizzeria Efrat 13-7 DEC
Week 4: DEC 15-0 Klein Management/DEC 25-6 Klein Management
Week 6: DEC 33-0 J Caf?/DEC 26-6 J Caf?

This Motzei Shabbos DEC will play against fifth-place Lobos, the highest ranked team that has played only eight games, so the boys will have a great challenge in front of them, but also an opportunity to make a statement of their intentions this season.

Here are some highlights from earlier this season:

Sunday, November 02, 2008

DEC Football Renovations

In preparation for the new AFI season we've done some renovations to the DEC Football blog that we think you'll enjoy.

Keeping up to date with the team has never been easier. You can now subscribe to the blog's RSS feed through the widget found near the top-right of the page.

In our links section just below the RSS widget is a new link to a Google Map of Kraft Stadium and the yeshiva. For those who plan on visiting the yeshiva and catching a football game, the Google Map can be used as a tool to get directions to the stadium. Just click on the marker by Kraft Stadium, click "Get directions: To here", and then type in the address you want to start from. Even if you don't plan on visiting any time soon, the map gives you a good visual idea of where the yeshiva and stadium are.

We've also added a widget which makes sharing blog posts and videos with your friends and family easier than ever. Whether your preferred method of online communication is through email, instant message or Facebook, you'll be able to spread word of Derech Etz Chaim triumph across the web in seconds.

There's a fun map we've added as well which shows all the exotic places we're getting hits from. Believe it or not, we're getting hits from places as far away as Tasmania and Singapore.

We're well aware that everyone is waiting for news of the season's first few results, and that will be posted in the coming days. Until then enjoy the new features.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Round-Robin Stage Recap (Games 15-17)

After the first phase of the AFI season, which consisted of fourteen "games", Derech Etz Chaim finished as one of the top 32 teams in the league, qualifying for the group stage. In contrast to previous seasons when the round-robin groups were determined mathematically using each team's position in the standings, this season the league took into account which day each team plays their games, either Friday or Saturday night, when forming the groups. Saturday night has historically been the day with the hardest competition, and so DEC ended up in what the league reported as likely the toughest group out of the eight.

The other three teams in DEC's group are Lev Hatorah, Croton Watches, and Tov Pizza, the defending Holyland Bowl Champions. The group stage would consist of one fifty-minute game against each of the other three teams in the group with three points awarded for a win, one point for a tie and zero points for a loss. The teams with the two best point totals after the six games played in the group would advance to the Holyland Bowl playoffs, a feat that DEC had never previously achieved.

After receiving byes the last few weeks of the regular season to celebrate the marriage of captain Eli Mirlis, DEC began the group stage in Week 13(December 29) against Tov Pizza without their honeymooning captain.

DEC walked the walk with the defending champs for a half. The defense's goal-line stand helped maintain a 13-13 halftime score. It didn't stay that way for long, though, as Tov Pizza came out firing in the second half and DEC could not come up with an answer.

A 40-13 loss was not the way DEC wanted to open the group stage, but if they could afford a loss, it had to come at Tov Pizza's hands. A loss in the first game meant that DEC's last two games would both be must-win games and they no longer held their fate in their own hands.

DEC's first must-win game was in Week 14(January 5) against Croton Watches. Some strategic alterations to the defensive lineup led to shut-out domination in the first half. The offense was in sync, posting 35 first-half points.

The nice cushion allowed the back-ups to see some playing time before the final whistle closed out a 56-6 statement-maker.

With the understanding that the chances of Tov Pizza losing to Lev Hatorah were minuscule, a DEC win over Lev Hatorah in Week 15(January 12) would almost certainly clinch a spot in the Holyland Bowl playoffs. Difficult as it may have been, the team overcame the butterflies in their stomachs and the weight on their shoulders to post an impressive 26-6 victory. Here are some highlights...

With Tov Pizza's win over Lev Hatorah in Week 16(January 19), DEC has officially qualified for the knockout stage of the Holyland Bowl playoffs for the first time in program history. Tov Pizza finished atop the group with nine points and DEC finished second with six points; Croton Watches and Lev Hatorah will fight out the last two spots in Week 17. The draw for the Holyland Bowl playoffs will take place following Week 17 play, with the playoffs expected to begin in Week 18. As a second place finisher in the group stage, DEC will be drawn against a team who finished in first place. Although it has not been confirmed, we believe that, because DEC plays on Saturday night, they will be drawn against a team who finished first in a group of teams who play on Friday.

We're going to try to provide bigger and better coverage for this special occasion. We've added interactive polls on the right side of this page; be sure to participate in the one which asks about improved coverage of the playoffs. If you are or someone you know is in Israel and interested in video taping a playoff game, please send an email to We are always looking for volunteers to help record games; game footage is one of the best ways to offer our readers access to the game.

We'd like to thank our readers for remaining loyal through the lean years and hope that this playoff birth has made it all worth it. Feel free to leave comments and stay tuned for further playoff coverage.