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Dream Team sees the money at HISI; 15-year journey for San Diego team ends with title

The San Diego Dream Team was the big winner in the “Show Me the Money” division at this year’s Hike It & Spike It. (Juliana Halvorson Photo)

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Marc Couch, of the Dream Team, keeps an eye out for the opposing team at the 22nd annual Hike It & Spike It 4-on-4 Charity Flag Football Tournament. After 15 years of competing in the tournament, the San Diego team won first in the “Show Me the Money” division, earning $3,000. (Juliana Halvorson Photo)

After 15 years of trying to see the money and after coming back from the loser’s bracket, Marc Couch was all smiles Sunday after winning the “Show Me the Money” division at the 22nd annual Hike It & Spike It 4-on-4 Charity Flag Football Tournament.
After traveling from San Diego, California, for this year’s tournament, Couch wasted no time rubbing the grand prize of $3,000 in his hands and on his face.
Couch’s journey to win the coveted title was not a smooth one. All that The Dream Team had to do was win against the undefeated Amarillo Ducks in two games Sunday.
The Dream Team won twice, defeating them in the final game 27-18.
“Coming to the championship game, we knew,” Couch said. “We went up 14-0, and everyone had that look in their eyes like eye of the tiger that we weren’t going to lose. No one on our team has ever double-dipped anyone, and for us to do that to win the championship means everything.”
The Dream Team’s first game of the tournament did not start well, as they were soundly beaten by the El Paso Cobras, 34-17. Not only did they lose that game, but they lost their starting defensive back Lester Thomas. Thomas was thrown out for pushing and shoving an El Paso player, and was banned from playing the rest of the tournament.
Thomas said he believes that he should have been given a warning instead of being ejected for the tournament. He noted that it was just a little trash talking and pushing, and that is part of the game of football.
“We were emotionally checked out,” Couch said. “When we lost Lester (Thomas) we were all pretty much devastated.”
Losing to the Cobras put them in the loser’s bracket for the rest of the tournament. If the Dream Team were to win it all, they would have to do so shorthanded and from the loser’s bracket.
Dream Team cameraman Armando Marquez was pressed into action as he batted several passes away during their championship games.
“Dude, I got no worries,” Marquez said. “I was just supposed to come out here and film the games. It’s such an honor to come out here and play with these guys; I’m super excited.”
The Dream Team needed a little luck on their side as they faced the Cobras again, this time their offensive game was in high gear. Both teams moved the ball up and down the field before the game went into double overtime. In double overtime, the Cobras missed an extra point to lose to the Dream Team, 35-34.
In the championship game, the Dream Team played the undefeated Amarillo Ducks. If the Ducks won the first game, they would claim the championship. In the first game, the Dream Team defeated the Ducks, 36-24. The Ducks could not keep up with the speedy Tre’dale Tolver. Tolver could get behind the Ducks defense on a post-corner-post moves all game long.
In the second game, the Ducks deepened their cornerback to stop the post-corner-post by stacking a defender away from the middle of the field to take away the deep passes to Tolver. The Dream Team made an adjustment and countered by throwing the ball underneath to Couch as he scored two touchdowns.
Dream Team quarterback Charles Lozano was not intercepted in both games and threw seven TDs.
“Thank God, I threw just enough touchdown passes to win,” Lozano said. “We got beat the first game bad, but we just stuck together and won.”
Dream Team member Jerry Urias thought the key to winning the championship was winning the first play and every play after that.
As the game ended, HISI organizer Jim Matteucci told several Dream Team players of a game they had won years before when the tank was empty.
One of the players could be heard saying: “Jimmy, the tank’s pretty much empty, now.”
For the Dream Team, they accomplished something they never had done before, coming from the loser’s bracket to win it all.