The anticipation had ended…the wait was finally over!
Late last night, in a clandestine session with Shep, our newly elected Captains Jack (Red) and Daniel (Gray) selected their teams. The excited participants awoke this morning to find a Red or Gray ribbon pinned to their pillows, and most poured out of their cabins to share their fortune with teammates from all over camp well before reveille.
But first, from Chef Junior and his staff….our own Breakfast of Champions - aka the world-famous “Red and Gray Buffet”, which annually kicks off this very special week of events.
About an hour later, the call was heard -- ”Red Team to the Pine Grove, Gray Team to the Mail House” for the first of many “psych-up” meetings expected over the next 5 days, before being led by their leaders to the Fred Pierce Field. Traditionally both teams settle in there to watch the opening inning of the Stars Division (Bunks 29, 30 and JCs) Softball game (more on this game later) before heading out to compete in their own Division’s morning contests. After the ceremonial “first pitch” from super Bunkster Patty, umpire Shep proclaimed, ”Play Ball”, and Color War 2018 was off and running.
And what an opening day it was….
The Cubs (Bunks 1-7) had three morning Hockey games – Jacob R had 5 goals to lead Gray to a game 1 victory, but games 2 and 3 went the other way to carry the Cubs Hockey point for Red.
Tiger Football (Bunks 8-14) saw the teams split 2 games. Nick S and Simon starred for Gray in its 52-42 win in one game, despite several dazzling runs by Landon R for Red. In the other game, QB Ben K and Fernando were a dynamic duo as Red dominated, although Toby had a spectacular kickoff return TD for Gray.
The Sophomores (Bunks 15-19) were on the SkyLinks, where Red won 7 of 10 matches to win Golf; and at the Bocce garden, where Gray won in convincing fashion.
Over at the Hejduk, the Juniors (Bunks 20-24) played two terrific Soccer games, both going Red’s way. Elijah and Sam M were outstanding for the winners while Rohan kept Gray in it with some incredible goalie play (which went his way when back in the net in a Lax win in the afternoon).
The Seniors (Bunks 25-28) were down at Trickey where Gray pulled out the win. Only a few seconds difference in the Kayak race proved the difference for Gray after splitting the Waterski and Swimming portions of the competition.
Back to the Stars Softball game at the Freddie Pierce….at least that’s where everyone ended up after their morning contests were complete, as this game seemed to go on forever. Red had built a huge lead behind a monster 4th inning which saw big Pablo, Lucas, and Jake go deep with back-to-back-to-back home runs. Their 8-run lead became only 5 when Captain Daniel smacked a 3-run dinger in the 7th, but Red was still in control as they added an insurance run and brought an 11-5 lead to the bottom of the 9th. In one of the most uncanny, improbable last half innings ever seen, Gray somehow kept the inning alive despite a spectacular catch in center field by Charlie D for out #2. The Gray just wouldn’t give up, scratching and clawing their way back as 11 hitters came to the plate (with 5 straight singles from the back end of the order) in a stunning comeback in front of the entire camp – to win 12-11.
WOW …and that was just the first morning!
The teams broke for lunch, rested, and after another quick team pep rally, were back at it again, out on the fields and courts at venues all over camp.
At Trickey, Red won the Swimming portion, then Gray paddlers won the boating races. Gray skiers broke the tie to win Cubs Waterfront.
The Tigers split a Baseball doubleheader. After Red had already polished off game 1, Alex N provided a walk-off, two-run base hit to win game 2 for Gray, 2-1.
Red Sophomores won 2 of 3 Hockey games in the afternoon as well, with Charlie S (5 goals) adding to his Color War legacy at the rink.
The Juniors split two Lacrosse games at the Hejduk. Aiden F and Tre’ were defensive stalwarts for Gray, while Teddy S and Dylan Mklcs stood out for Red.
The Senior Golf and Bocce points were split, as once again Gray dominated Bocce as Red golfers prevailed out on the course.
The Stars split two high-scoring Football games. In one game, the sting of the morning’s Softball loss was mitigated by an unstoppable offense led by Big Shuey as the Red put up a record 96 points. But in the other, Elliot and Tex helped provide a highlight reel full of great plays in a 9-point Gray victory.
The two teams finished the first day’s outdoor events, with only a point separating them….with the traditional first night Ping Pong competition on tap this evening.
And what an evening it was….some of the most exciting moments of the day packed into the Rec Hall for just a few hours. Back and forth they battled, 3 matches played simultaneously, side by side, 21 matches in all…. til we were tied with only two matches left. In a best 2 out of 3 games match, with each player winning a game, Ethan S needed overtime to win game 3 and the Ping Pong point for Gray.
End of Day 1 and we’re all tied up! If this is any indication of what’s to come….we’re in for quite a ride!