It was a busy night for the Captains and Star Lieutenants. The teams were drafted by 1am, and then it was time for the magical part: “pinning”. Leaders went into each cabin and put the appropriate colored ribbon under the pillow of teammates. A challenging job for sure!
Some try to wait up, but it’s like the Tooth Fairy. Good things come to those who sleep as they should. It was definitely the earliest wake-up of the summer, with most out and about long before 7am. “What team are you on?” was asked a thousand times.
Breakfast was extra fantastic. It was the Opening Day Color War Buffet! Eggs, bacon, French toast sticks, waffles, yogurt, sausage, hash browns, home fries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, melon, bagels, muffins and donuts. The SkyKitchen crew is the greatest!
Following our usual Inspection, it was finally time…. “Red Team to the Tennis Courts, Gray Team to the Pine Grove” for the first of many “psych-up” meetings to begin what we hope to be an exciting, action-packed 5 days of spirited competition all over camp, from the waterfront to the fields of Sky II, and every venue in between.
Red and Gray leaders led their teams to the Fred Pierce Field where both teams settled in to watch the first inning of the Stars division (Bunks 27 and up) Softball game before heading out to compete in their own Day 1 activities, just as we have since our first Color War back in 1949. There, after the ceremonial first pitch (Cory tossed a perfect strike!) and Shep’s traditional call of “Play Ball!”, this year’s edition was under way.
And it didn’t take long to create some “noise”, as Eli D went deep in the top of the first inning (the first of his two big shots) for a quick 2-0 Gray lead. In the bottom half, leadoff man Captain Shuey took the 2nd pitch he saw into the left field trees, and after tacking on a few more, Red was off and running... all the way to a 15-9 win. Home run hitters included Logan U and Ash (his first ever) for Red, while Gray Captain Max (also his first ever) joined Eli in homering for his side.
The Seniors (Bunks 24-26) opened their week at the Waterfront, where Gray proved too fast in both the swimming and kayak races, led by strong performances from Tyler M, Daniel S, Charlie D, Vern, Peter B and Texas. Josh S and Jackson A won races for Red.
On the Soccer pitch over at the Hejduk, Sam F and Nate Z scored in Red’s 2-0 Juniors (Bunks 20-23) victory, although Reece was spectacular in the goal for Gray in a very well-played contest.
Gray dominated in Sophomore Golf, winning 7 of the 10 matches, and sweeping Bocce.
In Tiger Football, both games were lopsided affairs, with each team getting a win. In one game, Charlie S was all over the field in leading Red, while Ty M did the same for Gray. In the other, Aaron P and Jackson R were an unbeatable QB-WR combo for Gray.
The most exciting place to be this morning though was the Hockey rink, where 3 games were played in the Cubs division (Bunks 1-8). In Game 1, goals by Red’s Oliver D and Jacob R, backed by stellar play in the net by Leo T, shutout the Gray. In Game 2, Billy F and Aidan R traded goals before Harry S netted the game winner for Gray. By the time Game 3 was played to determine the Cubs Hockey point, all other morning activities were complete, so the “arena” was packed with supporters from both sides, wildly cheering our littlest guys. Although Gray won this deciding game, what really impressed all in attendance was the amazing improved level of play from our youngest competitors, a true testament to the expert work by our incredible hockey staff in working with this group, many of whom had never ever had a stick in their hands.
As we broke for lunch, Gray held a slim lead, with plenty of afternoon action to come.
With the threat of weather issues looming in the forecast, “rest hour” really wasn’t that long, and Shep pushed up the schedule a bit, hoping to get in all the afternoon activities. As usual, his barometer was “spot on” as we did just that, beating the rain by a whisker to finish all scheduled events….and wow, did we jam in some more Opening Day excitement!
The Cubs headed down to Trickey, where the Gray won both the swim and ski portions to carry the Waterfront.
Two Tiger Baseball games – each team got a win. In Game 1, Harrison and Caleb W combined to hurl a shutout for Red, but Josh B (2 Home runs) and Charlie K led the offense in Gray’s Game 2 win.
Again, Hockey provided another 3-game intensity as the two teams tied the first game 1-1, then saw Red win Game 2 convincingly 4-0 with netminder Justin P in the cage. Game 3 again would decide it, and Ben B proved the hero by scoring the lone goal in Red’s 1-0 victory.
In the first Lacrosse action of this Color War, Gray survived a thrilling 9-8 nail-biter, with Alex D showing the way for Gray while Ethan K left it all on the field for the underdog Red in a memorable effort.
Senior Golf again showed Gray’s dominance on the links, and they added another Bocce win as well.
But the Stars had the most emotional ride this afternoon, as both Football games left the winner in doubt until the very end. In one game, Jake G ran and passed to lead the way, with both Izzy and Ethan Si on the receiving end of a pair of TD catches each, in a 54-49 Red win. The other game came down to the last play to decide it, as Gray stopped Red on the goal line to win it 80-78 in maybe the highest scoring football game in CW history. Beside the 2 Captain quarterbacks, Blake starred for the Red, and Pablo M for the Gray, scoring multiple TDs each.
What a fantastic start to this year’s Color War! But wait, we weren’t quite done with Day 1 yet. Ping Pong Night (another 69-year Skylemar tradition on Day 1) got us amped up again as several players in each division went head-to-head in the Rec Hall this evening…on 3 tables simultaneously, battling for supremacy, and another CW point. Red reminded all that they have plenty of fight in them, winning the point to draw a bit closer... stay tuned!