The earliest morning since Opening Day! Many were up at sunrise, excited to check their pillow. “I’m on Red!!!”, one announces proudly. “I’m on Gray!!!”, exclaims another.
One cabin might have a split of kids on two teams. But another might have four boys on Gray and just one on Red. The kids have complete understanding of how and why this happens. After all, it’s a draft.
Specifically, there are six Color War divisions: Cubs (Bunks 1-6), Tigers (7-13), Sophomores (14-18), Juniors (19-22), Seniors (23-26), Stars (27, 28, JC’s). Take the Cubs, for example. There are 42 boys, who are secretly divided by the Captains. Captains don’t pay attention to what cabin they live in, if they’re related, or if they’re friends with anyone in particular. They’re picking to win, and this is what makes good, fair competition. And remember – Skylemar Color War is played “on the field”, and stays out of the cabin.
There’s a delicious start to the first morning. It’s the Color War Breakfast Buffet. Some say it’s the best meal of the summer. Following cabin clean-up, Red Team was called to the Mail House, and Gray Team to the Pine Grove. Here, teammates gather for a quick “psych up” rally before heading to the Fred Pierce Field for the official opening of Color War athletic events. The entire camp watched the first inning of Stars Softball (as tradition dictates) before heading out to the various venues for their own activities.
And what a first inning it was! With one out in the top half, Max K launched a majestic shot over the left-center field fence (and trees) for a quick early run. Four batters later, Woods made it 5-0 with a Grand Slam and the power surge was on. Max hit another, Woods did too. So did Shopo and Patrick. Gray Stars never recovered from the start, although Jonny S (twice), Gavyn, and Andrew W went deep as well. In all, 10 homers were hit, but Red won handily.
The tone was certainly set as the rest of the Divisions headed out to the fields and courts for their morning events. The Tigers had two high-scoring football games (63-47, 47-31), filled with great plays by both teams. Ty Marsh and Charlie S controlled much of the offense in one game, and Diego and Justin P did likewise in the other, as Red rolled.
Sophomores split the Golf (Red) and Bocce (Gray) points. Both the golf course and lawn were filled with spectacular shot-making, with the Red duffers proving superior on the links, while the Gray Bocce squad held off a late push to secure their win.
In Junior Soccer at the Hejduk, Daniel S (hat trick) and Sam S scored early to lead Red to a convincing win.
The Seniors spent the morning at Trickey vying for the Waterfront point. There are three facets, with swimming, water skiing, and boating (including both single and double kayaks) counting equally in determining the winner. The Swim part was extremely close as they went to the relays, but Jed anchored teammates Cole, Max, and Jake W in the 100 Free relay to carry Gray to the lead going into the other two parts. Red skiers were just too good, so it came down to the boating races to decide the point. Led by Teddy, Gray’s kayak group overcame an early time deficit to carry his team, and win Waterfront for Gray.
The most exciting spot of the morning, however, belonged to the hockey rink where our littlest guys, the Cubs, provided 3 games of non-stop action. Game 1 saw Jacob R score a hat trick in Gray’s win. In game 2, Sam My had given Gray a 2-0 lead, but Red came back behind a pair of goals from Harry S to win 3-2. Then it really got exciting. Two scoreless periods began Game 3 (Dion and Cash were fantastic in the nets) before Billy F hammered home a slapper from just inside the blue line in the last minute of action to win hockey for Red. Dion got a piece of the shot and had to watch it trickle in. As Red celebrated, our Star of the Game approached Dion with the sweetest compassion for what had transpired, with a consoling arm around him and supportive words for a job well done. Hats off to you, Drew L for showing us the Skylemar way.
The Cubs also shot Archery in between the 3 hockey games. All must shoot to count toward the entire team’s total Archery score.
Whew! -- and that was just the first morning.
Pre-game “psych-up” meetings after a well-deserved lunch and Rest Hour, and we were right back at it again.
All gathered at the Fred Pierce field to begin the afternoon for the Senior Softball tilt this time. Red left the bases loaded in the last inning as Gray held on for the 8-7 victory. Big Shuey had brought them within one with his first post-season dinger, and Eli D homered for Red as well. But after falling behind 3-0, the gritty Gray club used a 2-run single by Logan U to key a 5-run inning that led to Gray’s come-from-behind win.
The Cubs went to Trickey, where Gray won all 3 facets to win Waterfront.
In Tigers baseball, Harrison was the pitching star as Red held on for a tight 3-2 win.
Sophomores had 2 games of Hockey, and shot Archery as well. Alex D scored the lone goal in Red’s 1-0 win in Game 1, which saw spectacular goalie play from both Corbin and Dylan M. Hunter G and Luke Sol provided the offense for Red in the Game 2 win. However, the referees were most impressed by the all-around hustle and unsung play of Will P and Ethan F.
In Junior Lacrosse at the Hejduk, Red dominated. This was very much a team win, as at least 7 different goal-scorers provided more than enough offense to win.
This time, it was the oldest guys that left a buzz throughout camp as Gray pulled off not one, but 2 last-second miracles to win both Stars Football games. In one game, Jordan GK took Gray down the field, and Jack W made an amazing catch of a tipped, then bobbled ball in the back corner of the endzone on the very last play to win 44-38. In the other, early interceptions by Kappy and Josh, along with great QB play from Captain David had given Red a nearly insurmountable 36-point lead, only to watch Gray scrap and claw their way back within 6 points with under a minute to go. With 23 seconds left, Captain Blake intercepted, then ran the ball 50 yards to “the house” to tie the game; Luke’s kick sealed the most incredible comeback in Skylemar history, 64-62.
If that wasn’t enough, tonight’s annual Ping Pong event went down to the very last match. With the entire camp watching Center Court inside the very tense Rec Hall, Sam H won it for Gray, completing one of the wildest Day 1s in Color War lore.
And we’re just getting started…..