It’s Tournament Day at Camp Skylemar! Bacon Fest, Volleyball and Fresh/Soph Tennis.
The Snow Field was festival-like and exciting, with eight teams of Cubs and Tigers competing in a Skylemar favorite, Steal the Bacon. The intensity of these little guys drew a big crowd of spectators. Those not playing could also try Wiffleball, Jackpot, Kan Jam, Mini Lax, Frisbee Golf or Speed Test. Music blasted from giant speakers, and Blake came down with his Gatorade truck. Seniors and Stars had a Volleyball tournament of their own. Meanwhile, Freshmen and Sophomores held a tennis tourney on the eight courts. Needless to say, we had a lot going on.
Steal the Bacon (aka “STB”) is played on a grass "court" with players from two teams facing each other, each assigned a number (1-5 with 5 on a side). A tennis ball (the bacon) is placed in the center between the two team player lines. The ref calls a number, and the two opponents try to grab the bacon and bring it back across their line without being tagged. There’s a lot more to it (ask your son), but that’s the basic premise. When the two players approach the center, the focus and concentration run deep. Should they grab the ball and run, or just fake the other out?
There’s something special about STB being reserved for the youngest guys in camp. Playing it competitively is a rite of passage that most of our older guys have gone through, and they respect how seriously the Cubs and Tigers take the game.
Today, each team was given the opportunity to play two games that would help determine seeding for the tournament. JC DMan's team got off to a strong start to the round robin play, as Max P, Dillon F, Nolan B, Myles F, Cooper F, Jero and Javier all had impressive performances. It came down to JCs Noah and DMar's teams for the championship. Even though Chase W and Myer only had a few days to learn the game, they were key players for Noah. After two hard fought games, Team Markulics emerged victorious as Skylemar's 2021 STB champions. Oscar L-R, Hayes and Amir were the three stars of the championship match, with Ethan V, Caesar B-H, Thomas L and KJ crucial contributors as well. Coach DMar credited team chemistry and friendship as their keys to success.
Meanwhile, on the Volleyball court…
Eight teams from the Seniors and Stars Divisions competed in a single elimination volleyball tournament. The bracket was arranged with Stars on one side, and Seniors on the other.
In the championship match, it was Sam S, Aidan F, Bennett R, Ethan K, Luke A and Joey M of the Stars competing against Seniors Alex B, Isaac G, Charlie P, Jack P, Leo D, and Zay-Zay. The Stars got off to a fast start, taking an 11-3 lead before the Seniors came roaring back. Isaac G's 8-point serving run was almost enough to complete the comeback, but the Stars held on for the 21-19 championship win.
Then over on the Tennis courts…
Fifty-four Freshmen and Sophomores signed up to compete in the tennis tournament. The tone was set right from the start, as the tennis staff explained exactly how to cheer (quietly and respectfully) and whose responsibility it is to call balls in/out (the participants in the match only). It was an awesome display of player development and personal style. Several matches went to tiebreaker rounds, and eventually only Gaines, Holden F, Charlie F, and Will S remained.
After two more very close, competitive semifinal matches, identical twins Holden and Charlie advanced to the championship round. It took a tiebreaker to decide it as the evenly matched pair battled it out to the finish, with Holden ultimately claiming the title.
Evening Activity was a surprise guest performer. A professional magician dazzled us all, especially when he made red Gatorade (from Blake’s truck, assumably) come out of a light bulb. What a way to wrap up a great day!