Last night, while all were asleep, the Captains drafted the Color War teams for 2022. It’s a complex and strategic process, with intentional decisions made with one goal in mind…to win. Commissioner Shep oversees, but he plays no role in the selections.
Following the Draft, the magic happened. Long past midnight, the Captains and their assistants “pinned” the pillows of their teammates with the appropriately-colored ribbon. The significance of this tiny slice of Red or Gray fabric is something that only a Skylemar camper or alum truly understands.
A few tried to stay up, but like with the Tooth Fairy, most knew it wise to go to sleep. That’s because in the morning, there’s a fantastic surprise to find.
Beginning at sunrise we heard them shouting, “I’m on Red!”, “I’m on Gray!”, “What team are you on?” -- over and over and over… as energetic and exciting as the first day of camp, and way before reveille had sounded.
Red & Gray Breakfast Buffet – the meal everyone’s been waiting for all summer! The Sky Chefs and their assistants put on a huge spread of eggs, bacon, sausage, French toast sticks, hash browns, muffins, cinnamon rolls, bagels, and an enormous fresh-cut fruit salad. It’s a delicious way to kick off Color War 2022!
After breakfast and the usual morning inspection, and with another spectacular Maine weather day in store… “Gray Team to the Mail House, Red Team to the Pine Grove” – the anticipated call for the official opening finally came. The teams gathered for the first of several pre-session “psych up” meetings, where each team surrounded its leaders. Inside the circles, words and cheers of inspiration and encouragement came pouring out of each Captain and his Stars support staff before all headed down to the Fred Pierce Field, home to the traditional opening event, the Stars Softball game.
After a few formalities, Umpire Shep bellowed “Play Ball!” as Red took the field (Chilltop Director Mary Beth threw the ceremonial first pitch). It didn’t take long for Gray to jump out front when 3rd hitter Soren tattooed the first pitch he saw high into the left center field trees with a man on for a quick 2-0 lead. In the bottom half though, Red’s Isaac G led off with a homer of his own before Captain Jack blasted one well up in the treetops behind the left field fence to tie it up 2-2. Eventually Red pulled away for an 11-5 victory, although Caleb W also went deep for Gray. After the first inning was complete, all participants scattered to venues all over camp to begin the 5 days of Red v Gray Divisional play.
The Cubs had a pair of games at the Hockey courts – James T scored twice in a 3-0 win in one game, while Alex K tallied the lone goal for a 1-0 game 2 win, both for the Red.
Down at Trickey, the Seniors split the Boating and Skiing portions, but the Swim meet races decided the Waterfront point for Gray.
Tigers Football went to Gray as well, with Hayes doing much of the damage both running and throwing it. However, in Sophomores Golf and Bocce, Red duffers won 5 of the 8 matches on the SkyLinks to win Golf...before Gray outlasted Red in a Bocce match that went back and forth till the end.
The Freshmen played a Basketball triple-header. Each team won a game played on the Sky I Hoops courts (JJ was terrific in one and Coop E starred in the other), but Red survived a Game 3 thriller in the gym to win Frosh Basketball, the difference being a half-court, 3-point field goal by Ben W…Wow!
The Soccer action over at the Hejduk was as impressive as we’ve seen all summer. In a pair of Juniors contests, Red stormed back from 3-1 halftime deficit to win the first game 5-3 in an extremely well-played match; then Gray answered back when Ben G provided all the offense needed in a hard-fought 1-0 victory.
The boys then broke for lunch with Red on top, and after a much-needed rest hour, the afternoon session moved them had them moving again.
Gray might be establishing some control down at the Waterfront as their Cubs won Gray’s second point of the day there. After Red won the Swim Meet part and Gray took the Kayak Races, it took Jacob W’s winning ski run to decide it.
Gray followed up with wins in both Seniors Golf and Bocce to draw even. And then they took the lead with a win in the first of two Juniors Lax games over at Sky II, where twins Harry and Will showed their overall lacrosse prowess in all facets of the game. But Red quickly responded in a low scoring, defensive battle to win Game 2 and split Juniors Lacrosse.
Orlando pitched the Gray to a 4-1 victory in Tigers Baseball on the Freddie Pierce with Jagger providing the key, late inning hit to break a 1-1 deadlock. On the Hockey courts, Soph Will O scored a hat-trick as Gray cruised to a 5-1 win in the first of 3 games. Then, after the teams dueled to a scoreless tie in the 2nd, Red won Game 3 to split Sophomores Hockey as well.
Each team won a Stars football game too. Red came from behind to win on the Bunkline field, but Malibu threw for 6 TDs and ran for a few more to outlast Red in a high-scoring affair on the Rec Hall gridiron.
And finally, the most spirited contest of the day came from the Sky 2 Tennis courts of all places. After the Freshmen had split the singles and doubles matches over at Sky I, all hustled over to watch the Skills competition on the Har-Tru courts at Sky 2 to decide it. All could hear the cheers from everywhere as the Red crowd erupted when Tennis Director Ted announced the final results in their favor.
Tonight’s annual Ping Pong competition was still left to be played. An exciting evening under the Pavilion lights surrounded by spectators and a wonderful, upbeat but casual vibe felt in the surrounding casual environment (think music, Garden games, and great camaraderie from both sides). Red won some early matches to surge ahead, and eventually held on to win the Ping Pong point.
Great plays, great action and excitement, great competitive spirit and great fun. Incredibly, after all that activity, we’re deadlocked, the score is tied, dead even….and this was only Day 1!