As we moved past the halfway point, the significance of Day 4 cannot be overstated. The weather could not have cooperated better, bringing us maybe the most spectacular day of the summer. This morning’s “psych-up” meetings told the story….
For Red, it was a real chance to separate themselves enough to alleviate any potential pitfalls from tonight’s critical Songs and Cheers competition. They’ve held the lead for the better part of the last two days, although still a bit tentative. Captain Coop implored his guys to continue to “go for the gold” – to play their hearts out and to try to build this lead even bigger. He cautiously warned that there’s still a long way to go.
Gray had other ideas. This group could have been downtrodden from two tough days with not-so-great results. But Captain Aiden squelched any dejected thoughts derived from looking up at the top, oozing confidence as he pushed his guys to build on the momentum gained late yesterday. He promised better results if they remained patient, focused and continued to put it all on the line.
Tigers Lacrosse was the first result in, where Gray made short work of Red and an early move upward, but Red quickly stalled the rally by winning a very well-played Seniors Soccer game over at Sky II, 2-0.
The Sophomores covered both the Sky I and II Tennis courts and showed us again how evenly matched they have been throughout this Color War – today was no different, as they split the Tennis point. Three events in, and still no change – Red remained in command.
Down at Trickey, another ski-off (timed wake-crossings) was needed to determine the winner – except this time we couldn’t declare one as the last skier needed to cross the wake successfully 18 times for a win. The clock ran out as he crossed for the 17th time, leaving us with the first Waterfront tie in many years, splitting Freshmen Waterfront.
A spirited Gray buzz began to simmer when word of their wins in Stars Golf and Bocce spread through camp and was ready to erupt, when the Gray Juniors won Softball down on the Fred Pierce Field.
And erupt they did, due to the morning’s most thrilling contests – of course, again involving our littlest guys. Our Cubs seem to take every event down to the final whistle, and these “gridiron classics” were no different. Since most other contests were decided, the participants from all other Divisions surrounded the two Cubs Football games as the 4th quarter clock wound down in both games. On the Rec Hall field, down 2 scores at halftime, Gray used some creative razzle-dazzle plays to score 3 late TDs in their come-from-behind win. Moments later on the bunkline field, after Red had staged a miraculous comeback of their own late in the 4th to grab their first lead of the game with under a minute to go, Gray used 5 plays to go 70 yards, scoring on a 1-yard plunge with less than 10 seconds left to send the Gray faithful to delirium.
The Gray comeback was complete. Only a half-point now separated the teams as they headed to lunch and Songs and Cheers practice. So, so close.
Waterfront events were now all done, so all the courts and fields were humming with action all afternoon. And when the Gray Juniors quickly swept through two Bocce matches in the Garden, the score was tied…. WOW! A bit later, 8 golf matches were complete with each team claiming 4 wins, halving Juniors Golf. Still tied.
Back and forth they went. In a Lacrosse doubleheader over on the Hejduk, the first game ended in a tie, so the 2nd one was played with the Sophs Lax point up for grabs. Red won in a very close 2-goal game. Then in Cubs Soccer, little Jakey made 2 key saves late to preserve Gray’s 1-0 victory in Game 1, then his teammates won Game 2 handily to secure the point for Gray.
Over in the Hockey Rink, the Red Stars swept a pair of games and regained the lead. Then Gray served and volleyed their way to claim Tigers Tennis, once again drawing even. It looked like the day could end that way as the Freshmen Baseball game seemingly became a twilight affair. They battled ‘til just before dinner, when Red finally broke through with 3 runs in the last inning to come from behind and put Red back ahead. It was just a one point difference as we headed to tonight’s Songs and Cheers Competition. AMAZING!
Throughout this week of non-stop activity from dawn to dusk, somehow each team’s leaders and their devoted followers found the time to prepare for tonight’s important event, Songs and Cheers. Eight total points were on the table, so the impact of one of our most cherished traditions would be felt by all.
Patience. Creativity. Planning. Organization. Talent. These are just some of the skills needed to write five songs and a musical production. Next you have to teach 100 kids the lyrics by memory, in maybe a total of five hours max. Then there’s the choreography, and the effort that it takes to get boys ages 7 to 16 to do what you want them to do.
There aren’t too many adults who could handle this, but we know some Skylemar guys who have what it takes. Ranging in age from 16 down to 13, Alexander S (Red), Jack A (Red), Isaac G (Gray) and Ari M (Gray), along with their assistants, were remarkable leaders. Each team was spectacular, performing a Camp Cheer, Team Cheer, Fight Song, Old Camp Song and Original.
With just two rehearsals, each team also put on a 20 minute show, called The Production Number. It’s a mini-musical that they create, where each person on the team has to be included.
The boys sang their hearts out, even though their voices have been strained by four grueling, intense, wildly cheering days of Color War. Still, somehow, both teams found a way to entertain us all by giving us their best. We then waited patiently as Judges Ethan, Barney and Beags sorted out what they had just seen and heard. The results were handed over to Nick Shep to announce. Red carried the night 5-3, and with it, now a still slim 3-pont lead to sleep on.
Tomorrow sets up for an incredible end to this unforgettable week. If it’s anything like what we’ve seen so far, we are in for some kind of fantastic finish. This one’s still anybody’s game!