Saturday, May 8, 2010

Take the load, Cont.

I already received a tipoff on the quality of the food
Rockland BBQ. There was cole slaw, and we were each doled 1/4 of a decent sized chicken and ribs that slid easily off the bone. To top that, a pasta salad and dinner roll were piled on. Creamy cake and beverages were available at our discretion. The sumptuous feast occupied all of us at the table for a while. The chickpeas in the Baked Beans was an interesting aside and made good small talk. At this long table were a bunch of Sophomores at on periphery, Seniors decking the center and Juniors (including myself) at the end, topped of by a "7th form" graduate of 2009 who assisted with the baseball team this season. One main topic among the Seniors was the matter of the highlight Scholar- Athlete Award. I don't know the exact qualifications to receive it, but I heard that only 4 out of 40 Senoirs qualified for consideration. We talked about the surprise John Kelly had on his face back in '08 when he received the honor.

Each coach from fall, winter and spring had a reunion with his or her team. There were gaps in attendance to this fete, especially among the JV and Middle school-alt teams. For Winter coaches, "the snow cut 1/3 of our season at the most inopportune times" was a common theme. I was cited by Coach Defour ('06; UMD '09) for being a good sport. It was unexpected on my part. I suspected that I had that surprise John Kelly face on me at that time. The descriptions he gave made me blush a bit. I will say, though, that I was a rookie walk-on in August with no High School soccer experience. I and my teammates received my Certificate of Completion. "See you all on Varsity next year!". With five-plus graduating Seniors on the soccer team, there is room for a good portion of JV to advance. As more sports were listed, my high-caliber neighbors amassed trophies. There were enough on the table, from Breslin's to Blake's to Bragale's, to replicate the Forum Romanum.

This year, I participated in two sports for the first time. March is a bit tough for me. Last year I had Lifeguard training; this year I had play practice. I heard that the coach didn't take well to her top player, a Senior, kowtowing to G-Visitation for the first two weeks of tennis practice each season. The airline tradition of Senority First does not apply to meritocratic sports teams. There's a difference in leniency between the top player, and higher-seeded players (two of whom were also in the school play), and me. So, to keep it short, within the same week I was on the Track team.

I think I may have sent a bad tone by stepping out right before the Tennis presentation. Notwithstanding, I got back in time to see the awards given out. Sportsmanship award? Nah man! This here is the biggest arguer on the team. Knowing each USTA and league rule doesn't make you a gentleman. Our suspicious were shattered, though, when Ms. Lane gave Rob a trophy for his contributions. Some of us do not agree with putting Freshman on Varsity teams, much less middle school boys. In her description of him, she explained that he might have well been on Varsity since fifth grade. The call was six years, and Rob also got the four-year letterman plaque with the Fuzzy A.

In some Spring sports, one received a Cert of Completion. It's quite symbolic, though. Baseball and track still have champs to complete. You're not done 'til you're done.

Then there was the highlight of the evening: the scholar-athlete award. Some call it our version of the Rhodes Scholarship. Who would get it? NVD? Mikey? Denny? It was Rob. It was a change as much as Pope JPII. Award history had favored the more "jocky" type, with an edge for student gov't leaders, but this year not so much.

Which begs the question: Who will it be next year?

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