by Barbara Brooks
In a stunning victory, depending on who you ask, the men of pulled through some high pressure situations to win the second annual Grace Church bocce ball tournament and barbeque on July 24th, with a score of twelve to ten.
Bocce-meister Dave Eary instituted a new rule this year that each team needed a name in order to play. He considered the suggestion that the women play with one hand tied behind their backs, but decided against it when women's powerhouse Fran Evans was sidelined with an injury.
Participating teams were The Crusaders, The Taylor Tigers, The Brutes, The Saints, The Lemon Drops, The Sweet and Sours, Team Diva, The Martinis and The Fish (or The Ghoti: John Heyse can explain how “ghoti” makes “fish” if anyone dares ask.)
The Saints and The Sweet and Sours made it to the final game by scoring the most total points in the preliminary games.
Virtue overcame good taste when The Saints –- Frank Macan, Steve Pinter, Les Marks and Eric Jorgensen –- squeaked by The Sweet and Sours –- Susan Bremmer, Sally Applegate, Evelyn Hodgson and Pam Saw –- in a final round upset. The men overtook the women by scoring a “casino,” the maximum four points per round, in that round.
The men started strongly in the first two rounds, with the women overtaking them and leading in rounds three, four, and five, until The Saints' strong team effort lead to the casino and victory. Novice bocce man Les Marks scored the last point, while the rest of his team proved themselves cool under pressure more than once.
The men received their championship winnings –- “Peace, Love & Bocce” coffee mugs –- at the 10 am service on July 31st, with much jubilation.
The women remain unfazed by this turn of events and will begin intensive training in the fall.
Many thanks to Dave and the barbeque chefs who helped the players give peak performances through the judicious use of performance-enhancing hamburgers and hotdogs.