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Croton Cup Captures Spirit of the Game
Jim Piasecki (with Dan Greenwood)
March 20, 2012
Martin’s Dam was once again graced with a picture perfect day for the Croton Cup – our homage to the finish of the interclub season and acknowledgment that platform unites us as members. John Kemmerer organized this year’s “tournament” flawlessly and designed a new format that had everyone playing with a new partner each round. This format was well-received, and, with our new fourth court, led to continuous play that eliminated the “waiting-sitting-stiffening” of years past. It is likely to become the standard in the upcoming years.
(Don't miss the slide show below!)
The pairings, complete with name tags and schedules at every court, allowed many of us to meet new people and learn the names of individuals who we may have only met in passing. Divisions were not evident on this democratic day where the mixing allowed all to play, meet, and learn in our sweet club in the trees. Camaraderie, court-side and via on-the-court chatter, was the standard throughout the day. Seldom is there the willingness or comfortability for so much friendly and challenging chatter during matches. Today was that day where conversation, food, beverage, and sharing of a fine time as a group of paddle guys was more important than the wins.
Of course we did keep score and tallied the results because we are guys, and, even if it’s not all about winning, it’s always part of our equation. The winners were determined by totaling the number of games each individual won during their day of play. Our Croton Cup Champion this year was Blair LeRoy, a gentleman player of the ages who can add this to his illustrious platform career. Tom Hermans was the runner-up, showing that we not only have a long history of platform excellence at Martin’s Dam but that our future remains promising.
The teacup (aka: Croton Cup) was just recently added in my attempt to bring some refinement to this otherwise casual affair. As to the origins of the seven-year-old Croton Cup “Tournament,” Dan Greenwood noted that years ago, when they were holding a club championship tournament, “the newer members weren’t interested in coming out for the tourney just to get thumped. We started mixing up the competition, and it quickly swelled from 6 or 8 teams to 30 to 40 individuals. Among other benefits, the Croton Cup has been a driving force in recruitment for new interclub flights.”
Many more things could be said about this day of fun in the sun at what is arguably the most casual and friendly club of substance on the Main Line. However, the reports would not capture the spirit and spontaneity of the day's events. The moments will be held for months and years to come in the reminiscences of those who were there.