PYC 2015: All-Stars Part 1
Skilled campers exhibit their abilities in All-Star weekend

The gym filled with the deafening cheers of workers and campers as two determined teams prepared to play the first All-Star game of pyc: men’s basketball. It was the last Saturday night of camp, and the campers were pumped up for the game.

Both of the men’s teams were very solid this year, but the worker team gained an early lead in the game. Despite the camper’s best efforts, the workers continued to lead as their top scorers earned point after point. The workers were leading by 15 at the end of the first half, and they extended that lead during the second half. The camper team fought valiantly, but they could not break the worker lead. In the end, the workers won 79-68. Unperturbed by their loss, the campers high-fived the other team and cheered, “Until next year, workers!” Then everybody went back home to sleep. It was late, and there would be a full day of activities the next day.

The first activity Sunday morning was women’s soccer All-Stars. Both teams gathered on the soccer field early before the game to learn their positions and playing strategies from their coaches, as well as to stretch out and practice their shooting and passing.

The worker team had two rows of two defenders and a defensive midfielder, setting up for a primarily defensive game. This slightly unconventional formation for the worker team worked well against the campers, for it prevented the camper team from scoring all but one goal. However, the camper defense was just as strong, and they kept the worker team from scoring at all. Assistant soccer instructors Maree Tolis and Rachel Grellet helped the campers on defense; their skills on the field as the last line of defense stopped several promising drives from the worker team. Also, the camper goalie Tyrsa—nicknamed “The Wall”—ran out of the goal several times and snagged the ball before the workers could even the score. At the end of the game, the female campers won their first All-Star game 1 to 0.

After a few minutes, the men’s soccer game started. Landscaper Evan Fraser scored an early goal for the workers from a powerful down-the-field pass by assistant volleyball/basketball instructor Kieren Underwood. Then Gavin from the camper team scored one for the campers on a free kick after a foul, tying the game early in the first half. This back-and-forth scoring continued for the whole game. First, the campers took the lead with a goal by head soccer instructor Anthony Chibarirwe, who was playing for the camper team, but the workers soon took the lead. Then the campers scored, and the game was tied again—until another worker goal turned the score into their favor. In the second half, camper Jordan dribbled the ball around four worker defenders—including the goalie—and gave the campers the lead again. But then Kaleb Robson, water polo instructor, scored a chip shot around camper Lane’s stellar goal-keeping, tying the game again. After an intense back-and-forth battle, the workers won 7 to 5.

After lunch: girls’ volleyball, and the beginning of the new All-Stars system. For the rest of the All-Stars, the two teams were made up mostly of campers. A few workers—usually the sports instructors for the sport being played—played with the campers to even the field. The two camper volleyball teams were Team Underwood—composed of Vienna, Tyrsa, Eva, Viktoria, Cami, and assistant volleyball instructor Stephanie Cocomise—and Team Privratsky—composed of Callie, Erica, Emma, Alexa, Leilani, and assistant volleyball instructor Calela Brooks.

The gym was full of cheers as the attentive camper onlookers encouraged their All-Star dorm mates. Strong serves and bump-set-spikes led Team Underwood to win the first game by a landslide. Mr. Underwood’s team had better communication than Mr. Privratsky’s team in the first game, and they spread the floor well. But Mr. Privratsky’s team made up for their loss in the first game by winning the second 21-9.

In the interim between the second and third games, Mr. Turgeon ran past the stands, encouraging the campers and workers in the stands to be more enthusiastic. Mr. Privratsky’s team cheered “Focus!” before the start of the third game, and they showed that they took their mantra to heart when they won the third game and the match. Then several of the volleyball All-Star girls hustled off to change for women’s basketball All-Stars.

After getting changed into the blue and white Herbert W. Armstrong College basketball uniforms, the two camper girls’ basketball teams practiced their layups and jump shots in preparation for the game. Team Underwood scored first in the game when Vienna made an easy layup. But Mr. Privratsky’s team soon took the lead, and they ended the first quarter leading 10-7. They kept their lead to the very end of the second quarter, but several scores by Miss Cocomise, who was playing for one of the camper teams in this game as well, brought Mr. Underwood’s team to a 17-16 lead. They extended that lead in the third quarter by scoring three more baskets.

With only three minutes left in the game, Erica scored three baskets in a row for Mr. Privratsky’s team and brought the scores within two points of each other. But a score and a foul shot by Vienna increased that lead to five points, and Mr. Underwood’s team won the game 28 to 23.

Next was the canoeing race. Two members from each dorm participated in the race. Each dorm’s pair of campers canoed around a set course in the Seven Acre Lake. They also had to portage (carry) their canoes over a long stretch of the dam. In the girls’ race, 6G’s team—Eleanor and Tyrsa—came out in front on the first stretch of straight canoeing and kept their lead through the portage and the re-launching of their canoe. About halfway through the race, however, 3G’s Cami and Lillian made a tighter turn around one of the buoys than 6G’s team and passed them. Cami’s strong paddling in the bow and Lillian’s accurate steering in the stern led them to finish first with a time of 6:12. 6G came in second, and 5G came in third.

The boys had their turn next. They took their sister dorms’ canoes and life jackets and got ready to do the course themselves. 6B came out in front right at the start of the race. Gavin and Adam, 6B’s team, showed that they knew how to handle a canoe with some real power. They were so far ahead of the other teams on the last stretch of paddling that they easily got first. 2B came in second, and 5B came in third.

After dinner, the dorms gathered on the soccer field again for the last activity of the day—flag football. Assistant camp director Eric Burns led one team of campers, and flag football instructor Jason Cocomise coached the other team. Gavin made the first score of the game for Mr. Cocomise’s team, snatching the football out of the air for an easy touchdown. Brett quickly scored another one for their team after intercepting the ball. But Mr. Burns’ team made a strong comeback in the end of the first half and through the second half with touchdowns by Austin, Jordan, and Isaiah, finally winning the game 25 to 21.

Then the campers lined up and walked back to their dorms to pack and prepare for the next day—the last day of pyc.