A blur of wheels and girls passed me as I walked toward the cycling station. As six girls—one from each dorm—burst from the starting line on their bicycles, the roar of the assembled crowd filled the air. It was the last day of pyc activities, and we were watching cycling All-Stars.
The cycling All-Star this year was a girls’ and boys’ dorm relay. The girls went first, cycling a course which was different from the regular cycling long course. Red-shirted workers stood all over campus to direct the campers and prevent them from getting confused or lost on the unfamiliar course. Even though the girls were out of sight, their dorm mates cheered them on—not seeming to care whether the cyclists could hear them or not. Soon, the first girls appeared through the trees: Vienna from 3G, closely followed by Alexa of 4G. Caleb from 3B and Alex from 4B cycled off to do the course themselves as soon as their sister dorm’s cyclists had passed the finish line. The rest of the boys were also on their way before many minutes had passed.
Several minutes later, the dorms closest to the end of the course started cheering, and we watched a lone cyclist pedal madly through the trees. It was Alex from 4B. He crossed the finish line—winning the cycling All-Star for 4B and 4G—as 3B’s Caleb appeared about a hundred feet behind him. 1B came in third as Joseph cycled through the finish a minute or two later.
After the rest of the boys finished the race, the dorms lined up and marched over to archery.
For the archery All-Star, the twelve picked archers shot four rounds of six arrows. The archers formed pairs and took turns pretending to be Robin Hood from the 10-yard line, the 20-yard line, and the 30-yard line. Each pair of archers had a scorer with them who tallied up the points before the archers pulled their arrows from the targets. I assisted with the scoring, and I picked a good team—Christina and Cami from 3G, who were both good shooters.
For the fourth round of shooting, the archers each had three chances to shoot a kill shot at Carl, the stuffed, duct-taped, and very dilapidated archery deer. Archery instructor James Brandon inspected Carl after every archer’s turn. He analyzed the placement of the arrows to see if any of the shots would have killed the deer if he had been full of life rather than stuffing. Some of these shots were very interesting; Griffin from 3B actually shot off one of Carl’s antlers, which Mr. Brandon gave him as a souvenir.
After the final scores were tallied, Christina won for the girls with the highest collective score—142. Caleb from 5B also showed his prowess, winning for his dorm with a score of 131.
Next, the whole pyc headed over to the softball diamond for the women’s softball game—the last battle between a camper and worker team, as there were not enough Babe Ruth’s at pyc this year to make another girls’ camper team at such short notice. The camper team was coached by assistant camp director Eric Burns, and the worker team was coached by camp director Wayne Turgeon.
I sat down in the shade behind home plate, ready to report on this All-Star game—but then I was suddenly called away to assist in an emergency task and missed most of the game. According to all reports, the campers and workers played a very close game in my absence. I returned in the 6th inning, and the campers were up by one with a 7 to 6 score. Mr. Malone and Mr. Falk were acting as sports commentators during this game, broadcasting the game live on kpcg.fm and announcing scores and plays over the air.
The campers’ solid defense kept the workers from tying the game in the 7th inning—until custodian Rishanna Cheek hit it to the fences and scored a home run, bringing three of her teammates home and giving the workers the lead. Custodian Kassie Verbout hit a triple for the camper team in Team Burns’ next at-bat, reducing the worker lead to one. It looked like the camper team could catch up—but a direct hit to a worker infielder’s glove ended the inning and the game. It was a worker win: 12 to 11.
After a 20-minute break, the fast-paced men’s game began. This All-Star game had two all-camper teams, again Team Turgeon and Team Burns. The first few innings whistled by as the teams showed their dexterity and strength with to-the-fence hits, strong base running, and marvelous leaping and diving catches. Mr. Burns’ team was in the lead from the beginning, and that lead only increased as the game progressed.
Team Burns cycled through their batting order in the 6th inning, drowning Team Turgeon with a 23 to 4 lead. When Team Turgeon was up to bat, their hitters kept hitting it to second base, where second baseman Spencer smothered every ball. In the 9th inning, Team Turgeon had their last chance to make up some of the deficit. But though they tried their best, the game ended 32 to 6. The teams high-fived and congratulated each other, both teams still with smiles on their faces.
Then there was a mass exodus to the campus pool to watch girls’ and boys’ water polo All-Stars. The girls had been warming up in the pool before we arrived, so the game started fairly quickly. There were two camper teams, distinguished from each other by their purple or white water polo caps.
Callie scored an early first goal for the white team, sending it over goalie Tiersa’s hands. She then scored a quick second goal, but Tiersa blocked her third goal attempt. But the white team kept the ball mainly in purple’s side of the pool for the first quarter, despite the purple forwards’ best efforts to score. The first quarter ended 3 to 0 in favor of the white team.
After a quick two-minute break, the teams jumped back into the pool for the second quarter. Zoe scored the first goal for purple, and then Tiersa scored two shots in a row for that team and tied the game. Purple continued to make their goals, and the score was 7 to 4 in favor of purple at half-time. The white team made up some of the deficit in the last two quarters, but they couldn’t score enough to retake the lead. Purple won with a score of 13 to 8.
Events took an inspiring turn in the break between the boys’ and girls’ games as Daryle Hochstetler, counselor of 1B, was baptized by Evangelist Stephen Flurry and Pastor Joel Hilliker in the pool. The huge crowd filled in around the pool area to watch the ceremony, and seemingly everybody in camp went up to Daryle to give him a hug and congratulate him afterward.
After the baptism, the boy’s water polo teams hopped into the pool and started to practice their shots. Michael Cocomise, counselor of 5B, coached the blue team, and cycling instructor Nick Irwin led the white team. This game was so exciting and fast-paced that I hardly had enough time to jot down any notes about it. In the first half, the white team dominated, scoring nine goals. Austin from 6B made most of the shots, but 6B’s Gavin and 5B’s Caleb also scored. Team Cocomise extended their lead in the third quarter, bringing the score to 12 to 2.
The determined men of the blue team made a marvelous comeback in the last eight minutes of the game as their players made six goals, one after another. But it was not enough to win the game. In the end, Team Cocomise dominated with a score of 13 to 8—a mirror image of the score in the girls’ game.
And with that, the All-Star weekend was over. The campers hurried off to dinner so they would have time to ready themselves for the last activity of pyc 2015: awards night.