June 2, 2012
Heavy rain the previous week almost led to the Spring Coaches’ Game being canceled as all the Lehigh County fields were closed. But Trevin Berger was so keen to beat rival captain John Madeira he spent the morning walking the club’s various fields and was eventually
rewarded by finding that the Wehr’s Dam Community Field was playable.
This time the two teams (Black and Blue -probably apt colors judging by the way some of the players were moving after the game) were captained by Berger (Blue) and John Madeira (Black) as Bert Mukkulainen was forced into the role of sideline spectator (rather than his
more usual onfield one) by degenerative problems in his knees (those matinee idol good looks are obviously not the only thing he shares with Chase Utley).
Before the game Madeira was complaining at the lack of pace in his team but why he thought this game would be different to the others we’ve played is a bit of a mystery. The Black team also welcomed back former President Peter Burke who had been a notable absentee
from recent games. Peter seemed to enjoy running into a lot of old friends, though unfortunately for me I was one of them.
The opening stages of the game were evenly matched with Burke a man mountain in the Black goal and Jamie Giaquinto proving Madeira’s fears of a paceless attack to be groundless, though to be fair the Blue defense of Don Penrod, Drew Keister, Rich Schantz and Mike
Wagstaff probably let him run away from them safe in the knowledge that they could rely on the speed of sweeper Layne Turner to snuff out any danger.
The two teams traded goals in the first half with the Black team taking the lead each time before being pegged back to a half-time score of 2-2. At that point the game was a close-run contest with both teams evenly matched and only someone with a cruel sense of humor would
suggest that the ducks which waddled on to the pitch in the first half did so because they were mimicking some of the players.
The second half saw Burke coming out of goal for Black with Carl Rucker taking his place. Carl’s daughter Sidney is an accomplished goalkeeper but the second half proved the talent was not inherited as Carl saw five balls wing and trickle into his goal for the Blue team to end
up 7-2 winners.
It would have been more but for skipper Berger saving a team-mate from the embarrassment of missing a penalty kick and deciding to balloon the ball over the bar himself. One for you boys who play for him to remember.
For his part Madeira made valiant efforts to inspire his team with some determined challenges, including one where he and his own team-mate Geoff Jago went for the same ball. Mystery about that one is that Geoff is a pilot - maybe he thinks he works for JetBlack.
Once again we’d like to thank all the guys who played (with Nancy Reightler having to miss her first game and Geoff Jago not passing an invitation on to his wife Tina in an appropriate manner it was an all-male affair this year) and the families who came out to support us.
Our thanks also to Ben Jago for refereeing the game (for some reason most of the decisions went against his dad’s team) and to to the long-suffering Mrs. Berger for letting Trevin spend Saturday morning checking out the various fields.