Monday, September 28, 2009


September 23-27, 2009.

Although this was not a DAC event, I feel I should share with you all my experience at Annapolis on this weekend. The purpose of the trip (apart from sampling the local brews) was to play against the Naval Academy Squash Team. A group of very fit young men that make us all feel the age we really are. Organized with the help of John Seidel (Squash pro at the Toledo Club) since his son is on their team, Casey Garwood whom many of you know as DAC Club Champion in 2003 and a Navy Academy alumnus (now residing in Seattle), and Jon Uffelman (BAC member) who was kind enough to allow us to stay at his house 20 minutes outside Annapolis in a place called Sherwood Forest - a paradise on Earth that simply makes you happy to be alive.

The house overlooks the lakes and rivers. Jon has a boat which we were able to utilize for water skiing and for transport to downtown Annapolis. The views from the house and from the boat were nothing short of spectacular. The air simply ‘tasted’ better.

Nine players formed the “Great Lakes” Squash Team. Most of us arrived on Thursday night. Unfortunately for me, as soon as we arrived at the house I fell ill with food poisoning. I am guessing it was that turkey wrap I ate Detroit Airport. (At least I think it was turkey…) Bed ridden for the evening, I bid farewell to my fellow travelers as they left to taste the local seafood and appraise the bars.

By Friday morning I was feeling human again. I joined a couple of the lads on the boat for a morning ski, and then after breakfast and a mid-morning coffee, the team tackled the imposing 9-hole golf course that crisscrosses through the village, over streets and extremely close to the houses, cars, and anyone walking by. Because of that, I only walked and watched. It was way too risky for me to swing the clubs. The likelihood of me hitting, damaging, killing someone was close to 100%.

Friday afternoon was the official match-up against the Navy Team. They had been warming up for about an hour when we arrived, ready to chew nails, and use us as appetizers. We actually believed we had a strong team with 3 teaching pros, Mark Eugeni – an ex-pro-doubles player, and a group of 5.5 players. We were wrong. Youth, vitality, stupid fitness levels, a Thursday night in bed rather than in the bars, took advantage. We won 3 of the 9 matches, although 2 of our losses came down to the wire and could have made all the difference. The lad I played was a Navy Seal in training. I heard of some of the training he does and it makes my squash lessons look like kindergarten. Sick.

The Saturday re-matches at 11am worked out better for us. I guess a second night touring the local establishments made us stronger. Admittedly, the Navy Team had a couple of subs step in, but we weren’t to be denied and won the day 6-3.

After a quick tour of the Academy (impressive!) we were off to the football game to see Navy against Western Kentucky. It was raining, but we did get to see the cadets march onto the field and the F16’s fly overhead (also very impressive!). Standing outside in the rain and cold wasn’t terribly inviting so we left half way through the 3rd quarter and headed out for our 3rd tour of duty. It was, without a doubt, a night to remember. Jon Uffelman is the host of all hosts, his dancing ‘expertise’ must be seen to be believed and his ability to get everyone involved and laughing is a fine art few people can match.

It was a pleasure, privilege and an honor to be a part of the team, and a weekend I will cherish and remember forever. It is an annual event and I hope I will be invited next year. There could not have been a nicer group of gentleman to be associated with.


Mick Joint said...

For anyone interested, I have many photos of the trip - just come and see me in the office. I also have a couple of videos clips of Jon Uffelman's dancing ability. It is to be seen to be believed!

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