Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Cross Border Challenge – September 15

Not since the 1980 US Olympic Hockey team pulled off the most miraculous victory in the history of sports – dubbed the “miracle on ice” – has a triumph been so extraordinary. I’m sure Hollywood will be scrambling to get the story on film to share with the world. It will go in the archives as one for the ages, only to be talked about with admiration for decades to come. People will be asking, “Where were you when the DAC won the Cross Border ?”…  Okay, okay, maybe I’m exaggerating just a little, but for the first time ever, we actually beat the Windsor team on their home courts!

For a task deemed impossible by the bookmakers, it wasn’t enough to dampen the spirits of our 17 combatants, many of whom were rookies not only in the Cross Border, but also playing in Windsor. Maybe that’s the ticket – recruit players that don’t know any better and rely on the ‘ignorance is bliss’ formula!

The day started out splendidly. Paul Huth and Andy Combs set the tone both storming to 3-0 wins, which was quickly followed up by Elliot Shafer clinching his match 3-1. Windsor then came back with a couple victories of their own as Peter Ryan held off Chuck Doyle 3-1 and their A doubles team won a marathon 5 setter which is nothing surprising considering our doubles record against anyone outside of the DAC walls.

Trevor Charles and Andrew Spohn
Brittany Paquette extended the DAC advantage beating up on her poor opponent 3-0, while Andrew Spohn survived a tough 3-1 to give us a 5 match to 2 lead. We then had the opportunity to really bring the hammer down on them as our next two players found themselves battling well into the 5th game. Bruce VandeVusse was tackling his familiar opponent – Dave Porter. These two go back and forth, generally swapping 3-2 victories. It was Dave getting the upper hand on this occasion as he took the final game, after fighting off Bruce’s comeback from 2-0 down. On the court next door, Greg Rivard was doing all he could to stay upright in his 5th game against Adam Pole. Fitness was hurting Greg this far into the match as his knees were wobbling and his body simply couldn’t keep up anymore. He went down valiantly 11-6 and suddenly Windsor had closed the gap 5 matches to 4.
Dave Porter and Bruce VandeVusse

But after a 3-0 victory by Manny Tancer and a Frank Giglio 3-1 triumph, the DAC were just one win away from clinching (and defending) the Cross Border Trophy. It came from the most unlikely source: the doubles court. Bob Garvey and Shail Arora entered the arena of death against Marcie Porter and Teresa Ashworth, a couple of fine ladies who have been known to beat up on our doubles players without mercy but with considerable regularity. Our lads hung in the match very well, and kept composure under pressure all the way through to the 5th game and took the (unlikely) win. Their picture should be on front of ESPN the magazine. It would also be on the blog here, but my camera ran out of battery just as I was taking the shot.
Paul Huth and Elliot Shafer
Rubbing salt into Windsor’s fatal wounds, Paul Ward escaped with a 3-2 win, and then on the comeback of the day, Derek Aguirre came back from 2-0 down against Doug Fields to scrape a 12-10 in the 5th win. The DAC ended up taking the coveted title 10 matches to 5. It is our 4th Cross Border victory, the first back-to-back, and as I mentioned above, the first on foreign soil (or wood).

So as I wait for the endorsement deal offers to come flooding in, I proudly display the trophy in its rightful place – my office. It will stay there at least until April when the next one is scheduled (if we can squeeze it onto the calendar) and we go for an unprecedented three-peat.

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