Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Farris Cup 2014

As I made my way to the BAC down the I-696, I was thankful that it wasn’t a week earlier when it snowed almost a foot. It would have covered up the pot-holes of death that littered the highway. I felt like I was in a old-school video-car-game, avoiding the bottomless pit obstacles, only to be confronted with a blinding fog and rain once I neared Bloomfield Hills. Luckily I (and everyone else) arrived unscathed, and I hoped my prize would be a nice shiny trophy with the words “Farris Cup” inscribed on it.
Peter Logan (center) with the Farris family.
BAC's Tom Walbridge is on the right.

The past 3 years have been anything but successful. Comprehensive clobberings is an understatement and as the day started off for the 10th Annual Farris Cup event, it appeared as if we were in for another shellacking. Four matches in, and we had lost them all 3-0.

The fifth result was an improvement. Shail Arora didn’t win  - although he very well could have. When the game scores are as close as this: 12-10; 14-16; 11-9; 12-10 - just a little luck can change the outcome. Shail didn’t have enough of it, but at least the DAC had won one game!

Our first match victory of the day came at the hands of Tom MacEachern who took care of his opponent 3-0. I wasn’t surprised by this result. Tom, as I have mentioned before, has improved substantially since winning the 3.0 club championships 8 months ago. He was in control from the beginning, and didn’t let up.

Phil Pitters on the other hand also had control in the beginning of his match against Jeff Gembis. (Jeff is also a BAC member and was representing the ‘enemy’ on this day!) Running his  usual 20-court-sprints-per-rally self, Phil scampered and crosscourt-drop-flicked his way to a 2-0 lead before his McDonald’s based diet started to take over. Jeff began to wrest control and take advantage of the tiring Phil to take the next 2 games. It didn’t look good for the DAC, but somehow Phil mustered up enough energy to survive the 5th and win it 11-8. Who said an extra Quarter Pounder wouldn’t help?

The DAC were poised to take a third victory by the hands of Jim Stroh. Okay, maybe ‘poised’ is a little exaggerated, but at 1 game all and leading in the 3rd - and playing very well against BAC’s Mike Beauregard - Jim unfortunately tweaked his back and had to retire. It was, however, a victory the DAC missed out on and seriously needed.

Kurt Streng and
Andy Adamo
When Paul Van Tol got so close (but no cigar!) with a 2-3 loss, the BAC were only 1 victory away from retaining the Cup for a fourth straight year. Derek Aguirre kept our candle flickering a while longer when he had to battle hard for his 3-1 over the impressive 62-year old Claude Mencotti. Claude should play the Nationals...

Our hopes were finally dashed in quick fire fashion. Andy Adamo was in a no-win situation when his opponent graced the court. One could have sworn it was J.C. himself and how does one beat the Almighty Savior? You simply can’t. In actual fact, it was Kurt Streng, who happened to play like he was on a mission from God and he won 3-0 leaving the DAC without a prayer.

Sante making another
fashion statement!
Not far behind Kurt, Seth Rogers scored a 3-0 win as well over Anthony Fracchia and the BAC  had stamped their authority once again. But, even though the Cup was lost, their was still some fight left in us.

Sante Fratarcangeli - proudly displaying his all whites - was too fit for the skillful hands of Bob Mylod and won 3-1. Then Jed Elley stepped up to take on their club champion Jon Uffelman. To be fair, Jon is carrying a knee injury and how he competed the way he did was certainly admirable. Jed fell victim to Jon’s solid strokes to find himself 2-1 down, and had to fight his way through the 4th until he finally managed to move the ball around the court more effectively to also win the 5th - albeit a little more comfortably.

John Rakolta and
Brad Steel
The final match of the day was also an entertaining affair. John Rakolta floated the ball around the court and used his trademark crosscourt forehand lob-drop from the back corner to frustrate Brad Steel just enough. The players swapped games and went deep into the 5th game. A couple of awful and soft ‘lollypop’ serves threw Brad completely off as he clunked them into tin giving John the breathing space he needed. He finished it off 11-9 for the 3-2 victory.
 As usual the DAC failed miserably in the doubles as we lost all 3 matches and only managed to pick up one game in the process. We had lost the day 11 matches to 6, but to be honest the squash was a lot closer than that score represents. If Jim Stroh, Paul Van Tol and Shail Arora had managed to win, the DAC would have been victorious. Now, please don’t think I am blaming them - that’s the last thing I am inferring. What I am saying is that this year was very competitive, we had our chances, we could have won, and the Farris Cup has lived up to the reason for what it was created for. Thank you to the BAC for a very enjoyable day.

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