Monday, April 14, 2014


Cross Border Challenge - April 12

A record 28 matches for the 15th Cross Border Challenge was an excellent way to welcome in the summer months as we approach the end of the season... and wait for the snow due on Tuesday! I mean, why not have at least one more snow fall to remind us what a wonderfully frigid winter we’ve had and not to get too comfortable. Mother Nature is mean old b...

A number of firsts were attached to this record breaking day as well: 1. We emptied the keg. Surprising as that may sound since we empty a lot of kegs, this is actually the first keg we’ve destroyed at a Cross Border. It’s what happens with 60 plus people I guess. 2. We won all 4 doubles matches. Either we are getting better, or they are getting worse. Either way, going 4 for 4 is miraculous. 3. Mike Counsman didn’t have one beer all day. Haha haha! Sorry, couldn’t write that with straight face! 4. Team uniforms were ordered - sort of. You can see from the photo what a few of the DAC players donned for the day. Brave? Yep. Could be a good tradition to start... let’s get patriotic!

Need I say more?
It appeared nothing could stop the Canadians on this particular day. Not even the American Border Police as they stopped, searched, probed, scrutinized, poked, jabbed, and explored all cavities, creases, and compartments of their... belongings. Who knows what they were looking for but eventually they allowed them to continue on to the DAC with their balls and racquets in tact to take out the embarrassing episode on our players.

The inflicting pain started immediately. Niko Ahee and John Mann both couldn’t get anything going, struggling to keep up with the pace and length of their opponents, and they rolled over 3-0.  Dave Devine went a little better and admitted he performed well but his opponent - Ty Stacyszyn - simply outplayed him and he went down 3-1. Our lone victor in the first round of singles matches came at the hands of Mike LoVasco who did it tough to scrape through in 5 sets over Adam Pole.

The second round of singles matches were not something the DAC wants to remember. If goose eggs were a currency, we’d be able to afford a new court center after Saturday. Made of gold. All four of our lads came off the court chewing on sour donuts, big fat zeros splattered the DAC score line. The Canuck tsunami was hitting us hard.

A better spread of results followed however as we tried to climb out of the wet, slippery crater we had found ourselves in. Matt DiDio and Dane Fossee returned the 3-0 favor making quick work of their opponents and at that juncture, we were still within reach of Windsor down 7 matches to 5. (Including the 2 doubles victories we had chalked up). And we were very close to tying it up. Unfortunately, the next 2 results fell onto Windsor’s side - both tight 3-2 wins. One of our almost-wins was Sante Fratarcangeli, who I of course have to mention based solely on outfit alone. If points were awarded on appearance, we either should have won in a landslide or be disqualified immediately depending on which side of the fashion sense you lie. It was so wrong, it was right. Only Sante could pull it off.

We were now 9 matches to 6 down after our third doubles victory. Still in the hunt, especially with 13 matches yet to play. Derek Aguirre pulled another one back with a comprehensive 3-0 drumming over an opponent he lost to in 5 games at the Cross Border a year ago. It was gearing up to be an exciting finish... and then... POP!

Craig Guthrie and Peter Logan.
Two giants of the Michigan
Squash world.
The DAC bubble burst. After we had picked up the fourth and final doubles match, it was the last sweet taste of victory we would receive for the afternoon. Windsor decided to assault us from every angle and the abuse didn’t let up. At least we weren’t bageled in all the matches, so the chastising in many cases was slow as well. Dino DeMare almost begged for the defibrillator after his 3-2 loss, lucky for him the keg still had some beer left and that seemed to do the trick just as well (if not better). The losses kept on piling up and it wasn’t long before retaining the Cross Border title was out of our reach.

The final match of the day had Peter Logan play his long time buddy Craig Guthrie. It was a great match to finish with; these two have a long history of going back and forth. Peter especially likes playing Craig since he is one of the very few opponents that is actually shorter than him that isn’t a junior! Some fantastic rallies, great court coverage, delicate touch, both players used all four corners well. Craig, however, ended up being the steadier in the 5th game, his length slightly more consistent, and amidst the chant of ‘one more game’, he walked off the 3-2 winner.

When we were able regain our senses from the clobbering we just endured and shake off the twinkling stars floating above our heads, I humbly handed over the trophy. The 20-8 final score was rather conclusive to say the least. They deserved it. Our winning streak of 4 Cross Border victories was broken, but we all had a great day. We’ll be back at it to start a new streak in September - another winning streak, that is.

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