Opponents big and small: Senior Games and playing with “the big boys”

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 20, 2018

Considering my athletic ability (insert joke here) and advancing age (no joke), I decided it might be time to cast my lot in the N.C. Senior Games.

The activities, starting on the local level, cover a wide range from typical sporting events such as track, swimming and the like to basketweaving, dance and those kinds of things.

So I decided to enter a couple of events back in the spring that I have a reasonable level of competence in — tennis and racquetball.

And much to my amazement, I won medals in all three events I entered. Well, as it turned out, it shouldn’t have been much of a surprise considering I only played one match against someone in my age group — in racquetball … and lost. In my defense, this guy happened to be one of the better players in the city.

So I got a silver medal there. Hey, at least I beat both of the players in a younger age group in matches that didn’t count for anything except pride. I’m sure the tournament director wanted to make sure I got my money’s worth.

In tennis, I won gold in both as there was no one signed up in my age group. I won my other “exhibition” matches, but I still did feel a little bit guilty about toting home the hardware without winning a single match that mattered — kind of like the Little League right fielder who played the required two innings in a game and got a participation trophy.

Anyway, I automatically advanced to the N.C. Senior Games in Raleigh this fall, where there will surely be other competitors as all the counties in the state are represented, but have decided to decline.

There are more important matters to attend to, such as college football Saturdays at Appalachian State and Wake Forest games. Besides, I have nowhere to go but down.

• • • • •

Speaking of football, my wife and I made the trip to State College, Pa., for the kickoff to the 2018 season on Sept. 1 and see my alma mater, Appalachian State, play Top 10 opponent Penn State.

All we heard after we arrived was that this could be “another Michigan” — where the Mountaineers pulled off what is considered perhaps the greatest upset in college football history 11 years ago on the same date with the amazing victory over the Wolverines.

And it almost happened again. We scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter and led by a touchdown before Penn State knotted the score in the final seconds and then won in overtime.

Still, it was an incredible game and unbelievable effort by the guys from Boone, who received a standing ovation from the Penn State fans as they trudged off the field.

Two years ago, App State almost did the same thing at Tennessee, also before more than 100,000 fans in the season-opening game, before losing a heartbreaker in overtime.

Nobody can say the Mountaineers can’t play with “the big boys.”

• • • • •

It looks like the Town of Bermuda Run is in the concert business these days.

Actually, it’s just their “Sounds on the Square” free summer concert series, which looks busier than usual since one of the musical groups, Special Occasion Band, had their performance shifted because of rain from Memorial Day weekend to late September.

So that has created several concerts in just over a month, led off on Aug. 25 by Eric and the Chill Tones. If you don’t recognize the name, the lead singer is Eric Chilton, who is part of the morning show and one of the meteorologists on Channel 2 (WFMY-TV, Greensboro).

They put on a great show on a beautiful Saturday night with a big crowd enjoying the variety of oldies and beach music at the square in Town Center.

Next up was On the Border (Ultimate Eagles Tribute Band) on Sept. 8, which we also attended as part of an overflow crowd of 1,500. Honestly, it was hard to tell the difference between these guys and the original group.

More music is on tap for this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the River Walk Arts Festival where the Davie County Singing Seniors, His & Hers and Tess & The Black And Blues will perform.

That will be followed by Special Occasion Band, which is known for performing popular songs from the ’70s and ’80s along with beach tunes and will be returning for its third straight year, on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m.

All of the concerts in the series are held at Town Center on Kinderton Boulevard in the gazebo area just past Town Hall. If you’ve never been to a concert there, check it out.