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Road Trip Dad - Lake Placid - Day Five: Memories On a Paper Plate

By Dan Witmer, 08/06/16, 11:00AM EDT


Today was the busiest day of the week – only 109 games in 13 divisions, plus an MLL Veterans’ All-Star Game. It was also the longest – we were on site at 7:00 AM and we didn’t leave the HQ tent until dark, maybe around 9 PM. It was the complete opposite of yesterday for me. Yesterday I occasionally ventured around to the fields, whether to visit with friends or to clean up some incomplete score sheets. Today I felt like I was confined to solitary confinement – when I did step out of the trailer I felt I needed to shade my eyes, just like in the prison movies…


How was the MLL game on NEAF 1 at 6 PM? I have no idea; ask someone else. I was in the little white trailer collecting final scores, uploading results, moving teams along through the brackets, and making sure I had all the tie-breakers and “reseeds” accurately figured.


And it was hot today – I mean really hot. When the breeze wasn’t blowing, it got unbearable. Again, the trailer where I spent most of my day (week) was at times like a proverbial hotbox. No fans, and no AC. There I was, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Dustin Hoffman all rolled into one…


Don’t get me wrong – I am NOT complaining. A long, hot day in Lake Placid is better than any kind of day most anywhere else. In fact, today was a great day…


We were treated to breakfast outside Eric and Sam’s RV, stationed for the week at the far end of the parking lot. I brought donuts from Stewart’s, and I received a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich in return. It was so good I’m going back for more tomorrow.


I worked my way through several divisions of seeding, tie-breakers, and other logistical challenges. I learned how to do more on the computer. I uploaded the final scores of 109 games and made very few mistakes. Like I said, it was a great day!


My cousin and his two children came to visit – right when I was knee-deep in “Pending Reseeds,” of course. They probably think my job is boring, based on the few minutes they stopped by. I tracked down women’s open goalkeeper Jackie Beshlian again; she’s the daughter of my college teammate and housemate, and the starting goalie for the 2015 national champion Cortland State Red Dragons.


But maybe the best part of the day was when we got “home” from dinner (around 10:30 PM) and started working on the 3rfd annual Summit Lacrosse Tournament paper plate awards. Tomorrow night we plan to follow tradition and have a prime rib dinner at the Cascade Inn, where we will laugh and joke about everyone’s awards, but tonight we prepped for tomorrow by making the templates ahead of time. Tomorrow at the Cascade we can come up with names of awards and just match the award with the name of a table worker. Hopefully we can do it a little more quietly than we did the past two years, when we received more than one dirty look for being a little bit noisy. We vowed from the beginning of the week to do the plates again this year, and Eric, Sam, and Rich have been making mental notes about ideas for each and every one of the table workers.


I can’t remember any one specific award we gave last year, but when we did hand them out on the final day of the tournament, at the workers’ daily 7:30 AM meeting, I remember that every one of them were excited and anxious to see what award they receiving. I mean, everyone likes to be recognized for something, even if it was a silly mistake, an odd comment, or a noticeable habit. The challenge for us is to make the award humorous (or sincere) but not offensive. The last thing we want to do is say something mean-spirited. We’ve got 14-year old rookies, seasoned veterans, and even several adult workers this year. Our goal is to make EVERYONE smile!


Actually, it’s the out-takes that are hilarious – the awards and distinctions that AREN’T written on the paper plates. You might want to make dinner reservations for Saturday night somewhere OTHER than the Cascade Inn, because it’s going to get a little loud.


Drive carefully, everyone!


- Dan Witmer