Sports Shorts

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by Joe Gonillo

So, back to reality. Sadly our Mediterranean cruise came to an end. We had a fantastic time. The weather, food, service, travel and ship were more than enjoyable. More on that later. Now deep into the heart of summer as we hit mid-July, hot days, family vacations, beaches and a whole lot of relaxing should be the priority and the plan.

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TEST

TEST is having another banner summer. Pete Picard, Justin Bouffard and Becky Anderson are doing a fine job coaching the younger, older and veteran swimmers. Strange summer swimming technicalities may have cost this group the state title last year. This summer the team is bigger, older, stronger and seasoned. Sand Hill Pool and TEST host home meets this week with a huge meet against the EDGE Thursday night. Parents and fans of both teams are reminded to give the swimmers and coaches their space on the deck. Last summer the SHP staff and TEST coaches made a decision to expand the deck area for spectators instead of restricting fans to just the grass. Most of the Essex fans and parents understand the rule changes, which include food behind the taped areas. Please help us with this during the meets as visitors are not sure of our rules or may not be aware. The snack bar is one of the finest in the area and our officials are top notch. The pool staff and lifeguards will be both guarding during the swim meet and helping to enforce the rules to keep the pool safe for everyone.

Track and field

The Essex Summer Rec track and fieldteam competed in the Hershey State track meet last Saturday. Results are coming.

Personal notes

Cruise News…. some very strong winds blew into our boat when we left Mykonos last week.  Blowing deck chairs forced the closing of parts of the top deck for a couple of hours later that afternoon. The temperatures hit the high 90′s in Istanbul and Kusadasi /Ephesus the next two days. If you like heat, this was the place to be. The pool was refreshing. Athens was next, and the temp eased back into the high 80′s. We walked around the dock city stores, and retreated to the comfort of the pool and the Deck 16 Pizzeria. A very relaxing sea day followed by our last stop in beautiful Venice, Italy. We took a water taxi into town, explored San Marcos Square and had some pizza in a local restaurant. The ship docked overnight and made the disembarking so much easier. The seven hour Venice-Philly flight passed, and we were back home by 10 p.m. Awesome trip!  The following people made our vacation special and smooth: Lawrence our room steward, Conrad – waiter, Agus – assistant waiter, George – head waiter, Ivan – Allegro Dining Room host, Oswaldo – pool guy from Mexico who we respected because he had the thankless job of disciplining brats by the pool who continually broke rules. He worked hard to keep this one pool free of young running, diving and jumping maniac youngsters from all over the world. He got no help from their lazy parents who could not or would not control their own wild kids. Tom Franick – energetic, talented piano player from Minnesota with weird jackets and shoes, a solid voice, and a great act. I saw some terrific movies like Tom Clancy ‘s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and Three Days to Kill — extremely suspenseful, Noah — interestingly Hollywoodish, The Son of God — very powerful, Draft Day — football and Kevin Costner… enough said, The Proposal for the 10th time, Gary Cooper in High Noon, All the President’s Men and the end of something called Philomena.

Pros

Can you believe the excitement of the World Cup! I watched more games this year than ever before. With the U.S. playing, even my wife was cheering and sometimes yelling at the TV. Seems it’s ok when she does it. How about Brazil crumbling at home no less and being outscored 10-1 in the semi and consolation games? Congrats to Germany on their 1-0 win and Argentina for their run to the finals.

The Yanks are slowly fading while the Red Sox have been sputtering all spring. Last week Boston cut their 2014 free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski who was simply not hitting. One Boston writer stated in the Globe that he thought it was funny that players were “trashing Pierzynski…on his way out the door…for looking at his cellphone at his locker after he’d come out of a game.” Three of the pitchers Pierzynski caught on that team used to eat fried chicken and drink beer during games. Looking at your cellphone isn’t so bad.

Catch the All-Star game, the HR Derby, and the ESPY’s if you can this week.