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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, July 18, 2016

Liberty Wins Sportsfest, KingaMania Runs Rampant!

It's always hot as hell, but before you die, you have to go to Allentown's Sportsfest at Cedar Beach park. If you like high school hoops, you really need to go. But that's just one event. There's also fencing, arm wrestling, flag football, boxing, wXw wrestling and even dog agility, to name just a few events. Thousands of people also came to catch a glimpse of King Allentown, who played his final dek hockey game and retired a champion.

There were lots of great food choices at the tents. But the big seller by far was water. Just $1 a bottle.

A-Town Throwdown

I was there for this year's exciting A-Town Throwdown, which attracted 44 teams and comes fast on the heels of the popular Stellar tournament. Pocono Mountain West won the Stellar tournament, but was eliminated by Whitehall. The Zephyrs made it to the finals without their explosive point Guard, Mikey Esquilin.

In the morning, Bangor's scrappy Slaters were eliminated by Reading, but they'll be back. Out of gas, Reading was eventually annihilated by Whitehall, which has no size, no stars, no dunks. They just keep coming at you.

Becahi put in a valiant effort against its nemesis, Liberty, falling just four points short. Coach Mike Frew, who was at the helm at Becahi, is now on Liberty's staff and helped many of Becahi's players get started. So he gets a double win.

My grandson's Central Catholic High School team made it to the Elite Eight, but fell Sunday afternoon to Wayne NJ. I was very encouraged at how well Central played, thanks to a very stingy defense and balanced attack. Jay Vaughan, Dat Lambert, Chris Ocasio and Kevin Kern all had a number of good steals and assists. Matt Vaughan made a crucial pass to Ocasio on Saturday in a closely fought contest against Notre Dame.

As he sat in the stands after the Liberty-Whitehall game, "Who Dat" Lambert was shocked to learn he made All-Tournament. I'm very proud of him. He is about 5'10", but has the heart of a giant.

The eventual winner of the tournament, Liberty High School, is no surprise to me. They are an excellent team, and most of the players worked their way through Coach Craig Golden's 'Canes team. Alex Serrano, the tournament's MVP, can be seen below with Coach Golden when he was in 6th grade. I used to call him the Ice Man because he displayed no emotion on the court. But he's mellowed and I had a nice conversation with Alex between games. He was smiling ear-to-ear.

Coach Golden, whose kids are themselves all grown up, has spent decades of his life working with children who might be considered at-risk. He did more than teach basketball, although he certainly did that. He gave these kids a sense that their lives have value. At least four of this tournament's All-Tournament Team (three varsity and one JV) are kids he coached, and more importantly, mentored.

I enjoyed watching these athletes from opposing teams between games. Many of them are close friends and watched other games together. Dat was at Easton Trevor the Terror Storm's house on Saturday night, where Trevor was surprised with a car for his birthday.  Black and white, rich and poor, they are all united by a love of sport, and so was the diverse crowd there to enjoy a game. Police officers on bikes were more like ambassadors of good will than oppressors. When I watch these high school games, I feel encouraged about this country because the kids are so great.

But while these games were being played, three Baton Rouge police officers were assassinated by what appears to be a lone gunman.

Part of America died.


King Allentown Triumphs

King Allentown, LEGEND/ICON/SEX GOD/PORNSTAR/HOCKEY CHAMPION/FORMER CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE/ GREATEST LEHIGH VALLEY LEGEND EVER, trained very hard for this year's sportsfest. It wasn't just the weight room. He also stopped having sex about two months before the event. Allentown health officials noticed an immediate drop in STDs. All his effort paid off. After a convincing win in dek hockey on Sunday, the Kingster announced his retirement. He plans to pursue his burgeoning e-Bay business, where he sells what he gets at Food Bank Friday.

I do have a pic of the Kingster, taken Saturday. My lens were fogged up, but he's at the far left.


Have you ever gone to professional wrestling? If not, you owe it to yourself to visit just once. You'll immediately feel like a smart person. The trailer park trash were there in abundance to watch their heroes, although Donald Trump was busy. I was right at home and confess I've been to many matches over the years. Basketball players were unable to resist the temptation to be there between games, and some of them threatened to return to the courts with metal folding chairs. Below you see a professional from Ecuador getting manhandled by a wrestler who claims to be from Hawaii.

My favorite was The Foreman, who came out in a construction helmet and left the ring a few times in a three-way match.

"Are you taking another union break?" taunted a toothless fan.

"I'm resting. ... I'm pacing myself."


Wicked Witch of W. Easton said...

King Wilson Borough would kick his butt!


Anonymous said...

Great for Dat, fantastic!

I was out of town this weekend so I missed it, but from all I heard it was a great weekend.

The Banker