Back in Black!!!
The Art of Leisure and Losing in Ocean City
By Darla Burns



The Single Source men's Lacrosse Team entered its name into the history books, becoming the champions of the 2005 Ocean City Lacrosse Tournament. Prizes included an airbrushed t-shirt (leftover from the White Marlin Open), an unfitted ball cap with the O.C. insignia, and a gold plated trophy that they can't even keep. Clearly bragging rights is the biggest prize of all. On the women's side, the Girls in Black also went down in history, but as being quite possibly the worst team to ever play at North Side Park's Fields One and Two. The halftime game of the men's final featured two youth midget teams that would have killed us. Here are the events that led to our demise:





The Thursday of the drive started with a 5a.m. wake up call to set up what would be my last project with Under Armour with fellow co-worker and tournament participant, Will Phillips (this could also be the key reason Team Heineken didn't get a ring, either). After a long day, Courtney Stringer picked me up from my closet (what you may call an apartment), and we headed out to the ocean. I tried to take a little nap, but to no avail, because Courtney's a bit of a talker. Upon arrival, we first headed to Castaway's, a new restaurant by 60th street to meet up with our team for after dinner cocktails. Coach Pica sat us around to have a pre-game chat. It was here that we took a knee and discussed our agenda for the tournament.

After more cocktails, it was decided that no one was really interested in playing, but since it was our last year, we would compromise. Play we would, but win, we would not. Our animated team imported San Diegoans or San Diegans and Richmond/Maryland Alums Kate Robinson, Kristy Gallagher and Mandy Borquin. Later, the three along with Pica and me, would prove to do more damage than good on and off the field. Other contributors to our sucky-ness were Catherine Elbe, Lauren Bernier, Lauren Redler, Sarah Oliphant, Hollis Pica, Cary Chasney, Molly Urlock, Anne Dabrowski, Kate Fillipelli, and of course Courtney Stringer. After Castaways, we headed to The Green Turtle where we met up with Jen Dragoni, Lauren Traber, and a newly brunette Courtney Benner. Since meeting me, the single white female is convinced the grass is greener on the other side. Who can blame her?

As we cut rugs on the dance floor, the red bull kicked in and I entered what I call "The Lightning Round" of dancing. Unfortunately, it did not work in my favor and I bumped in to a fellow Green Turtle patron and she ruined my pedicure. NOT AWESOME. To make matters worse, she didn't even apologize.



Exhibit A

Friday morning, we headed to the field a little early so we could all have time to pray. After a few Hail Marys followed by some Our Fathers, we knew we would need a little more than a prayer to get through the weekend. Johnny Pica finally grabbed the bull by its horns and pulled us all together. When asked how his team succeeded in fulfilling their goal to not making it to the championships, he had this to say: "It doesn't take much to say to this team, one reason being they never listen anyway. So I knew I had to make it short and sweet. When you have ADHD players like Lauren Bernier and Darla Burns who by halftime were picking dandelions, you gotta keep it short. All you can do is hope. So I said , Girls In Black, let's do everything we can to not play on Sunday". After our usual team rant, "Do it for Johnny", we took the field.



Dragoni and Traber

If there's anything the Girls in Black were good at, it was quitting. After the first half of the first game a certain Loyola player traded in her lacrosse stick for a Purple Passion and headed to the pool bar. Hollis Pica dressed for every game, but talked on her cell phone on the sidelines for 2 games, leaving us a man down.



Hollis n Sparky

This was a good thing. We really did not want to play on Sunday, so we knew we needed to use every resource possible to make this happen.



The San Diegans with The Balti-morons

To really seal the deal, we went to Seacrets along with Dan Chemotti and Joe Ceglia for libations in between games so as to hinder vision and reflexes. Since Natural Light cans were $2 a pop, it was too easy.



Lacy is ready for game #2 with mouth guard entact.

Sure enough, our plan to die hard worked. I definitely missed every ball passed to me and missed balls I thought were being passed to me. The torturous heat took its toll and I think my team would agree with me in saying that milk was a bad idea.

Our spirits were still uplifted however with the support of our canine mascot, Cody, a maltese shih-tzu that Lauren Redler snuck into the hotel for the entire weekend. The dog always had words of encouragement, but barked in Spanish. Unfortunately no one on our team speaks Spanish, so we didn't know what he was saying. We knew he was on our side, though.





That night, we jump started it at The Blue Ox, the restaurant and Raw Bar next to our hotel. Just so you know, raw oysters are the best during the months that end in -er, and that night I found out the hard way. After, we dedicated our night to Fager's, a yearly ritual and my home away from home. T.R. and Wally were tearing it up with Darah Ross and Mo Duffy on the dance floor and my heel got stuck on the upper deck causing me to fall forward in front of everyone. Yup, it's good to see that tradition has reared its ugly head once again.





This year, we covered all of our bases here in O.C. for a fifth summer, and I am happy to say no one was hurt, physically, anyway. Sadly, this year brings no Dynasty for the Girls in Black who played their last really, really, really bad game together, and under the tenure of Coach "Dean Smith" Pica. We had a good time, so you can count on me to get the same roster back for some guest appearances and lose badly just for old time sake. Hollis, don't forget to bring your cell phone. I doubt you will. After all, we may not be the best team out there, but there ain't a mutt in the bunch, except Cody. Just check out Courtney and my telescope pose.

Speaking of ends, I mentioned earlier, I have since left Under Armour in a career move to join the all star cast of Sports Her Way. Our Team Sales Department consists of Sue Heether, Monica Yeakel, Lynne Gunning, Lauren Traber and me. So you know where to go for your team uniforms and accessories!

Congratulations to John Martino and Stephanie Shipley who tied the knot this weekend.

Signin off from the ocean, hon!

                                                          Spark-a-licious


October 11, 2005


PREVIOUS SPARKPLUG COLUMNS:

A Big Bowl of Sparky
Sparky won't shut up!
2004 Hawaii Tournament
2004 Ocean City Tournament
2004 Final Four
2004 Lacrosse Fashion Extravaganza
Back In Philly - 2004 Lacrosse Coaches Convention
Sparky in Hawaii
Sparky in Ocean City
Sparky's Final Four
Sparky Storms into Jersey
Sparky @ Mardi Gras
Sparky in Philly


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