For many, the Thanksgiving holiday brings an opportunity to get together with family and friends. Along with great food, many people play in an annual Turkey Bowl type of football games. For North Star folks in the Chicago area the game of choice isn’t football but speedball, a hybrid game that combines elements of football, soccer and basketball. The day after Thanksgiving is our annual Wanegan Bowl.
Seven years ago about 20 of us gathered at West Ridge Park in Highland Park and while the game has moved and the participation has grown, the game still marks a great opportunity for current and former campers and staff to get together and play a game that we all love. The Wanegan Bowl is open to anyone who has been either a camper or staff at North Star and is currently 16 years of age or older.
Last Friday Nov. 26th about 50 of us descended upon Brickyard Park, ignored the fact that we weren’t in mid season shape and didn’t care about the 20 degree temps. Two nights before the game AJ Bayard, Mike Blumberg, Jack Silverstein, and Mike Swiryn drafted the teams in typical United Nations Day style. It didn’t matter that none of the captains were at camp this summer and probably knew about half of the players. Teams were split up (pretty evenly).
In order to ensure that everyone gets to play, we now have four teams and play tournament style. It means a little more time outside, but it also gives everyone more time to hang out and catch up. As usual the displays of athletic prowess ranged from impressive to forgettable. In the end, Team Swiryn was victorious in winning the Steven A. Hitchens trophy.
Following the game NSC Alum Brian Glickman was presented with the 3rd Wanegan Bowl Lifetime Achievement Award. Think of this as our version of the Oscar’s Thalberg Award. We honor someone when we feel its appropriate and this year Brian was honored for his lifetime of (blind) dedication to North Star, Illini basketball and The Dave Matthews Band. Following the afternoon’s festitivites, we all head over the Michael’s Hotdogs in Highland Park.
We’ll play again in 2011, so if you missed this year’s game, we encourage you to come out next year.