Members of the Herald-Whig Dirt Diggers. Front row from left: Maggie Henke, Tom Van Ness. Second row from left: Jenny Dreasler, Trianna Stark, Don O'Brien, Rodney Hart, Patrick Cornell. Back row from left: Matt Hopf, Julie Ann Marra.
One of the neat events that I’ve been a part of the last few years is the Hannibal Y Men’s Club mud volleyball tournament. It’s a Fourth of July staple.
The event lasts all weekend with dozens of teams congregating along the riverfront in America’s Hometown. On the night before the real players dive into the mud, the Men’s Club has been nice enough to let us media types battle it out.
In 2009, the Herald-Whig Dirt Diggers got it done, winning the title. Sadly, I wasn’t on that team because I was on vacation. I hopped into the mud last year and we took second, losing to our nemesis from across town — KHQA.
The Dirt Diggers were all set to get their revenge on Thursday night. We had put together a team that we thought was going to take down everyone, including our arch enemies.
Sadly, we left with mud in our eyes. The Dirt Diggers didn’t get it done. As a matter of fact, I’m not so sure that we could have beaten any of the junior high teams that were playing on the other courts. It was a really sad effort. We got beat by U.S. Cable in our opener in straight sets and then were given a forfeit victory after the folks from KICK FM left.
That left us waiting in the loser’s bracket for the loser of KHQA and the Cable guys. KHQA lost that match, giving us our chance at redemption.
I try to tell the folks from KHQA why the Herald-Whig Dirt Diggers were going to beat them like a drum. Sadly, the Dirt Diggers couldn't back me up.
The match started off right as we won the first game 15-13 as Hitman Hart, an infamous member of the H-W’s title-winning H-W Demons softball team, served out the match. But then the worm turned and KHQA won the next two games and we left in shame.
I have full stats from the game, including plus-minus for each player on the Dirt Diggers. (Plus-minus is how many points your team scored or was outscored when you were in the game.) Because I don’t want to ruin anyone’s weekend, I won’t post the individual stats. Let’s just say that DOB was a plus-23 when he was on the court during the team’s two matches. The others weren’t so hot.
For their inability to beat a bunch of TV people in mud volleyball, the third-place Herald-Whig Dirt Diggers get the dubious honor of The Slap of the Week.
This is my last post for a while as I’m on vacation next week. If you just can’t live without me, follow me on Twitter. I’m sure I’ll be posting thoughts there during my time off.
Have a happy holiday.