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Sandoval Mens Bocce League - Cape Coral Fl January 2014

The Sandoval Men's Bocce League (SMBL) crowned the first champion played on the new Twin Ninety Foot Courts on a chilly Florida day. The four surviving teams of a brutal 14 team round robin schedule met to determine which of them would forever hold the title of the First SMBL Champion.

Temps were in the sixties and a cold wind was whipping in from the Sandoval lake as Team 1 captained by Frank Heneghan, winner of the Tuesday bracket with a 5-1 record, faced off on the field side court against Team 9 captained by Joe Prosperino whose team squeaked out a second place finish in the Wednesday bracket. The Wednesday bracket had four of its seven teams finish in an amazing four way tie for second with identical 3-3 records. Team 9 was awarded the last semi final seed through tie breakers.

Team 9 jumped out to an early lead in game 1 as Joe, Barry Deutch, Charlie Ponzo and Martin Degerth (who subbed for  Lou Curcio) all made key shots. Frank and his team of Bocce Court Builders (Al Roper, Rob Tersigni, Jeff Sheppard) however,  would not be denied on this day. They bounced back to edge Team 9 in the first game 11-9 and went on to win the second game 11-5 to secure their place in the final.

Simultaneously, on the lake side court Tom Ferguson, Team 2 Captain, and second place finisher on Tuesday with a 5-1 record prepared to battle Team 11 led by Captain, Roger Kelty, the  UNDEFEATED winner of the Wednesday bracket. Roger's team ended the round robin round at a perfect 6-0. Team 2 (Tom, Mike Wilson, Frank Marzullo and myself) started off hot and remained that way throughout the match. Roger, Frank Civitillo, Bill Johnson and Ed Rolando just missed on several shots that could have turned the game around. Team 2 went on to win game one 11-5 and game two, 11-3.

Now it was down to two. The crowd was standing as they lined the court in quiet anticipation. The game was on! Bragging rights and the SMBL trophy were at stake! The Bocce Court Builders vs Tom and the underdogs. The big match was about to begin.

Team 1 jumped out to an early lead in game 1 and never looked back as Team 2 wondered how  Jeff Sheppard could throw a bocce ball on this windy, overcast chilly Florida day wearing only a tee shirt and shorts. 

The second game was a nip and tuck battle as the good guys won in bocce overtime 12-10 sending the Heneghan team into its first three game match of the inaugural 2014 bocce tournament season. 

Eight men, one match, for all the glory. You could cut the tension with a knife as the third and deciding game was about to start. Team Heneghan took the early lead and the good guys, despite their best efforts, could never catch up. It ended with a memorable 11-8 score in the final game. Tom Ferguson and his gallant bocce ball team experienced the bitterness and agony of defeat in a championship match. You could see the devastating disappointment in their faces. At least until someone shouted. "The burgers and dogs are ready." Then the only thing left see was who could be first in the food line.

All kidding aside, the first bocce tournament on the new courts were a huge success. The trophy was won by four guys, Frank Heneghan, Al Roper, Jeff Shepard and Rob Tersigny who put in a great deal of volunteer time and effort into the construction of the courts. They are all very deserving CHAMPIONS! Congratulations to all of you!!

All members of the Sandoval Men's Bocce League were invited to share in food, refreshments and laughs after the final match. Click here to see photos of the party.

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Serving Cape Coral and Fort Myers - Lee County, Southwest Florida.