Holy Ghosts win Williams John Donovan Memorial

Behind the Directors’ Cup, the John Donovan Memorial Trophy is the most coveted trophy in all of College athletics. Held in high regard throughout the northeast, this trophy is awarded each year to the winner of the Williams-hosted tournament. Usually well attended by young and old alike, this year, the tournament fell on the same weekend as a major holiday, forcing the usual alumni contingency to stay at home and appeal to a higher authority than the WRFC.

In the first game of the day, the blearly-eyed White Dawgs fought their way through the haze of morning to battle the formidable RPI Rodents. Both teams started off a little slowly, but it was clear that the Dawgs were the more powerful squad. Scurrying and back-peddling under the larger mass of the Williams scrum, the Rodent’s scrum found themselves on their heels for most of the game.

The scrummies’ dominance allowed for a clean pull of the ball out to the three quarters line and gave the ready linies a chance to show off their skills. Inspiring performances on line plays like the “shark” and the double-skip by Galen “Gershwin” Thorp ’04 and Dennis “The Menace” Imonje ’05 exploited the weaknesses in the Rodent line.

Though the Holy Ghosts of Trinity were a favorite to win the tournament. In a form that has been too typical this year, the Dawgs came out looking like zombies and were punished by a first minute try by the Ghosts. The Ghosts’ play was hard to nail down, allowing them to score again before the half was over. After swigging some Gatorade and chomping some Scooby-snacks, the Dawgs came out supercharged in the second.

Strong scrum play by Justin “Just-In” Reliford ’03 and Tom “Sudsy” Kramer ’03 brought the game within five points. Simon “Medical Purposes” Maloy ’03 was forced to exit the game with the inevitable onset of chronic hamstring pain and nicotine craving.

With four minutes and about a score of seconds left in the game, the White Dawgs realized that something had to be done. As if sucked through a tube, the White Dawg suddenly advanced from their own 22-yard line to within five meters in under a minute.

With complete disregard for their physical health, the burly Dawgs took turns to grab, then twist and turn the ball ever closer to try line. No less than three times did the White Dawgs come within a hair’s breadth of the goal before being repelled by the Ghosts. Threatened by the Dawgs’ subatomic distance to the try zone, the Ghosts betrayed the nature of the game committing an egregious foul just as the game clock sounded its final bong, effectively ending the Dawgs’ quest for resurrection. As Zak “Lego Maniac” Haviland ’04 put it, “Fear not my children, we shall riseth again before thee.”

The final game of the day was between the White Dawgs and the Bowdoin Barnacles. With a notorious record of latching onto attacking players and coaches, the Barnacles have earned a reputation in Maine as a team to avoid when docked. The teams proved to be quite evenly matched, but the quality of the sport the shabbiest of the day. Exhausted from a hot day of competition, members of both sides dragged their feet or stood, cotton-mouthed, near the sideline grasping for water.

At halftime, Williams Coach Bruce Stephenson attempted to rally the weary Dawgs with a story about the time he and four teammates came together for a meal and created, Voltron-style, an ultra-mega-zord which was able to traverse the entire length of the field (and space and time) without being challenged. Unfortunately, this and other true stories were lost on the Dawgs.

In the second, Bowdoin found its strength in fresh legs and lungs, particularly in Easter Island pre-frosh Adam “Koko” Feit ’07, eventually overtaking the White Dawgs 21-14 in the second half. Exhausted, both teams were happy to pack up what little nugget of strength remained and call it a day.

When the game was over and the smoke had cleared, Trinity had won the day. All four teams gathered in the center of pitch to honor the memory of John Donovan and learn about the history of the tournament. As Ice Cube says, “it was a good day.”

However, as in love and war, the JD tournament is a game that everybody wins. The Berkshire Alliance for the Mentally Ill received hundreds of dollars in entrance fees, the Trinity team won the trophy and the Williams boys showed the perseverance needed to defeat Amherst in two weeks. Don’t tune out because next week the White Dawgs travel to Islip Airport to compete in the Beast of the East tournament.