by Brandon Etan Reed
It’s the last week of camp, which for the past 45 years has meant one very special thing – it’s time for the Goose Cup!! Preparation for the Goose Cup, Shibley’s legendary street hockey tournament, begins early in the summer. In July, Mark Becker, the SSB1 Group Leader, took all of the counselors in SB3 and SSB1 (the two groups that play in the tournament) out to dinner to draft teams. Once the counselors chose their teams (there were 4 of them this year), our 6 games got underway. Each game is intense from the first one all the way to the Semi-Finals which ended with a thrilling come from behind victory for the Black Knights. That earned the Black Knights a spot in the 2018 Goose Cup where they’ll play the Mighty Pucks on Tuesday, August 14th.
What does it feel like to be in the Goose Cup? Amazing! You get to have an intense battle in front of tons of people. My friend, Craig, has dreamed of winning the Goose Cup and having his name engraved on the cup (which would make him a Shibley legend!) since he was 3-years-old.
The big game takes place at Fenway Park in Senior Camp, which is designed with big banners and lines on the field. The excitement begins as soon as the benches become loaded with campers and family members. It builds when Mark Becker (who has been part of the Goose Cup for 20 years) begins announcing some previous winners as well as each current player who comes out wearing a customized t-shirt (this year, we got to design our own shirts and both starting goalies got to design helmets).
Once the players are ready to begin, Mark starts his play-by-play, which he continues throughout the entire game. In addition to the play-by-play, we also have referees, penalties, and time outs if we attempt any high sticks, slashing, or heckling. There’s an intermission too. This makes everything feel like a replica of a real hockey game. The Goose Cup is always very exciting and competitive! Shibley Day Camp is also concerned with every camper’s safety. The goalies have helmets and the rest of the players in the field wear goggles.
When the final whistle is blown, the winning team’s coach carries out the tradition of choosing 4 MVP’s to pour fruit punch into the famous Shibley hole into the ravine. The winning team also marches around the field with the famous Goose Cup trophy chanting “goose, goose, goose.”
At the end of the day, you get to bring two things home (well, three if you’re the goalie and have a helmet) – your jersey and some wonderful memories!
Thanks for reading and have an amazing rest of your summer!