‘Let the games begin’

Men’s Bocce kicks off 25th Senior Games of Richmond County

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Results
Photo gallery – more than 400 pics!
* Bocce rules (page 20)
* March 18: Last day to register
* Feb. 8: Senior Games set for April
* Oct. 18, 2014: 4 locals win gold at NC Senior Games

HAMLET — Al Munn faced insurmountable odds. Yet he maintained a cheerful disposition. It was, after all, opening day for the 25th annual Senior Games of Richmond County.

Munn, 82, of Hamlet, was up against Eugene McLean, 83, of Rockingham in the backyard of the Hamlet Senior Center overlooking City Lake. McLean was in front. By a lot. Munn had yet to score.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com James Robinson, of Rockingham, takes his turn while Jerry Nelson waits. Nelson won, 10-5.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
James Robinson, of Rockingham, takes his turn while Jerry Nelson waits. Nelson won, 10-5.

“I need all the help I can get,” Munn said to anyone willing to lend an ear. Then he rolled. “Aw, come on!”

For the first time in the match, Munn finished with his ball closest to the pallino. His first point.

“Al, you scored,” screamed Pete Wheeler, games coordinator.

Munn smiled in momentary triumph, then conceded, “and I messed up the scorekeeper.”

Munn didn’t help himself often enough and McLean cruised to a 12-1 win in the men’s 80-84 division of Men’s Bocce, the first activity of the two-week celebration of active seniors. Seventeen men competed in five age divisions — 60 to 604, 65 to 69, 70 to 74, 75 to 79 and 80 to 84 — on the opening day of the Games.

The Opening Ceremonies are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. with a supper at Richmond Community College and at 5:30 p.m. with a formal opening. The location of the ceremony will be at the amphitheater, weather permitting, or inside Cole Auditorium.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Eugene McLean, of Rockingham, stands by City Lake in Hamlet to try his luck in the men's bocce tournament, part of the 25th annual Senior Games of Richmond County.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Eugene McLean, of Rockingham, stands by City Lake in Hamlet to try his luck in the men’s bocce tournament, part of the 25th annual Senior Games of Richmond County.

Other early matches Monday morning pitted Leroy Crowder, 80, of Hamlet, against Ronald “Max” Adrianse, 83, of Rockingham. Adrianse won 10-8 to play McLean for the gold medal.

In other early matches, newcomer J.A. Bolton, 66, of Rockingham bested Raymond Collins, 69, of Norman, 12-1. It was Bolton’s first time playing the game. And 71-year-old Jerry Nelson, of Rockingham, handled James Robinson, 69, also of Rockingham, 10-5.

More than 130 individuals are registered for the county’s Senior Games. Event winners will represent Richmond County at the North Carolina Games in September and October.

Tuesday’s schedule include’s 26 participants competing for the title of women’s bocce champion starting at 9 a.m. at the Hamlet Senior Center and a 2 p.m. start for contract rummy.

 

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Jerry Nelson, left, and Pete Wheeler, coordinator for the Senior Games of Richmond County, measure the distance of the a player's throw to the pallino.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Jerry Nelson, left, and Pete Wheeler, coordinator for the Senior Games of Richmond County, measure the distance of the a player’s throw to the pallino.

 

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