Horseshoes ring up aid for charity Money will go to Special Olympics

October 11, 1992|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

The "Dream Team" lost its first match.

Don't remember this scenario during the endless Summer Olympic telecasts? Well, you shouldn't. This isn't the U.S. basketball team that won the gold medal during the Olympics.

This is the Dream Team of horseshoe pitching. And it was playing for the Special Olympics, not in the Summer Games.

The 11th annual Horseshoe Tournament in Winfield brought out 56 two-person teams yesterday in search of that all-important ringer -- the high-scoring throw that leaves the horseshoe's sides around the metal peg -- and to raise money for the county's Special Olympics, an athletic event for the disabled.

And the Dream Team of Mike Smith and Ted Watkins from Mount Airy did indeed lose -- but Mr. Smith said it was all part of the plan.

"We generally lose the first game, so we can come up through the losers bracket," Mr. Smith joked about his team, which got its name after "luck" placed the pair second in a summer tournament.

"It's more dramatic that way. That's the strategy. It makes the victory more sweet."

This annual event has been making victory sweet for Carroll County's Special Olympians for some time.

Rewster's Restaurant in Taylorsville sponsors the event, whose $10 registration fee per team and proceeds from concession stands constitutes the most money any fund-raiser in the county donates to the charity, said Marsha Barger, a Special Olympics area director.

"I think this is wonderful," Ms. Barger said.

"People come out because it's a good cause and because they like to play horseshoes."

Well, there are other reasons for the 200-plus crowd -- some were just there to watch the action -- behind Winfield Fire Hall.

Take The Dream Team for example.

"Actually we're terrible," Mr. Smith said. "We come here especially to eat, drink and have a good time."

Don Cameron, of Randallstown, and his partner, Ken Crigger of Westminster, also found themselves in the loser's bracket rather early, but were decidedly unfazed by the defeat.

"As long as they have plenty of food and beer, we'll be around," Mr. Crigger said.

"Last year, I just came to eat," said Bob Botterill, an appliance repairman from Daisy in Howard County. "I just came to get fat and go back home."

But this year, Mr. Botterill and many others came to play. But he and his partner joined Mr. Crigger, Mr. Cameron, and many others in the loser's bracket.

Bob Volpe of Sykesville, a member of the team that beat Mr. Crigger and Mr. Cameron, said it doesn't matter how his team won the first round.

"Hey, If I make it to the winners bracket, I'm just as good as a guy who threw all ringers," Mr. Volpe said. "No one can tell the difference."

Rewster's employees and members of the Woodbine Recreation Council volunteered to cook and serve pit beef and other forms of "good eatin' " while selling beer into outstretched cups.

"Everyone here that is helping out is donating their own time for this cause," said Doug Henley, manager of Rewster's Restaurant. "I think that's the interesting part."

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