Troy's Take: A Parade Of Community Spirit

Troy ClarksonAmy Rader Photographer - Troy Clarkson

The US women’s hockey team may have shed a tear as they received their silver medals, but their success in being second best on the planet still represents a memorable and laudable Olympic effort. For them to train, practice, play, and succeed at the Olympic level is an amazing feat for which they as athletes, and we as Americans, should be proud. 

I witnessed a similar team effort—both on and off the ice—last week for which the Falmouth community should be equally delighted. I had a day off, so my pal Jeff Stouffer suggested I join him at the Falmouth Ice Arena to catch the last ice hockey game of the regular season for the Lady Clippers of FHS. I did, and what I encountered at the wonderful house that Falmouth Youth Hockey built was far more than a hockey game. It was an unforgettable parade of community spirit. 

As Jeff and I stood high in the back of the stands and cheered the efforts of his daughter Kendall, a stalwart presence on the team’s defense, I realized that I was in attendance at more than a hockey game. Families, friends, and Falmouthites turned out to cheer on the successes of our lady skaters, once again demonstrating that our name makes us a town, but our people make us a community.

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After watching the first period with Jeff, I noticed another old pal watching the puck exchange intently and made my way over to pay him a visit. Town clerk Michael Palmer was proudly watching his daughters Margaret and Elizabeth, twins in life and teammates on the ice. Michael and I both remarked at the strong showing of community support. “That’s just what Falmouth does,” quipped our chief election officer matter-of-factly. Yes, indeed, Michael. Falmouth supports its own and this day was no different.

I shared a smile and a story with uber-citizen and former corner conference room colleague Eddie Marks, whose dedication to Falmouth is legendary. Eddie was in the bleachers, like he has been for thousands of FHS athletic events, with his maroon ball cap proudly emblazoned with a big white “F.” Of course, he was there with his devoted wife, Rosie. They were on hand supporting their granddaughter, forward Olivia Hough, whose parents, Steve and Michelle, were also offering cheerful support. As Steve blurted out his displeasure with a call from the referee, I made my way across the arena and shared a happy hello with former boss and current confidant Don Quenneville, who was in the stands with his perpetually lovely wife, Maggie, supporting their granddaughter, freshman forward Ericka Meissner. 

Our ladies skated with ease and aplomb, giving the higher-ranked Wellesley all they could handle. As the minutes ticked by, the pace of the game picked up, and the Falmouth cheering section exploded with encouragement. No stranger to high-stakes hockey himself, former FHS standout Bob Bowman, known on this day simply as deft defenseman Brooke Bowman’s dad, shouted both instructions and encouragement to the squad of hockey mavens and the audience of Clipper enthusiasts. He was backed up by barrister Brett Sanidas, whose encouragement for his high-performing daughter Emily enhanced the cheering section at the top step of the bleachers. I even caught a quick hello from former Davisville neighbor Stephen Kapulka, who can’t claim a kid on the team, but can sure claim Falmouth as his hometown, and was there to show how much that means.

As the game heated up to a fever pitch in the fast-paced third period, net minder and team captain Madison Scavotto swatted shots like Tuukka, while dad Peter Scavotto looked on intently, his nose pressed firmly on the rink’s Plexiglas. Tim and Jackie Callahan, who have supported a legion of successful FHS athletes, were once again on hand to support their daughter Hanna. 

The list goes on of Falmouth folks who spent time supporting their kids and their community. Our local hockey heroines skated to a 2-2 tie, and head into the playoffs knowing that they have the energy and enthusiasm of a grateful community behind them. Like Michael said, that’s just what we do.

(Mr. Clarkson may be contacted at votetroy99@aol.com and followed on Twitter @TroyClarkson59.)

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