Monday, November 16, 2009

Boys will be boys

We returned late yesterday from a fun filled weekend in Houston, Texas at our thirty year college reunion. Lots of friends showed up, so that made it especially memorable. Our football team won its first game of the year, so even better.

But the most fun I had was Sunday morning, watching Ricky play three games of volleyball as part of a men's volleyball team alumni get-together.

Earlier in the month he was reluctant to attend the reunion, and even more reluctant to attempt volleyball. But wifely pressure prevailed, and we went.

We did manage to arrive in town too late to play sand lot volleyball on Friday. Only a few played the sand game, figuring the legs would only be there once, and Sunday would be better.

It was amusing to watch them warm up Sunday morning, hitting balls against the walls, practicing serves, setting each other for hits, peeking sideways to see how the other guys were doing. Showing up were nine men who played competitively for Rice in the late seventies and early eighties, their coach and a couple of club players from the current team. So they were able to play six on six - three games to twenty five.

Ricky didn't warm up much. He joked that he only had five jumps left and didn't want to waste them. No one expected to do great - there was just the fear of being awful in front of the people you used to be great with.

But the game began, and they quickly settled in. Old rotations and plays showed up as if used yesterday. The taunting, the laughing, the language - all the same. And they always knew what the score was.

Everyone had at least a couple of good hits and saves and there were many long rallies. Ricky did well as long as he didn't have to hit twice in a row! He even managed to do his famous backwards roll at the end of a dig. So maybe a few more balls hit the floor or the net than in yesteryear, but not much else differed.

Well, maybe the sore shoulders and knees and ankles for the next few days is a little different than thirty years ago. With a legal drinking age of eighteen, college guys never stayed sore after beating themselves up on the court.

Thirty years ago they would drive all night, play match after match and then drive back to school, crammed five or six into compact cars. Even now they can recite specific plays and tournaments and outcomes and team pranks.

Even now they are boys who can play and have a good time.


Kent Erickson said...

I had a great time! Thanks for the write up!

Jennifer said...

Please tell me you got this on video or at least you have pictures!!!!!