Sports for June 5, 2008

Sporcich Claims Cup

WALSENBURG- Jerry Sporcich of Walsenburg won the 2008 Orlando Cup this past weekend, May 31-June 1, shooting a net two-day score of 124 to oust twenty-four other golfers in one of the club’s highlight tournaments of the year.  Leon Medina shot a 127 to win second place and Frank Reider placed third with a 128.  All three duffers were in the second flight.  Winners in the first flight included Phil Maltsberger (134) first place, Art Gayton (137) second, and Pete Ross (137) third.  Gayton beat Ross by shooting a lower score on hole number one, which  was the tie-breaker and toughest hole on the course.

     In the Seniors’ division, Russell Young came in first with an 18-hole score of 68, beating Ken Rush also shooting 68.  Young claimed the title by beating Rush in the tiebreaker.  In the Ladies’ flight, Sheila Dorocch bettered her competition to claim the women’s title.  Michelle Andreatta finished second.  The tournament was a handicap-play format which led to the low net scores.

    Players had a tough time maneuvering the winter-beaten course. Association President, Gary Vezzani, stated, “The course had the worst playing conditions I have seen in all my years here.”  The warm chinook winds dried out the already fast greens for Sunday’s play which caused Saturday’s leaders board to change by the end of final-round play. Higher than usual scores Sunday made this anybody’s game for the taking.

    Back at the 19th green, players got reacquainted, telling tales of hits and strokes and just how far the ball flew.  This banter reminded me of  fishing tales about the one which got away.  The players also  talked about clubs and degrees and the best in titanium technology. In the end, no matter how well they played, everybody had a good time.  For this year anyway, Sporcich has earned his bragging rights.

    Originally called the Lamme Cup, after Walsenburg physician, Dr. James Lamme, the annual spring tournament has gone through a few changes.  Following Doctor Jim’s death, his children continued the namesake tournament until 1996 when it  was renamed the Walsenburg Spring Tournament.  Finally, in 2000  it was changed to The Orlando Cup after longtime club manager, Orlando Hererra, retired. 

    For tournament winner, Jerry Sporcich, this was a long awaited victory.  Sporcich claimed the final Lamme Cup in 1996 and won the Spring Tournament in 1999.  With this victory in 2008, Sporcich has his trifecta.  Sporcich earned the right to wear the black jacket with “Orlando Cup Winner 2008” embossed on the chest.  Like the Masters Green Jacket, this letter-man style jacket bestows a lot of prestige.

    It seemed fitting the first foursome of duffers to finish Sunday afternoon was Orlando and his group.  Back in the clubhouse, Orlando said he started playing golf while he was in the Navy in the 1960s.   He went to work for Bill and Eileen Langford, the club’s first managers in 1968.  Four years later, he was manager.  Hererra, who will turn 80 this June, still hit the ball well and made his way around the course shooting a respectable score.  Orlando said, “I hit it fair.  I am pleased I hit more  shots down the middle than in the rough.”   He said he believes this course is one of the best things to happen for the Walsenburg economy.  With the new pool and the lake, tourists will always come.  “The Peaks is what draws the people,” he claimed.

     As a testimony to the players’ affection and admiration for this golfing giant, almost every golfer approached the man to shake his hand.  With humility, he thanked them for playing.     For more clubhouse and action pictures, visit our website at www.huerfanojournal.com.

Walsenburg Hosts Wrestling Camp

WALSENBURG-  John Mall Head Wrestling Coach Josh Vialpando hosted a mini-wrestling camp for youth June 2-3.  Coaches from Adams State College ran the two-day camp, showing these youngsters, who ranged in age from 6-12, fundamental techniques to make them better grapplers.  Several other members of the Panther Wrestling squad were on hand to lend their assistance.

    Adams State assistant coaches,  Jared Deaguero, who was a Division II National Champion, three-time All American and two-time Colorado State Champion, and  Evan Copeland, a two-time NCAA Division II All American and two-time New Mexico State High School Champion, led the camp.  These two clinicians provided the athletes in attendance the means to learn from the very best in southern Colorado, if not the state.

    Peewee wrestling has long been the springboard into junior high then high school grappling.  The Adams State coaches, as well as area high school coaches Josh Vialpando and Ron Ortivez started out here.  Many of the area champions started out as peewees.

    While the attendance  was lower than expected, the participants will take what they learned back to the mats.