SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
After all seven Tri-Wing Sports Day events were finished, the 50th Space Wing (Schriever Air Force Base) and 460th Space Wing (Buckley Air Force Base) were tied with 310 total points each. The tiebreaker went to the winner of the final event, tug-o-war, where the 50 SW went 2-0 to win the overall event title here Friday.
The potential for severe weather forced the cancellation of outdoor events, but that didn’t keep the event from being filled with clutch performances and excitement.
“Despite not playing outdoor sports, the indoor competitions were intense with several games and competitions going down to the wire,” said Seth Cannello, fitness center director. “Schriever needed to win the last two events of the day to win the overall competitions and that’s what happened.”
Volleyball rallies for important win
The 460 SW held a 20-point lead entering the second to last event, volleyball, and defeated the 21st Space Wing (Peterson Air Force Base) to ensure it would take at least second place. The 50 SW rolled to a straight-set win over 460 SW before over taking the 21 SW in extra points on the third set.
That set the stage for the day’s final competition, a tug-o-war battle between each wing’s Chiefs and Eagles. Had Buckley won the competition, it would have won the overall title outright.
50 SW Chiefs and Eagles secure Tri-Wing title
Schriever and Buckley squared off in the first tug. Buckley nearly had Schriever across the victory line, but Schriever’s Chiefs and Eagles dug their heels in and eventually pulled Buckley across for a crucial win.
“I lost my voice yelling at the team as they struggled against a powerful Buckley squad,” Cannello said. “Buckley was about a foot away from winning when Schriever’s team rallied. I’m sure it was grueling holding out that long, but it was fun to see our Chiefs and Eagles giving it their all to ensure a Team 5-0 victory.”
Buckley takes early lead
Dodgeball opened the competition for the day. All three teams earned one win, but Buckley came away with the first-place points following the tiebreaker-five players left in after its win to just four for Schriever.
Steele Rackley, 50th Space Communications Squadron, and Adam Hockert, 1st Space Operations Squadron, finished second and third in the Murph competition, but Buckley posted 52 total team points to take first in the event.
Functional fitness keeps 50 SW close to 460 SW
Mark Skinner, 2nd Space Operations Squadron, and Greg Overton, 2 SOPS, proved their selection to the 16.4 Open Announcement earlier this year was no fluke as the pair finished 1-2, and both more than a minute in front of the third place finisher in the functional fitness competition.
50 SW basketball wins at the buzzer
Buckley held a 140-130 team advantage over Schriever heading into the basketball competition. Schriever defeated Buckley to open the competition, then had to immediately face Peterson. It looked as though fatigue would be Schriever’s downfall, as the team trailed for most of the second game.
Schriever battled back to tie the game at 54-54. Peterson brought the ball up court and tried to hold for the final shot. Schriever was called for a foul on the Peterson shot and, after Peterson missed the first free throw, Schriever coach Robert Shaw called a timeout to draw up a final play.
“I drew up a play for the guy to go deep,” Shaw said.
Peterson made the second free throw and Schriever heaved the ball down the court. Two Peterson players collided trying for the ball which allowed the ball to fall into the waiting hands of Jonathan Holden, 3rd Space Operations Squadron, who calmly put in the game-winning lay-up with 1.8 seconds left in the game.
“There’s nothing worse than letting your team down,” Holden said. “Making that point meant everything for me and Team 5-0.”
One of the Peterson players had to be stretchered off the court following the collision, but it was learned later he would be sore, but OK.
“The first reaction was we won the game and it was very exciting,” Shaw said. “After we saw the man on the floor, it went to concern for the player.”
Buckley and Schriever finished first and third, respectively, in corn hole, setting the stage for the final two events.
Cannello had high praise for Team Schriever following the event.
“I’m very pleased with the turn out and execution of today’s events,” he said. “I’m especially grateful for our volunteers. Team 5-0 really stepped up and made the day memorable.”
The 2017 Tri-Wing Sports Day is scheduled to be held at Peterson. Schriever will look to be not only the first wing to repeat as champions, but also be the first visiting wing to win the trophy.