Kids Sea Camp News (Turkey Bowl)

The 2014 Turkey Bowl in St. Lucia

Soufriere St. Lucia, Thanksgiving Day. The third annual Kids Sea Camp Turkey Bowl held in St.Lucia ended in a 0-0 tie. The game was called due to dinner reservations at the Anse Chastanet resort later Thursday evening.

The Happy Campers and the KSC Cowboys battled in the first KSC mud bowl. Due to the heavy rains from the night before — the island soccer field turned American football field was more liquid chocolate than dirt and grass.

“It was a hard-fought game with challenging conditions, but every player on both teams left their hearts on the field. The conditions had an obvious effect on the deep ball and led to some ill-timed picks,” Coach Kaufman responded at the press conference held at Anse Chastanet resort.

Coach K continued, “We did have the chains moving with option plays and underneath dumps. I thought the line held up really well with our quarterback needing to do very little scrambling.”

Trey Blakey, this year’s MVP, gives the thumbs-up after one of his three interceptions during the 2014 Kids Sea Camp Turkey Bowl in St. Lucia.

“The field? You were there, it was a mess.” Cowboys’ Coach Peyton said sitting alongside his former defensive coach, “It was tough out there, no doubt about it. Most of the players had no shoes on to get better traction. How often do you see that?”

The players were so muddy in fact, that transportation issues arose after the game when both teams were asked to walk back to the boat. But both coaches had their weary teams clean up, best they could, and easy transport was restored by the cabbies.

“Hey mon,” one cabbie smiled, “The Americans were covered from head to toe.”

The game was a defensive struggle from the outset. The Happy Campers defense led by this year’s game MVP Trey Blakey had three interceptions.

“Our superstars showed up, including the MVP candidate,” Coach K clearly enjoyed having the MVP of the game on his team, “And even in the midst of our starting QB getting injured, James Tomlinson, we persevered showing that we had a deep bench.”

Kids Sea Camp, Turkey Bowl, St Lucia

“The defense was the obvious story of the game which had the Cowboys scrambling in the backfield numerous times.” Coach K continued, “The soft zone coverage and our cover 2 left the Cowboys with their only successful routes of the day coming on the underneath completions to the reigning MVP Rachel Schmidt.”

The coach’s son Alex Kaufman, an early MVP candidate, had a huge drive ending grab in the second quarter as the Cowboys newly signed QB Rainer Jens was avoiding a somewhat illegal pass rush from the ardent Campers defense.

“It was a good play by Alex,” Jens responded covered in grass and mud, “But they were not doing the full 3 Mississippi’s. The officials missed way too many calls. It’s just a football game.”

The officiating was the subject of passionate discussions during the game. A spoke person for the KSC International Football League did not respond to this reporter’s calls. But an off-the-record source did confirm that the game tape would be reviewed by the league office and changes will be put into place for next’s year’s game, again at St. Lucia and Anse Chastanet.

“Changes? Darn right, there needs to be changed.” Raman Sarin, the defensive star for the Campers responded, “We would have won the game it there was a least one good call. Off-sides on every play, too many players on the field, and the 3 Mississippi issue was a farce! I don’t care if I get fined, something needs to be done! You just can’t have the opposing head  football coach as the official!”

“Questionable calls might have led to the scoreless tie but that is not an official statement from the Happy Campers organization,” Kaufman responded to his Sarin’s statements after the game.

The long off-season for both teams caused miscues and poor execution. But with the lack of traction for the normally fast-paced, high-scoring Cowboys West Coast offense they could never get off the ground.

“We’re flyers,” Peyton responded again, “We’re not grinders. The field slowed us down on offense. And Trey Blakey was a one-man zone in the Campers defense. Coach K was prepared for what we like to do. He’s a heck of a football coach.”

Kids Sea Camp, Turkey Bowl

The Cowboys offense may have been off, but their defense was equally as good as the Campers. Thorsten Hart, the Junior MVP, saved a scoring drive with 3 minutes to go in the third quarter. A diving and swirling interception stopped the Campers from a game-winning score.

“The kid made a great catch — great catch,” Coach Kaufman responded, “If Hart doesn’t make that play we were in. And the way our defense was playing — it was game over, simple as that.”

After the interception, Coach Peyton moved Rainer Jens to wide receiver. Peyton quickly started to move the Cowboys down the field, with numerous short passes to last year’s MVP, Rachel Schmidt. The scoreless game looked pretty fragile.

“I was worried,” Coach K later said, “Mayhem” was back. And Peyton reads the field so darn well. I was getting really nervous. When Peyton gets hot, he’s almost unstoppable.”

But as the sun was setting on the muddy field that was the 3rd annual KSC Turkey Bowl, Peyton had his team within scoring range on a do-or-die fourth down.  Peyton brought his tired but determined team to the line and everyone in the stadium knew what was coming next. Except, for all the islanders watching the game — most had never seen an American football game before.

“It was a Hail Mary,” Peyton said, “But, there was a lot of illegal contact down the field. So when I looked to the end zone to see who was down there. All I saw was yellow — a sea of yellow. And of course, Trey grabbed the interception — again — he was everywhere.”

In a surprise move the Happy Campers head office released this statement immediately after the game; We think Coach K has done enough to warrant a contract extension and talks will commence early in the off-season.

“An extension?” Will Travis laughed during a phone interview, “His team didn’t win the game or even scored a point. Come’ on Man! I heard one of the Campers wanted to be traded at halftime?”

Reliable sources from the field have confirmed that one of the Campers players wishing to remain unnamed wanted to jump to the Cowboys during the game. From this reporter’s viewpoint, it’s something I have never seen or even heard of.

But, as the sunset on this monumental defensive battle — a game that no doubt will go down as one of the most controversial in the young history of this island bowl tourney.

I know I will remember the grit and the heart that both teams showed in the island heat and on the muddy field. An epic battle where the score showed no winner. But all the smiles and laughter after the game reflected a different outcome — where everyone was a winner at the KSC 2014 Turkey Bowl.

Next year’s 2015 KSC Turkey Bowl will be the host again by Anse Chastanet and Kids Sea Camp on the beautiful island of St. Lucia.