No Age Discrimination
OK, the Rockies lost, but the Broncos keep winning, the Daniel brothers won the golf tournament and Seton beat FCS in volleyball. Therefore, it is fine to keep talking sports. I was thinking you might be interested in my college athletic career. (Don’t have a lot of time to write right now.) This idea came to me because I am still trying to dejunk around here and am still going through Mom’s things. I found a box of very old financial records and was about to throw it out when I noticed three Christendom College newsletters underneath the bank statements. They are dated December ‘77, February ’78 and December ’80. Why Mom saved these three particular ones, I do not know, but each of them have something about my athletic accomplishments.
The ’78 one talks about a football game we had when classes were cancelled due to a big snow. I remember this game because it was fun to slide around in the snow. What I didn’t remember is that the teams were called the Eskimos and the Polar Bears. I must have been on the Eskimos because it says the Bears were heavily favored. However, the Eskimos won after an interception and a fumble recovery led to scores. Let’s assume I was involved in creating those turnovers. What is most funny to me about the little article is that it says the game was dubbed the Canuck Bowl and “will become an annual event”. At least in the next three years that I was at CC this annual event was never held – probably due to a lack of snow.
Now we fast-forward to senior year – the ’80 edition. Two sports articles mention me. The first is about the Festival of Leaves 10K race in Front Royal. I am prominently listed among the “also rans” – in fact, I am the last in the list. Laura Spooner who taught a year at Seton was 5th amongst all girl runners and won a medal. She was obviously trying to steal the thunder of the also rans. On the back page of this same edition there is a good picture of #15 taking a jump shot in the RMA Tip-off Tournament. The headline says that I made the all-tournament team. This I do remember. We lost to RMA in the opening round 87-37. I think we had a bad 2nd half which followed a bad first half. There’s nothing about my play in that game though the leading scorer and rebounder are given. I was probably trying to get everyone involved in our 37 points worth of offense. In the consolation game we played Massanutten. We trailed at half-time, but came back in a thriller to win by two. I almost matched my jersey # with 13 points. Making the all-tournament team was definitely a great accomplishment considering that I started college two years after high school and was a senior in college at the time playing in a high school tournament and was therefore six to nine years older than anyone else who made the team. CC was guaranteed a selection, and I was the only one who had played in high school. Nonetheless, I am still waiting for the announcement that CC has decided to induct me into the Crusader Hall of Fame. I’ve been rehearsing an acceptance speech for the past 29 years.
Now we go back to ’77. On the front page of the newsletter is this headline “Westhoff Wins Ping Pong Tournament”. CC was obviously a bustling place that first semester of its existence. The actual date of my table tennis feat was November 10th – might celebrate the 32nd anniversary here in a few weeks. Among those entered in the tournament were Dr. Carroll, Mr. O’Herron and Sister John Eudes of whom the book The Trouble with Angels was written. Sister was CC’s librarian. I was ready for this tournament because I had followed the sage advice “for every hour spent in class spend two hours playing ping pong”. There were three finalists: Loretta Davison, Leo White and I. To show how I get no respect, here’s what my good friend Pat Hartnett wrote. “White was heavily favored to win his match with Westhoff, since the latter had never won in practice. To everyone’s amazement, Westhoff took the first two games of the three game series to win.” I was richly rewarded with the grand prize of a pen and pencil set. Have to admit I don’t remember the pen and pencil, but I probably wore them out signing my autograph on ping pong balls.
Better get back to working on that speech.
Jezu, ufam Tobie