PAINESVILLE, OHIO -- In the midst of double sessions, the Lake Erie College football team got a welcomed reprieve from the dog days of August earlier this week. Instead of heading out to the practice field for the afternoon session on Wednesday, Head Coach Mark McNellie surprised the team with a trip to the local bowling alley.
"It was a big surprise and a great experience," sophomore wide receiver Brandon James (Mentor, OH/Mentor) said of the team's afternoon at Scores Fun Center in Painesville. "We had a great practice earlier in the day and worked really hard, so this was a welcome break."
Not only did the excursion provide a break from the rigors of preparing for the upcoming season, it provided an opportunity for new teammates to get to know one another in a fun, relaxed atmosphere.
"We talk football all day, everyday right now," sophomore quarterback Sean Bedevelsky (Brunswick, OH/Brunswick) said. "It was nice to get away from that a little bit and get a chance to get to know the new guys on the team a little better."
"Anytime we have an opportunity to get to know each other better, it brings guys together as a team a bit more."
While the goal was to build camaraderie and team chemistry in a fun way, with a large group of athletes and a visible scoreboard, there was a bit of competition for bragging rights as the best on the lanes.
The five-man team of junior Bill Finucan (Rocky River, OH/Rocky River/Mercyhurst), sophomores Ben Ehrman (Cleveland, OH/Lutheran East) Travis Lepley (Franklin, PA/Franklin) and Ray Walker (Grove City, OH/Grove City) and freshman Nick Krantz (Mentor, OH/Mentor) took home the team title.
"I think anytime you have 120 guys playing anything, it is going to get competitive," Bedevelsky said. "And guys get into it. Some are good, some are awful, but everyone had a good time."
View photo gallery (photos courtesy Mark McNellie)