Teens, Mirage Adult Community Residents Compete in ‘Fun Bowl’

Jan 10, 2018

When Superstorm Sandy severely damaged the St. Francis Community Center in Brant Beach, competitive swimming teams had to look for another facility. The boys and girls swim teams at Barnegat High School were offered the use of the swimming pool at the Four Seasons at Mirage adult community in Barnegat Township. Out of that arrangement came the “fun bowl,” where the men’s water volleyball team played exhibition matches against the school swim teams in the Mirage clubhouse. This year’s event was held on Dec. 22.

“The idea of having them join us for an afternoon of fun and enjoyment in playing the game of volleyball has now become something special around the holiday season,” said Mayor Frank Caputo, event co-coordinator. “When all was said and done, it showed how the young and old can learn from each other.”

Caputo said the games featured water volleyball teams playing each other and then having mixed teams with men’s group members and the students. Later, the students played several games against the Mirage teams.

“One must never say youth doesn’t have the strength and ability,” said Caputo. “However, at the end the well-experienced vintage team prevailed in what must be called nothing less than a great afternoon. The Mirage men seemed to walk around a bit battered, tired and almost worn out, but still had what it takes to once again prevail as true champions.”

He said the afternoon was completed with the group having pizza and refreshments and taking pictures around the Christmas tree.

One of the Mirage team members, Bill Reichert, was a handful for the kids. The team doesn’t call him “Big Bill” for nothing, as he stands 6 feet, 8 inches tall.

“What’s most important is the camaraderie,” he said. “We all compete hard, but it’s mostly about having fun. These are very nice young people, and it is a pleasure to see them when they come through the door.”

Reichert, who helps coordinate the Fun Bowl, said that during the winter, the Mirage team plays three days a week.

“Sometimes we play against each other, and occasionally we play teams from other communities,” he said. “Either way, the games are a great way to keep in shape.” —E.E

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