Evan's team, the Woodinville Falcons (Cubs division), played their first regular season game today against the Bainbridge Island team at Strawberry Hill Park. The team played very well, and Evan was excited about getting his first "real" tackle, on the second defensive play of the game [photos below courtesy of our star team photographer, and videographer, Bruce].
It was a great game, and it was a great after-game, as the food being served at the concession stand was like nothing I've ever seen or tasted at any other ballfield (outside professional sports, and even then, better than the food I've had at most professional stadiums). In addition to the usual fare (hotdogs, soda, candy and chips), they were offering BBQ Pork, "Island Pork" (with jalapenos, sauteed onions and cilantro), and a Chicken Salad with goat cheese, candied pecans cranberries and pears. The Island Pork was fabulous, as was the accompanying southern-style cole slaw (with sesame seeds -- it's amazing to me sometimes how little touches can make a big difference). I smelled and heard good things about the other items as well [if you click on the photo below, you can read the full menu board].
I spoke with Liz Le Dorze, the Vice-President of Fundraising and Community Involvement for Bainbridge Football (pictured above, in the center, flanked by Margie Wienkers, Snack Shack Manager, and Kelley Yarbrough, Treasurer and Volunteer Coordinator -- who also contributed the cole slaw). Liz told me the specialty food is part of a larger community effort that they are experimenting with this year. The healthier food selections are intended to appeal to a broader range of families who will be coming to the park each Saturday, and she is hoping that will provide more incentive for people to hang out longer, meet other families and cheer on other teams. They offer free meal certificates to the sponsors of the league, some of whom then donate the certificates to the home team coaches, who then are free to use them as awards for MVPs. They also offer free drinks to the coaches and free meals to the referees (which, at least for this game, did not seem to influence or bias their calls in any discernible way :-).
I think it's a great idea, and wanted to share the news with others who may be heading to Bainbridge Island for a junior football game this season (don't bother packing a meal!) ... and with people who are in fundraising and/or community-building roles for other leagues or clubs, in case they might be inspired to replicate this tasty experiment!