It was 4 years ago today that the Spuds Studs united at the Shelley Spud Days. A bad taste was left in our mouths due to our 3rd place finish. That bad taste may have come from the remnants of potatoes that we were pulled into, or we are just sore losers and need redemption. Thats why this year we are back and stronger than ever! We’ve been eating our potatoes, pulling and tugging potato sacks, and have gone out recruiting for our redemption team. The tough part was getting enough players to get as close to the 1000 lb weight limit as possible.
The 88th annual Shelley Spud Days is jam packed with festivities all day long. With activities ranging from a miss russet pageant, tater trot, color run, parade, to the all coveted spud tug. Everyone was bound to have a fantastic time in Shelley. We began the day at the color run earning various colors of bracelets for each obstacle accomplished within the 5k race. The parade was soon to follow with many floats, dance teams, and fire trucks leading the way. We enjoy this parade more than many other parades because its one of the few parades left that you can actually toss candy and prizes from your float. We loaded our sacks with frisbees, water bottles, and sunglasses and started tossing them like candy.
Noon was the mark of the free baked potato feed where 6,500 baked potatoes were handed out with all of the fixings included. It made for a fantastic pre-workout meal before we had to weigh in for our competition. We were able to put together a pretty fantastic team this year with Ellis (aka Spud Stud OG), Larry (#andLarry), Adam (Spud Stud One), Larisa (Jackie Chan), Robin (Suns Out Guns Out), and Shawn (The Muscle). The Spud Studs and Small Fries weighed in at 996 lbs. making us barely legal for the Spud Tug, but we were ready!
Everything was on the line right from the get-go since this tournament was a single elimination competition with 15 teams all at various skill levels. Our first round we received a bye immediately advancing us to the second round. Our first match was against the missionaries which posed a little irony since that is who we lost to 4 years ago. We surprised ourselves with a quicker victory than we thought. We had an immediate turn around against our second opponent who posed a little more difficult than our last opponent. We won, taking us from the semifinals into the championship round. We thought for sure we would get a break after getting back to back draws, but to our surprise we immediately jumped into the championship round with no rest. We knew our opponent was going to be a tough once since they made it to the finals as well. They had one advantage over us, rest! We went with our same strategy as before where we would immediately pull and hold letting our opponent tire then transitioning into a heaving pull in unison over and over pulling our opponent off their game. If we tired we would immediately hold and compose ourselves. This worked for about half of the match until we had pulled the red flag within inches of winning. Then we hit the brick wall. It was as if the hammer had dropped and we all received a huge dose of lactic acid all at the same time. We looked down as the rope began to slip through our hands slowly letting the flag near their side. Our grip was shot from the 2 matches before the championship round and we tried everything in our power to pull but nothing was left. Then the fun began when our first teammate Larisa, aka Jackie Chan, hit the potato pit. Since when do you ever get a chance to jump into a pit of mashed potatoes? So we all joined her jumping simultaneously into the gooey, thick, mess of potatoes. I am still cleaning mashed potatoes out of my ears!
We walked away taking 2nd, which wasn’t our plan, but it meant that we got better than our first attempt! Just means we will have to train harder and better than ever to return champs next time!