Lantco, Nowarah win tournament flights

Published 12:20 am Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thirty-one players took to the field in Bath on Saturday to vie for a coveted Cutthroat Croquet Tournament trophy. For the first time in the history of the tournament, there were two flights. Don Lantco from New Bern claimed first place in the Cutthroat flight, and Joe Nowarah from Plymouth took the trophy in the Rapscallion flight.

Don Lantco and Joe Nowarah (center, front) each claimed first-place trophies in their respective flights — Cutthroat and Rapscallion — at the eighth-annual Cutthroat Croquet Tournament held in Bath on Saturday. Other top players (from left, back row) were Tracy Lewis, Marshall Hall, Roy Williams, Russell Grant and T.J. Smiley. Second, third, and fourth places in the Cutthroat flight went to Smiley, Williams and Hall, respectively. Second and third places in the Rapscallion flight went to Grant and Lewis, respectively. (Submitted Photo)

Lantco made his way to the final round to compete with T.J. Smiley from Charleston, S.C., (and former member of the Naval Academy’s croquet team), Roy Williams from Bath and Marshall Hall from Washington. Nowarah took on Russell Grant from Seaboard and Tracy Lewis from Chapel Hill. Pearson Chrismon from Bath had to withdraw before playing the last round.

The “booty” for the winner of each flight included a four-player Oakley Woods croquet set (valued at $360), and the coveted pirate trophy. A hanging basket of flowers donated by George Chrismon, owner of Garden Classics in Bath, went to each of the second-place winners and gift certificates for use at The Meeting Place restaurant in downtown Washington went to the third-place winners. All winners were awarded a Beaufort County Community College cooler, insulated bag and umbrella.

Past tournament winners include; Tony Price (2004), Howard Tanner (2005 and 2007), Roy Williams (2006), Judy Jennette (2008), Jerry Waters (2009) and Sam Taylor (2010).

All 31 players competed in a preliminary six-wicket practice round as well as a 12-wicket flighting round by lunch time.

Semi-final play in both flights resumed after lunch. The first-place winners of each of these rounds went on to the final round.

The tournament raised more than $5,000 in net proceeds, which will be used to help fund the Dot and John Tankard Memorial Scholarship which will be awarded to a BCCC student this fall, and the Historic Bath Site will receive funding to assist it in making enhancements to its properties. 

Judy Jennette, director of the BCCC Foundation, tournament organizer, said, “This tournament is a labor of love. The entire Tankard family supports it — with exceptional assistance from Joan Tankard Chrismon and her husband, Pearson. They continue the strong tradition of community support that John and Dot Tankard established long ago.”

The scholarship generated by this tournament memorializes John and Dorothy “Dot” Tankard. Dot Tankard was dedicated to the preservation of Historic Bath, serving as director of the Historic Bath State Historic Site for many years. John Tankard was a member of the BCCC Board of Trustees from its first meeting in February 1968 through June 1971.

Jennette adds, “I would be remiss if I did not mention Leigh Swain, the site manager for Historic Bath, and Wayne Randall, the site’s maintenance man. They are a joy to work with and really make the tournament run smoothly because they make the site so accessible to the organizers.”

Several area croquet players congregate beside the Bonner House in Bath on the third Sunday of every month to hone their skills or learn how to play the game better. The next Sunday to play will be June 19. Play begins at roughly 1:30 p.m., and the equipment is provided. Players are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and cold drinks. All skill levels are welcome. For more information, call 252-940-6326.