Lineup in hand, Jamestown High School varsity football coach Tom Langworthy stood among the masses at Tracy Plaza on Friday evening and read aloud to a reporter his "front four" for the Red Raiders' second event in the 2012 Lucy World Games.
"Kyle Nazario, 6-foot-2, 190-pound, junior,'' he said. "Eric Tingue, 6-foot-1, 185-pound, junior; Joe Mistretta, 6-foot-1, 270-pound, sophomore; and Jacis Blake, 5-foot-11, 210-pound, sophomore."
Then, Langworthy added this caveat: "Those are our starting grape stompers for tonight."
Above, from left, Jamestown High School football players Joe Mistretta, Jacis Blake, Eric Tingue and Kyle Nazario stomp grapes during the Lucy World Games at Tracy Plaza on Friday. Below, from left, Tyler Furlow and Avery Webb of the Chautauqua Lake football team wrap chocolates. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photos by Scott Kindberg
A bit later, the four Red Raiders ascended a few stairs onto a platform, each one of them stepped into a vat of grapes and assistant coach Dave Munella gave them some last-minute instructions.
"They've been working hard all week with the footwork,'' Langworthy said. "They're very confident. They've done all the preparation."
When given the signal to start, the teenagers did their best to crush as many grapes as they could in 30 seconds. When finished, they walked down the stairs, exchanged a few high-fives and then hosed off the grapes and juice that were stuck to their feet and legs.
"Hopefully we made some good grape juice,'' Langworthy said.
Fresh off a victory by seniors Cortland Haines and John Czech in corn hole - a game involving a bean-bag toss into a box - the Red Raiders seemed to be enjoying their experience, which is part of this weekend's Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy.
And although the Lucy World Games, which includes eight events over two days, were meant to be fun, it was clear that Jamestown didn't mind being successful.
"We've got a good group,'' Langworthy said. "Everyone is having a good time and everyone is smiling. If these guys laugh and smile, that's good, because that's what Lucy is all about."
Jamestown wasn't the only Chautauqua County high school football team competing, though.
Chautauqua Lake also made its presence felt, which was just fine with Coach Dan Greco.
"All I did was turn it over to the kids and it sounded like something they wanted to do,'' he said.
As of early evening Friday, the Thunderbirds had not attempted grape stomping, but Tyler Furlow and Avery Webb had already shown their chocolate-wrapping skills.
"We have a seasoned professional for that,'' Greco said. "(Avery) has wrapped many a piece of candy. (His family) owns Webb's (Year-Round Resort in Mayville).''
Like Langworthy, Greco was happy to be part of the Lucy weekend.
"Obviously anything that brings out this kind of crowd and this kind of enthusiasm has to be a good thing,'' he said. "I was surprised that the kids were so receptive to it. They weren't born and raised in Jamestown, but still they wanted to accept the invitation.''
Four weeks from now the high school football season opens for Section 6 teams.
"That kind of gives you chills,'' Langworthy said.
Then he added: "But no one's going to forget stomping grapes. Period. End of story."