Marlboro students tend to reserve their sports enthusiasm for decidedly non-traditional collegiate games such as broomball and four square. In recent years they have been adding croquet to the list, thanks to the encouragement and support of Harvey Geiger, a Marlboro donor who has also provided funds for student travel and the Geiger Pop-Up Awards.
Croquet has long been a passion for Harvey, who plays on a national circuit and loves the fact that croquet can be adapted to almost any environment, from hillsides to rocky coasts to indoor settings. Several years ago he gave the college top-of-the-line croquet equipment including mallets, balls, and wickets, and these have been well-used since. When Harvey and his wife Pam visited Marlboro in September, the Marlboro campus turned out for an exhilarating community-wide croquet tournament.
“Croquet is a perfect pastime for Marlboro, because it is a game of strategy, teamwork, and infinite persistence, kind of like being in college,” said philosophy professor William Edelglass, who led the charge and worked with other faculty advisors to recruit students. “And just like a good conversation, or a good book, a croquet game with friends on a sunny afternoon can seem to go on forever in a delightful way.”
The staff from Student Life set up the croquet course and formed its own intimidating team, Wicket Good. The development office provided refreshments and prizes, and fielded a team known as the Fighting Dead Money Trees. Student teams included the Absentee Mallets, Pop Lock and Croquet (pronounced “CRAW-ket”), and Help.
The lawn in front of the Campus Center came alive as the official croquet green, with two side-by-side courses providing plenty of action. As the teams learned the finer points of strategy, students debated whether to “send” a ball from the opposing team whenever possible or advance quickly. Harvey served as a roving coach and strategist.
The coveted Golden Mallet was presented to the winning team (Help) at the following Town Meeting, and the top three teams received various Marlboro mementos. If this tournament is any indication, croquet is sure to bring out the best in Marlboro’s quirky, sports-minded community again next year.