By Naji Tobias
BIG CYPRESS — The home team has finally won it.
For the first time in the Senior Trike Fest’s seven-year history, the Big Cypress seniors outlasted all of their competitors to take home the 2011 Trike Fest crown on Nov. 3.
Held at the Big Cypress Aviation Hangar, Team Big Cypress (127 total points) blew past runner-up and last year’s Trike Fest champion Team Brighton (91 total points), as well as Team Hollywood (48 points), Team Tampa (26 points) and Team Immokalee (0 points).
The Big Cypress seniors were visibly overjoyed by their overall victory, as many of them embraced each other and smiled broadly at their accomplishment.
“It’s a great feeling for us to come out and win it the way we did,” said Big Cypress Tribal senior Moses “Big Shot” Jumper, who won five medals at this year’s Trike Fest, including Male Super Senior of the Year.
“We got motivated and dug in as hard as we possibly could,” Jumper continued. “It really showed out there.”
Team Big Cypress (5:33.88) easily got by Team Brighton (6:14.94), Team Hollywood (6:24.40) and Team Tampa (11:20.94) in the team relay races – perhaps the day’s most exciting event.
The team relay race was different from years past, as the puzzle challenge was added to the team cone weave competition. Each team consisted of five people, with the first four teammates competing in the cone weave relay and the fifth one piecing together a puzzle to finish the relay. Team Big Cypress also came out on top in the cone weave, maze and puzzle challenge categories.
“It was our turn to be the champions,” Big Cypress Tribal senior Minnie Tigertail said. “Brighton had it for so long.”
Team Brighton did not go empty-handed, however, as Brighton senior Patty Waldron placed first overall in the Best Dressed Triker Contest. Fellow Brighton seniors Alice Sweat and Jenny Johns came in second and third overall, respectively.
Team Brighton outlasted its competition to take home top honors in the ladder ball and ladder toss categories.
Meanwhile, Team Tampa took home its third consecutive Trike Fest trophy for Most Participants by Percentage, with a rate of 50 percent. Team Brighton (32 percent of Tribal senior participation), Team Big Cypress (28 percent), Team Hollywood (17 percent) and Team Immokalee (12 percent) placed second through fifth overall in Tribal senior participation category.
Team Hollywood came out on top overall in the Best Decorated Trike category to round out the Trike Fest’s major awards.
Brighton Tribal Council Rep. Andrew J. Bowers Jr., who looked somewhat stunned that his team failed to take home top honors for the fifth consecutive year, summed up how the Trike Fest transpired in his own words.
“We had less people this time,” Brighton Tribal Council Rep. Andrew J. Bowers Jr. said. “That’s why we didn’t win. We’re going to get more people involved next year so we can take the title back.”