The New England Patriots Alumni Club (NEPAC) was up to something fishy in Falmouth, Mass. on June 4.
More than a dozen former Patriots players including G Joe Andruzzi, C Peter Brock, S Tim Fox, QB Steve Grogan, LB Ilia Jarostchuk, CB Billy Johnson, LB Steve King, T Max Lane, S Ronnie Lippett, RB Patrick Pass, T George Pyne, G Todd Rucci, G Len St. James and former Patriots assistant coach Steve Sidwell teamed with fans from across the region for a day of fun and competitive fishing as part of the NEPAC's second annual Stars and Stripers Fishing Tournament at the Green Pond Marina.
Each of the 17 boats featured a Patriots alumnus, a captain, first mate, and fishing crew. After launching at 8 a.m. participant Dave Lacamera caught the first fish of the day at 8:03 a.m. opening the tournament. The competition spanned until 3 p.m. and was capped off at an awards ceremony at 7 p.m. The tournament is one of NEPAC's main fundraising events.
"We caught a lot of fish early and we also caught a lot later in the day. My boat, the Wizzard, was awesome," said Lane. "This is really great to raise money for a good cause while having fun, it makes it all worth it."
Now in its second year, the Stars and Stripers Fishing Tournament has almost doubled in size with more boats, Patriots alumni and participants."We enjoyed last year so much that we decided to come back this year. We wouldn't miss it for the world," said participant Peter Noonan. "This is really like a kickoff to the summer, it's the first weekend we really get to go striper fishing and we get to meet the Patriots."
Though the day featured a friendly atmosphere, the boaters took the competition seriously. Awards included "most fish caught," "first fish," "last fish" and "biggest bass." Competitive chatter was shared throughout the day on the tournament's radio channel and the fish were weighed at the dock when the competition concluded.
"Today went terrific, this year it has grown tremendously, we have more participants and boats. It raises the funds necessary to fulfill our mission which gives us the ability to work in high schools, continue our Pop Warner and scholarship programs as well as our free Football for YOU clinics," said NEPAC President Peter Brock. "Today's tournament makes that all possible and I couldn't be more thrilled."
"The more you get the different generations of Patriots players together, the more of a bond we build. We are all part of this, and the more we work together, the more we can accomplish in the community," said Lippett who participated in the tournament with his great nephew.