By Dan Hust
NARROWSBURG May 4, 2001 Tri-Valleys SCIL-Jr. team (Sullivan County Interacademic League Junior Division for grades 7-8) went home the happy winner of the treasured Sullivan Cup trophy on Friday, having beat Sullivan Countys nine other schools in four rounds of tough, mental competition.
With an overall score of 741 points, Tri-Valley far outpaced all competitors though Fridays final round at Landers Campground in Narrowsburg offered a chance for several teams to excel.
Among them was the hometown team, Narrowsburg, who crafted a sandpaper-laced contraption designed to s-l-o-w-l-y drop a ping-pong ball several feet.
So proud were they of their creation that they borrowed a character from Tom Hanks recent hit movie, Cast Away, and named their Wilson-made ball Sandpaper Wilson.
And Sandpaper Wilson did the job, dropping four feet down vinyl ramps in 40 seconds. Most other teams ramps let the ball fly through in 15-20 seconds.
Coupled with outstanding efforts in prior rounds, Narrowsburgs performance garnered them second place for the season, coming in at 718 points.
But the two other competitions held that day creating catapults and a pulley system affected the outcome as well, and the same team, while doing well on dropping a ping-pong ball down some ramps, would find that their wood-and-rubber-band catapult or string-and-paper cup pulley would dump a beanbag in exactly the wrong place, costing them valuable points.
Sometimes the wind didnt help matters either (for example, Sandpaper Wilson would occassionally climb up the ramp), but it was evident that this fourth and final round created by SCIL Coordinator Brian Tingley and Tri-Valley SCIL Coach Jim Kelly was a hit with students.
For Round 4, the top five winners stacked up as follows:
Tri-Valley 200 points
Livingston Manor 166
Overall, Tri-Valley and Narrowsburg were first and second-place winners, respectively. Following them were Eldred at 662 points, Livingston Manor at 661, and Liberty at 659.