Swirling throughout the air among the lush tranquil green mountainsides of Seven Springs Pennsylvania was a cacophony of thunderous hoofbeats that signaled the pursuit of the coveted laurels that will be awarded to the greatest chariot driver among this land or any lands far and wide. Over the course of four days dozens of hopeful charioteers lined their teams up in the starting gate, longing to taste the sweet nectar from the flower known as WBC Circus Maximus Champion.
Those preliminaries saw a total of fourteen qualifying races contested generating the drivers that would move on to the semifinal race.
- Andrew George
- Claire Pfeiffer
- Dan Tatum
- Edison Houde
- Frank McNally
- Frank Sinigaglio
- James Kendrick
- Jim Bodenheimer
- John Jacoby
- John Pack
- Missy Youells
- Mongo Bouchard
- Nora Frank
- Peter Reese
Three drivers however were skillful enough to move directly to the final utilizing the recently implemented double win in the preliminaries to move to the final.
- Barry Smith
- Joshua Githens
- Tony Musella
The final a lineup for the ages! It includes the top three all-time Laurelists for CMS, previous champions, new very skilled drivers, and the return to the track of John Jacoby, the GM of the last 20 years!
The team were pulled up to the starting grid for the final time in 2019. Driver – Team: Chariot Type
- Barry Smith – Bears: Heavy
- Edison Houde – Camels: Light
- Frank McNally – Gators: Light
- Frank Sinigaglio – Rhinos: Heavy
- John Jacoby – Santa Clause: Heavy
- Joshua Githens – Lions: Heavy
- Mongo Bouchard – Black Horse: Heavy
- Tony Musella – Skeleton Horses: Heavy
The race was off to a relatively standard start, the two light chariots were immediately in the cross hairs of the six pursuing Heavy chariots. Each heavy chariot driver savoring the opportunity to try to inflict what they hope would be a devastating attack on the frail wheels or tender horses. It was several turn in before we saw the real damage that could be done, with Edison losing his (#4) outer camel, whether it was from heat exhaustion or the giant scythe bladed wheels we aren’t sure, but we would put our Denarius on the scythe blades. Not long after that his #3 camel which had been promoted to the outer camel with the untimely demise of the #4, also found a similar fate, being allowed to go drink from the great oasis in the sky.
There were many ineffective attacks launched that resulted in minor wounds to the other teams; Gators, Horses, bears, Rhinos all took injuries.
Perhaps that critical moment was about halfway through the race when the Rhino team became inpatient with the lack of carnage and rampaged against another heavy team. It was at this moment that the official records were inscribed to reflect that “Frank S. started it”. From here is was every team for themselves. Alliances, truces, starting gate promises, are all cast aside, like a loaf of bread that has gone stale and rotted with mealworms.
The Skeleton horses were mounting a sizable lead, and Santa pleaded to have his reindeer lashed so that he could gain the needed speed to catch the team at the top of his naughty list. Luckily the Lions were drawn and were able to grant Santa this wish, providing just enough “encouragement” to the reindeer so Santa was able to attack the Skeletons. The rails on the heavy sled plowed through the #4 outer Skeleton horse causing the skeleton to burst like twigs being broken to use as kindling. This was compounded later by another attack on the #3 Skeleton horse that then suffered the same fate, being turned into bits of splintered bone fragments all over the track.
Rounding the final corner, it was a race to catch Santa, and the Lions were in striking distance, having two game rounds which to inflict enough damage on the Reindeer, if being pulled prior to Santa. The first opportunity Lions are pulled first, launch their attack on the Reindeer, and Santa tries to wiggle his nose to escape, but it fails. The Lions swipe with their mighty claws and only catch a small piece of reindeer meat, the reindeer live. The next opportunity Lions are pulled before Santa again, what a fateful day for the Lions! This is just before the finish line and Santa is able to evade the clutches of the mighty Lions and escape across the finish line.
It is all too fitting that after 20 years of not participating in the event, due to being the GM, Jacoby climbs into his chariot to remind us how this game is played, bringing not only his experience, but also the insight he has gained from watching all of us play for so many years.
John Jacoby has been an incredible figure to the WBC community and his long standing dedication to making Circus Maximus the success and the spectacle that it has become is something that is truly valued by myself and by all of those that have ever come to play the game at WBC, or other conventions.
Congratulations to him are due, not just for this event victory, but for all of the positive experiences he has been able to give the players for the last 20 years.
|A room full of Charioteers.
||Josh Githens counting his move.
|How times have changed, Greenwood takes on the Mafia.
||Look out for the ladies, they know how to race.
|Racing continues in the Ski Lodge.
||Finalists get ready for the carnage.
| Josh Githens [1st year]