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2018-05-15 / Arts & Entertainment

Businesses Compete for Vet’s Bash War Hammer

By Melissa Johns


Tournament host and coach, Shane Thomson, revealed the grand prize war hammer. 
Melissa Johns/The Reporter Tournament host and coach, Shane Thomson, revealed the grand prize war hammer. Melissa Johns/The Reporter Local businesses geared up for Saturday’s inaugural Vet’s Bash Knockerball tournament at the Delhi American Legion field. Catskill Embroidery, Klinger Power Sports, Delhi Diner, INKdicted, Chelsea Cika Photography and SUNY Delhi’s Student Veteran Association (SVA) selected only the brave to represent them and battle it out on the field.

Players strapped into the shoulder harnesses of the inflated spheres and took a three on three soccer game to a whole other level. The whistle blew and members from opposing teams went soaring across the field upon contact. Other “knockerballers” surrendered to the slippery grass and were faced with a surprising obstacle of just getting back on their feet.

At the end of the day, team members from Chelsea Cika Photography walked away with the war hammer trophy. They also delegated their sponsorship fee to Bentley’s Brigade, a local charity for three-year-old Bentley Hadden who is struggling with acute lymphocytic leukemia. The trophy will remain with Cika until the winners of the next Vet’s Bash in the fall play to claim it.


Gear lined up for Vet’s Bash Tournament. 
Melissa Johns/The Reporter Gear lined up for Vet’s Bash Tournament. Melissa Johns/The Reporter The tournament was organized by SVA President Shane Thomson, who has big plans for the future of his knockerball business. Thomson is due to graduate from SUNY Delhi this summer with a degree in outdoor sports and recreation.

“The plan is to eventually open a recreational camp around here and gear it toward family team building,” said Thomson.

The communities Thomson left 15 years ago when he enlisted in the military were not what he came back to, he said. He was stunned by the level of trouble flooding the streets of his hometown.

“After years of trying to figure out what my goal in life was, I settled on returning home and changing life back to the way it was,” said Thomson, “I researched many gaming systems. Knockerball seemed to be the most portable, most attention grabbing and most lucrative system I could find to build from.”


Between games, players admitted knocker-soccer was more challenging than expected. 
Melissa Johns/The Reporter Between games, players admitted knocker-soccer was more challenging than expected. Melissa Johns/The Reporter He hopes to achieve this transition by giving families something to do together to develop stronger, healthier social lives.

“Our youth need positive role models to show them that sitting in front of a TV or gaming system will lead them down a road to conflict and inability to reach their goals,” said Thomson, “I want to help return respect and honor to their rightful place in society.”

Thomson also hosted knockerball activities at Relay for Life and the Sportsman Expo in Walton this year. He plans to schedule many more events.

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