Thursday, May 9, 2002

Grilling their way to the top

Published in the Current

The Cape Elizabeth Barbecue Team is in what one captain calls “a rebuilding year.” Started last year by two seniors, the torch of leadership has now passed to three senior captains, and the brother of one of the team’s founders.

The team performed well at the Special Olympics track meet, held at CEHS May 3, grilling up hot dogs and hamburgers for hungry fans and athletes. It was the first foray into spring sports for the team. “So far it’s only been a fall sport,” said captain Kevin Scesa, describing outstanding performances on the sidelines of Cape football games.

“It’s our first barbecue in a while. We’re a little rusty,” said Brett Cary, brother of team founder Chris, as he warmed up the grill for the event.

In an adventurous foray, the team not only heated meat products over three charcoal grills, but branched out. “We’ve never toasted buns before,” Cary said. It wasn’t a big success, with the first few bread products blackening in the heat.

The team is still forming itself, with mostly seniors on the team now. “We need some more underclassmen to step up,” Scesa said.

With more participation, he said, he expects the team to do well, including offering refreshment at lacrosse games this spring.

The team is itching for a real challenge, Scesa said. “We haven’t gotten to a competition,” he said, and he doesn’t have one on the calendar yet.

The team is attracting more than just customers. They got $250 in donations from Hannaford, as well as some help from Sam’s Club, to provide food at the Special Olympics. The money they make by selling dogs and burgers for a dollar or two goes right back into the team’s operating budget, which so far only provides for meat, cheese and charcoal.

They don’t even have uniforms, but prefer to spend their cash on steak and chicken when they can, but “no marshmallows,” the team choruses.

Leadership and advancement are all real possibilities for the team, and first-time customer Travis Wigham had but one thing to say about his barbecued hot dog: “It’s awesome.”