2022 FRANKCAN CUP: Only the strongest survived….

        Typically one would not view an 18 hole scramble golf event to require a high level of energy or endurance. However, when that event is the prestigious FRANKCAN Cup, held on the day after a grueling physical and emotional endurance test known as “The Backyard Brawl”, things are different.

         It is believed that nearly every participant in the 2022 FRANKCAN Cup had spent the previous day tailgating hard and thereafter exhausting endless amounts of emotional energy cheering on our beloved Pitt Panthers in the first Backyard Brawl since 2011.

By the time the game was over and Pitt had secured the exhilarating 38-31 victory, the clock had nearly struck midnight. MajorMajors, Lastrowofsection4 and others, weren’t able to tuck themselves into bed until at least 2 or 3 am. Meanwhile, a tee time awaited them, just hours later.

         And not just any tee time. This wasn’t Erie Express playing his regularly scheduled Saturday afternoon game with his buddies. Nor Richman knocking down a few cold ones (cue the Kenny Pickett themed music here), during a quick nine-holer. No, the battle for the FRANKCAN Cup was as Jeff Capel regularly says, “big time”.

         So as the foursomes gathered at Willowbrook Country Club in Apollo last Friday, the stakes were high. On full display was the FRANKCAN Cup trophy, engraved with the names of all past winners. Speaking of the foursomes, here they are….

Team Lastrow: Fran Lokar (Lastrowofsection4), Greg McDonald, Rick Caldwell (Erie Express), Mike and Zach Silvestri.


Team Missing Walt: Bud Wassel, Sam Falcone, Eric Wassel (MissingWlat) and Patrick Skinner.


Team MajorMajors: Wolfe Huber (Farmers High School of Pa.) Mark Kerestan (PittPT), Matt Musser (Pitt in the ‘Ville) and John Fredland (MajorMajors).


      Team GC: Rich Tencza (Richman), Andy Jarabak (Pittfan1), and Gordon Conn (GC).

         First off of the tee was the group led by MissingWlat. Hot in the early going, the team birdied the first two holes and looked to take advantage of the par five third. However, as they lined up their birdie putt to move to three under par, a loud “FORE” pierced the air and a ball from the group behind (no names will be mentioned here to protect the identity of those involved) narrowly missed cracking someone’s skull. This seemed to rattle the Wlat group, who were thereafter “missing” their positive momentum for the remainder of the front nine. Ultimately, they made the turn at minus three.

         Coming out of the gate hot, was Team Lastrowofsection4/Erie Express. Paced by long ball hitter Mike Silvestri, they were easily able to reach both par fives in two shots on the front 9, and nearly drove several par fours. Despite failing to drain several makeable putts and lipping out at least one eagle, they posted a 4 under score of 32 on the front 9.

         The threesome of GC, Richman and Pittfan1 got off to a slow start. They were missing their longest hitter, Son of GC, who was a late scratch. After carding only two birdies on the front nine and lipping out a few others, Team GC sat at two under par going into the back 9.

An admitted underdog coming into the day, Team MajorMajors, got it to 1 under par after two holes. A birdie on number two was set up by a mammoth drive through the trees by team captain John Fredland. Another birdie at the par 3 9th hole (set up by a flagstick rattling tee shot by Wolfe Huber) was offset by two bogeys, and the team played the front to a score of even par.

So as the teams made the turn to the back 9, the leaderboard looked like this:

Team Lastrow/Erie Express: -4

Team Missing Wlat: -3

Team GC: -2

Team Major Majors: E

Team Wlat made its move early on the back 9. Following a tap in birdie on 10, they also carded birdies on 12, 13 and 14, to move to 7 under par. Following three consecutive pars, they arrived at the tee box at the final hole at minus 7.

Following hole 10, where they made a bogey, Team Lastrow went on a tear. They proceeded to birdie five of the next seven holes and arrived at the 18th tee at 8 under par.

On the final nine, Team GC continued their solid play from tee to green, but could not get enough putts to fall. Several more lip outs prevented them from completing their push to the top of the leaderboard, and they finished the day at minus 6.

Team MajorMajors continued to battle. But much like the West Virginia Mountaineers had on Thursday night, they came up a little short at the end. Needing a birdie at the final hole to avoid finishing over par, Wolfe Huber stepped up again, sticking a short iron to six feet from 135 yards. After the putt was drained, Team MajorMajors finished where they had started, at even par.

         Playing ahead of Team Lastrow/Erie, Team Wlat did not know where it stood on the leaderboard as they hit their tee shot on the 18th hole. As it turns out, they needed to make a birdie to pull even at 8 under par. Following a drive to the middle of the fairway, a solid second shot by Patrick Skinner left the team with a 20 foot birdie putt. Bud Wassel (Father of Wlat) drained the putt, temporarily pulling the team into a tie for the lead.

         Minutes later when Team Lastrow/Erie arrived at the 18th tee, they knew what was needed to secure the FRANKCAN Cup. A birdie would secure the win, while a par would leave them ‘kissing their sister”. Following another huge drive by Mike Silvestri, Lastrow himself (Fran Lokar) stuck a short iron shot to THREE FEET! The victory was secure……. until it wasn’t.

All four golfers, with varying degrees of ineptitude, missed the three footer. As a result, the FRANKCAN Cup title will be shared for the first time, as both Team Lastrow/Erie and Team MissingWlat finished at 8 under par.

         A great time was had by all. Following the round, despite everyone being exhausted, the bulk of the group hung around to share a few adult beverages and to enjoy each other’s company. Reviews of both the golf and the Backyard Brawl were shared, and prizes distributed.

         Skill prizes on the course were awarded for closest to the pins on par threes, and also for a long drive and a long putt. The closest to the pins were won by Wolfe Huber, John Fredland, and Andy Jarabak (2). The Long Drive was hit by Eric Wassel and the Long Putt was holed by Bud Wassel.

Here are some extra photos of the day:

Gordon Conn Addressing the Troops


Gordon and Rich

Special thanks go out to Gordon Conn, who organized this very fun event.


Hail to Pitt! Or as MajorMajors would say, Go Pitt!

35 thoughts on “2022 FRANKCAN CUP: Only the strongest survived….

  1. Off topic but …. Did you see that Alabama is not sending its band to Austin this Saturday because ALL of the Bama allotted tickets are in the upper bowl area. And this wouldn’t be the first time that this happened at this field

    What a disgrace! The state’s school! How anyone can send their kids here is beyond me

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 5 people

  2. Good write up Eric…made me feel like I was there.
    Erie Express was the golfer that hit the 270 yard 3 wood onto the green you are referring to.


  3. Thanks Eric for the write up, thanks Andy for coordinating with Willowbrook, a fine track, and thanks to all the guys for showing up even though a bunch of us were working on fumes after an exceptionally long if satisfying Thursday night.

    I hate to think how many no shows there would have been if….


    1. One thing that may not have been mentioned was how hot it was, mid eighties.

      It was also very hot at the football game. Both teams must be in very good shape because there appeared to be a lot less cramping than expected. With the number and length of TV time outs and number of lengthy reviews plenty of time to catch your breath.

      The one thing I did not understand was why the long delay before most reviews, when it was apparent that it would be required. Games should not take over four hours.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. great comment

        and the 4 hours should not happen with Cig running a bit more so the game clock less frequently stopped with incompletions

        did I hear someone mention there is now some form of “quick review” where a field ref doesn’t call for it(delaying the process) but it is done in real time then game stopped prior to the next play IF indicated

        not sure if I heard this applying to pro football or college but with Tennessee THAT could be very difficult to implement while they are on offense


  4. Great job, Eric – the writing and the photos! And that “Longest Drive” you hit was really impressive.

    I have to agree with BigB – can’t have a tie in the FrankCan Cup. We need some form of a playoff…

    And congrats to Bud Wassel, Eric’s Dad, for draining that clutch 20-footer on the 18th. That’s big time!

    Though they were exhausting, I thoroughly enjoyed the back-to-back all-Pitt, all-the-time days. 👍👍

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Bud Wassel has kicked back a few Budweisers in his day. Used to say, “My first name is Bud, you know….”

        Reminds me of an old joke. What’s the difference between Budweiser and Bud Dwyer???


  5. We’ll written Eric and a fun day after a big W over wvcc.

    GC – thanks for coordinating the event and I would have shown even with a loss the night before.

    Looking forward to the TN weekend ahead.

    Go Pitt!


  6. Great write-up Eric and a big thank you to GC.

    All the golfers were looking good and nice to see some smiling faces once again.

    Special note and shout out to Matt from the Ville. Long time no see buddy. To Matt and everyone, looked much fun and great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am not a golfer and have never watched the sport on TV. Eric, you had me on the edge of my seat! Nicely done! Maybe ESPN would want to do a 30 on 30 about it 😉!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nicely written, Eric! And thank you GC for coordinating and to Andy for being the member sponsor. I had a great time with a fun group of team members.


  9. Glad that everyone had a good time. Thanks for the article, the pics and an all the background work involved in putting together the outing.


  10. Thanks to Gordon for putting the scramble together, and to Eric the media guide for the event! Just a great group of guys all around.


  11. Pitt’s M.J. Devonshire Named ACC Defensive Back of the Week

    PITTSBURGH—Pitt junior cornerback M.J. Devonshire, whose pick six produced the winning points in the Panthers’ thrilling victory over West Virginia, has been named the ACC Defensive Back of the Week.

    Devonshire alertly snagged a tipped pass and raced 56 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 2:58 left in the game. The Panthers made one final defensive stand to claim a 38-31 win over their historic rivals.

    Devonshire (Aliquippa, Pa./Aliquippa) defended three total passes and added three tackles against the Mountaineers.

    His interception return will go down as one of the most iconic plays in the 105-game history of the Backyard Brawl.

    Devonshire has displayed a knack for timely heroics in Thursday night contests. Last year, he had a game-ending interception in the Panthers’ 30-23 overtime win over North Carolina (Nov. 11).

    Pitt, which moved to No. 14 in the newly released USA TODAY American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Poll, hosts Tennessee (1-0) this Saturday at Acrisure Stadium. The Volunteers will be the first Southeastern Conference team to visit Pittsburgh.

    The Panthers (No. 17) and Volunteers (No. 24) were both ranked in this week’s Associated Press Top 25, meaning it will be the first nonconference game between ranked teams in Acrisure Stadium history.

    Dubbed the “Johnny Majors Classic” in honor of the legendary Pitt and Vols head coach, the game will be nationally televised by ABC (WTAE in Pittsburgh) and kick off at 3:30 p.m.

    For tickets, call 800-643-PITT (7488) or online at PittsburghPanthers.com.


  12. If you have 30 minutes, take the time to watch and listen to this interview of Jackie Sherrill done today by a Tennessee Vols podcast. In it Sherrill talks about how he came to coach for Johnny Majors and what type of coach he was. Sherrill says that Pitt hired Majors as the last shot at salvaging the football program. If Majors didn’t succeed, Pitt was going to drop back to DIII like Carnegie Mellon. At one point the interviewers ask what was your fondness memory of coaching at Pitt (minute 24:50). Some of you may be surprised at his answer.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Did he say the POV or something else?

      Been at a few d1 games so far so I have missed commenting and arguing about what we either saw or didn’t see during the game. I missed the who pee game and was surprised that it came down to the wire. We were fortunate that their receiver muffed that ball. Our guy looked like he was playing prevent defense with all that cushion, but it worked out. One first down from there and they are kicking for a win as time expires. We dodged a big bullet, most excellently. Lots of cleaning up to do……according to the coach, not me. Winking….we played a perfect game because we won and that’s what i am supposed to type so you all like me. Maybe we play perfecter this week. lol

      Goose bumps on the field at osu/nd game. It was an event. The entire city was all-in. Going back next week.


  13. Agreed – the Jackie Sherrill interview by the TN guys (note: one was from Erie) was well done, informative and took me back to my younger years.

    Go Pitt!


    1. By the way, the comment on the equipment and Tony Dorsett’s turf shoes purchased from a Canadian company by Sherrill shows that the small details matter.


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