RANDOLPH, NJ- Last July, tragedy struck Randolph when two happy-go-lucky teenage boys, Calvin Verduga and Jack Timmerman, lost their lives in a car accident. As the school year approached, the town mourned their deaths, but came together to support one another and rejoice in light of the lives the boys touched.
In October, two seniors at Randolph High School got together and created the Verduga-Timmerman Halloween Classic- a fun, light-hearted baseball game played in costumes in order to raise money for both families and to bring some light to a dark situation.
Now college freshmen, Brandon Lopez and Andrew Hafner reunited and decided to make this game annual; so, on Sunday October 4, at 4 p.m. on the Randolph High School baseball field, the 2nd annual Verduga-Timmerman Classic will take place.
For students, wearing a costume will get you a $3 ticket, without one a ticket will $5. For the general public, pricing is $5 with a costume, $7 without.
“We got the idea about making it a Randolph only event when we saw how much of an impact last year’s event made for the community,” Lopez, a freshman at Monclair State said. “It really allowed me to realize how much this town cares for another, and that’s when we decided to make it special- make the game revolve around our town and our very own high school.”
Both Lopez and Hafner knew Jack and Calvin personally, so they’re able to relate to the game on a more emotional level.
“I’m just happy that we as a community are able to continue the celebration of Jack and Calvin’s lives,” Hafner, a freshman at Temple, said.
“The atmosphere around the game is amazing when you see everyone joining in on the costumes and seeing everyone have a fun time,” Lopez said. “The whole point of this game is to remember Jack and Calvin and show how you can have so much fun when you are trying to live on the legacies of two teenagers.”
The game will be played by two teams, Team Verduga and Team Timmerman. The teams will be chosen in a ‘Fantasy’ style draft and will be made up of current and former Randolph High School baseball players.
Senior baseball catcher at Randolph High School Matt Sacco participated in last year’s event, dressed as Meg from Family Guy, and is excited to play again this year.
“I feel so honored that I am able to play in the game,” Sacco said. “I hope we make the family and friends of these boys smile while we remember them.”
He continued, “Brandon Lopez worked really hard to make this possible even while attending college, and he deserves much of the credit.”
Junior Jake Barbiere did not play last year, but is excited to show off his “Jake from State Farm” costume and put on a fun show for everyone to watch and enjoy.
“I hope that what we get out of the game is putting on a good show for all the kids and parents to watch and a fun event that the players and supporters can enjoy,” Barbiere said. “I think the game is a great event that everyone enjoys being a part of.”
Freshman at Lesley University, Nic Ferragine is saddened that he will not be able to come and support the boys for another year.
“It’s obviously very special to be part of something representing my friends,” Ferragine, who was dressed as a hotdog last year, said. “The game means that I get to represent my friends through the sport I love. I had a blast last year doing it and it saddens me that I can’t participate again this year.”
Lopez, who will be dressed as Benny the Jet Rodriguez closes with, “This game means a whole lot to me because it truly leaves a mark on the town of who these two kids were. The set up of the game truly exemplifies the way these kids were when they walked around the halls of RHS.”
He continued, “My favorite part of this event is seeing so many people cominng out and supporting us. It truly shows the remarkable impact Jack and Calvin made on the community. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to host the event for two families. I’m also thankful to have such a great partner, Andrew Hafner (who will be dressed up as Squints from the move Sandlot).”
Lopez concluded, “Without the family and community support, this event would not be where it is today and I’m so honored.”
Randolph still grieves over the loss of the two young individuals, but looks to continue to push forward, and unite as one- something this game achieved last year, and looks to do again.
A slide show of photos from last years event can be viewed here: