YORKTOWN, Va. - Pieces and chunks of watermelon were scattered across a plastic tarp laid over a strip of grass outside Water’s Edge Church. The watermelons were tossed by dads in a test of might and strength during the church’s first Father’s Day watermelon throwing competition.
"What a concept, it was so fun! A great thing to do,” Mike Daknis, a father and congregant at WEC, said after tossing a watermelon. “I'd rather eat the watermelon than throw it but that was a lot of fun."
"I workout often enough,” Brian Williamson, another father and church congregate, said. He too chucked a watermelon. “I think the technique is really getting your legs behind it and swinging the rest of it over the top of the head."
It was the church's first watermelon tossing competition that these dads say they did not train for. There were three separate competitions after each church service on Sunday. There were competitions at their Newport News location as well.
Dankis said, with jest, he was, “not happy at all. My family was not happy with my performance at all."
"I felt pretty good with my performance today,” Williamson said, “until the person following me went a little longer than I did."
The concept was simple. They had to toss a watermelon as far as they could. Blue flags with participant’s names were placed along the tarp to mark where the watermelons landed.
“We just figured that watermelons are big and heavy,” Eddie Antle, WEC’s pastor of guest experiences and missions, said, “and we'd like to see them kind of explode on impact so it would be kind of fun that way."
The watermelons did explode on impact. The field of mush got larger and larger over the course of the three separate competitions.
"We believe that church should be fun," Antle said. “We're always trying to figure out ways that dads can have fun, guys can have fun, everyone can have fun."
There were over 100 watermelons ready, but in the end, there could only be one winner to hold the title, "WEC strongman." There were also prizes such as giftcards for winners.
"That's what's so great about this church, they make it fun at all times,” Daknis said.
The real fun for some started after the watermelons were thrown when they picked up pieces and began to eat them.