By Max Hrenda
Great athletes have rituals they perform before game time.
Before every basketball game, Miami Heat forward LeBron James tosses powdered chalk into the air; former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis performed a token dance before every kickoff; and former Major League third baseman Wade Boggs would eat chicken before reporting to the dugout.
For the Maupin family of the Keenburg community, their pre-game tradition is a bit more practical.
“We’ll boil our eggs in advance,” said Steve Maupin. “Then we start fighting them to test them out and eliminate a lot of the faulty eggs.”
Like many families throughout Carter County and the Tri-Cities, the Maupins are gearing up for today’s Peters Hollow Egg Fight in Stoney Creek.
Started in 1823, the egg fight began as a way for farmers from Peters Hollow and Rome Hollow to compete, and see who was raising a superior product.
Now, 190 years later, families like the Maupins maintain that tradition, even while preparing their eggs weeks in advance.
“A lot of the old-timers did that,” Maupin said. “One of the other little secrets I heard through the years was boil them in coffee. What I do is boil them in spaghetti noodles. That way, it keeps them from rattling around while they’re boiling.
“I don’t know if it helps or not, but that’s what I do.”
Maupin’s methods may be more effective than he lets on. Last year, his son Gabe earned second place in the adult category.
Gabe, who had never placed before last year’s fight, said he is eager to test his mettle during today’s event.
“(Last year) felt good, due to the fact that it was my first year placing,” Gabe said. “This year, I’m going to push for first.”
While the 14-year-old was reluctant to reveal his family’s secrets, Gabe did add that he and his family try to improve the quality of their eggs every year.