People threw rubber chickens, played volleyball in the mud and pulled one another around on an all terrain vehicle.
This was the fourth rendition of the Larry Canfield Memorial Games, which organizers say are just as zany as the man they’re named for. The event was held at the Herald Barn on Ivie Road.
Deputy Sheriff Larry Canfield was killed while working in Rancho Cordova in a motorcycle unit in 2008. He was with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. A group of friends and family wanted something positive and constructive to come from his death, so they created the Canfield Memorial Games four years ago.
Each of eight obstacles represents a different aspect of Canfield’s life. A four-part, chicken-themed obstacle course is a throwback to one year in high school when Canfield brought a live chicken to a school dance. Another course required players to shoot baskets, throw footballs and high step through tires. One round had four players handcuffed in a circle as they try to dress a dummy, called “Dad, we’ll be late for school.” Every event had a silly element, and most ended with the players muddy, wet, or at least sweaty.
“If you never met Larry, when you leave here today you’ll have a pretty good idea of what he was about,” said Jim
Tammi Balukoff described Canfield as a competitive goofball. Her husband Jeff Balukoff was Canfield’s best friend, and they all share happy memories of him.
She has presided over the Games committee since it began. This year was the first that Canfield's photo was not on the banner or promotional flyers.
“It’s getting to the point where it’s not about Larry anymore. It’s about what’s been created in his name,” she said.
The event featured a gun raffle and silent auction. The Galt and Liberty Ranch High School Future Farmers of America clubs performed much of the labor to set up the games. These clubs benefited from the day’s proceeds and competed in each course for a large trophy and bragging rights over their rival school.
Shawn Jacobs grinned as she watched members of the Galt High FFA tow one shouting girl on a snow disk through a mudslide under a hay bale mountain.
“This is a great event, and it gives back to the schools,” she said. “It’s what he would have wanted.”
Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at email@example.com.