Grease pole returns as fair favorite

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 July 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

KNOWLESVILLE – Andrew Jones of the Troll Diggers makes it to the top of the grease-slathered pole on Wednesday night at the Orleans County 4-H Fair.

The Troll Diggers completed the climb in 26.2 seconds, the fastest of two teams on Wednesday. That qualified the Troll Diggers for Saturday’s championship, which will feature the fastest teams from qualifying rounds on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The grease pole caps off the fair at 10 p.m. each night from Wednesday through Saturday, and draws crowds of several hundred people.

The Troll Diggers were runner-ups in 2014. The team includes members mostly from Hamlin and Brockport.

“It’s a hoot,” said Sam Pak, one of the team members.

The Troll Diggers pose for a photo after conquering the grease pole. The team includes, front row, from left: Andrew Agent and Sam Pak. Back row: Nate Jenks, Andrew Jones, Neal Kruger, Jeff Ebel, Isaiah Jenks and Jonah Pak.

Taylor Soule (in white) makes her way up the grease pole. Cady Messmer is the second person up from the base. They are members of the BB Queens, a team of eight women and one man. The BB Queens debuted last year and advanced to the finals. This time they finished in 1:04 for second place.

Ricky Messmer makes it to the top of the grease pole. Taylor Soule, who recently got home from boot camp in the Air Force, was the third person up for the BB Queens.

Soule of Albion said she wanted to compete again because of the tight friendships on the team.

Messmer, 23, said he has played many sports and nothing compares to the thrill and sense of camraderie of climbing the grease pole.

The BB Queens include, front row: Brianna Dixon, Cady Messmer and Taylor Soule. Back row: Eboni Taylor, Hannah Hapeman, Ricky Messmer, Brooke Bensley, Halle Jurs, and Jessica Grimes.