Silver Medal APEX Celebration with the Lagasse Family

On Monday, I met up with Tyler Lagasse and his mom, Deb at APEX Entertainment Center to celebrate his Special Olympics USA Games silver medal win in Seattle.

We met at the sports simulators and I introduced Tyler and his mom to my mom and my brother, Ryan, who could not make it for the Seattle trip.  After that, APEX set us up for a round of golf, and we went live on Facebook.  The video includes Tyler’s first swing at the APEX golf simulator.  Here’s a sneak peek:

Click here for the full video.

We had the entire evening planned out as seen below:

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Since it was my first time playing any kind of golf (besides mini-golf), it took at least five swings for me to get the hang of it.  But with the help of Tyler, I caught on fairly quickly.  Since he is a lefty, he was especially helpful because watching him was like looking in the mirror.  By my 10th swing, I was driving the ball almost 100 yards in the simulator.  We only had time for a couple of holes, and Tyler dominated, but I still really enjoyed it.  I’m definitely eager to give the golf simulator another try, and you never know, golf could be a sport I could try to play.   Of course my broadcasting career will still come first.

Here are some highlights of Tyler and I at the golf simulator:

After finishing at the golf simulator, we had a few minutes to spare before our reserved private go-kart race.  We decided to take each other on in a Boston Celtics basketball arcade game.  I beat Tyler in this one, totaling over 60 points in two rounds.  After our basketball competition, it was time to race.

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Tyler, Ryan, my dad, and I were all in the race.  We walked back to the go-kart track and put our head socks on.  We watched a video on safety rules before putting our helmets on and getting settled in our go-karts.  They started the race very soon after.  After passing Tyler and my dad early, I knew I was doing well.

I beat Tyler by 0.119 seconds with a fastest lap of 38.015, but came in 2nd to my dad, who’s best time was 36.339.  Tyler’s fastest time was 38.134, putting him in 3rd place.  He was a few seconds ahead of Ryan, who had a best time of 41.441.

Here are the results, taken directly from an email I received from APEX after the race:

Thank you for your visit.

Here you can find your results.

Results for Session 30 at 5:18 PM

   Heat overview Best time
1. killerken (my dad) 36.339
2. AndrewrBSM (me) 38.015
3. tyler (Tyler) 38.134
4. Ryguy335YT (my brother) 41.441

Unlike last time, APEX gave us a sheet with more detailed results:

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Here are some highlights from the race:

After that, we headed upstairs to the classic arcade section.  We started by facing off in a few rounds of Olympic bubble hockey.

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In the first game, there were no goals for a long while, but Tyler beat me 1-0 after I accidentally shot it into my own goal.  However, I won the second game, and we both wanted a rubber match.  In the rubber match, it was a close one, as Tyler led 2-1 with seconds to go (It requires a goal to end the game).  If I scored, it went to overtime.  But after a lot of good defense, Tyler scored the game-winning goal to make it 3-1.

Tyler wanted to play Aerosmith pinball after that, one of my favorites.  It wasn’t my best day in pinball, but even if it was a good day for me, I wouldn’t have beat Tyler.  He had never played pinball before but he was a quick study, scoring over 30000 points, earning the multiball, and a winning a free game.  Here are some highlights from the arcade:

Tyler played out his free game, but after that, it was time to bowl.  Tayla Normandie, who was assisting Sean MacLaughlin in hosting us for the day, booked us for candlepin in Lane 1.  It turned out that Tyler’s mom had Tayla as a cosmetology student at Greater Lowell Tech, where she teaches.  She recognized Tayla at that point and caught up with her.  After that, Tayla gave us our bowling shoes, and Tyler, Tyler’s mom, my dad, and I began bowling.

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We were given full Pit Stop Tavern service from the lanes, and I ordered a delicious chicken tender and french fry meal with BBQ sauce on the side and a Sprite to drink.  Tyler ordered buffalo chicken tenders, one of his favorites.  I topped Tyler in our first round of bowling.  I had my best round in a while, including a strike on Frame 2.  But my dad had his best round in a long time with a strike of his own and a grand total of 93.  Between all of our competitions, Tyler and I were tied 4-4.  So we decided to play one more game of candlepin bowling, just the two of us.  I was off to a strong start, but Tyler just got better as he played, and he came back to beat me in a close one.  Check out some of the highlights from the bowling alley:

Below are all our competition results from throughout the day.  It is almost like we played each other in a mini Olympics.

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It turned out that there was a podium at the APEX, so before we said our goodbyes, Tyler and I took a picture on the podium based on our results from throughout the day.

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I’d like to thank Marcus Kemblowski, Sean MacLaughlin, Tayla Normandie, Tyler Lagasse, Nick Savarese, and Deb Lagasse for making this experience possible.  Stay tuned for more experience posts soon, including coverage of the Special Olympics Massachusetts golf championship.

This post is also available on the Flutie Foundation blog.

 

Race to the APEX For Non-Stop Entertainment

 

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A huge plaza known as the APEX Center of New England recently opened in Marlborough, Massachusetts.  It is located on US-20, near Exit 24 on I-495.  One of the best parts of this new plaza is the APEX Entertainment Center, which just opened its three-story, quarter-mile long, go-karting track this week.

APEX Entertainment also includes these attractions:

  • A huge arcade, including a mix of classic and modern arcade games
  • A bowling alley (with 30 lanes) that includes both 10-pin bowling and a New England favorite, Candlepin bowling.  At the end of each lane above the pins are huge TV screens to watch current sports events
  • A ropes course above the arcade with a view of the go-kart track
  • Several sports simulation machines
  • An American Bar and Restaurant named the Pit Stop Tavern, also with a great view of both the go-karting track and the bowling alley
  • A Boston themed laser tag arena, complete with a 3-story model of the Prudential Center
  • Bumper cars

If you’re interested in more formal dining, the 110 Grill is a few doors down in the same plaza.  The management at APEX Entertainment provided me with an all-access tour and gave me the opportunity to try out the go-karts and the bumper cars.  My dad, my brother and I were greeted by Sherie Gaw, one of the managers at APEX Entertainment.

She showed us the sports simulators first.  Not only can you play virtual baseball, football, basketball, golf, and soccer, but you can also play other games such as zombie dodgeball.  They even have a carnival simulator.

Next, she took us to one of her favorite spots, where we could get a great view of the bowling alley and the movie-screen sized TVs. From where we were standing, we could see all 30 bowling lanes, some of which are candlepin lanes.  In addition, they have a special feature in some of the 10-pin lanes called Angry Birds bowling.  For dedicated bowlers, they will have leagues starting this summer.

The APEX is also a great place to watch sports.  Their bowling alley includes several huge TVs, and there are many more TVs around the Pit Stop Tavern and the bowling alley.  We had a great time when we came there to watch Week 17’s match-up between the Patriots and Jets, the game that secured home-field advantage for New England.

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My dad and I bowling and watching the game

On our way to the go-kart track, we walked by the classic section of the arcade, which included 1999 NFL Blitz and a vintage hockey game.

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After that, we headed right to the go-kart track, known as the IC Federal Credit Union Speedway.

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Me in front of the logo for the go-kart track

Nobody was racing yet when we got there, so Sherie took us on a walk around the track.  It was the longest, most interesting go-kart track I had ever seen!  The track is a quarter of a mile long.  Sherie led us through one lap in the direction that the go-karts are supposed to go.  I even got a picture in the special 110 Grill go-kart after!

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Next up, we walked through the part of the arcade filled with lots of new arcade games.  Next to the arcade were the bumpers cars. There are six bumper cars and my dad, my brother, Sherie, 2 other APEX employees and I filled the arena and had some fun-filled bumping action.

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Once the go-karts opened for the afternoon, we registered ourselves and the three of us had the whole track to ourselves as they had just opened.  We put on head-socks and sized ourselves for helmets, and soon enough, we were in the go-karts and ready to race.  The maximum speed for the go-karts was 40 mph, but we went around 20 mph.  Although I wasn’t going at full speed, it was the best go-kart ride of my life!

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Me after I got all geared up to race

My favorite part is where you go down to the lowest part of the track, through a tunnel, and right back up.  Soon after that, you can make a hairpin turn that leads you up to the highest part.  On your way back down, they say you can even get some air if you’re driving at top speed.

In my fastest lap, I went at a speed of 19.5 mph, finishing the lap in 46.3 seconds.  My dad won the race, going 20.5 mph in his fastest lap, which he finished in 44 seconds.  I came in second, just ahead of my brother, who went at a speed of 17.75 mph during his fastest lap, which took about 51 seconds.  You can get your race results using an app called “Activity Box.”  To log in, just ask to view your license at the go-kart registration desk.

After the race, we went upstairs to play arcade games and cool off with a refreshing iced beverage from the Pit Stop Tavern.  My dad and I faced off in NFL Blitz.  He played as the Patriots and I played as the Eagles.  Although I was upset that he beat me 31-3, I was also happy that the Patriots won as we were simulating this year’s Super Bowl match-up.

Before I left, I watched a number of racers going at top speed in a very competitive race.  Check out my video of two racing drivers here:

I’d like to thank Sherie Gaw for taking the time to show me a first class APEX experience and Ashley Coffey for setting it up.  If you haven’t visited yet, I recommend that you race to the APEX for non-stop entertainment.

See the APEX Entertainment website here: https://www.apexentertainmentcenter.com

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