Marines go 'mad' at Camp Lejeune - Camp Lejeune Globe: Sports

Marines go 'mad' at Camp Lejeune

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  • march madness

    From left, Cpl. Alexis Camacho, Lance Cpl. Jose Graciano, Lance Cpl. Luis Salazar and Lance Cpl. Johnny Martinez, from Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Division, watch some of the NCAA college basketball tournament Friday at the French Creek Recreation Center on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. The center is showing the games on some of its 15 televisions and plans extended hours for the Final Four games on April 6 and the national championship game on April 8.

Posted: Friday, March 22, 2019 1:41 pm

The French Creek Recreation Center on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune filled with Marines on their chow breaks Friday afternoon.

Some played pool. Others played table tennis. And on the walls and hanging from the ceiling, madness was everywhere.

The NCAA Tournament got the attention of the some of the Marines at the facility off Gonzalez Boulevard. On this particular afternoon, Cincinnati played Iowa, and Oklahoma was facing down Mississippi.

Lance Cpl. Johnny Martinez, Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Division, wasn’t too invested in those teams.

“Kentucky is my team,” said Martinez. “I already know Kentucky’s going to win it all. We’re going to beat Duke.”

The main room at the French Creek Recreation Center includes 15 televisions, six of which hang from the ceiling in the center of the room.

Joey Chaucer, recreation center manager at French Creek, said the center had more than a dozen Marines enjoying some leisurely time and some basketball on television.

“Whether it’s eight or 80, it’s all the same to us,” Chaucer said.

Chaucer said the center would not have any special hours for the early rounds of the tournament, but for the Final Four on April 6 and national championship game on April 8, the center would stay open until the games are over.

“We’ll be open later then to accommodate the Marines and Sailors,” Chaucer said.

And, he expects a crowd.

“The Super Bowl is always a big game for us, but March Madness is big, too,” Chaucer said. “The national championship game is usually bigger than the national championship game in college football. We’ll have every TV on the game, and our theater screen will be on the game.”

The French Creek Recreation Center is open for normal hours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays, and noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call 451-1446 or go online to www.mccslejeune-newriver.com/smp/fc/index.html.

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