After running hard for two minutes, Joe Seniti came stumbling off the thick sand pitch, shaking his head, panting heavily and sweating profusely. The 29-year-old from Gloucester, Mass., high-fived his teammates lining the pitch as another member of the Bertolino Electric squad took his spot in the sand. Seniti hunched over, grabbed his shorts, let out a gasp and managed a relieved smile.
"I forgot I was supposed to get in shape for this," he wheezed. "My legs feel like Jello."
It’s shortly after 9 o’clock in the morning, and Seniti’s teammates, and dozens of other contestants in the New England Beach Soccer tournament already have burned off more calories than probably 98 percent of the general population. And most look just like Seniti after their "shifts."
"It’s like quicksand out there," said Dan Hernandez of the Penmen, a team comprised of former players at Southern New Hampshire University, as he nursed an ice-cold Corona. "Everything is happening in slow motion. That’s the great thing — everybody can play."
Welcome to the wacky and wildly entertaining world of beach soccer.