By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
The eighth annual Bailey Simons Memorial Alumni Basketball Tournament will be held at Rootstown High School and Middle School on Saturday, June 17.
The tournament is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and will feature eight different teams.
Two-time reigning champions Crestwood return for its quest at a three-peat, with other teams rounding out the tourney including Field, Garfield, Mogadore, Rootstown Blue, Rootstown White, Streetsboro and Waterloo.
Opening-round games will be played at 3 and 4 p.m., semifinal games at 5 p.m. and the championship game will be at 6 p.m. Tickets will be $5 at the door and free admission for any child under 5.
All proceeds of the tournament go directly toward the Bailey Simons/Frank Family Scholarship, which is coordinated by The Portage Foundation.
Simons was a Rootstown High School student and cheerleader, who died in an automobile accident in February 2015.
Since the tournament’s inception, it has acted as the scholarship’s primary sponsor and has raised nearly $20,000.
To date, 16 scholarships have been awarded to graduating seniors, including 2023 recipients Tracey Lohman and Alexis Waligura.
Other scholarship recipients include: Matt Colpo (2015), Jacob Dudley and Sarah Graham (2016), Chandler England and Brendan Mohan (2017), Allison Chapple and Chanelle Waligura (2018), Tricia Fowler and Steffanie Graham (2019), Lauren Housley and Savannah Munger (2020), Madeline Billock and Ava Brunty (2021) and Gyllien Anderson, Donnie Birkett and Clara Butcher (2022).
Crestwood has won the tournament in back-to-back seasons, defeating Lake Center Christian to win the 2021 title and besting Garfield at last year’s event.
For the 2023 tournament, Crestwood will once again receive the honor of wearing purple jerseys. A tribute earned by the title team to play in Simons’ favorite color.
The schedule for the 2023 tournament includes:
• First Round: Crestwood vs. Streetsboro, 3 p.m. at high school; Field vs. Rootstown White, 4 p.m. at middle school; Mogadore vs. Rootstown Blue, 4 p.m. at high school; Waterloo vs. Garfield, 3 p.m. at middle school.
• Semifinal Round: 5 p.m.
• Championship: 6 p.m.
Graduating years are included in parenthesis.
Aaron Czerny (2016), Cole Fannin (2020), Mason Angle (2020), Blaze Angle (2020), Mason Jakacki (2020), Trent Jakacki (2021), Austin Johnson (2021).
Dane Rice (2014), Caleb Wohlwend (2015), Levi Lowden (2015), Dom Walker (2015), Luke Kruse (2016), Coleman Begue (2016), Trevon Ridgell (2016), Jacob Gartner (2021).
Nate Emens (2016), Seth Morgan (2017), Dalton Fall (2017), Tom Bissler (2017), Kyle Workman (2018), Ryan Brown (2018), Austin Peterson (2020), Trystan Gedeon (2021).
Zeddie Pollock (2016), Andrew Barker (2016), Stephen Stott (2016), Kole Jaber (2017), Eli Robertson (2019), Lukas Swartz (2020), David Wolverton (2020), Kody Jaber (2021).
Tom Nader (2000), Adam Bailey (2001), TJ Riggie (2001), Jason Urchek (2001), Kyle Barkhurst (2010), Josh Lane (2012), Conner Formick (2015), Tyler Lane (2015), Chandler England (2017).
Nathan Moore (2018), Michael Shipp (2018), Scott Steger (2019), Jack Steger (2019), Adam Whitacre (2019), Dom Shipp (2022), Donny Birkett (2022), Xavier Birkett (2022), Nick Wancik (2022).
Nick Marcini (1997), Rocky Orr (2006), Noah Benson (2017), Jalen Hardy (2019), Deonte Lewis (2019), Khrys Riley Richardson (2020), Tyler Hall (2021), Devin Reese (2022).
Kam Shockley (2017), Caleb Francis (2020), Max Adelman (2020), Vaughn Dorsey (2020), Kyle Schokley (2021), Donny Walker (2021), Luke Simons (2022), Ryan Wise (2023), Navarre Alhassan (2023).