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9th annual Bailey Simons Memorial Alumni Basketball Tournament is Saturday

9th annual Bailey Simons Memorial Alumni Basketball Tournament is Saturday


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


The ninth annual Bailey Simons Memorial Alumni Basketball Tournament will be held on Saturday at Rootstown High School.

The tournament is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and will feature six different teams.

Waterloo is the event’s reigning champion, with Crestwood, Field, Mogadore, Rootstown Blue and Rootstown White rounding out the teams.

First-round games will be played at 3 and 4 p.m., semifinal games at 5 and 6 p.m. and the championship game scheduled for 7 p.m.

Tickets are $5 at the door, with free admission for seniors and any child 5 and under.

All proceeds raised from the tournament are directly donated to the Bailey Simons/Frank Family Scholarship, which is coordinated by The Portage Foundation.

Simons was a Rootstown High School student and 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 more than $20,000.

To date, 20 scholarships have been awarded to graduating Rootstown seniors, including 2024 recipients Taylor Banks, Audrey Francis, Dominic Siglow and Porter Smith.

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); Tracey Lohman and Alexis Waligura (2023).

After a two-year championship run by the Crestwood Red Devils in 2021 and 2022, Waterloo’s alumni team were crowned champions, defeating the Devils in the title game, at last year’s tourney.

For the 2024 tournament, Waterloo receives the honor of playing in purple jerseys. A tribute earned by the title team to play in Simons’ favorite color.


The schedule for the 2024 tournament includes:


Rootstown Blue vs. Field, 3 p.m.

Rootstown White vs. Mogadore, 4 p.m.


Waterloo vs. Rootstown White-Mogadore winner, 5 p.m.

Crestwood vs. Rootstown Blue-Field winner, 6 p.m.


Teams TBD, 7 p.m.




Graduating years are included in parenthesis.




Matt Czerny (2014), Aaron Czerny (2016), Mason Jakacki (2020), Cole Fannin (2020), Mason Angle (2020), Blaze Angle (2020), Trent Jakacki (2021), Austin Johnson (2021).




Caleb Wohlwend (2015), Preston Semler (2015), Dom Walker (2015), Andrew Johnson (2018), Jake Lupardus (2020), Caleb Gartner (2023), Joe Crawford (2023).




Zedekiah Pollock (2016), Stephen Stott (2016), Luke Morris (2016), Kole Jaber (2017), Eli Robertson (2019), Lukas Swartz (2020), David Wolverton (2020), Kody Jaber (2021), Nick Coffman (2023).




Adam Whitacre (2019), Scott Steger (2019), Jack Steger (2019), Donny Birkett (2022), Xavier Birkett (2022), Nick Wancik (2022), Brandan Nicholas (2022).




Tom Nader (2000), Jason Urchek (2001), TJ Riggie (2001), Jay Buso (2009), Josh Lane (2012), Tyler Lane (2015), Conner Formick (2015), Nathan Moore (2018).




Chase Cooper (2015), Dale Miller (2015), Kam Shockley (2017), Caleb Francis (2020), Max Adelman (2020), Kyle Shockley (2021), Luke Simons (2022), Navarre Alhassan (2023).

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