Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
March 10, 2009 Issue
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Rob Potter | Democrat

MONTICELLO SENIOR POLLY Palhano narrowly misses a pitch while batting during the second annual John Spear Memorial Whiffleball Tournament held recently at Monticello High School. The event raised more than $4,100 for Spear’s family.

Whiffleball tourney benefits coach's family

By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO — It was a win-win situation as adults and teenagers alike had fun playing whiffleball while raising money for a worthy cause.
Sixteen teams competed in the second annual John Spear Memorial Whiffleball Tournament on Friday, June 13 at Monticello High School.
The tournament honors Spear, a beloved teacher and baseball coach at Monticello High School who died in a car accident in January 2007.
The tournament featured repeat champions as the Hughes Guys team defended its title from last June’s inaugural event.
Hughes Guys defeated Gatos Negros (The Black Cats) in the title game, 11-8.
Members of the Hughes Guys team included: Jesse Campanaro, Mike Hughes, John Lacey, Jesse Levine, Trevor Loughlin, Dave Luczyski and Erik Mayberg.
Members of The Black Cats team included: Billy Albronda, Brett Grossfield, Jesse Martinez, Ryan Sonnenschein, Dennis Stafford, Melissa Stefanuk and Rion Welsh.
Each member of the Hughes Guys team received a medal and a Stewart’s Shops gift certificate.
Each member of The Black Cats team received a Stewart’s Shops gift certificate.
Sheryl Manz, Director of the Monticello High School Interact Club – which is affiliated with the Monticello Rotary Club – helped organize the event along with Steve Pinto and Jed Carrier of Pro Prospects Training Center in Monticello and Kathy Bunce.
As the final four teams competed in the semifinals, Manz called a timeout to speak to the players.
“We thank you for playing in this tournament to help us remember John Spear and support his family,” she said to the dozens of players sitting in the bleachers. “We hope this tournament will continue for the next 100 years.
“Last year, the tournament raised $2,000,” Manz continued. “We have already doubled that amount this year. We thank all of you for making that happen.”
After the championship game ended, Bunce noted that a total of $4,110 had been collected for the Spear family.
In addition to the admission fee, money was also raised through the sale of refreshments during the tournament and of paper baseballs in the Monticello schools prior to the event.
Bunce noted that John Pavese was a huge contributor for the tournament. Pavese was among the dozens of local residents and business owners who purchased ads in the official tournament program.