Stickball tournament is a success
Salisbury sought its fourth consecutive championship in the annual Fountain Hill Stickball Classic this past weekend. The Falcons came up short on that coveted four-peat, but the 9th Annual Stickball Classic was once again a success.
MFS defeated Hillers in the championship game, 7-4, but the most important part of the tournament went beyond the Fountain Hill Park and Holy Child Parking Lot macadam.
The tournament, which began at 9 a.m. on Saturday and saw the final game begin at 7 p.m., raised over $3,500 that went to the Joan E and Mike Giagola Memorial Scholarship Fund. A $1,000 scholarship is awarded to one student each year to help with college funds.
“I’m beyond grateful that I’ve been able to run this event for the past nine years,” said Andrew Redding, director of the tournament. “When we first started this event, I didn’t expect the incredible outpouring of support year after year. I did not expect for it to go this long either, but I’ll keep The Classic going as long as all these great teams want to keep playing.”
The event raises funds for the Glagola children after their parents had passed away in the 2000s. Redding felt the need to look after his cousins when his godparents, Joan and Mike, passed away. He came up with this idea.
“One of the great things to see and experience throughout the day is the overall community feel of the event,” Redding said. “It’s great to see the teams and keep building the relationships over a fun day of games.”
A number of sponsors, both old and new, contributed to another successful total that the Glagola family is much appreciative of. It anticipates a bright future with many more years of stickball and community support ahead.
A total of 18 teams participated in this year’s event, two of which were new to the tournament.
“We have so many extremely talented teams participate, and the tournament play just keeps getting better each year,” Redding said. “As the organizer I am happy to have another team to add to the plaque.”
Early on it looked as if Salisbury had a chance at capturing the title once again. It defeated Bucket List Boys in its first game and Quick Nick in the quarterfinals. But MFS had other plans in store with its first ever stickball championship hours later.
“Nic Ampietro has cousins that play a role in helping run the tournament, which is how we heard about it,” Wagner said. “Nic and Brad Vangeli put a team together and we’ve participated in the past seven tournaments now.”
Salisbury’s team included six players from its 2011 team that made it to the state tournament during the high school season. A number of them are playing at the college level these days. The Falcons won the tournament in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
“Andrew Redding manages to combine a good cause that brings a community together for a day of fun,” said Falcon player Steve Wagner. “Hopefully we can keep fielding a team for many years to come. There is no better event than one that is fun and helps others.”