SoCal Tournament postponed three days, but still on

Stephanie Backus/FULTON SUN photo: South Callaway High School student Kai Zimmerman, 17, buys a hot dog from Ellynne Fletcher, 16, at the concession stand at the South Callaway Basketball Tournament. Money raised at the tournament goes to the athletic department, but Athletic Director Tony Brandt was concerned about the tournament making money after being postponed three days due to weather.

Stephanie Backus/FULTON SUN photo: South Callaway High School student Kai Zimmerman, 17, buys a hot dog from Ellynne Fletcher, 16, at the concession stand at the South Callaway Basketball Tournament. Money raised at the tournament goes to the athletic department, but Athletic Director Tony Brandt was concerned about the tournament making money after being postponed three days due to weather.

Weather has been a major concern in the area for the last several days. Schools have been out of session and athletic events canceled — including the annual South Callaway Basketball Tournament.

“This is our 44th annual tournament,” Athletic Director Tony Brandt said. “I think it’s only been canceled one year, and this year we came pretty close due to the weather, but I’m glad we were able to at least get this in for the next three days.”

Three area schools are participating in the tournament. All three were out of school for the first three days of the scheduled tournament.

“I believe all eight schools were out of session yesterday,” Brandt said on Thursday. “The majority of schools would have traveled if we had played, but a couple were not excited about getting their buses out in the weather.”

So Brandt made the decision to push back the games, already postponed two days, to a third day.

“I’m glad we were able to wait one more day, so no teams had to forfeit their first-round games,” he said.

But the decision may be costly. Brandt was concerned it may hurt the bottom line of the tournament.

“Profits go to the athletic program,” he said. “I am not sure how profits have been in the past, but most tournaments are breaking even these days with the cost of officials and hospitality rooms. You’re lucky to break even, really.

“It will be interesting to see this year, with the cancellations, if we’re able to make any profit off the tournament.”

Brandt said he believes the tournament is generally successful for the school.

“Any tournament that goes on for this long apparently has been run correctly to the point where schools want to come back,” he said. “Our school takes a lot of pride in hosting this tournament.”

Organizing the competition falls under Brandt’s umbrella at the school, but he said it takes a lot of people to put it together.

“You have to have a lot of help, a lot of quality help,” he said. “It takes people who have been here and kind of know what has been done in the past who have really helped me out as far as showing me the ropes on what needs to be done. We have a lot of good people here who have worked this tournament for a lot of years.”

All in all, Brandt and the other participants have been happy with the tournament after its first day.

“It’s not really ideal to play three games in three days like we’re having to do,” he said. “But in talking to the other athletic directors and coaches, they want to get the games in and don’t want to lose the games in their season, so we’re making the best with what we can. So far, I think everybody’s been pleased.”

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