Basketballs will be bouncing in the Grape Festival Pavilion this weekend as Lodi's Boosters of Boys/Girls Sports host the seventh annual Rod M. Tamayo Tournament.
Seventh- and eighth-grade boys' basketball teams from around the Central Valley, including Turlock, Stockton, Modesto and Davis, are entered.
There are also two BOBS tournament teams made up from players from the Lodi Comet League, as well as two St. Anne's teams in each division, and another team from Lodi.
"We are excited about this year's competition in both the seventh- an eighth-grade divisions," said tourney director Zachary Leach. "There really isn't a sure-fire favorite to win either division. Especially in the eighth-grade division, the quality of teams is so good there could literally be any combination in the championship game on Sunday."
There is one deviation from years past in the format of the tourney this year - there is no Open division, which was traditionally comprised of the highest-caliber teams that play all around the state.
Play begins at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, and concludes with the last game starting at 6 p.m. Saturday and the eighth-grade championship game at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
The seventh-grade championship game is set for 3 p.m. Sunday.
The Lodi Comets seventh-grade team begins play at 9 a.m. Saturday against the Stockton Mavericks. The Comets also face a Turlock team at 6 p.m. Saturday, before playing another game against an undetermined opponent Sunday.
Coached by Darrell Sasaki, players include Michael Sasaki, Zach Massie, Jordan Lawley, Jason Beilstein, Brian Delgado, Alex Terrill, Dylan Cox, Andy Solorio, Steven Salisbury and Michael Simpfenderfer.
The Lodi Comets eighth-grade team opens against Holmes Junior High from Davis at noon Saturday and plays Modesto Slam N Jam II, one of the tourney favorites, at 6 p.m. Saturday.
The Comets also face the Lincoln Blazers from Stockton at 10:30 a.m. Sunday before playing another game Sunday afternoon against an undetermined opponent.
Coached by Darrell Baumbach, players include Ryan Goodbary, Jeremy Hill, Tyler Doig, Montana Sasaki, Gabe Corrales, Drew McCurdy, Troy Marr, Nathan Severin, Adam Salazar, Steven Boriack, Richard Regalia and Ryan Lorten.
Second Chance, another Lodi entry featuring both seventh- and eighth-graders, takes on the Stockton Mavericks at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, the St. Anne's eighth-grade team at 3 p.m. Saturday, and Slam N Jam I at 9 a.m. Sunday.
Coached by Fran Lively, players include Jeff Herrick, Cody Diede, Michael Schneider, John Bartles, Chris Sieglock, Jerod Sampson, Phillip Gutierrez and Bret Swearengin.
St. Anne's seventh-grade team battles Holmes at 9 a.m. Saturday and Slam N Jam at 6 p.m. Saturday. Coached by Bob Caffese, players include Sal Gutierrez, Drew Franks, T.J. Pedraza, Travis Amick, Chris Sabalbro, Nathan Estrada, Mike Caffese, C.J. Anema, Chris Fekkers and Anthony Leonardini.
St. Anne's eighth-grade squad tackles Slam N Jam I at 10:30 a.m., Second Chance at 3 p.m. Saturday, and the Stockton Mavericks at 9 a.m. Sunday. Coached by John Doucette, players include Jacob Carl, Antonio Sanchez, Max Hill, Joey Lucchesi, Tad Smith, Kevin Brown, Alex Vaz, Marc Doucette and Brad Peterson.
The tourney is named after the late Rod M. Tamayo, a former Lodi Parks and Recreation Department employee who died on the eve of the 1994 BOBS tourney.
Ron Williamson, former Parks and Recreation Director, remembers Tamayo as a "very unusual person who comes along once in a great while."
Former longtime News-Sentinel sports editor Carl Underwood summed it up best when he said, "Was (Rod) a special person? Over a period of 45 years writing about sports in Lodi, I know of no one who has received higher praise from those who knew him."
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