45th chapter of Optimists Club’s Winter Classic to tip off Friday | TahoeDailyTribune.com

45th chapter of Optimists Club’s Winter Classic to tip off Friday

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

One of the longest-running sporting events in Lake Tahoe celebrates its 45th year this weekend.

The South Lake Tahoe Optimist Club’s 45th annual Winter Classic begins today at South Tahoe Middle School with a multitude of eighth-grade boys’ basketball games.

The three-day tournament attracts teams from the Carson Valley and Northern California, giving them a unique chance to enjoy a winter weekend in the mountains.

“It’s an event kids will never forget,” said Doug Forte, a longtime Optimist Club member who has been associated with the tournament since 1984. “Being able to do something like this, especially for kids from out of the area like those from Half Moon Bay or Martinez, this is a weekend they will cherish for a long time.”

As in the past, the Optimist Club has designated an honoree for the tournament. This year’s recipient is Terry Powers, who moved to the area in 1977 to work for the South Tahoe Public Utility District and has served the community in a variety ways while raising two sons who are now in college. He has been a scout leader, soccer coach, South Tahoe Swim Team treasurer and a 14-year Buddy Werner ski team coach.

Powers became an Optimist Club member in 1993 and presently serves as the club’s secretary and is a visible presence at the club’s events.

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“There is no question that Terry’s can-do attitude and work ethic has made our community a better place for kids,” Forte said. “The South Lake Tahoe Optimist Club is privileged and proud to call Terry one of its own.”

As is customary, South Tahoe Middle School is entered and will trigger the tournament with its game against Mark Twain. Tip-off is at 4 p.m. today in the multipurpose room. The tournament will also use the school’s old gym.

Also entered are Camerado Springs, Carson, Carson Valley, Cunha of Half Moon Bay, Eagle Valley, Jackson, Mark Twain, Martinez, Pa-Wa-Lu, Stanley of Lafayette, Taylor of Milbrae and Toyon of Valley Springs.

Admission is $3 for adults per day, while students will be admitted for free. Proceeds all go to middle school programs, according to Forte.

Games will start at 9 a.m. and run through approximately 8 p.m. Saturday. The final is set for 11 a.m. Sunday, while consolation and third-place games are set for 9 a.m. and 10:15 a.m., respectively. A free-throw shooting contest is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday.

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