46th Winter Classic to tip off on Friday
The South Lake Tahoe Optimist Club’s Winter Classic nears its 50th birthday this weekend as the 46th chapter of the boys’ basketball tournament takes place at South Tahoe Middle School.
The Winter Classic begins Friday at 4:30 p.m. in STMS’s two gymnasiums, showcasing a multitude of eighth-grade boys’ basketball games.
The two-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.”
The Optimist Club designates an honoree for each tournament. This year’s recipient is Scott Hudson, who died earlier this month after a three-year battle with cancer. Hudson came over to South Tahoe Middle School in 2004 to teach seventh grade physical education. He most recently taught sixth grade P.E.
Hudson spent a great deal of time over the years coaching youths of this community. At STMS, Scott coached track and field, cross country running and cross country skiing. One year he coached his daughter Kayla’s softball team.
His most-recent coaching achievement was as the head of South Tahoe High School’s Nordic Ski Team. Hudson was known for being a positive role model, not only for his students but his colleagues as well. He will be missed through the South Shore community, especially by wife Marsha and their daughters, Kayla and Alicia.
The tournament dedication ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday in the South Tahoe Middle School multipurpose room.
South Tahoe Middle School has a team entered in the tournament and will play its first game against Avery at 5:45 p.m. Friday in the old gym.
Also entered are Carson Valley, Cunha of Half Moon Bay, Gold Trail of Placerville, Incline Village, Mark Twain of Angels Camp, Martinez, Soulsbyville, and Toyon of Valley Springs.
Admission is $3 for adults per day, while students will be admitted for free. Proceeds all go to South Tahoe Middle School programs.
On Saturday, games will start at 9 a.m. and run through 6:15 p.m. The final is set for 5:30 p.m., while consolation and third-place games are set for 4:15 p.m and 3 p.m., respectively. A free-throw shooting contest is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday.