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Rob Potter | Democrat

The Kapito’s Tires team won the John Spear Memorial Whiffleball Tournament last Friday evening at Monticello High School. Kneeling in the front row, from left to right, are Marcus Daniels, Billy Cargill and Robby Garay. Standing in the back row, from left to right, are Jesse Kapito, Patrick Ripa, Bobby Wagner, Jason Arias and Coach Kenny Clark.

Kapito’s Tires wins John Spear Memorial Whiffleball Tourney

By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO — June 18, 2010 — A total of 12 teams competed in the fourth annual John Spear Memorial Whiffleball Tournament last Friday evening at Monticello High School.
While most of those teams consisted of Monticello High School students, several Eldred Central School students played in the event. In addition, a team of Monticello High School teachers known as the MTA All-Stars participated in the tournament.
After the first round, second round and semifinals were completed, only two teams were left in the single-elimination tourney. Those teams, the Dirty Pelicans and Kapito’s Tires, then squared off in the championship game. At the end of six innings of close competition, Kapito’s Tires recorded a 5-3 victory to win the title.
The tournament has been held each June since 2007 to honor Spear, a beloved baseball coach and teacher at Monticello High School who lost his life in a car accident in January 2007.
The Monticello Teachers’ Association and Pro Prospects Training Center in Monticello teamed up to host the tournament. Each player on the seven-person teams paid $5 to compete.
All of the proceeds from the event, which included the entry fees plus money raised at the concession stand and donations, went to John Spear’s widow, Elaine Spear.
Monticello High School Guidance Counselor Sheryl Manz noted that a couple of the teams had sponsorships and John Maranzana, an English teacher at Monticello High School, went around the school with a donation can asking students and staff members to contribute to the cause.
“He probably collected about one third of the total amount of money raised,” Manz said.
Manz was not surprised that so many people were eager to donate.
“John Spear was a good friend and we are glad to honor him with this tournament every year,” she said. “It has been a very successful tournament all these years.”
Manz was one of the volunteers helping out at the concession stand as the whiffleball games were played in the nearby gymnasium. Among the other volunteers were Kathy Bunce, Jesse Campanaro and Franci Kirtack.
“It’s nice to see so many kids who have graduated come back and play in the tournament,” Bunce said.
Campanaro, a 2007 Monticello High School graduate, was a member of the Hughes’ Guys team which won the tournament in 2007 and 2008 and finished second last year.
“Our team couldn’t play this year because guys were coming home from college and working,” said Campanaro, who played baseball for Coach Spear. “A couple of guys are playing for other teams today.”
Campanaro was happy to help out at the concession stand.
“It’s for a good cause,” he said.
Manz and Bunce noted the contributions made by Steve Pinto, owner of Pro Prospects Training Center. Pinto and two of the Pro Prospects staff members, Jed Carrier and Matt Dunn, served as umpires for the tournament. In addition, Pinto did a lot of behind the scenes work and set up the tournament brackets.
“I am happy to be able to help out with this tournament,” Pinto said. “It means a lot to me because Coach Spear had such an impact on my life.
“Everybody seems to be having a really good time,” Pinto added. “I think everybody who knew John realized what a great person he was. John meant a lot to a lot of people.”
The complete results of the tournament were as follows:
First Round – MTA All-Stars 13, Bunce’s Bombers 12; Dirty Pelicans 18, Duncan’s Donuts 1; Kapito’s Tires 7, Mayberg’s Mashers 5; Lovely Ladies 8, Pink Ladies 5; BK Randy’s 14, Oreos 0; Los Toros 5, Pavese’s Paisans 3.
Second Round: MTA All-Stars 6, Lovely Ladies 0; Kapito’s Tires 15, Los Toros 7; Dirty Pelicans 14, BK Randy’s 4.
Semifinals: Kapito’s Tires 8, MTA All-Stars 4; Dirty Pelicans received a bye to the final.
Final: Kapito’s Tires 5, Dirty Pelicans 3.

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