If you’ve been coming to the Crusaders Christmas Tournament since it started in the winter of 1975, you’ve seen some players who have developed into premier athletes like Richie Adderley, Ben Russell and Julian Coakley.
Another crop of rising stars is set to compete when the action gets underway Wednesday, December 6, 2017, concluding on Saturday, December 10 at the St. George’s Gymnasium.
Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Academy principal, Joy Ritchie-Greene and Tournament Director Oren McPhee have, once again, assembled a strong field of eight local boys’ teams. What’s different this year is the name – The MSSCA Christmas Tournament, will honor the tournament’s founder and former Catholic High School coach, Gladstone “Moon” McPhee, and the trophy will be named in his honor.
“It is only fitting to name the trophy in honor of ‘Moon’ McPhee, who was the founder of the tournament,” said Ritchie-Greene.
“So even after he leaves us from this earthly plain, the trophy will be his memory and the history that connects ‘Moon’ McPhee to this tournament.”
Ritchie-Greene invited the public to support these young people.
“This tournament gives the public a chance to see young men doing something positive and fun, we complained about having nothing to do on Grand Bahama, so we have four days of activities, “said Ritchie-Greene.
“Of course, we know that these games build character in young people whenever they participate in anything that helps to build healthy minds, body, and spirit.”
Coach Oren McPhee expects his young team to put forth their best effort.
“We have a very young team, having always a mixture of young guys and one or two seniors,” McPhee explained.
“In the past few weeks in practice we had made some adjustments, clogged up some holes in our offence and put some key components together.”
McPhee added, his team will show up.
“We are inexperienced and that will play a part, but we have the stamina and the will,” said McPhee.
“We plan to put forth the best that we have, because this is our tournament and we plan to show up and show out.”
Freeport Oil representative Peter Adderley added that FOCOL will continue to support the rich tradition of this tournament.
“FOCOL continues to support the rich tradition of this tournament which boasts of being the oldest in the country, many have gone on to university and played on the international level while most importantly hundreds have become model citizens,” Adderley stated.
“We want our young men to use this experience to prepare them for life, so we are pleased to see that the school has continued to keep the spirit of this tournament alive; because we know when the cool breeze blows-in December, we look forward to this tradition.”
Adderley also endorsed the naming of the tournament in honor of McPhee.
“McPhee has had a positive impact on young men and young women in this society and we find it fitting, that we name the tournament in his honor.”
St. George’s Jaguars are the defending champions and will be joined by Tabernacle Baptist, Jack Hayward, Pine Forest, Eight Mile Rock, and Bishop Michael Eldon and the host Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Academy.
Richie-Greene also thanked her valued sponsors Freeport Oil, G.B. Shipyard, Polymers, and the Grand Bahama Port Authority.