by James Barrows
This past Sunday, Matt Ellis, Matthew Middendorf, and Matt Goyette, hosted a March Madness Basketball Tournament at the YMCA, the first of its kind at JPCatholic.
The idea was sparked by an annual event back at Matt Middendorf’s high school, where they would have a basketball tournament with family and friends. The three students decided to organize and host a similar event at JPCatholic, hoping it would have the same interest. Midendorf said, “With the actual spirit of March Madness coming around, I thought it’d be cool to see if the school would be interested in hosting an actual march madness event.”
With the help of Professor Culbertson, the three secured the Palomar Family YMCA on North Broadway, Escondido for the tournament. Middendorf said, “Lisa Norombaba [Executive Director at the YMCA] is good friends with Professor Culbertson, and she was pretty on board with this idea…It just so happened we had dates that aligned.” With the sponsorship of the Neri men’s household, the students secured the gym relatively free of charge.
The event itself was attended by a total of fifteen students, a low number considering the amount of advertising. Matt Ellis said, “We put out 200 fliers; We got about 15 people- that’s about 10%.” When asked if he’d encourage other students to sponsor similar events, Ellis said yes, but added that students should “get marketing down to a T…You got to be proactive…we printed out two hundred fliers…we posted on Facebook, we got some nice reactions from people on Facebook…and then they never showed.” Abraham McCloskey, who attended the event, added, “The event’s pretty nice. I like the gym we’re at. Wish there was a lot more people, but what can you do it’s a small school.”
Middendorf hopes to continue the event in years to come. He said, “This was more a test to see if people were interested.” Paul Campa, who participated in the event with fellow teammate Keenan Wostenberg, said, “We are looking forward to the rest of the season, and we’ll see you all at the next round.”