By Roger Bross
|On November 17, 2000, the S.F.F.D. F.L.A.M.E. Boys Basketball
tournament tipped off its 27th year. 212 teams from the 3rd through
the 8th grade have entered this year, representing over 2000 participants.
Only the F.L.A.M.E. girls tournament in April, with 100 teams and over 1000 girls rivals the boys tournament for numbers in the Bay Area.
The games are being played at eight different gymnasiums through December: St. Ignatius, St. Emydius, St. Vincent De Paul, Gilheaney, Good Shepherd, Mission Rec., St Peter Pacifica and S.O.M.A.
This tournament could not take place without the dedication and cooperation of many people at these different venues. Firefighters Joe Hallisy and Mike Cotton monitor and oversee 75 games at St. Ignatius and St. Emydius. Their assistance is invaluable.
The 3rd grade tournament is an instructional/recreational event. Score is not kept and all participants on the 24 teams receive a commemorative S.F.F.D. F.L.A.M.E. T-shirt.
In the 4th through 8th grade tournaments, all members of the teams who finish in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, consolation champion and consolation runner-up positions receive individual trophies. For the past few years, many assistant and battalion chiefs have been on hand at championship games to distribute the awards to the children.
This tournament has grown from an original 60 teams to its current size. Through the years, many firefighters have coached in the tournament. Some familiar names such as Mark Barbano, Fred Fegan, Mark Groshong, Dick Gutierrez, Joe Hallisy, John Hanley, Bill Healy, Eric Hipp, Don Holvoet, Joe Moriarty, Mike OLeary, Paul Schneider, Tony Stefani, Mike Sullivan, Fred Walsh, among others, have participated.
In addition, this tournament utilizes a variety of officials to work the 335 games that will be played this year. Many of these referees have worked these games for many years. Many have been trained in our program and have developed into high school and college referees, but loyally continue to work this event.
Finally, Id like to thank all the firefighters, both active and retired, who make this tournament possible. Your bi-monthly voluntary contributions through payroll deduction are the principal source of revenue for the F.L.A.M.E. program. All monies received from you, in excess of the monthly raffle payouts are used exclusively to underwrite F.L.A.M.E. activities. There are no administrative costs diverted from these funds.
If you are not currently enrolled, and would like more information, call me at (415) 586-9600. Happy 2001!
|30 year F.L.A.M.E. Director Roger Bross welcomes a special guest to Gilheaney Gym..|
Photo provided by Roger Bross