Saturday, April 17, 2021

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Golfers show support for Pierce Pride

Pierce athletic director Michael Barber along with coaches Kevin Mattos, Anthony Tapia and Chris Tapia stand at the first tee before the start of the 10th Annual Bear Pride Golf Tournament on July 25 at the Arbuckle Golf Club. [Jennifer Corriea • Pioneer Review • © 2020]

Holding any event, let alone a fundraiser is no easy task in the age of COVID 19; however, after some lengthy discussion and numerous adjustments, the Pierce Pride Foundation went forward with the 10th Annual Bear Pride Golf Tournament to benefit Pierce High School athletics at the Arbuckle Golf Club on July 25.

Although well attended, getting the event off the ground was no easy matter this year as one of the primary organizers, head football coach Anthony Tapia explained.

“It’s definitely been a challenge because of COVID,” said Tapia. “The biggest change is that there is no sit down dinner.  We also tried to maintain social distancing by limiting any sort of gathering. Each team was basically on its own and so maybe it didn’t have as much of that fundraiser feel. We just had less available features than we would under normal circumstances.”

Still, there was definitely some good golf played on the course, ultimately resulting in two foursomes tying for first place.

A team comprised of Ben Geyer, Jake Geyer, Austin Bedart and Joe Hardy, along with a second group that included Willy Travis, Jeff Thomas, Scott Bement and Jimmy Albin, both finished 15 under par to top the field.

Pierce basketball coach Cody McCullough won the closest to the pin, while Carlos Rodriguez had the longest drive.

Rodriguez also combined with teammates Adam Morris, Jake Serbin and DJ Aguilar to end the day a shot back of the leaders at 14 under and claim third place overall.

While Pierce athletic programs were the beneficiaries of the day’s festivities, according to Tapia, there was a considerable amount of work done behind the scenes, and many community sponsors that helped make the event a success.

“Our programs are very fortunate to have such support even in the midst of a pandemic. We would have liked to thank the many helpers involved and the generous donors in person, but we want them to know that their contributions are extremely helpful in ensuring our student-athletes have the best opportunities for success,” Tapia said.

For those who participated the tournament perhaps constituted a small semblance of normality, but for all involved it certainly represented a hope that there will be an opportunity to return to school as well as athletic competition.

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