We want to give a huge shout out Arizona FC regional manager Randy Kaye and Rick Phillips of USSSA for pulling off an outstanding John Dakes Invitational Tournament this last weekend in Phoenix, AZ. Coach Randy originally approached us a few years back with the idea of raising money for coach John, who was retired and could use the money to travel to see his Firecracker teams play. It was a great success, and now that coach John has passed, the event raises money for supplemental scholarships for deserving players.
Randy combines his creativity with our cultural template for success, and that growth definitely showed at this year’s event. Thirty-nine teams from five states competed to raise money for the JDI. The energy from the fields this year was the best it’s been in five years. Great teams provided for some great competition, with our Firecracker Brashear 16’s proudly taking the 16U championship home. The very talented and well coached Arizona Suncats took the 18U championship home to Tucson.
All in all it was a fantastic weekend that is only successful because of a collective effort by everyone from the groundskeepers and umpires to the snack bar and tournament staff. We look forward to next year’s sixth annual event for the late great John Dakes!