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BVA-Ringgold tip off alumni event

| Tuesday, March 6, 2012

CARROLL TOWNSHIP - The first annual Belle Vernon Area-Ringgold Mon River Rivalry Alumni Basketball Game will be held Friday night at Ringgold.

The girls-boys doubleheader will get under way with the girls' contest tipping off at 6 p.m. and the boys' teams taking the court at 7:30.

The event, which was organized by both schools, will be part of a series of alumni contests to raise money for each school's athletic booster organizations. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Rams Club at Ringgold and the newly-formed BVA Leopard Boosters.

BVA and Ringgold will also meet yearly in alumni baseball, softball, soccer and football contests.

Ringgold Athletic Director Ron McMichael said that the alumni series between the two schools was born through talks between him and BVA Athletic Director Jesse Cramer.

"We were talking about the alumni football a game and figured it was a good idea to try basketball and some other sports as a way of making money for our booster groups," McMichael said.

"On our end, we haven't gotten the signups I thought we would get for the two alumni teams, but we have enough to fill the teams. The big thing is to get the event off the ground and work the kinks out because I really do think it will take off in the future."

Cramer said he saw the success Charleroi and Monessen had with their alumni football and baseball games and figured it was worth the shot.

"I think we've gotten pretty good response on our end," Cramer said. "And with all the cuts that are being made in education, it seems like there has to be other ways to fund athletic programs."

McMichael said he has at least 10 players for the girls' alumni team and 12 for the boys' and added that he will accept players for either team until Thursday.

"We held our first practices Monday night, so we will see how the week goes," he said. "From what I understand, Belle Vernon's boys' team has already been practicing."

Cramer said that the boys' roster is full and there is room for more girls to play if they contact him by Thursday as well.

"We have shirts we're going to give the teams and I have two big trophies that the winners will get to keep at their school for a year until next year's game," Cramer said.

McMichael said he is confident that softball and baseball alumni games in the spring will also be successful ventures.

"We think this is a good way to promote our schools and raise money at the same time," McMichael said.

Tickets for Friday's games at Ringgold will be on sale all week in the BVA athletic office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets also will be sold at the door the night of the event.

Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for adults.

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