JOHNSTOWN — Since the 2013-14 season, the Western Athletic Conference has opened its season with the Coaches vs. Cancer Tip-Off Classic.
“When we started it, we had four teams,” Northville varsity boys’ basketball coach and athletic director John Karbowski said. “We’ve had it every year since, other than 2020-21 because of COVID. It’s been a huge success and it’s grown every year.”
Every year, the event has continued to grow.
This year’s event will be the largest ever, featuring 14 games and 26 different teams over two days at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.
“It’s exciting. We’re playing at a nice, college facility that a lot of the teams wouldn’t have an opportunity to do. It’s a nice way to start the year,” Karbowski said. “It’s good competition against teams, you might not normally see. I’m really looking forward to it.”
This year’s two-day event will feature seven games on Saturday and Sunday, with the first game each day beginning at 10 a.m.
The following schools are scheduled to participate: Northville, Sharon Springs, Wells, Middleburgh, Richfield Springs, Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville, Fort Plain, South Kortright, Argyle, Duanesburg, Canajoharie, Edmeston, Mayfield, Cherry Valley-Springfield, Galway, Johnstown, Schoharie, Salem, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons, Lansingburgh, Fonda-Fultonville, Watervliet, Gloversville, Tamarac, Broadalbin-Perth and Cobleskill-Richmondville.
“We started with just teams from within our league, but we’ve added teams every year,” Karbowski said. “It takes a lot of emails and communication to bring everything together. We start in March and it take a lot of planning.”
That planning has resulted in the largest field in the history of the event, which includes teams from around the area and beyond.
“It’s a really nice event and it’s a nice way to get the season started,” Karbowski said. “We have teams from several sections taking part.”
In addition to the games on the court, there also will be raffles held during the event for various items donated by the community. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the American Cancer Society. That total has surpassed $12,000 over the past three full seasons.
“The most important thing about the event is that it’s for a great cause. All proceeds from the event go to the American Cancer Society,” Karbowski said. “We’ve been able to raise a lot of money over the years and it’s nice to be able to do it.”
Western Athletic Conference Coaches vs. Cancer Tip-Off Classic
at Fulton-Montgomery Community College
Northville vs. Sharon Springs, 10 a.m.; Middleburgh vs. Wells, 11:30 a.m.; OESJ vs. Richfield Springs, 1; Fort Plain vs. South Kortright, 2:30; Duanesburg vs. Argyle, 4:15; Canajoharie vs. Edmeston, 5:45; Mayfield vs. Cherry Valley-Springfield, 7:15.
Galway vs. Johnstown, 10 a.m.; Schoharie vs. Salem, 11:30.; South Kortright vs. Argyle, 1; Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons vs. Lansingburgh, 2:30; Fonda-Fultonville vs. Watervliet, 4:15; Gloversville vs. Tamarac, 5:45; Cobleskill-Richmondville vs. Broadalbin-Perth, 7:15.