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MU to Host 13th Annual Joel Stephens Invitational
June 16, 2011
MANSFIELD – The 13th annual Joel Stephens Invitational Tournament, presented by First Citizens National Bank and Mansfield University, will take place Saturday, July 2 through Monday, July 4.
Games will be played at three sites; MU’s Shaute Field, Kelly Field in Smythe Park, Mansfield, and at Joel Stephens Memorial Field at Williamson H.S. in Tioga.
The 16-team field features nine Twin Tiers teams competing against squads from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Canada.
Founded in 1998 to honor the memory of Joel Stephens and other players from the Twin Tiers, the tournament has built a reputation as one of the top senior level baseball tournaments in the Northeast.
“Our number one goal has always been that this be a player’s tournament,” Ron Stephens, Joel’s father, said “We want to make the participants feel as special as the people the tournament honors. We also want to help people, as Joel always tried to do, by supporting charities, great causes and people in need.”
All money raised by the tournament benefits the Joel Stephens Foundation, which supports several charities. Last year more that $4,000 was donated to several causes including the Josh Palmer Fund, The Star Wish Foundation and Joel’s Kids.
Admission to all tournament games is free. The Joel Stephens Invitational depends on entry fees, donations, merchandise sales and program ad sales to generate revenue.
“We wouldn’t be able to put this tournament on without the all volunteers, who give their time, especially on a holiday weekend, to make this event a success,” Stephens said. “The support and generosity of area businesses, organizations and individuals is also what makes this tournament possible.”
The Joel Stephens Invitational features four divisions. Each division winner advances to the semifinal to compete for the Joel Stephens Trophy on Monday, July 4. The four division runner-ups will compete for the Josh Palmer Trophy.
The official opening ceremonies will take place on Saturday, July 2, 2 p.m. at Shaute Field and will feature the parade of teams, as well as special presentations and a tribute to Joel Stephens.
For a full tournament schedule and other information, check online at gomounties.com and click on “Joel Stephens Invitational."