Registration deadline nears for Sean Ryan tournament
Changes are in store this year at the second Sean Ryan Memorial Football Classic.
Specifically, the date, the location and - hopefully - the weather.
The flag football tournament will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 23, at Lansing Middle School. Last year's event was held at Lansing High School, but event organizer Kyle Deere said the venue change should help the tournament run smoother because it would have four playing fields available instead of three.
Still, Deere emphasized that moving the tournament up a month should make the biggest difference because it should make for more pleasant playing conditions.
"We're trying to beat the heat," he said. "It was like 106 (degrees) that day last year. We had people that were really hurting."
Right now the tournament is hurting for entrants. The deadline to register is June 16, and so far four teams have confirmed they are playing. Included among them are the defending champions from the University of St. Mary.
Deere said he isn't discouraged, however. After all, last year's registration process lagged until the final two weeks. A total of 14 teams eventually signed up to play, and 11 showed up on game day.
"I've had about nine other people talk to me saying they're going to have teams," he said. "I'll be getting on the horn with those people, but I think we'll be OK. We had over 100 players participate last year, and a lot of them were Lansing alumni. The word's out there. It's just a matter of us following up with them."
Deere said some of the teams he is expecting to have sign up are guys from Sean Ryan's graduating class from 2003, as well as other recent graduates. Ryan died April 8, 2006, after losing control of his Dodge Dakota on Kansas Highway 10 near Eudora.
The flag football tournament was organized to keep Ryan's memory alive, and it serves as a fundraiser for the Sean Ryan Memorial Scholarship, a $1,000 scholarship that will be given each year to a senior on the LHS football team. This year's inaugural recipient was Daniel Eyerly.
"Hopefully we'll get a lot more people involved so we can continue the scholarship," Deere said.
To register a team, contact Deere at 727-2949 or 683-4614. The tournament is six-on-six, and cost is $20 per player. That cost includes a T-shirt.