WELLSBORO - The inaugural Blake Strong Tournament was held in Wellsboro over the weekend and was a massive success, with Public Enemies downing Scrubs 19-6 in the championship game.
The organization of the tournament was spearheaded by Mitchell Allen, Tom Vandelinder and Angie Lacoe and was held in honor of the passing of Blake Driskell of Addison. The tournament came together rapidly, in just over a month.
"It came out of nowhere really," said one of the tournament directors, Mitchell Allen. "The Driskell family is really close to me. I pulled Kim [Driskell] aside and said, ‘hey do you want to be part of a tournament we’re putting together, and she said yes.’"
When the date and tournament location were finalized, the tournament field filled up in just one day.
The winning team, Public Enemies, play around 75 softball games per year and have won multiple tournaments in the past, but didn’t hesitate to say winning the Blake Strong Tournament was one of the clubs biggest accomplishments.
"We won many championships since we started playing, but this is the the biggest for our team," said Public Enemies team manager Jordan Povoski. "We wanted to win it for Kim and Corey [Driskell]. They’ve impacted a lot of us."
The Public Enemies softball team is made up of players from local areas like Elmira, Horseheads, Campbell and Addison.
Organizers originally planned to have the tournament in Addison, but the allure of camping and size of the Wellsboro location made a difference.
The plan is for the tournament to be an annual event going forward.
"We had a talk with Kim and Corey about doing the tournament next year and they were all for it," said Angie Lacoe, an organizer of the tournament.
$1,000 dollars was awarded to the winning teams with second place earning $250 and the third place team winning $100. The rest of the proceeds will go towards a Blake Driskell Memorial Scholarship that was created in honor of Blake.
The first Blake Driskell Memorial Scholarship was handed out to teammate at Addison Colby Jones.