NEW YORK -- The rain seemed like it would not go away this past week in Brooklyn as the inclement weather played a key factor in the outlook of this year's James Monroe Campus Holiday Tournament.
The start was delayed a couple of days leading to the championship game having to be played on a Saturday featuring Bronx powerhouses James Monroe High School and Lehman High School.
James Monroe High School are the host team for the tournament as it is in its 41st year they have been able to win six of the last seven tournaments all under head coach and tournament organizer Mike Turo. The tournament was made to feature the best teams in the city and be a barometer of where each team was in their development before the start of the season. The tournament quarterfinals and on took place at American Legion park in Brooklyn's Canarsie section occupying all the fields to have several games going on at once featuring 24 high schools.
In a highly contested championship game, it was the Monroe Eagles who came out victorious defeating Lehman 4-2 to take their seventh title in eight years. The Eagles were able to come on late in the game and once again come from behind to win a game due to timely hitting and solid pitching.
Monroe pitcher Jesus Vasquez explained what this win meant for the Eagles upcoming season. "This is definitely a momentum starter, getting good work done pitching and hitting great we were struggling a little but we know the kind of bats we have, we will be ready to put up runs during the season," said Vasquez.
Meanwhile, Coach Turo added, "We haven't won it since 2006, so it was good to get that winning feeling back to the team that can carry over to the beginning of the season. We were able to put a couple of runs together at the end and win the game."
Turo then discussed the organization of the tournament saying, "It was a lot of work getting all the teams to sign up for the tournament, we almost had 32 teams to start but ended up with 24, it was still a great turn out."
Lehman high school earned the second place trophy as Tottenville high school went home with third place. In the closing speech Coach Turo thanked all the teams for participating and expressed how "this year there is no real powerhouse" and that he expects this PSAL season and playoffs to be "the best in years".