The Durango High School boys and girls basketball programs traded the hardwood for greens and fairways last weekend, as the two teams came together to host a fundraising golf tournament.
“It was a great experience for us to bring the community and different businesses together,” said Alan Batiste, the head coach of the boys basketball program at DHS. “I thought it went excellent. It was great and everyone had fun. Being as we kind of decided to do this randomly, it was perfect.”
The tournament, which doesn’t have an official name yet, was held Sunday at Hillcrest Golf Club in Durango. Sixteen four-person teams made up the field and played a scramble format.
“It was a pretty low-key golf tournament,” DHS girls head coach Tim Fitzpatrick said. “Most of the people playing were either businesses or people who are associated with our programs in one way or another, and I’d like to thank all of them for their support.
“We’d like to expand (the tournament) and we have to make some tweaks to it, but I thought for a couple of basketball coaches throwing a golf tournament together, we did pretty well.”
The tournament brought in about $5,000 that will be split between the boys and girls basketball programs at DHS. Batiste and Fitzpatrick said the money will be used to cover cost of equipment and summer camp fees.
The boys and girls teams already hit several camps during the summer, including stops at Fort Lewis College and Colorado Mesa University, but with the Amateur Athletic Union seasons starting up this month, the two teams will turn their focus to individual practices and workouts for the remainder of the summer.
The two coaches said they hope to make the tournament an annual event. They want to expand on this year’s success with a larger field of players in future years, which will bring in more money to build and enrich the basketball programs at Durango High.
“As programs, we need to fund raise for everything,” Fitzpatrick said. “We don’t really have a budget, so the money will be used to supplement our budgets.”
Aside from its success, Batiste and Fitzpatrick said one of the biggest takeaways from the tournament was the two teams coming together as a united program.
“Even though it’s the boys program and the girls program, Alan and I kind of make it the basketball program,” Fitzpatrick said. “We try to do a lot of things together, and I think it’s good that we have a united basketball program.”