By Wade Linville –
Approximately 20 three-on-three basketball teams and five softball teams ventured to Ripley on Saturday, July 8, competing for a worthy cause at the sixth annual Randy Fulton Memorial Basketball and Softball Tournaments.
Randy Fulton, a passionate athlete and sports fan, was a life-long member of the Ripley community who died of cancer in July of 2011 at the age of 50.
Over the years, Randy Fulton never lost his love for baseball and basketball, and he would become well-known among locals as a men’s softball player, competing in league’s once held in Ripley and surrounding areas. He also developed a passion for coaching youth sports, where he was able to pass his knowledge and skills on to younger generations.
Following his death, members of the Fulton family looked for a way that they could help Randy Fulton’s memory live on in the Ripley community and for a way that he could continue to give back to the community he loved, marking the birth of the annual Randy Fulton Memorial Three-on-Three Basketball Tournament and Softball Tournament.
While many fundraising events in the area help to provide college scholarships for high school graduates, the Fulton family recognized a need in the community for younger athletes and youth sports programs that struggle financially. Therefore, the money raised through the Randy Fulton Memorial Basketball and Softball Tournaments are used to help out youth sports organizations and youth athletes in the Ripley area. If a youth sports program such as the SAY Soccer Organization, a youth softball team, or a youth baseball team is in need of funds or equipment, the Randy Fulton Memorial Tournaments may be able to help out, according to Missy Fulton.
Last weekend, the Randy Fulton Memorial Fund would donate to the Ripley Knothole Baseball Association, a non-profit organization in need of financial assistance after seeing a significant increase in the number of young players.
After a heated day of competition, there were six teams who would come away as winners.
In the adult division of the three-on-three basketball tournament it was the team made up of Rex Woodward, Justin Fultz, Corey Henschen, and Trevor Moffet that took first place. The winners of the adult division would donate their winnings back to the Randy Fulton Memorial Fund.
In the 9-12 grade division of the three-on-three tournament it was the team made up of Landon Rigdon, Josiah Staggs, Ryan Harney, and Kobe Rigdon that would come out on top.
In the 7-8 grade division, the three-on-three team made up of Nate Kratzer, Blaise Burrows, Trent Hundley, and Bradley Asbaugh finished in first place.
The 5-6 grade three-on-three team consisting of Michael Lewis, Brady Keeton, Sam Henlive, and Carson Pieczonka were among the winners.
Winning the 3-4 grade division was the basketball team made up of Luke Wardwell, Jonavon Herzog, and Max Rhodes.
Members of the winning softball team included Kyle Taylor, Michael Fegan, Jimmy Johnson, Cody Fetters, Shaun Little, Jeff Teegarden, Gavin Jett, Dustin Johnson, Devin Jordan, and Larry Collins.