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Smashing time for CdM

13th annual CdM Whiffle Ball Tournament

Students have fun with whiffle ball tournament, which is in its 13th year and created by Almquist.

June 19, 2013|By Matt Szabo
  • Nolan McCarthy belts a home run in the 13th annual Corona del Mar Whiffle Ball tournament championship, Friday. The tournament has become a favorite for many students created by Gary Almquist, the school's activities director.
Nolan McCarthy belts a home run in the 13th annual Corona… (Don Leach, Daily…)

The Angels and Dodgers are nowhere near the top of the Major League Baseball standings, but the fix may be easy.

Perhaps the teams should have deployed scouts to the Corona del Mar High small gymnasium this spring. They would have seen CdM students, teachers and administrators alike hit plenty of round-trippers.

To be fair, the home run in CdM's 13th annual Whiffle Ball Tournament don't go more than 300 feet. All the batter has to do is hit the back wall of the gym, smacking the ball with a plastic bat after it's lobbed to them by a teammate.

Nothing could be better to tournament director Gary Almquist, the CdM activities director who recently resigned after 17 years as CdM's wrestling coach.

"It doesn't matter who hits the home run, it's fun," Almquist said. "When you hit a home run, it's a blast. You're a kid again."

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There were plenty of home runs hit in the tournament championship game Friday afternoon at lunchtime, 17 of them to be exact. Eleven of those were hit by the winning team, "Dream Team," which beat, "DDN," 13.5-8, in the seven-inning game.

Dream Team, which featured Corona del Mar High juniors Jake Duncan, Nolan McCarthy, Sam Younesi, Blake Sudeck and Jules Pouch, won the five-on-five, co-ed tournament for the second straight year. They topped DDN, which featured CdM seventh-graders Max Foxcroft, Tanner Smith, Preston Hartsell, JT Schwartz, Jack Genova and Sara Hauser.

The win felt good for the members of Dream Team, who become just the second CdM whiffle ball team to repeat. "Champs," captained by Shawn Maxwell, won back-to-back titles in 2004-05.

"We used to be like those kids, where we'd talk so much [trash] to the seniors and stuff," said Younesi, the Dream Team captain. "It gets so heated, and now we're [in that older position]. It's kind of ironic, you know?

"It's fun, because most of us play baseball. [This whiffle ball tournament] is more competitive than people would think it is. It's more like tradition now. It's been since seventh grade that we've done it, but we won the last couple of years."

The Dream Team broke open the game in the top of the sixth inning, when it launched six straight home runs. Almquist said the tournament's all-time record is eight in a row.

Younesi hit three homers in the championship game, while Duncan, McCarthy, Sudeck and Pouch, a CdM girls' volleyball player, hit two each. Foxcroft and Hartsell hit two each for DDN, which stood for Distinct Diamond Nation.

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