Coach Earl Games are Friday
In addition to pitting Cal Fire firefighters against Ramona teachers and county coaches against Ramona High alumni, the 13th Annual “Coach Earl” Holsapple Benefit Basketball Games promise a potpourri of silent auction items on Friday, April 17.
Special among a list of sports memorabilia, gift certificates and gift baskets is an autographed picture Al “Coach Al” Schaffer took in 1996 of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, two basketball superstars. Schaffer, retired Ramona High School basketball coach who provides much of the energy and spirit behind the Coach Earl games, took the photo at an Olympic Dream Team practice in San Diego. He waited for the right time to put it on the auction block, and this is the year.
It’s the 30th anniversary of the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship basketball game between Bird’s Indiana State University and Johnson’s Michigan State, he said.
The annual benefit games are a way of remembering Earl Holsapple, Ramona firefighter and volunteer coach Schaffer calls “the ultimate volunteer.” He was RHS assistant varsity basketball when “Coach Al” was head coach.
Holsapple, a Cal Fire captain with the Ramona Fire Department, died at age 45 after suffering an asthma attack in the Sacramento area, where he was teaching training classes.
That was the first year of the Coach Earl games, held to raise money for student scholarships.
“It’s a meaningful event,” said Schaffer. “It’s to honor Coach Earl and to help young people.”
Since 1997, the games have raised more than $37,000 in scholarships for 75 teens.
The game will be in the Ramona High School Gymnasium, starting at 6 p.m. with Boys and Girls Club games. Olive Peirce Middle School seventh-grade girls will play the eighth-grade girls at 6:30 p.m., the seventh-grade boys versus eighth-grade boys game will start at 6:45 p.m., and the San Diego County Coaches vs. RHS Alumni Allstars game will start at 7.
RHS Alumni “Even” Year Grads will play the “Odd” Year Grads at 7:40 p.m., and Cal Fire firefighters will face Ramona Unified School District faculty at 8.
Tickets are $2 for children and students, $5 for adults and $10 for a family.
Contributions may be made payable to RHS ASB, Coach Earl Scholarship Fund.
For more information, call Schaffer at 788-0388 or Margaret Scheib at 788-7566.
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