In a recent column I stated that the Adapted Physical Education bulldog Invitational Track Meet is one of two annual events where there are no losers.
The Annual “Coach Earl” Holsapple Benefit Basketball Games is the other.
The previous 12 “Coach Earl” games have raised $37,000 in scholarship monies for 75 student-athletes. Many have gone on and graduated and are now giving back to the game.
On Friday, April 17, the 13th Annual “Coach Earl” Holsapple Benefit Basketball Games will be held in the Dawg House. The first game will start at 6 p.m. The grand finale will tip off at 8 p.m. The action will be fast and furious.
The Olive Peirce Middle School boys and girls seventh- and eighth-grade teams will play. The San Diego County Coaches and the RHS Alumni All Stars will square off. Alumni teams from the odd-numbered years will play alumni from the even-numbered years.
The odd-numbered years team will feature three generations of the McIntosh Family. Ralph (Class of 1953) will coach his son Doug (Class of 1973) and his grandson Dodge (Class of 2009). Players from six decades will play in the game.
In the “Coach Earl” games, even the spectators are winners. There is a silent auction, which has a strong flavor of sports memorabilia. Game organizer Coach Al Schaffer, RHS’ head basketball coach before he retired, has beat the bushes and twisted some arms and has procured (pressured the innocent) some great items.
The jewel of the auction is an autographed picture from the first Dream Team with Larry Bird’s and Magic Johnson’s autographs. Coach Al has also liberated some autographed Charger and Padre jerseys and a Hall of Famer Don Coryell-autographed media guide and program.
There is also an ongoing raffle.
Even the referees are winners in the Coach Earl games. They not only work for free, they donate to the cause. Tommy Millwood is back for the 13th time in 13 years.
The real winners are the student-athletes who will receive financial aid to continue their educations. Twenty thousand dollars have been raised the last three years, and Coach Al, the eternal optimist, is trying for a record this year.
Coach Earl was an RHS grad who returned to the community as a firefighter and coach. He lost his life on the job training other firefighters. He gave and he gave back. He still is.
His family and friends will be at the game. His two sons, Adam and Dustin, will play in the game. Those to whom Coach Earl gave are now giving back in his honor.
One doesn’t have to be a basketball fan to appreciate the Coach Earl games. They are about family, community, giving and giving back. There are no losers.
You can be a winner, too. If you would like to donate an auction item or a raffle item or make a donation, e-mail Coach Al (Coachal1956@cox.net) or Margaret Scheib (email@example.com.)