High School Features

Nationally-Attended Tampa ToC Awarded a Local Winner

Bishop McLaughlin won the first annual 2020 Nike Tournament of Champions in Tampa.

The first Tampa Nike Tournament of Champions (ToC) took place this weekend and went off seemingly smooth. Yes, an event with 24 teams from four different states all under one roof actually happened this fall at the new $44-million Wiregrass Ranch Sports Arena. The No. 21 nationally-ranked team from right down the road from Tampa, Bishop McLaughlin Catholic HS (BMC) took the Gold medal. BMC had previously won its own tournament and the Berkeley Premier.

“We did not drop a set,” said BMC coach Doug Chinchar. “Still
a long way to go, but we are getting better as the year is going, which
is the important thing!”

The event was initially poised to be in addition to the Phoenix ToC which has traditionally brought in some of the best teams in the nation. The Arizona tournament was cancelled but Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) sanctions made it possible that the competitions could stay on the calendar and move into the date originally slotted for the Phoenix ToC. Last year’s Circus City Invitational merged into the ToC in Tampa just north of Sarasota where host school Cardinal Mooney HS is from. The tournament is expected to grow into a bigger event next year.

The FHSAA will still host a State tournament, though individual counties and districts have their own rules about traveling and playing outside of the area throughout the season. The ToC provided an opportunity for programs to play a few games against teams they might not see in the regular season.

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