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Baseball Tournament in Honor of St. Croix Sports Legend Eugene “Genix” Thomas Starts April 15

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The V.I. Department of Education’s Division of Sports and Athletics, in collaboration with the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation, will host the first annual “Honoring a Legend: Eugene “Genix” Thomas” tournament for varsity and junior varsity softball and baseball student-athletes, April 15-17 and April 22-24, at the D.C. Canegata Ballpark on St. Croix, said the department in a release.

St. Thomas students will travel to St. Croix to participate. The games begin at 6:30 p.m. on April 15 and will be streamed live on the department’s Facebook page, D.O.E. said.

The tournament’s opening ceremony will be held at 8:15 p.m. on April 16, and will feature remarks from Department of Education leaders; Sen. Samuel Carrion, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Youth, Sports, Parks and Recreation; and Sports, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Calvert White.

The “Honoring a Legend” tournament celebrates the contributions of Thomas, a coach and trainer who coached student-athletes on St. Croix for more than five decades. It is not open to the public; only organizers, trainers, coaches, and chaperones will have access to the ballpark, D.O.E. said.

According to Kennard Callendar, territorial director of sports and athletics, the eight-day sporting event was designed with three goals in mind: In addition to honoring Thomas’ legacy, the games seek to create an outlet that will allow student-athletes some level of activity, as well as offer them an opportunity to build or continue to build their recruitment portfolio.

“These games happen to be the only avenue for many of our children to advance to a collegiate program,” he said. “The hope is that this tournament, and other similar activities, will help fill the void created by the pandemic.”

The April games are organized similar to last November’s “Combine in a Bubble,” with all student and adult participants required to undergo COVID-19 testing, provided by the V.I. Department of Health, and remain in a controlled environment through the duration of the tournament. Meals and hotel accommodations will be provided to all participants.

“The Department of Education is once again pleased to join with our sister agency to offer this exciting opportunity to Virgin Islands’ student-athletes,” said Assistant Commissioner Victor Somme III. “Despite the pandemic, we continue to innovate with the singular goal of ensuring our students have access to every opportunity to succeed.” D.O.E.’s Division of Sports and Athletics is responsible for the development and implementation of programs and initiatives in order to support athletic development in the territory.

 

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