An Amherstburg tradition continues


By Joel Charron

It was nothing but clear skies and warm weather for the 23rd Annual John “Wimpy” Tiefenbach Memorial Fireman’s Volleyball Tournament this past Saturday at the UCCU Complex.

Roughly 48 teams turned out for the annual volleyball tournament, with only a few light sprinkles in the early morning. Teams were split into four different categories, co-ed, 30-plus co-eds, 40-plus co-eds and women’s. The emergency service division was taken out because of lack of commitment.

The annual memorial tournament has been a staple in Amherstburg for the past 23 years.

Although, the tournament is down two teams from last year, organizer Jim Ouellette said the tournament is always an event that many people look forward to.

Ouellette noted that many teams that played in the first tournament 23 years ago, still play today.

Ouellette also added now that the tournament is being held at the UCCU Complex, they have decided to give a helping hand to the Miracle League. Volunteers with the volleyball tournament took time out to help the Miracle League with their games.

“What they (Miracle League) do is simply awesome,” said Ouellette. “We started talking to them and said that we should do something together. It helps them out and it helps us out. We’re all in this together and it’s working out really well.”

Jeremie Jones punches the ball over the reach of his opponet to score a point during the match.

Ouellette said the reason volleyball tournament has gained such a loyal following is because of the fact that its fundraiser that is aimed at having fun.

Ouellette said the tournament raises roughly $6,000 with all the proceeds going to local charities.

“Everyone realizes this is a fundraiser,” said Ouellette. “Yeah sometimes it gets a little competitive but they understand why they are there. They don’t argue with refs and each other so it makes it a little more relaxed.”

Amherstburg resident Jeremie Jones said he has been playing in the tournament with the same team the past 10 years and he always looks forward to playing.

“It’s a great time,” said Jones. “It’s about loyalty to the community. This volleyball tournament is an Amherstburg tradition that involves a good cause.”

Jaclyn Tiefenbach said she considers it an honour to have the volleyball tournament named after her father.

“There is no way I wouldn’t play,” she said. “It’s pretty awesome to walk around knowing that everyone is gathered here in a tournament that is named after him, it means a lot to me.”

Tiefenbach, who is a fixture in the volleyball, didn’t play in this year’s tournament for the first time in 13 years.

“My team is spread out throughout Canada,” she said. “It just didn’t feel right playing with other people.”

While her father was still alive, Tiefenbach remembers helping her father set up the volleyball nets the night before the tournament. John Tiefenbach succumbed to s heart attack in March 1999.

“It’s a great tournament named after a great man,” she said.


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