Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baseball, softball group sets Nelson golf tourney

May 21 at Valley Club

Wood River High School baseball coach Matt Nelson poses with his nephews, Zachary Nelson (left) and Andrew Nelson, between games of the Wood River-Minico league doubleheader Saturday, April 16 at Founders Field in Hailey. Zachary and Andrew, sons of the late James Nelson, played in last July’s 39th annual Ray Nelson Invitational youth baseball tournament in Hailey, Zachary on the Wood River White 11-12 year-old team and Andrew on the Wood River Gold 9-10 year-old squad. Photo by Willy Cook

The Wood River Baseball and Softball Association (WRBSA) has revived its golf tournament fundraiser and renamed it for longtime valley baseball supporter James Nelson, 42, who died March 19.

Staged by the WRBSA for the seventh time but for the first time under the Nelson name, the James Nelson Memorial Golf Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, May 21 at 1 p.m. at The Valley Club. Check-in takes place at noon.

Proceeds will benefit the WRBSA as well as the Zachary and Andrew Nelson College Fund. Format is scramble, teams of four, with prizes for longest drive, longest putt and the team with the best score.

The tournament field will be limited to 24 teams and 96 players, so there is no sign-up deadline but it's advisable to sign up as early as possible. Co-organizer Buffy Brunker said, "Once we reach 96 golfers there will be a waiting list."

Cost is $150 per golfer or $560 per team, which includes a $10 per player discount for a full team. It includes 18 holes of golf, cart and appetizers. A no-host bar will be open after play.

Golfers can sign up individually and be placed on a team. Among tournament organizers are Buffy Brunker, Val Seamons, Heather Colvin, Curt Tidwell, Bobbi Moore and Gunnar Whitehead.

The WRBSA supports youth baseball and softball for youth ages 9-18. Currently the WRBSA is fielding two Babe Ruth 13-15 year-old teams and two 14-and-under girls' fast-pitch softball teams. Plans for the summer call for four All-Star youth baseball teams ages 9-12 and one American Legion baseball team for ages 14-18.

James Nelson was the youngest brother of five brothers in Ray and Marian Nelson's Hailey family that founded the Ray Nelson Little League baseball tournament in the early 1970s and have helped run the summer tournament for ages 9-12 up until the present day.

The Nelson family has been deeply involved in local baseball development at every level, from t-ball to American Legion.

To register for the James Nelson golf tournament call Buffy Brunker at 720-1998 or email her at  HYPERLINK Or call Val Seamons at 721-7413.

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