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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Jones tournament celebrates 17 years of success

by Garrett Fodor

A local, annual hockey tournament continues to bring hockey players of all sizes and experience together for a cause.

Last weekend, members of the Jones family hosted the 17th annual Bill Jones Sr. 3-on-3 hockey tournament at the Essex Centre Sports complex. The three-day festivity was designed to bring the community together over the love of the sport.

The hockey tournament was created to honour Bill Jones Sr., who was heavily involved in youth activities and sports. It is a fundraising effort, with all proceeds going to various causes throughout the community.

“It is really great to see people of all ages coming together and find fun in such a well-run tournament,” tournament participant and Essex 73’s defenceman Sylvano Valente said. “It is a nice way to unwind after a long season and just have fun, knowing you are supporting the cause.”

The tournament is a reunion of sorts and has become a favourite event in the community. The participants, big or small, are seen throughout the weekend bonding and cheering on others.

“I usually make it down for a few games each year,” spectator Randy Neels said. “I enjoy the spirit of it, the comradery of it all, seeing everybody get together and have a good time. The Jones family wanted to raise money for the community and they give it all back.”

As the tournament concluded, so to does the area’s local hockey scene for the season. Participants, however, said there is no better way to close out the season. Winners of the tournament received a small prize, but, more importantly, the top teams in each division walked away with bragging rights.

Since the tournament started, it has continued to grow and will be a focal point for years to come.

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