Dodgeball Daring Highlights 4th Recovery Tournament

John SniffenCommunity Outreach, La Hacienda

LaHa team in action

Photo: From right, Todd Benedict bravely charges while Cade Saurage corrals a loose ball and Frost Readel observes. It was a valiant, but brief, effort by the La Hacienda team.

La Hacienda’s fourth annual Invitational Recovery Tournament featured a new venue, different sports, and a David vs. Goliath storyline.

Representatives from 20 treatment centers in Texas, California and New York played dodgeball and shot hoops at the AT&T Center, home court of the San Antonio Spurs on March 28.

The team from Ascendant New York, a drug and alcohol detox center in Manhattan, dramatically won the dodgeball tournament, with one player overcoming three players in two different rounds.

“It was a beautiful example of overcoming adversity, just like recovery from addiction,” said Elizabeth Olson, Director of Business Development. 

The Invitational Recovery Tournament started in 2016 with 10 treatment centers participating and has grown ever since. The previous tournaments featured a softball tournament at Globe Life Park in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers.

Relationships and Sober Fun

In addition to building relationships among the treatment center staffs, the Recovery Tournament exemplifies having a good time without alcohol or drugs.

“The goal is to have a day for friendly competition and fun,” said Elizabeth.  “We teach patients that you can have fun in sobriety, and this is a way to model that.”

Each team was also asked to create interesting costumes and team names. The costume title went to Ascendant New York’s Ballz & Dollz, who dressed as a Jamaican bobsled team (with mock sled). Kolache Cowboys from California won the name contest. The two teams also met for the dodgeball title with Ballz & Dollz prevailing against the odds.

A Team Effort

Backstreet Ballz, La Hacienda’s team of Cade Saurage, Todd Benedict and Frost Readel, lost in the first round of dodgeball, but we’re pretty sure it had nothing to do with refereeing by fellow Business Development staffers Patti Sullivan and David Hutts.

Frost also competed in the basketball shooting tournament.

Guest judges for the name and costume contests were Patty Raymer of Burning Tree, Dallas therapist Mickey Bickers, and Robert Rowling, owner of Gaston House in Dallas. Business Development staffers Sarah McDonald, Ashley Martel, and Rhonda Avans assisted with the tournament.

Participants received free tickets to that evening’s Spurs’ game after which NBA All-Star and 16-year San Antonio player Manu Ginobilli’s jersey number was retired. And they had an opportunity to enjoy the city’s River Walk and other attractions.

Elizabeth summed it up as “amazing people, a fun day and a great venue!”