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SUNY Canton students produce golf Tourney


Final exams always produce a great deal of tension and apprehension in any college course.

But students in Dr. Diane Para’s Applied Sports Event Management Course at SUNY Canton are facing all the normal anxieties plus the threat that bad weather from a hyper-extended winter could undermine their efforts.

The Applied Sports Event Management Course features half of the seniors in the first graduating class in the Sports Management major founded and directed by Dr. Para.

Their semester-long project has been to plan and execute a full sporting event for the public using what they have learned in their studies to a real world setting. The senior students decided to host a SUNY Canton Sports Management Tee Off Classic Golf Tournament on Saturday, April 26 at the Partridge Run Golf and Country Club in Canton.

The students decided on a Captain and Crew format for male, female and mixed teams which will be flighted based on handicaps. They hope to include 25 teams in the day which is designed as a kickoff to the area golf season.

The entry fee is $60 per golfer and includes Green/Cart fees, a gift bag, lunch and a roast beef dinner at the course after play. Awards will be presented to the first place team in each flight and putting contests, Closest to the Pin, Longest Driver and Par 3 Poker contests and a 50/50 raffle will be held in conjunction with the tournament.

Golfers may register by mailing entry forms to Dr. Diane Para, SUNY Canton, Cook 125, 34 Cornell Drive, Canton, N.Y. 13617.

Registration may also be done on-line by going to and clicking on the events tab.

Events Experience

While planning for the tournament, the students also drew from the invaluable experience of serving in all aspects of two USCAA (United States Collegiate Athletic Association) National Volleyball Tournaments on the SUNY Canton Campus. USCAA officials were so impressed that they asked the students to work the Women’s and Men’s National USCAA National Basketball Championships in Pennsylvania and the National Cross Country Championships in Syracuse.

Many of same students also worked in several aspects of the Syracuse vs Pittsburgh basketball game in the Carrier Dome in February which included a tour of the ESPN television operation.

The idea of hosting a golf tournament was ideally suited for Kyle Clark, a Canton native who is currently completing an internship at Partridge Run. He hopes to move to the Southern part of the country after graduation where he can work in the golf industry all year long and work becoming a club professional.

“I think this is a great local opportunity for students to interact with local business and other sports professionals in the area. It also takes the students out of their comfort zone and gets them doing things that they probably wouldn’t have done otherwise,” says Clark.

“For a while we were pretty nervous but there is actually no snow/ice on the course anymore and with a weekend forecast of high sixties the I think the course should dry up pretty well.”

Kyle Weaver, another Canton native, also found the golf tournament project ideally suited to his main interests in the scope of Sports Management: marketing, event managing and sports broadcasting.

Weaver recalled that after a bit of a slow start in the group dynamics of the class things came together. The decision-making became more decisive aided by Kaitlyn Hart who did the meeting notes and kept everyone “on the same page.”

“Kyle Clark, Chris Schmidbauer, Terry Bradford and I went out and did the majority of the sponsorships. Mike Carbone handled the budget. Brian Nowalk, Zack Votra and Neil Mancketlow secured donations and Brian got us a spot on the radio,” says Weaver.

“Drew Gearsbeck is working on a tournament program which will include all of our sponsors, and an itinerary of what is going to happen that day. Bryce McDonald-Wilson and myself have handled much of the marking, which included getting information on the tournament around campus to other faculty members and to media members.”

Procured as the major sponsors of the event are: Renzi Foodservice of Watertown and Oakville Customs Brokerage of Oakville, Ont.

The marketing and promotion of the tournament also included an entry form - flier created with a distinctive logo.

Based on the students performance in major events like the NSCCA National Volleyball, Basketball and Cross Country championships, the golf tournament should have a distinct professional touch in its operation.

“The volleyball championships are certainly quite task but once again your students were outstanding in helping us out at the basketball championships,” said the USCAA’s Director of Championships Ryan Ehrie in an email to Dr. Para.

“They provide much more than any volunteer can, number one because of their knowledge and passion for sports.”

Kyle Clark feels that the golf tournament will one of the culminating events as the seniors complete their studies for a degree in Sports Management and their personal development.

“I can’t say enough about how much these classes at SUNY Canton have prepared me. In this program you are always talking in groups and in front of the class,” he said.

“We took a leadership class, I think that this was probably my favorite class at SUNY Canton.”

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