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20th Annual Midwest Diocese Basketball Tournament is a Slam Dunk

On January 19-21, 2018, St. George Church of Canton, Ohio hosted the 20th Annual Midwest Diocese Basketball Tournament. Twenty years ago, Canton's Teen SOYO initiated this tournament and it has grown over the years to become a mini-convention drawing youth from around the diocese. His Grace Bishop ANTHONY presided over the weekend, ordaining Deacon Anthony Westerman of Louisville, KY during Sunday's Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Bishop ANTHONY also presented the Archdiocese Meritorious Service Award to Mrs. Sadie Kannam of Canton on behalf of His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH.

Deacon Anthony presented a retreat on Friday evening titled "The Armor of God," tying in his own personal experience as a U.S. Marine who is now looking forward to become a future chaplain in the U.S. Navy. On Saturday, basketball games were held among three divisions with much excitement amid cheers and encouragement. Following Great Vespers on Saturday evening, Canton SOYO President Mareena Michael welcomed everyone to the Awards Banquet and Hafli that topped off a beautiful day of great sportsmanship and fellowship.

Serving with His Grace Bishop ANTHONY on Sunday were Fr. Michael Corbin and Fr. Basil Shaheen of St. George, Canton, along with the Midwest SOYO Spiritual Advisor Fr. Michael Sakran of St. John, Ft. Wayne and Dn. Joseph Olas of St. George, Indianapolis. A beautiful Farewell Luncheon then capped off this historic and exciting weekend. A special thanks to longtime Tournament Chair Nick Michael, Subdeacon Dr. K.J. Shaheen, and all the wonderful volunteers at St. George. We look forward to hosting you again next year in Canton, so mark January 18–20, 2019 on your calendar!

The winners of this year's tournament are as follows:

Division I (Ages 12–15)

1. St. George, Akron, OH
2. St. George, Canton, OH
3. St. George, Flint, MI

Division II (Ages 15–18)

1. St. Matthew, North Royalton, OH
2. St. John, Fort Wayne, IN
3. St. George, Flint, MI

Division III (Ages 19–26)

1. St. George, Akron, OH
2. St. Mary, Palos Hts. IL
3. St. Mark, Youngstown, OH