The 39th Annual WOBM Christmas Classic begins its five-day, 48-game odyssey on Tuesday at the RWJBarnabas Health Arena at Toms River High School North.  In what should be a wild day of action all 32-teams will play their first round games beginning at 10am using both the main arena and the Cervino Gym across the hall.

The girls have the early call the day after Christmas with Wall facing Toms River North (Arena) and Brick Memorial taking on Lacey (Cervino) at 10am.  Here are the other girls first round games:

11:30-  Rumson             vs        Point Boro            (Arena)

Donovan           vs        Central                 (Cervino)

1:00-     Manchester     vs          Midd. South          (Arena)

Pt. Beach           vs       TR South           (Cervino)

2:30-     Red Bank          vs         TR East               (Arena)

Brick                   vs        Midd. North        (Cervino)

The boys begin tournament play at 4pm with Central going up against St. John Vianney in the arena while Manchester battles Brick in the Cervino Gym.  Following that:

5:30-     TR North           vs          Colts Neck        (Arena)

Donovan           vs          Brick Mem.       (Cervino)

7:00-     R.B. Catholic    vs            Midd. South     (Arena)

TR East               vs          Wall                (Cervino)

8:30-     Manasquan         vs          Marlboro              (Arena)

Freehold Twp.  vs          TR South           (Cervino)

Tickets are $7 (adults) and $5 (students/seniors) and they are good for all 16 games on the opening day.  You can also purchase a tournament pass which is good for the entire five-day event.


For what's believed to me the 27th consecutive year WOBM Christmas Classic week began with the annual Tip Off Breakfast hosted by the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center in Toms River.  The event featured more than 260 players, coaches, sponsors and guests with tournament founder/director Kevin Williams serving as Master of Ceremonies.  Toms River Schools Superintendent Michael Citta welcomed everyone to the event and said the school district is proud to host such a prestigious holiday event in Toms River. Also speaking was Staff Sgt. Galindo of the US Marines Recruiting Station in Toms River.  A 17-year member of the Marines the SSG explained to the athletes that service is one of their options upon graduating from high school and the Marines provide a multitude of opportunities to young men and women.

Toms River Superintendent Michael Citta
Toms River Superintendent Michael Citta

Community Medical Center Vice President of Operations Neil Bryant spoke of the hospital's role in the community and how they are especially pleased to sponsor the academic achievement awards.  Eight players who took part in last year's WOBM CC as seniors will receive $500 to help with their second semester expenses in college.  The eight were nominated by their coaches for outstanding performances in the classroom during their high school career.

Neil Bryant of Community Medical Center
Neil Bryant of Community Medical Center

Other guests included sponsors Dave Manzo of Atlantic Physical Therapy Center and Michael Gibson of Seaview Orthopaedics.  Jim Ruhnke who coached Southern Regional to the first three WOBM titles (1984-86) presented an annual award in his name to longtime athletic trainer Stacy White (Middletown South) who has worked the tournament for more than 25 years.

Clarion Hotel GM Kevin Hanfield and his staff did their usual outstanding job in feeding everyone with a delicious breakfast buffet.  The Clarion has hosted and sponsored the breakfast for 27 years and the event is one of the true highlights on the WOBM Christmas Classic.

Kevin Williams and Staff Sgt.Galindo
Kevin Williams and Staff Sgt.Galindo