The Pope Benedict XVI Tournaments, also known as the B16, is an ECYD experience organized by Everest staff and parent volunteers.  ECYD is an international Catholic association of adolescents who make a commitment of friendship with Christ and one another to build up a new world according to the Gospel. It is the charism of Regnum Christi lived by youth. ECYD stands for Encounters, Convictions, Your Decisions.

The goal of this tournament is for of our girls 3-12 grade to have fun, while growing in their friendships with Christ and each other, and to experience living the Catholic faith and virtue in an attractive way. Third through eighth-grade student compete in the tournament. High school students volunteer as coaches, stations leaders, and referees. This year the tournament had 110 participants, and 60 high school volunteers.

This year’s theme was Cast the Nets, based on the Gospel passage of Luke 5: 1-11, when Christ gets in to Peter’s boat and tells him to go out to deep water and cast his nets. After bringing in a miraculous catch of fish, Peter tells Our Lord he is a sinful man and doesn’t deserve to be in his presents.  Christ then calls Peter to be one of his apostles, telling Peter he will make him a fisher of men.  The idea of the theme was to teach the girls that they are also called to be fisher of men. Throughout Friday and Saturday the girls worked to be fishers of men by filling a fishing net with ribbons, each ribbon represented a different intention they offered a prayer or sacrifice for.

The sports part of the B16 is made up of basketball on Friday followed by soccer and street hockey on Saturday.  Between games, each team had the opportunity to visit a variety of stations, all lead by high school students.  The rosary room was one station where each girl made a rosary for a one person she wanted to give it to.  In the apostolic room, the girls wrote letters to children in the hospital or to soldiers who are overseas.  The ECYD room was a favorite where they learned a dance to Cast the Nets and other cheers.  The participants made a visit to the chapel, where they had a short reflection, followed by a time of prayer and the opportunity to go to confession.  When a team was not in a game or at one of these stations they hung out in the “Café” where there were board games, bracelet making, Just Dance, a photo booth, and concessions.

The tournament ended on Sunday evening with all the families present for Mass followed by an awards ceremony.  Medals were awards to all all 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each sport for each division.  There is also a team sportsmanship medal given awarded per division.  The culminating award is the charity award, given to select girls who are nominated by other girls, coaches, refs, and volunteers throughout the tournament.  We congratulate this years charity award winners: Grace Groves, Natalie Cross, Emily Smith, Sofia Arinez, Carrie Walker, Nora Nedwick, Elena Neiman, Morgan Woodburry, Tamara Abraham, and Sarah Bradley.

Kelli Ivory, mother of third grader Allison shared, “I had the opportunity to spend some time at the event this past weekend.  It was so much fun to watch the girls intensity against their opponents on the field and court, yet see them hang out dancing and bonding with everyone between games.  What a great experience!”

Many thanks to all parent volunteers who helped make this tournament possible!