Rick Deckart taps the ball over the net for winning Team Hackett. Photo by Ray Vidal
In true Father’s Day spirit, Gene and Matt Anselmo became the first father and son to play on the winning team in the annual BarryBob Invitational beach volleyball tournament held Saturday in Manhattan Beach.
Playing on Team Hackett, the Anselmos partnered with Rick Deckart and Jon Hackett to capture the title at the 16th edition of the event that is hosted by former pro volleyball players Mike Walmer and Kevin Cleary in honor of their dads Barry and Bob, who were best friends for 35 years before they passed away in the 1990s.
“They were close friends with the good fortune to have retired at a young age,” Cleary said. “During retirement, they enjoyed traveling to select AVP tournaments to watch their two sons compete together. I can remember playing in the Manhattan Open and looking up on the bike path and seeing them standing next to the railing watching. Between matches they’d head up to Ercole’s for a beer.”
For the third consecutive year, Luke Walton was denied a championship after reaching the finals in the 4-man tournament. This year, the former Los Angeles Laker partnered with Chris Barry, Guy Hamilton and Gary May to comprise Team Walton.
Former Los Angeles Laker Luke Walton reached the finals for the third straight year. Photo by Ray Vidal
One hundred players competed in the adult division while the 4th annual BarryBob Junior kid’s tournament was expanded to include 80 players.
The Junior BarryBob was won by Liam Barberi, Keagan Benson, Jack Gebele and Chaz Wedbush who defeated Mick Bakos, Ava Gallien, Tatum Honey and James Vrebalovich in the championship match.
Finishing third was the team of Kaele Janc, Aidan Reesing, Jack Walmer and Jason Walmer.
“I think the BarryBob Invitational has flourished and people want to return year after year because it has such a great vibe and a very high level of volleyball,” Cleary said. “Lots of great bonds, friendships and families come together that day. It’s a reunion of sorts for so many people. It’s also beach volleyball’s un-official Old Timers day and we always have a good group of current AVP players.”
Past participants include Olympians Mike Dodd, Eric Fonoimoana, Rob Heidger, Ron Lang, Jose Loiola, Butch May, Mike O’Hara and Pat Powers.