TO ALL MEMBERS: What a GREAT week for our LBC. Not only did we accomplish something never done before in our LBC history, but we did it in incredible style. The OLYMPIC QUALIFIERS being contested in our LBC concluded with some incredible matches and wins/advancements of our athletes to the Olympic Final Qualification. Additionally, if you were in attendance at the end, you witnessed a special recognition/presentation to President Billingham and Vice President Price by USA Boxing National Staff member Brandon Dyett (Director of Events and Partnership Marketing). President Billingham and Vice President Price were given accolades for being able to provide for a great National Tournament and thanked for the welcome-feeling and comfort extended by our Officers and members.
Assistant Executive Director Lynette Smith has contacted me on several occasions since the event expressing USA Boxing’s gratitude to our LBC for the professionalism exuded. There were a few minor hiccups by a couple of Coaches which were addressed immediately and sternly. OUR OFFICIALS ARE RIGHT ON POINT. If you were there and don’t recognize our professionalism in and out of the ring, you weren’t looking. Chief of Officials Jamil Ali is the best. I’ve been telling Colorado for years about these guys and fortunately they were able to come witness firsthand what I know. There are several Coaches that volunteered a great deal of time. I really don’t like to do a partial thank you, so as not to offend the other Coaches, but Johnny Rivera and Angel Pizarro did some pretty fine work for us.
Now to the workhorse, Vice President Pastor Dave Price. If the members only knew how many hours a week he and I volunteer for our members, you would never say another bad thing about us (except for the handful of selfish members that don’t know better anyway). VP Price is 100% responsible for the planning, logistics and organization of the Tournament. We are a professional LBC. We are recognized by Colorado as such. We spend countless hours and hours discussing how we can make our LBC better. The Middle Atlantic Tournament is being worked on. It is not an easy fix and it may not happen this year. Funding is the key issue. We are working on a plan to conduct it like all of the Golden Gloves franchises do. We are going to offer our Clubs the opportunity to purchase Sanctions from the LBC for the Tournament. The money earned will offset the cost of sending a Middle Atlantic Team of Athletes, some Coaches and some Officials. It is not happening overnight.
Lastly, I would like to add a new star member to our cast, Dr. Michele Holding (introduced to me by our Middle Atlantic Coaches Representative Barry Stumpf). Dr. Holding and I communicated for several weeks regarding her offer to assist in the Tournament. She stepped in as a new Ringside Doctor and ran like she has been doing it her entire 30 year life. Dr. Holding took the time to make sure that our Athletes had the best care and potential care in the event of injury. She notified the nearby hospital and made sure the staff was available and equipped to handle any type of injury that may occur. Fortunately, the few injuries encountered were not serious.
AND NOW FOR THE ATHLETES: I did not see one Middle Atlantic Boxer who did not box like he was going to win. You guys made me and the Middle Atlantic proud! Your conditioning, professionalism, ringmanship, sportsmanship, boxing technique, conditioning…all of it was superior. Aside from the success of all of our great boxers in the Tournament, the following Middle Atlantic Members were Qualified to compete in the Olympic Trials:
Jaron Ennis – 141 pound winner and voted OUTSTANDING BOXER OF TOURNAMENT
Paul Kroll – 152 pound winner
Mark Dawson – 152 pound runner-up
Christian Carto – 114 pound runner-up
Congratulations to all of our members - Athletes, Coaches and Officials who participated. You have your first Olympic Trial under your belt.
William Billingham, President
Middle Atlantic Association
Chair, National Presidents Association
Member, National Grassroots Committee