By Will Hammock
Running a softball tournament is a massive undertaking that requires numerous volunteers from the host school and in the case of this week's Brookwood Invitational, nine host schools.
Brookwood hosts the 15th annual fastpitch softball tourney, but it requires the help of eight other local host schools - Parkview, Collins Hill, Peachtree Ridge, Central Gwinnett, Grayson, Greater Atlanta Christian, South Gwinnett and Loganville. Each of those sites will host games for the tournament, which begins today and lasts through Saturday.
Because so many sites are involved, the Broncos can bring plenty of teams. This year's event features 36 squads in nine different pools.
"Teams come for the competition," Brookwood softball coach Bill Batchelor said. "They know they are going to get quality games before they move into their region tournaments. Also our parents, host schools and umpires do such a great job of keeping things running smoothly. This tournament is considered one of the best in Georgia and we plan to continue the tradition."
Batchelor likes the size of the tourney, but he's just as excited about the quality of teams invited. The top six teams in the Class AAAAA rankings and seven of the top 10 in Georgia's largest class are in the field. So are six of the top 10 in AAAA. The No. 1 team in every classification except AAA will play in Gwinnett this week.
The AAAAA teams to watch include No. 1 Kennesaw Mountain, No. 2 Mill Creek, No. 3 North Gwinnett, No. 4 Collins Hill, No. 5 Grayson, No. 6 Peachtree Ridge and No. 8 Luella. The AAAA group is led by top-ranked Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, while other ranked teams of note include: GAC (No. 1 in AA), Buford (No. 2 in AA) and Eagles Landing Christian (No. 1 in A).
The non-ranked Gwinnett teams in the tourney are host Brookwood, Wesleyan, Parkview, Central Gwinnett, South Gwinnett and Dacula.
What: 15th Annual Brookwood Invitational
When: Today through Saturday
Where: Nine local high schools
Pool A at Brookwood
5:55 p.m. - Brookwood vs. Wesleyan
Pool B at Parkview
5 p.m. - Parkview vs. Eastside
6:30 p.m. - Parkview vs. Sandy Creek
Pool C at Collins Hill
5:30 p.m. - Buford vs. Northgate
Pool D at Peachtree Ridge
5:55 p.m. - Peachtree Ridge vs. Kennesaw Mountain
Pool E at Central Gwinnett
5 p.m. - Mill Creek vs. Luella
6:30 p.m. - Central Gwinnett vs. Luella
Pool F at Grayson
5:30 p.m. - Grayson vs. Pike County
Pool G at GAC
5:30 p.m. - Harrison vs. East Jackson
7 p.m. - East Jackson vs. South Forsyth
Pool H at South Gwinnett
5:55 p.m. - South Gwinnett vs. Dacula
Pool I at Loganville
4:15 p.m. - North Gwinnett vs. Loganville
5:45 p.m. - Loganville vs. Spalding