Northwestern School District’s 72nd annual Coach Lisek Roundball Classic kicks off this Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Corder Gymnasium in Albion.
Over the next week, eight Erie County ninth-grade basketball teams – Harborcreek, Fort LeBoeuf, Fairview, Girard, Seneca, Corry, General McLane, and host Northwestern – will face off in the longest consecutive running “junior high” tournament in the U.S.
Former Northwestern health and physical education teacher, coach and prominent Albion area community member Joe Lisek started the tournament in 1945.
Lisek started working in the Albion School District in 1942. He was granted a special emergency wartime teaching certificate in 1943 to teach in the secondary school in Albion.
Over the course of his 35-year career at Northwestern, Lisek coached multiple sports and served as the district’s athletic director starting in 1956. Northwestern’s track facility is named after Lisek.
Lisek also established and ran the summer park program at Albion Borough Park for many years. The main street that runs through the park is named “Lisek Circle.”
Lisek retired from Northwestern in 1977. He died on November 10, 1993, at the age of 78, leaving a legacy behind in the Northwestern School District.
The 72nd Coach Lisek Rounball Classic schedule is as follows:
A tournament button costs $10 and is good for entry to every game. Individual game prices are $4 for adults and $2 for students.
The Fairview Tigers were last year’s tournament champs.
Check out the bracket, Northwestern ninth-grade team photo and a photo of Coach Lisek here: