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Arnold looks ahead to the 16th Annual Visit Panama City Beach Marlin Christmas Classic

Published: Dec. 27, 2020 at 10:32 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Arnold is set to host the 16th Annual Visit Panama City Beach Marlin Christmas Classic. that tournament set to tip off Monday morning and run through Wednesday. 24 teams from all over the southeast are travelling down to partake, and Arnold, boys basketball coach, Josh Laatsch, says tournaments like these especially this year, mean more than just the game.

“They’re excited to get down here, play good competition against these teams from other states, give their kids a chance to bond and do something extracurricular, go to the beach, go to all the things that we have to offer down here,” said Coach Laatsch. “Which is a really good attraction because it’s bigger than basketball at the end of the day. A lot of these coaches who are in it for the right reasons know that, and it’s always good to get out of town and create team chemistry and bonding. This is a trip that kids remember for the rest of their lives.”

The Marlin boys basketball team is excited to see some familiar places from last year and get the ball rolling.

“They were asking about the different teams coming, and they were naming some kids off different teams from last year’s tournament. Excited to see them play and hang out with them. It’s a good opportunity for these kids to have an escape, and really have some stability in the sense of they know what to expect about to play a 32 minute game. It kind of gives them a relief away from all the COVID craziness and some of the hard times that they’re going through,” said Coach Laatsch.

A few of the local teams coming out to compete are Arnold, Liberty, Fort Walton, Rutherford, and Choctaw. along with a handful of teams from other states.

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