YMCA's Corporate Cup games begin (video)

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

Sept. 9, 2013 at 4:09 a.m.
Updated Sept. 10, 2013 at 4:10 a.m.

Basketballs beat against the YMCA's gymnasium floor, signaling the start of a 27-year-old tradition of friendly competition between local businesses.

Corporate Cup, which this year will pit 22 teams against each other in events such as volleyball, tug of war and three-legged sack races, started Monday and is a familiar sight for many in the Crossroads area.

But for Dave Crockett, who owns Amkon Air Filters with his son, Clay, it was his first chance to grace the court since playing forward on the Bloomington High School basketball team.

Crockett and his son-in-law, Wayne McDonald, 33, who owns Canaan Air Filters, formed a team together called the "Merv 9s."

A Merv 9 is one of the highest filter efficiency ratings for an air conditioning, Crockett said.

He felt good about their chances.

"My daughter and wife are good shooters," he said as his teammates toted signs and cheered. "You don't quit thinking about sports just because you graduated high school and college."

Caterpillar also participated for the first time.

It opened a plant in at 7300 Lone Tree Road in Victoria a year ago. Ninety of its employees chose to participate in Corporate Cup, said Tiffany Rigby, the communications and public affairs manager.

Kevin Meinhart, a 30-year-old program manager who moved to Texas from Chicago three years ago, was looking forward to playing golf and toss ball, although he wasn't quite sure what toss ball entailed.

"Golf is kind of like life. One day you're good at it, and another day you're not," he said, chuckling.

He liked how the event encouraged teamwork, which is something that is important to Caterpillar employees.

"Basically, all of us rely on each other to get our jobs done whether that be in sports or (at the plant) Monday through Friday," he said.

"I hope we do well, but our goal is to always have fun," Rigby added.

Jay Neukomm, an employee of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, has been running about a mile every other day to prepare for the competition.

He is the Number Crunchers team captain and a first-year participant.

"This has definitely gotten me to work out more, which I think is the goal," he said.

Whether he'll continue his fitness regimen after the games end on Sept. 21 is "to be determined," he said.

Chris Seilkop, the CEO of the YMCA of the Golden Crescent, brought back the Corporate Cup when he moved from Florida to accept this job in 2012.

"That was probably one of the most frequent questions I got when I started," he said.

It has soared in popularity, but the opening ceremonies rarely have much pomp and circumstance as the program breaks even each year and isn't meant to be a fundraiser. Its goal is to get people out of their element and involved in their community, Seilkop said.



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