It’s been two years since the fast action of elite roller hockey has been hosted at Eden Street park atop the ‘Duce’ Morrissey #2 logo, but this coming weekend the new Townie Cup will premier with new teams, some of the old favorite teams, and young leadership in Cam DelValle and Hugh O’Donnell.
The tournament has been a staple for many years in the first weekend of August, but in 2020 during COVID-19, the City wouldn’t grant permits and the beloved competition had to take a hiatus. Coming out of COVID this year, both young men said they were motivated as early as April to re-invent the tournament as the Townie Cup and get the ball rolling.
“It was definitely great to know that we could get a permit this year,” said DelValle. “We couldn’t even get one last year so even in April and March we were starting to say that we were doing this again this year. There have already been a few other tournaments in other cities and that kind of kicked us in the butt to get things going. We put the word out and people started coming out to help. It’s going to be exciting and great to have it back…In Charlestown we have Bunker Hill Day, we have the Parade and we have this tournament. Those are the things we look forward to in the summer. We didn’t get the Parade this year or last year, but at least we’re going to be able to have this tournament.”
Two years ago, O’Donnell said he and DelValle started to take over the tournament with help, and now they are doing it all by themselves – ready to raise money for local causes like Charlestown Girls Softball and the Charlestown Youth Hockey Association, among others. They said all the profits from concessions and such will go straight back to the community.
“People will know that money is going to a secure place that will help kids in the community,” said O’Donnell. “Cam and I are really doing this out of the kindness of our own hearts. It’s not about money for us, but creating an image and brand that young kids can hope to accomplish as well. Cam and I grew up playing CYHA. That’s how we met and creating new friendships is what it’s all about. It will never be about money for us. Charlestown is always looking for young people to step up and help and we’re glad we could do this for the community.
“Two years ago we did this with help, but this year we’re out on our own,” he continued. “It’s challenging to get it going again, but it’s something we’ve worked on for years. It definitely brings a smile to our faces to see it happen.”
It’s also important, both said, to recognize the Ryan ‘Duce’ Morrissey logo at the center of the court, and what that means to those playing. Working with the Morrissey family, and both young men being friends of Duce when they were kids, the jerseys for this year will have the logo on them.
Meanwhile, the competition looks to be fierce, with some new teams now joining the exciting group of returning players.
“Basically this year the format will be the same as most previous years, with 20 teams and double elimination,” said O’Donnell. “We have teams from Charlestown, Dorchester, South Boston and all over the area, including teams from Reading and Arlington and others like that.”
Some of the Charlestown teams to look for are The People’s Team with Nolan Carrier, as well as Team Tips, Brendan Collier’s team and O’Donnell’s Young Guns team. Nolan Doherty from South Boston has also put together a tough team as well. However, a lot of new teams are coming too.
“We have a lot of new teams this year,” said O’Donnell. “It’s great to build a new relationship with different kids and it will continue to grow that way next year too.”
Added DelValle, “Some of the players we will have never met until they show up for the tournament.” The tournament will be held exclusively at Eden Street Park court on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 7 and 8. The Townie Cup tournament this year is being sponsored by RISE Construction, McHugh Electric and the National Guard.