SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. When Mimi and Howard Godwin offered to fund a basketball tournament at Sleepy Hollow High School back in 1990; the couple didnt expect to be sitting in the bleachers watching the 20th Annual Sleepy Hollow Holiday Tournament Friday night.
We would see the girls and boys go to all these different tournaments at other schools and thought it would be nice if we had one right here in Sleepy Hollow, Mimi Godwin said just before the boys games began Friday. Howard and I offered to help get it going and we were asked to make a five-year commitment. Now were at 20 years and its wonderful.
Inaugurated in 1992 as a four-team girls invitational tournament, the event expanded to include a boys tournament in 1995. While the Godwins were hatching the idea of a holiday tournament, their daughter Liz Godwin (Class of 1995) was setting scoring records for the Horsemen, compiling 1,498 in her varsity career, which is still a school record.
I think Liz played 77 games on the varsity and I made it all but three of them, Howard Godwin said. That was no easy task when the games were at 4 p.m. and I had to rush from work. Having the tournament grow for 20 years is something we never dreamed of at the time.
Sleepy Hollow Athletic Director Chuck Scarpulla acknowledged the Godwin family in the pre-game remarks and when the Horsemen players were introduced each ran to where the Godwins were seated to shake Howard Godwins hand. A fitting tribute to the family that started a tradition that began before the players were born.
Liz Godwin, who also played tennis and soccer at Sleepy and squash and rugby at Amherst College, has since become a champion skydiver as well.
Dad would show up at all my games or matches, Godwin said as she took photos of her father near the schools trophy case outside the gym. Once I spotted him in the woods as I was preparing to serve. He was always there.
And Howard and Mimi Godwin have always been there for their hometown school and its 20-year basketball tournament. And the extended Godwin family cheered the loudest when their Horsemen won the opening-round game on a last-second shot for a 30-29 victory.
The Godwins made it all happen, Scarpulla said. They are really committed to the tournament. We appreciate everything they have done and continue to so.
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