About Volleyball at Lakeview Beach
Over a couple of years, the few beach bums group playing at the highest level of the sport, indoors, outdoors, mud or on the racquet ball court. Now the group was serious about their volleyball game. It was at this point when local recreation teams were not enough competition, and the ‘bums’ were asked not to participate in some of the local leagues because other teams would not play. The ‘bums’ began their own leagues on the beach of Lakeview. The first league had three teams and played on the wooden standards that are still there today. Team 1: Mike Darmafall & Tom Gabrie, Team 2: Paul Kurta & David Dorinski, and Team 3: Don Ceasar and Frank Darmafall. The second year the league had grown to seven teams, and the third year had 28 teams. By the forth year it was so big that different divisions were created the leagues went to 2 nights a week, one night had 72 doubles teams and the other, a co-ed league, had 50 teams.
After pushing me for two years during the leagues, players finally got me to run a volleyball tournament at Lakeview Beach. I went to the city and local supporters and requested help from the ‘bums’. I told them I would not do it unless it was big, efficient, and festive, it had to be and event. It had to have the best equipment, geared towards families as well as the single people and there had to be a party with it. With the approval for all three, the MILLER LAKEVIEW BEACH VOLLEYBALL OPEN tournament was born.
At the very first tournament, one hundred and sixty teams entered. The second year 250 Plus teams entered, teams were being turned away because we could not find enough nets to supply demand. It was because of this demand the second year, with the help of Art Heston and Brian Donavan that the MILLER LITE EAST/WEST VOLLEYBALL CHALLENGE was born. This tournament was born to host the best of the West Side of Cleveland against the best of the East Side volleyball athletes. Although this competition never really happened the way our tournament directors expected, East vs. West, the name stuck and hence our second annual tournament was here to stay.