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Holiday Classic to return in 2021

First State Bank President Lloyd Reiter (left) was joined by Callisburg boys basketball coach Shad Reed (right) and Lindsay girls basketball coach Scott Brandawie to announce that First State Bank would be the title sponsor of the Holiday Classic basketball tournament in 2021. Games will be played Dec. 28-30 at both Callisburg High School and Lindsay High School with 28 teams competing.

There is no doubt 2020 was a strange year. Need proof? For the first time in its 33-year history, the Holiday Classic high school basketball tournament was not played due to the University Interscholastic League cancelling all tournaments because of Covid-19. But the tournament will return in December with an even larger format.

The Holiday Classic had been played in some form at North Central Texas College since 1988. The 2021 tournament will be played at two high school campuses: Callisburg High School and Lindsay High School. This year’s tournament will also feature the largest number of teams (28) in its history. There will be a 16-team varsity boys division and a 12-team varsity girls division.

This year’s tournament will also feature a new name. The tournament will officially be called the First State Bank Holiday Classic after the bank, with headquarters in Gainesville, signed on to be the title sponsor.

“We are thrilled at the return of the annual First State Bank Holiday Classic high school varsity tournament, supporting our mission of treating the community as our home,” said Ryan Morris, the CEO of First State Bank. “This event draws in many athletes and their family members from our local and neighboring school districts, and we’re honored to once again be the tournament sponsor showcasing area talent over the span of several days during the holiday season.”

First State Bank has been a sponsor in some form over most of the tournament’s 33 years.

Teams scheduled to participate in the varsity boys division include Callisburg, Era, Lindsay, Muenster, Sacred Heart, Saint Jo, Collinsville, Pilot Point, Celina, Dodd City, Pottsboro, Nazareth, Fort Worth Country Day, Fort Worth Trinity Valley and Grace Baptist (MS).

Girls teams scheduled to participate include Gainesville, Callisburg, Era, Lindsay, Muenster, Sacred Heart, Valley View, Dodd City, Pilot Point, Howe, Tioga and Pampa.

The 2021 tournament is set for Dec. 28-30. Each team will play four games over three days.

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