If the 65th Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving goes as seeded, it will be a historic year for a team in purple.
The Pacific Indians have been selected as this year’s top seed. John VanLeer’s team last won a title in 2000 (Blue Division) beating Cuba, 68-43.
Since that time, the Indians have finished twice, most recently in the 2014 Blue Division.
Pacific received eight poll points, including six first-place votes.
The tournament will have a new champion this year as Cardinal Ritter, last year’s winner, declined to return this season.
Earning the other two first-place votes, and getting seeded second, was the host school. Borgia received 12 poll points in a survey of tournament coaches to be seeded second.
The rest of the field was seeded as follows:
• Seeded third was McCluer North, last year’s runner-up;
• The fourth seed was St. Louis Christian (Blue);
• Seeded fifth was North Tech;
• Earning the sixth seed was Washington;
• The St. Louis Blue Knights homeschool team was seeded seventh; and
• Normandy received the eighth seed.
There are a few changes from last season.
Chris Arand takes over as the tournament director. There is one new team, the Blue Knights, who replace Cardinal Ritter. The program is not new to the tournament as it played in the 63rd event and defeated Carnahan for third place in the Gold Division.
The other team adjustment is from St. Louis Christian, which is in its third season in the tournament. The Cougars won the 60th Annual Tournament in 2012, which had one division. St. Louis Christian returned last season and finished fourth. The Cougars are splitting their program this year. The Blue team will be coming to the Turkey Tournament. The school’s Gold team will be the traveling organization playing games around the country.
At this point, it is unknown what that change will mean as far as personnel go.
The tournament starts with two games Monday, Nov. 20. Pacific plays Normandy at 6 p.m. and St. Louis Christian (Blue) takes on North Tech at 7:30 p.m.
The tournament resumes Wednesday, Nov. 22, at 6 p.m. Borgia plays the Blue Knights in the first game and McCluer North faces Washington in the second game.
All second-round games will be played Friday, Nov. 24, starting with consolation semifinals at 3 p.m. Championship semifinals start at 6 p.m.
The final day’s games start with the seventh-place contest at 3 p.m. The consolation game is set for 4:30 p.m. with the third-place game at 6 p.m. and the title contest at 7:30 p.m.