It’s year 17 for the Sierra Nevada Classic, a celebratory sports competition that venerates Carson City and Nevada while rekindling friendships.Started by Carson High School graduate Mike Borda and eight others in 1996, the competitive aspect remains fierce despite dialing back the sporting challenges to deal with the reality of passing years. The friendships have widened, however, to include more than 30 participants.“It has just kind of snowballed every year,” Borda said. “Twenty-four out of the 32 are from Carson High.” Borda noted his brothers Bill and Johnny were included in the initial group, along with six high school or college friends.He said ex-athletes from Carson High make up two-thirds of the expanded group. “A third of the group isn’t from Nevada,” he said, “but consider themselves Nevadans for the weekend.”This year it’s golf, horseshoes and bowling rather than the more taxing basketball, Wiffleball and horseshoes that took place in Carson City the first year.This year also features some new twists, including the focus in Minden-Gardnerville rather than Carson, and a post-competition documentary on the classic’s history prepared for showing at Carson City’s Brewery Arts Center in October.“The Sierra Nevada Classic will also be entering a float in this year’s Nevada Day Parade on Oct. 27,” Borda said. The documentary is slated at the BAC at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 26, the night before this year’s parade.That documentary, Borda said, took his brothers and him three years to produce. But this weekend it was mainly fun and games, including the annual Saturday luncheon at JT Basque Bar & Restaurant in Gardnerville.“This year the teams will be staying at the Carson Valley in Minden for the first time,” Borda said before flying to Nevada from California for the weekend.Borda, a 1986 Carson High graduate, now is a sales consultant for Santek Components in southern California.This year’s participants golfed Friday at the Genoa Lakes Resort. On Saturday, they held their horseshoe competition at Gardnerville’s Rancho Aspen Park and finished up after the Basque luncheon by bowling at Silver Strikes Lanes, also in Gardnerville.Through the years, Borda said, highlights included an awards night in the Capitol with the late Nevada governor, Kenny Guinn, and dinner at the Governor’s Mansion. Another was an awards night with current Secretary of State Ross Miller.
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