The Hamilton middle school boys’ team displays their Pauma Volleyball Tournament trophy. Valley News/Heather Rachael photo

Seven small middle schools and K-8 elementary schools in northern San Diego County and southern Riverside County compete in monthly athletic tournaments with each school hosting a different sport throughout the year. The 2022-2023 tournaments began September 22 with the Pauma Volleyball Tournament at Pauma Elementary School, and Hamilton Elementary School won the girls portion of the tournament.

Borrego Springs Middle School did not travel to Pauma Valley, and each of the six schools participating played each other school one time. The Hamilton girls won all five matches while Cottonwood Elementary School was on the losing end of all five of the Cougars’ contests. The Vallecitos Elementary School (Rainbow) boys defeated Hamilton for the Bobcats’ only boys’ team loss, which placed Hamilton second among the boys’ teams with a 4-1 record, while the Cottonwood boys were also 0-5. All matches were one game to 20 points, although a team had to win by at least two points.

The Hamilton girls had a 20-14 win over Cottonwood, a 20-17 victory against Julian, a 20-12 win in the match with Warner, a 20-17 triumph against Pauma, and a 20-15 victory when the Bobcats played Vallecitos. “They played as a team. They played together,” Hamilton girls coach Jenny Villalobos said.

The win over Julian was the Timberwolves’ only loss of the tournament for the girls’ team. Cottonwood only had six girls, so the Cougars had no substitutes.

“The losses were close,” Cottonwood coach Cindy Harris said.

In the boys’ match between Hamilton and Vallecitos, the Vikings prevailed by a 20-18 score. “Hamilton was the most competitive team,” Vallecitos coach Ray Hanbeck said.

“I think the tournament went really well. The kids were respectful to one another. The games were tough, and we had a good tournament,” Hamilton boys coach Lance Fogle said.

The next tournament will be the Vallecitos Soccer Tournament at Vallecitos Elementary School and Rainbow Park, which will be October 27 if weather permits.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at jnaiman@reedermedia.com.