SHARE

The com­pe­tition last week marked the 10th and last Tocco Chal­lenge in the current format at Hillsdale College.

This year, Don Tocco donated over $22,000 to Hillsdale sports teams and other student groups while winning the Annual Tocco Chal­lenge by 24.8 points.

Ten years ago, Tocco had never heard of Hillsdale College. When he stumbled across a copy of Imprimis, Tocco said he thought to himself, “I don’t know who they are; I don’t know what they are.” He booked a flight to Hillsdale, Mich., to find out for himself.

When Tocco visited the Hillsdale campus, he was impressed with the mission of the stu­dents and the faculty of the college.

“What I came to learn is that Hillsdale College is a very special place,” Tocco said.

After his visit, Tocco was anxious to con­tribute to the cause of Hillsdale College and created “The Tocco Chal­lenge,” an annual com­pe­tition between Tocco and ath­letes from the college in a series of events that includes bas­ketball, baseball, football, and chess.

Tocco donates $25,000 to the par­tic­i­pating clubs if a Hillsdale Charger emerges as the victor after the points are tallied. If Tocco’s score pre­vails, he still donates $15,000. Tocco has won nine out of the 10 Tocco Chal­lenges.

Bas­ketball player junior Marissa DeMott, who rep­re­sented Stu­dents for Life, had the highest average of points throughout the Tocco Chal­lenge. However, Tocco and DeMott’s chess game deter­mined Tocco’s victory with a total score of 201 points to Hillsdale’s 176.2 points.

Tocco came first in the football and chess events, while DeMott came first in bas­ketball. Senior Scott Lantis, who par­tic­i­pated on behalf of the Hillsdale Christian Fel­lowship, placed first in the baseball portion.

Sopho­mores Landon Peterson and Noah Bader tied for second after Tocco in the football portion of the com­pe­tition. Scoring was deter­mined by an asso­ciate of Tocco. Five points were awarded for a perfect pass, three points for a decent pass, and zero points for a bad pass. Tocco threw a perfect pass 18 out of the 20 times, winning with an average of 96 over Hillsdale’s average of 68.6.

“Appar­ently we had a ton of bad passes,” Bader said. “But it was a lot of fun. I won ATO around $1,000.”

While this year marks the end of Tocco’s ath­letic com­pe­tition, he plans to stay involved with the college. The when and the how is still unde­ter­mined, said Asso­ciate Dean of Women Rebekah Dell.

“This was the last all-campus sports com­pe­tition, but he’s still working on ideas,” Dell said. “It was just time to mix things up.”