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Dayton takes home the bragging rights with victory in the Newport Italianfest Bocce Ball tournament

The annual Italianfest officially kicked off this week after a one-year hiatus because of the pandemic, starting with the Mayors’ Bocce Ball Tournament at Pompilio’s, the Italian eatery in Newport, on Wednesday night, where mayors and city administrators from throughout Northern Kentucky battled for bragging rights in the annual event.

Bocce Ball Tournament victors: Dayton Mayor Ben Baker and City Administrator Jay Fossett with Newport Mayor Tommy Guidugli

Dayton Mayor Ben Baker and City Administrator Jay Fossett brought the gold medal back to the City of Dayton this year by beating the City of Fort Mitchell in the finals of the tournament. Fort Mitchell was represented by its mayor, Jude Hehman, and City Councilman Jerry Deatherage. Dayton beat Fort Mitchell 12-6 in the finals.

In the semifinals, Dayton knocked off neighboring Bellevue, which was represented by Mayor Charlie Cleves and City Administrator Frank Warnock, by a score of 8-1. The City of Dayton also defeated Cold Spring in the first round. Bellevue beat one of Newport’s two teams to reach the semifinals against Dayton, which was the eighth seed in the eight-team tournament.

“We are happy to bring the Italianfest Mayors Bocce Ball Tournament trophy back to the City of Dayton after a seven-year absence,” said Dayton Mayor Ben Baker. “For me personally, winning the Bocce Ball Tournament accomplishes a Northern Kentucky Triple Crown of sorts, joining my WANK World Series wiffleball ring I won with the Brown Team Bombers in 2012 and my Ludlow Derby championship at Turner’s in Covington in 2018.”

In the other bracket in the tournament, in the first round Fort Mitchell defeated Covington and Newport Team 2 defeated Campbell County. Fort Mitchell in the first round. Fort Mitchell then defeated Newport Team 1 to reach the finals against Dayton.

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