Family and volleyball are two of Matt Snyder's passions.

Family and volleyball are two of Matt Snyder's passions.

While Snyder's 10-year-old son, Mason, continues to put a bout with a rare childhood disease behind him, the Stow-Munroe Falls High School boys volleyball coach wants to give back to the medical community that helped his son recover.

That is the inspiration behind the inaugural Spike for Tykes tournament, which takes place Saturday, April 23, at Capital Center on the campus of Capital University.

"My son spent time in Akron Children's Hospital a couple years ago with Kawasaki disease and, ever since, I have wanted to find a way to give back," Snyder said.

According to, Kawasaki disease causes inflammation in the walls of medium-sized blood vessels throughout the body and also affects the lymph nodes, skin and mucous membranes in the mouth, nose and throat. The autoimmune disease, which mostly affects young children, usually is treatable.

"As a coach, I saw an opportunity to (give back) and build a bridge between boys volleyball and a great cause," Snyder said. "We did a charity tournament last year, and once I talked with some coaches, we realized we could bring this to a statewide level. I am happy about the response, and I think this is going to be a great event."

Sixteen teams, including five from central Ohio, will participate in Spike for Tykes. There is no cost for admission, but donations to benefit Nationwide Children's Hospital are suggested.

Teams from each of four regions around the state are paired with a Children's Hospital patient who has overcome an illness with the help of that facility and represents a different department within the hospital. Money donated within each region will go to the department that treated that child.

DeSales, Dublin Coffman, Hilliard Bradley, Hilliard Davidson and Westerville South will represent central Ohio.

The rest of the field consists of Centerville, Cincinnati Elder, Cincinnati La Salle, Cincinnati McNicholas, Cincinnati Moeller, Clayton Northmont, Cleveland St. Ignatius, Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, Kettering Alter, Massillon Jackson and Stow-Munroe Falls.

Alter defeated DeSales in last year's Division II state championship match. Centerville and Moeller were Division I state semifinalists last season and Walsh Jesuit was a state semifinalist in Division II.

The participating teams are divided into four four-team pools. The top two teams in each pool will advance to the Gold Tournament bracket, and the third- and fourth-place teams will play in the Silver Tournament.

Matches begin at 8 a.m.

"You can't get much better than this field," said DeSales coach Andy Feltz, who was in on some of the initial brainstorming for Spike for Tykes during preparation for last year's state tournament. "I like having this as a way to give back to Children's Hospital. I think we have the largest one in the country. And it's a great reminder to everybody that there are bigger things other than volleyball."