In the beginning of May and the end of April there is a tournament being held in a little town in Texas being ran by a man named Matt Siri. This tournament has been around for several years now and is in the honor of the great Nick Hyde. So, after hearing about this tournament and getting to know Matt a little more I wanted to share about the tournament he runs aptly called the Nick Hyde Memorial. Give it a read and enjoy!
To start, there has been a tournament in that area for roughly 10 years or so now. But, about 4 years ago Matt decided to change the name to the Nick Hyde Memorial. He told me “once Nick died it was a no brainer to make it a big memorial tournament. I went to the family and closest friends to get the approval and name change.” After that, he made the tournament what it is today. It is a huge tournament in Texas and has been a stopping place for professionals throughout the years and continues to grow under the moniker of the Nick Hyde Memorial.
Since the tournament has been around for so long, there can be obvious growth changes since the tournament changes throughout the years. When talking to Matt, he told me “the first year was an outlier event, it was a combined pro/am year. It felt like the biggest year because it was combined.” Which makes sense since every year since then there has been separate weekends for the amateurs and professionals. Now, not only was the first year big because of the combined weekend, but it was big because of the names out there. Matt told me “we had Steve Rico, Brinster, Avery Jenkins who had not been to Texas in a while.” Those are some heavy hitting names in the world of Disc Golf and having them out for the first year is important and shows the work that has been done for the NHM. Overall, Matt wanted me to know that “other than the payout growing, the tournament hasn’t grown. What has grown is the notoriety of the event and I am so happy with how it has grown. Its lacking an NT bid, but I am working on that.” The tournament has grown so much and there is so much growth left to happen, and it will be good to see how far it goes years from now.
Tournaments. Especially big ones, require a ton of support from anywhere possible. When it comes to the NHM, Matt explained that “I get a lot of support from the Disc Golf community, but, I get a majority of my support from the state of Texas and some places from Oklahoma and Arkansas.” It is amazing to see that so many various places from around the states come and help out one tournament, it truly shows the growth of the community within the sport. He also told me that “the city of Rockwall has also been giving a grant to the tournament each year.” Having the city give you the ability to put on a big tournament is so great to see and it shows the commitment to the tournament the whole city has, not just Matt.
With all of the support there is also a lot of work to be done each year for the tournament to happen and go without a hitch. One of the things that Matt has to do is “give a report to the city two weeks after the event is done, a month after that I have paperwork for the grant for the next year.” So, there is no real down time even after the event is finished. There are great things that happen from this event, but, there is more work put into it than some can imagine. Matt also explained to me that “I have to make production runs of discs and make sure those are in, by nine months out I am getting things locked in and figured out, it’s a year-round process.” He never stops, and he is always thinking of how to make the process faster and more efficient for the next year. He truly gives his all into the NHM and is constantly thinking about it even when the event finishes for the year.
There is plenty of work to be done in regards to the tournament throughout the year, but, the day of seems to be the least stressful from Matt’s point of view. Matt told me that “2 or 3 days before I like to run fun events and doubles before the start.” Which, helps the pros have fun and gets them a little bit more relaxed and get to see the course before the day of the tournament. But, on the day of the tournament, Matt says “I hang banners, put flags in baskets, and setup tournament HQ, there is an hour and a half before the start to get these things set up.” That is not a lot of time to get all the little things set up on that day. He does have a great support team and a crew that helps him through everything. However, he may have such a great team, and all of this figured out but even he admits that “I do get some nerves before getting into the heat of the action.” It is a daunting task for anyone and if he wasn’t nervous I would be concerned, being nervous is normal and shows he cares.
I wanted to give Matt his own opportunity to talk the tournament up and say his own piece on anything NHM related. So here is what he had to say, “The amateur weekend, I really try to give the am weekend the look and feel of a pro event since I am an am myself and really try to put out a great set of trophies and players packs for them. The pro weekend is just a show that is worth coming out to watch. The players pack this year consists of: a millennium Sirius with bar stamp, dri-fit shirt, hyzerbomb custom disc, a hydroflask like water bottle, Innova deal worth over $90, and a $10 gift card to infinite discs.” This is truly an amazing list of things, but, Matt also wanted to state, “I would like to thank the Arby’s of DFW for being the title sponsor of the event, as well as to look out for the Jomez Pro coverage of the event when it comes out.”
I would like to thank Matt Siri for taking the time out of his day to answer my questions and for letting me talk to him in general. If you would like to find out more about the Nick Hyde Memorial you can find out more on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NickHydeMemorial/ or online at http://hyzerbomb.com/ . Look out for more coming soon!
I would also like to add something to this that I do not usually do. In honor and remembrance of Nick Hyde, I want to give you some information. If you or someone you know is dealing with depression or suicide, please call 1-800-273-8255 or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org for more information and help. You are never alone and we are here for you.
Picture credit goes to Matt Siri and Hyzerbomb