Shooting Hoops to Help the Homeless

Paige Laurie, Junior Reporter

On Wednesday, October 24, Manitou Springs High School (MSHS) hosted the Student vs. Staff Basketball Game. The list to sign up was quickly filled. Sadly, just two days before the game it was revealed that students who wanted to play basketball for MSHS in the winter season weren’t allowed to participate in the game against their teachers. The student team was suddenly lacking the majority of its players, along with any chance to win. Luckily, some students stepped up to the task and valiantly took their places.

Coach Brian Vecchio discovered the rule on Monday night. “It was really unfortunate that the basketball players couldn’t participate tonight,” said Parker Laurie (12). “ I think it would have been a much different game. It was really cool of them to come and cheer us on.” Laurie was one of three soccer girls that stepped up to the plate after hearing the student team needed players. Football players, swimmers, and even managers
subbed in to play.

Despite complications with the teams, the game ended up being a success. “I think that the whole basketball rule was a huge issue at first but ended up being better because students who really wanted to play never signed up because they knew the basketball team would,” Amanda Kerrigan– one of the teachers who participated in and organized the game– said. “It was a really good opportunity to get other students involved.”

The important thing to remember was that the game wasn’t just for fun and the main point of the night was to help fundraise for Urban Peak’s Night Out. “Urban Peak is a homeless shelter for youth. They house up to 40 youth at a time. They also help them to get birth certificates, drivers licenses, jobs and schooling. They also have an apartment program for kids who are 18 to 22 to help get them on their feet,” said Kerrigan. “So we [NHS] are raising money all year long for Urban Peak and we’re working on youth homelessness in the district.”

The game raised $800 for Urban Peak. It was NHS that came up the idea to have a charity basketball game. Kerrigan not only played in the game but is also an advisor for NHS. “It’s an honor society that, all throughout the United States, kids with a 3.6 GPA or above and [participate in] leadership and service activities can apply to be a member and then we do service and leadership in the building,” Kerrigan said.

It was a close game with some secret weapons for both teams. Everyone was excited to play basketball for such a good cause. “The teachers that played were so excited and they had so much fun. The students had a lot of fun too, so it was really successful,” Kerrigan said.

“[We were] definitely happy with the results of the game,” Vecchio, who coached the teachers, said. Although the game score wasn’t that high, the teachers and staff did beat the students.

“I think the teachers definitely had an advantage. They didn’t have to replace their entire team two days before the game,” Laurie said. “They had several days to practice and a few of them played basketball in high school. But it was still super fun to play and I’m glad we successfully raised money for Urban Peak.”