To finish yet another successful school year, the Western Wayne Middle School hosted its annual student vs. faculty basketball game.
All students in grades 6 through 12 attended the fun-filled event during the afternoon of Monday, June 18. Eighth grade students played in the game against some of their favorite middle school faculty, including Middle School Principal Kristen Donohue.
Middle School Assistant Principal Elizabeth Watson served as announcer and D.J. for the game and guidance counselor Matthew Fitzsimmons worked as referee.
Fitzsimmons, who always enjoys participating in the event, felt especially excited because his son eighth-grader Ashton Fitzsimmons played on the student team this year.
“I just love being on the same court with my sons. Whether I am playing, coaching, or refereeing,” Fitzsimmons, who serves as the Western Wayne Junior High Boys Basketball Coach, said. “I have coached my son for many years now and it is just so nice to see how he has progressed and what the future holds for him in his athletics.”
Eighth grader Kathy Shepherd played with Ashton on the student team. Kathy played on the Western Wayne Middle School Basketball Team this year as a member of Team A.
She really enjoyed playing the game with her classmates especially the students she does not usually play with.
“I tried my best to tell them to think positively and do what they need to do on the court,” Kathy explained about working with the other students.
Kathy, who has already begun practicing for the Western Wayne High School Basketball Team, really thought she benefited from the challenge of playing against her teachers.
“It was fun but difficult because of the height difference,” Kathy explained. “I took on the challenge by playing like I always do by looking for openings to take a shot.”
One teacher Kathy was able to to play against this year was middle school chorus teacher Sarah Calabro.
Calabro, who played basketball at the Valley View School District from third through tenth grades, loves participating in the game each year.
“My favorite part of playing this game with the students is that so many kids and teachers are able to participate,” Calabro said. “You see a different side of the students on the court.”
An eighth grade team member who felt especially glad to show another side of himself when playing was Gavin Murphy. Gavin does not play on the school’s basketball team, so he really felt that he benefited from warming up with his fellow eighth grade students who showed him some new skills like proper technique for lay-ups and jump shots.
“I liked running back and forth on the court and playing as a team with the eighth grade the best,” Gavin said.
Fitzsimmons and all faculty and administrators involved were glad students like Gavin enjoyed the game so much.
“The games are always fun and the students bring a lot of energy,” Fitzsimmons, who played basketball as a high school student at Forest City Regional under legendary coach, Julius Prezelski, explained. “I have to say that this was the closest game that I can ever remember. Also, I love the school spirit that comes out at these games.”