By Jack Morrison ‘23
This year, Brother Rice introduced a new basketball league for students to join. Thanks to Mr. Jack Zampillo and Mr. Greg Nye set up the league. The season was full of ups and downs, but in the end it was always Team Ivers.
Sixteen teams participated in the league. Many of the teams were grammar school friends or other sports teams at Rice. The rules of the league were to call your own fouls, all baskets count as one point, and two twenty minute halves.
The regular season was full of many surprises. Team Faculty took the league by surprise when they actually started to win games. Led by Jack Zampillo, the “old guys” were ruthless on the court. Going through the whole regular season with only one loss, they were ready for the playoffs.
But, the old men could not hang with Team Mongan in the first round of the playoffs. Team Mongan consisted of Francis Williams, Donnacha Twomey, Sean Mongan, Connor Lyons, Dan Durkin, Owen Lyons and Jack Morrison. This group of guys grew up together on the rough streets of Evergreen Park. They had been together since their days at Most Holy Redeemer.
“The last thing we were going to do was lose to a bunch of old men stuck in their glory days of high school,” said Donnacha Twomey.
They backed this talk with action. Losing just was not an option for Team Mongan. The boys from “The Village” were banging out from deep and their stroke game was on point. They simply could not miss.
“I would rather run a mile than lose to those guys, and everyone that knows me knows that I hate running. It felt great to be out there babying those old guys in the paint. In my opinion, they were just soft and the boys from ‘The Village’ are far from soft,” said Francis Williams.
Team Volleyball walked through the playoffs with ease. Many questioned Commissioner Nye’s playoff bracket, but the commissioner always knows best. Team Volleyball killed every team they played and had a cake walk to the championship.
“You know I wasn’t in control of the bracket; I just showed up to the games and my competition was not the best,” said Luke Dwyer.
Team Ivers rolled through the playoffs until they were matched up with Team Mongan. Team Ivers included Henry Ivers, James Siegler, Mick Arundel, Owen Gorman, and Marty O’Keeffe. It was the semi final game and this matchup was highly anticipated. The game was back and forth all game long and headed into overtime. Marty O’Keeffe was in tears by the end of the game because of how tough and scrappy Team Mongan was. But in the end, Team Ivers captured the win in overtime.
“That team is a bunch of posers. I would rather go down with my day 1 brothers than create a cupcake squad and win like these guys did. If I ever need a group of guys to cry me a river, I will ask Team Ivers,” an angry Owen Lyons said.
The two teams were exchanging words throughout the whole game and tensions were running high.
“Those guys are tough, man. I would hate to be in a dark alley against that group of guys. You know maybe Marty was out of pocket with some of those foul calls, but at the end of the day we won and that is all that matters,” said Owen Gorman.
The championship game was set between Team Volleyball and Team Ivers. Sunday night came and the two teams were ready to go. The championship game was a boring one. Team Ivers was in control of the whole game and ended up as champions.
“My mom told me if we won then she would get me whatever I wanted from my favorite stores. So that was really my motivation for the game,” said Marty O’Keeffe.
The league came together and agreed that James Siegler was the most valuable player. The kid is from Orland, but he knows how to play the game.
“Growing up in Orland, you know everyone thinks you are just automatically soft. I was here to prove them wrong. Through hard work and dedication, I was able to prove to everyone who I was,” said James Siegler.
Congrats to Team Ivers!