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Breaking the tie

With two wins each, Faculty, The Fuzz seek bragging rights

The "Faculty" of the Morris High School team in the "Faculty vs. The Fuzz" charity basketball game is not beneath hoping for a little luck to help them beat "The Fuzz" this year.

"I did pick up a lucky penny out in the hallway today. Maybe it will be the difference," said Assistant Principal and "Faculty" Coach Jeff Johnson.

Saturday, Feb. 9, is the date for the fifth year of the charity basketball games between Morris Community High School and Morris police to raise funds for Illinois Special Olympics. The event usually raises about $2,000 for Morris police's Law Enforcement Torch Run for Illinois Special Olympics total.

The first two years, the "Faculty" won, while the last two years "The Fuzz" have won.

"Our partnership with the high school and its staff has been outstanding and we just keep building on that," said Chief Brent Dite.

The game starts at 7 p.m. in Morris High School's gym. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for students and senior citizens. There will also be 50/50 tickets, and some raffle prizes, said "The Fuzz" coach and Morris officer Derek Zumbahlen. New this year will be the sale of Special Olympics shirts, as well as raffle tickets for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle for $10.

For a second time, the Special Connections of Grundy County Special Olympics players will kick-off the event with a10-minute, one quarter game. The players will be announced before they take the court to warm things up for the Faculty and Fuzz.

"They really enjoyed themselves and they liked getting announced, running onto the floor and showing off their talent. They really enjoyed it and we enjoyed watching them," said Zumbahlen.

The police team in made up of Morris police, Grundy County Sheriff's police, a District 5 State Trooper and a Joliet police officer. The officers have been practicing casually on their own time, said Zumbahlen.

Like years past, there is a bit of fear of Superintendent Dr. Pat Halloran's skills.

"In years past, if Dr. Halloran catches fire, he does damage on the 3-point line," said Zumbahlen.

"The Fuzz" may be worried about the school's leader, as well as their numerous athletic coaches on the team, but the "Faculty" is cautious as well.

"It's getting tougher and tougher to continue in my advanced age, but it's a fun game for a great cause," said Halloran.

"We're hoping some of our younger legs can contribute this year and try to slow down Mr. Zumbahlen. That's our goal and, of course, my goal is to try and stay healthy," he continued.

Johnson said the school's players have also been practicing, mostly on their own. Halloran said he got some shots in Wednesday night with some of the senior basketball players while still in his shirt and tie, and did pretty well.

"I might have to keep my shirt and tie in the locker room in case it helps my performance," said  Halloran.

Whether it's luck or skill, Johnson said he predicts the "Faculty" will take it back this year with a three-point win.

"I see a last-second shot by one of our veterans," he said.

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