MORRIS – To increase their chances of taking it back this year, the Faculty of Morris Community High School is enlisting some younger players to play against the Morris Police Fuzz in the annual Faculty vs. The Fuzz basketball game.
“We’re looking for some younger legs,” said Superintendent Pat Halloran, known as “Shooter Halloran” to The Fuzz team. “We need a little more youth to help us be more competitive.”
This year’s game will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Morris gym. This is the sixth year for the charity game that Morris police puts on for Illinois Special Olympics. The event usually raises about $2,000 for Morris police’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Illinois Special Olympics. But this year, the proceeds will be split between Special Olympics and Special Connections of Grundy County.
Special Connections is an organization with the goal of providing information and resources, as well as social, recreational and leisure opportunities, for the developmentally disabled community, from children to adults.
“We want to support our local organization ... and we plan to continue to do that from here on out,” said Morris officer Derek Zumbahlen, organizer of the game.
Last year, The Fuzz broke the tie of wins between the two teams, winning three of the five games. In its sixth year, Zumbahlen said they plan to take it again. They have recruited a couple more players from the Morris department, as well as their regular players from partnering agencies: the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office, Joliet police and District 5 Illinois State Police.
Morris Police Chief Brent Dite said they even have a secret weapon of their own.
“We reached out to old Moose Roe and came up with a special defense to fight back Shooter Halloran,” Dite said.
Dwayne “Moose” Roe was a long time Morris coach. Included in the defense plan – the same focus as years past.
“If you shut down Shooter Halloran, we got a chance. But if we can’t shut him down, it’s going to be a long night for law enforcement,” Dite said.
Halloran played basketball at Dwight High School and Kankakee Community College.
Although Shooter Halloran believes The Fuzz already has a special defense in Chief Dite.
“We are a little bit intimidated by the leadership he’s showing in wellness,” Halloran said.
Dite has worked on becoming more healthy and is noticeably more fit since last year’s game.
Despite the trash talk, neither team has practiced yet. But both will get some court time in before the game in two weeks.
Both teams enjoy the teasing and fun before, during and after the game every year. But all the players do it for the same reason – the cause.
“We’re excited to help with a great cause, that’s what its all about,” Halloran said. “We appreciate what the police do to help out Special Olympics and Special Connections.”
Zumbahlen said the audience will have a chance to see the Special Olympics players play at the game again this year. They will take the floor during a 15-minute game at half time.
Also during the game, 50/50 raffle tickets will be for sale, as well as Special Olympics shirts with all the proceeds going to the organizations.
The Faculty vs. The Fuzz charity basketball game
7 p.m. Feb. 8
Morris Community High School gym
$2 for students and senior citizens