MORRIS – With only two months left in the school year, some Saratoga School eighth-graders got their chance at payback on some of their former teachers – on the court.
“It started out just being a fun thing for the students and teachers to do,” Donna Knudson, Booster Club representative said. “Now we do it as a fundraiser for the Booster Club, and the PTO raises money with a bake sale and concessions.”
This year the money raised will help purchase new uniforms for the eighth-grade girls and boys basketball teams.
With activities, such as Chuck a Duck and 50/50 raffles taking place between games and at halftime, the Boosters were able to raise $675 toward the new uniforms.
For 30 years students have been invited to take on the faculty in girls volleyball and boys basketball.
For the past 10 years, the teachers have dominated the volleyball court, until this year.
Even with eighth-grade volleyball coach Melanie Kunz, a former Purdue starter on their team, they just couldn’t hold their own against the students.
“I knew they’d be competitive,” Kunz said of the student team. “We [faculty] held our own especially in the second game.”
But holding their own wasn’t enough as the students won all three games.
For two of the students, it wasn’t just their teachers they got to beat, but also their mothers.
Third-grade teacher Jan Bruyn faced off against her daughter, Abby.
“It’s kind of weird, but she’s an alright player,” Abby said. “I told her she better bring her A-game.”
Another third-grade teacher, Catherine Thomas, got to face her daughter, Anna, and they both said it was a fun chance.
“She’s a little rusty,” Anna said of her mom’s volleyball skills.
While the girls were a bit worried about having their coach on the opposite court instead of at the bench giving them pointers, it was a needless worry.
The girls were coached by eighth-grade basketball players, Jett Walker and Brennan Goff.
“They gave their all, I’m very proud of them,” Goff said.
Walker said the girls are very dedicated to their sport, and it was obvious as they took the win after a 10-year student losing streak.
The boys team did not have the same luck as the girls. The boys played only one game against their teachers, losing by one point.
Eighth-grade head boy’s basketball coach Vince Zomboracz said he likes having the chance to be with his players on the court after the season for some fun.
“It’s fun for them,” Zomboracz said. “I teach them leadership skills while they are on the team. I want my players to shine through on this night, as they coach themselves.”
To coach the boy students, student basketball manager Luke Holliday stepped up as coach along with player Payton Voitik, who wasn’t able to play Friday because of an injury.
Voitik predicted before the game the students would win by 15.
“They are older. They can’t react as quick,” Voitik said.
Holliday agreed that the eighth-graders had the teachers on endurance, as well.
Zomboracz and his teacher teammates didn’t let the early predictions get in their heads, the teachers won, but by just one point.