Faculty team balls out in annual Turkey Bowl

Ingrid Houtkooper

On Friday, Nov. 18, students piled into the main gym to watch as their peers took on staff members in the annual Turkey Bowl basketball game. Excited to witness their teachers’ athletic capabilities, students eagerly awaited the tip off as both teams warmed up for the highly-anticipated game. 

The faculty team quickly took hold of the game, with Wellness Coordinator Spencer DeWoody scoring easy points early in the first half. Although the staff took the lead from the beginning, it was not without challenge. The student team played full court defense and made it difficult for the staff throughout the entire course of the game.

As for the students, they were able to get some shots off of a few fast breaks, including a layup from senior Parker Pewitt, as well as a three point shot from senior Max Malone to help keep them in the game. However, the staff ultimately outplayed them and took the win. Special education teacher, Frank Labudzik, was very excited by his team’s win.

“[I’m] really proud of the old teachers keeping up with these kids,” Labudzik said. “I was expecting to run out and just pass out on the floor half way through. But I [always] knew we would win because we got some true superstars on our team.”

Jumping in the air, Frank Labudzik goes up for a layup, practicing his skills before the game.

To contrast Labudzik’s excitement, senior Lucas Nordin was disappointed by the student team’s loss.

“I signed up a couple days ago, and since then I’ve been practicing [a lot]… So I prepared myself a lot but I’m disappointed by the outcome,” Nordin said. “The teachers outplayed us and we just gave up too many turnovers and missed too many shots.”

Despite his disappointment, Nordin acknowledged his enjoyment in being involved and feeling the camaraderie of the game.

“I chose to sign up because it was a fun, lighthearted event [where I could] bond with my peers and also have fun with the teachers,” Nordin said. “I feel like all schools should have some sort of activity where the teachers interact with the students, because it brings you from a professional level to more of a friendly level.” 

Despite usually playing in the bowl himself, Physical Education teacher Todd Van Peursem (VP) was the referee for the game and enjoyed seeing the amount of people who came to watch. 

“There was a great turnout today. I would like to see this kind of turnout at our athletic events all throughout the year, supporting all of our squads, because it’s just a fun way to come out and be a part of something bigger than yourself,” VP said. 

Beyond the lively fans — who were excitedly cheering on both the players and staff members — VP was also pleased by the faculty’s performance. 

“[The faculty team is] typically a squad I love to be a part of. It’s one of the most exciting opportunities that this school has on this court. I mean just the talent level alone in the staff squad is immense this year as you see,” VP said. “They play together, their heart is in it and they love each other. That’s what happens when you have a positive community helping bring out the best in each individual. So collectively we just ball out as a team.”