"What made this a special season was the community built by the players, coaches and parents as they all pursued a common goal," says Robert Hayes, the CYO director. CYO basketball brings the community together. Girls basketball is not just open to St. Joseph School kids but the St. Joseph Parish as well. This makes the parish and school feel like one and also allows the school kids to reach out and become friends with new kids who do not go to our school. Also, all of the basketball coaches are volunteers and usually parents. These coaches create a good connection with the players and encourage them to play their best.
The basketball teams play different Catholic schools who participate in CYO sports. CYO stands for Catholic Youth Organization. The games are played at home in the Wyckoff Gym or at another school's gym. Playoff games are on neutral courts. Girls and boys basketball begins in fourth grade, but varsity and junior varsity teams do not form until sixth. However, only the varsity teams can go to the playoffs.
This year, all three grades of girls basketball varsity teams qualified and went to the playoffs. Even though none of them won, they competed hard and had fun. Both the sixth and seventh grade varsity teams made it to the quarterfinals, and the eighth grade team made it to the semi-finals. Many girls say making it to the playoffs was a highlight of the season and brought the team closer together. 6th grade varsity player, Riley Floyd, says her favorite moment of the season was when they won the game that allowed them to go to the playoffs.
Overall, she "likes that we play with our friends and I enjoy the post-game huddles."
Practices were also a time that the girls got great workouts and enjoyed playing a sport with good friends. All the teams have practices twice a week at Wyckoff Gym. Practices were held for eight weeks throughout the normal season, and there are extra practices if a team makes it to the playoffs. The girls all say they enjoyed that time scrimmaging each other and learning skills.
Some 8th graders are sad it is their last season. Mary Meg Cedergreen, an eighth grader, will remember her time fondly: "Playing basketball at St. Joseph's has been a great experience for me, and has taught me many lessons that I can use off the court. I loved having the opportunity to play with my classmates and it was a great way to relieve stress from school."