These are senior players and managers of the 2009-2010 basketball season. They gathered for their end-of-the-year banquet and received various awards. None of them, I am told, will be playing on a college team. Fortunately they all have a great deal of personality and other talents. The captains, Sean Brophy and Joe Nardi, thanked especially their coach, Speedy Morris, for his great mentoring and leadership.
Speedy typically used only six or seven players in a game. But he honored the rest of the varsity by awarding them prizes honoring how they quickly learned what scouts taught them about opposing teams. With these new skills they helped the starters prepare for each game.
It was this group that played the semifinal Catholic League championship game against Neumann-Goretti in the Palestra. And I got a chance to say the prayer before the game in that sacred basketball arena:
"We gather, Lord God, first in thanksgiving for your generous spirit. May our game this night be worthy of the dedication in the long history of this arena to teamwork, to skills, to sportsmanship.
Bless our players. May they be free of injury and mean spirits. Bless our coaches, mentors, teachers and parents. Help them to appreciate the efforts of our players and to bring their enthusiasms into every good work.
May you, Lord, enjoy the game as much as we will.
St. Joseph, Pray for us.
Sts. Maria Goretti and John Neumann, Pray for us."