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Staff Takes Victory at Inaugural Staff vs. Seniors Basketball

Ali Parkhurst
All athletes and coaches group together for a picture after the staff team takes down the seniors.

Assistant Coach for the boys basketball team, Jarred Johnston, had the idea to create a game where staff members at West High would be able to play in a basketball game against West High seniors. “I worked at McKinley Middle School in Cedar Rapids. Every year we would do a Staff v. Student basketball game, students and staff always had a lot of fun. I wanted to bring something to the West that would be fun and bring people together,” he says. 

After months of planning, the Staff v. Senior basketball game was held in the Bob Siddens gym on Thursday Nov. 2. Johnston shares that recruiting staff members to play was one of his biggest struggles., “With no school on Friday, November 3, a lot of staff members who would have normally played were going out of town. To make the issue worse a few staff members had injuries that prevented them from playing,” he says. 

The staff team consisted of Andy Payton, Austin Smith, Devon Moore, Lonnie Moore, Eric Smith, Gabrielle Schwarting, Lydia Butters, Rob Griffin, Ben Barnett, Ryan Hunter, Timothy Kahl, Patrick Mulholland, Matt Grimm, Nate Schoepske, Nic Peiffer and was coached by former boys varsity coach, Cliff Berinobis. 

On the other side of the court, the senior team consisted of Shuncere Wortham, Bailey Schoepske, Brooklyn Love, Charlotte Gettman, Valeria Ignacio, Dylan Okanovic, Nasir Kuykendall, Talan Nelson, Keegan Nystrom, Kani Polk, Dayshawn Gibbs, Kailib Fisher, Davonte Scott, Courtney Gladney, Seayea Joseph, Yamir Micou, Shiron Morman, Tyrell Adams, Jacob Muller, Tayvon Homolar and was coached by junior basketball players Jahlil Manago and Joseph Hudson as well as senior Shuncere Wortham for the first half of the game. 

Butters takes possession of the ball and makes her way towards the basket. (Ali Parkhurst )

With over forty athletes, the men dominated the court. As the only female player on the staff team, Lydia Butters made her presence on the court known. “It was certainly a different experience playing with a predominantly male team, but lots of fun. That was the shortest I have ever felt in a basketball game. Hopefully, we can recruit more female staff members next year,” Butters says. 

Representing the girls on the senior team was Charlotte Gettman, Brooklyn Love, Bailey Schoepske and Valeria Ignacio. Gettman, a varsity basketball player for West High, shares that being on a predominately boys team came with its advantages, “It’s a lot of fun to be on a team where you have people who can dunk. It’s a lot more entertaining.” 

Gettman says that even as one of the only women on the court, the boys treated her as a regular teammate. “I’ve grown up with a lot of them and it’s fun to be able to be a teammate of them rather than just watching and cheering them on. They treated the girls all very well,” she says. 

Despite a majority of the boys and girls varsity basketball teams participating, the seniors fell to the staff members in the end. With a final score of 72-67, the staff members pulled through with a win. 

“It was a well-fought game by the seniors but as staff members we were ready to put an end to the constant smack talk from students,” Butters shares. Johnston shares that he was not surprised by the staff victory, “There are a lot of talented athletes within the #ONEWahawk family,” he says.

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About the Contributor
Ali Parkhurst, News and Sports Editor; Yearbook Editor-In-Chief
(she/her) Ali Parkhurst is a senior at West High. This is her second year as a Wahawk Insider staff member, Parkhurst is also the Editor-In-Chief for the Wahawk Yearbook. Outside of school, Parkhurst is a varsity cheerleader and a server at Doughy Joeys. Parkhurst enjoys photography, running, and spending time with her friends.
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    Emma KossleyNov 6, 2023 at 3:27 pm

    This was such a fun way to start the Basketball season! Go Staff! Hopefully, this becomes a tradition… maybe the English department can be the staff cheerleaders!