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Hounds, Stallions, Ducklings, oh my!

Students jump into rec basketball

Junior+Bayard+anderson+goes+for+a+steal+in+their+game+against+Bluff+City+Blues.+The+Young+Dolphins+won+their+game+33-24+on+Dec.+2.
Junior Bayard anderson goes for a steal in their game against Bluff City Blues. The Young Dolphins won their game 33-24 on Dec. 2.

Junior Bayard anderson goes for a steal in their game against Bluff City Blues. The Young Dolphins won their game 33-24 on Dec. 2.

Photo: Annie Vento

Photo: Annie Vento

Junior Bayard anderson goes for a steal in their game against Bluff City Blues. The Young Dolphins won their game 33-24 on Dec. 2.

Annie Vento, Editor-in-Chief

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There was less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, and the Pterodactyls and Flamingos were locked in a tight game with a full gym of fans watching. The Flamingos scored with five seconds left in the game and went up by two points, breaking the tie. Pterodactyl Head Coach Brian Wirth called for a timeout and drew up an inbounds play.

Bayard Anderson was to throw the ball to Morgan Wirth within the last five seconds for a buzzer beater, but Wirth was not open. The ball was thrown to Luke Wagerman and, as he fired from half court, the ball slowly flew into the air, missed the hoop and the Flamingos won by two.

While this nail-biting type of game may remind many of a varsity game, it was actually a recreational, or rec, basketball game from the the last season of the Pterodactyls. St. George’s students collectively represent more than seven rec basketball teams, including the senior Hounds and Swans, the junior Young Dolphins and Stallions, the sophomore Dynasty and Ugly Ducklings and the freshman Tree Frogs.

Students have been involved with rec basketball teams since they were in middle school. As they have grown up and entered high school, their respective teams have grown with them.

Last year, about 10 junior boys represented the Pterodactyls team, who played rec basketball together since fifth grade but did not officially recognize themselves as the Pterodactyls until ninth grade. However, the team split into two separate teams this year, the Young Dolphins and the Stallions.

“The Pterodactyls split because some members of the team wanted more playing time, so we decided to go our separate ways,” junior John Carter Hawkins, who plays for the Stallions, said. “However, with this split, there is still a strong bond between players.”

“I love playing rec [basketball], because at the end of the day, everyone is playing purely for fun,” junior Graham Sisson, who plays for the Young Dolphins, said. “There are no state championships on the line, and while it would be nice to win the league tournament, nobody on our team will be too disappointed if we don’t.”

New to the rec basketball scene, the Tree Frogs consists of a group of freshmen boys who are confident they will go undefeated this season.

“The team [was] started by a group of people who played on the school team last year, but decided they did not want to play for the school this year,” freshman Alec White, who plays for the Tree Frogs, said. “I decided to pick rec over school because school basketball would have taken up a lot of my time.”

A typical rec basketball season is slightly shorter than varsity or junior varsity, beginning in early December and lasting until early February. They also play less games compared to the approximate 30 games played in a typical varsity or JV season. For example, the Young Dolphins will play at least 13 games this season, while the Stallions have eight games.

Often, fans of basketball choose to attend varsity basketball games over rec games with the belief that varsity players are better at basketball, and varsity games are more exciting.

“I would say the biggest misconception is the idea that rec basketball is always terrible basketball,” Sisson said. “While the games are often low-scoring and some teams definitely have more skill than others, there are definitely moments in close games where pretty, maybe even beautiful, basketball is being played.”

Despite these stereotypes, rec basketball games have seen large attendances from fellow St. George’s students in the past, many of whom are friends supporting each other. One such fan is junior Brook Goodman, who plays varsity girls basketball.

“I attend the basketball games because they are a lot of fun, and I like supporting my friends,” Goodman, who has been attending games since her freshman year, said. “In the rec league, it’s a league just for fun and to have a good time, but [in] varsity basketball, it’s a lot more serious because they have a goal of getting to state.”

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