SPARTA, NJ-The Sparta Middle School faculty continued their 11 year winning streak against the 8th grade students at the Student vs. Faculty basketball game, held on March 6. The 11th Annual Hoops for Hope charity basketball game brought in approximately 300 parent, student and faculty spectators, raising $1778. This year, proceeds from the game benefitted the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. The game was sponsored by the National Junior Honor Society.
NJHS president, Zoe Canzoniero said of the game, ““The amount of student support for the game was incredible. There is so much pride and support at Sparta Middle School, and it was wonderful that it could all be used to help serve a good charitable cause.”
The faculty held the lead for most of the game, including a 19 point advantage in the second half of the game. By the fourth quarter the student team began closing the point gap, and eventually taking the lead 46-45 with just under four minutes left in the game. The faculty persevered, pulling through to another victory. Though competition was intense throughout the game, a great level of sportsmanship was displayed from both sides. Numerous high-fives and handshakes were exchanged between the two teams.
NJHS member Kayla Edwards, tongue in check, commented, “The student faculty basketball game brings the students and teachers together for a competitive game where the students always play better and the teachers bend the rules for a good cause.”
When asked about the game, Eric Castorina, player on the student team commented, “It was exciting, loud and intense. It was fun to play against our teachers!”
Kevin Berlin, a student fan, replied, “It was intense to watch because it was a close game. It was a lot of fun to watch our teachers play against the students in our school.”
nEWEighth grade student Mason Minetti provided music entertainment as the DJ for the event.
This tradition at Sparta Middle School has raised close to $15,000 dollars for various local and national causes, including The Dylan Flinchum “Rock On” Foundation, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, Room to Read, One Simple Wish, and Hurricane Katrina relief.
Upcoming 8th graders are already planning on being the first team to defeat the faculty in the 12th annual game.