By Milan Joshi
The familiar winter craze of the Peachtree Road United Methodist Church (PRUMC) boys’ basketball league has returned. The league plays host to 31 teams, nine of which come from Westminster.
The PRUMC boys’ basketball league games occur on Monday through Thursday nights and fans are encouraged to come out and support their friends. Within the league, a spirit of camaraderie and good sportsmanship has spread from the teams to the fans, and everyone that attends returns home reveling in the fun time they had at PRUMC regardless of the outcome of the game.
The league is made more interesting and amusing with the rule that no varsity basketball player can participate as a player on a team in PRUMC. With this regulation, the players range from ex- basketball players to boys who have never played before, which makes the games more fair, fun, and entertaining.
The league consists of 31 teams from schools around the Atlanta area, including Westminster, Lovett, Pace, Marist, Woodward, Riverwood, Holy Innocents and Norcross. This year, Westminster has fielded an incredible array of nine teams, three from each of the senior, junior and sophomore classes.
The three teams represented by the senior class are the Boo-Basses, led by seniors Connor Bennett and Jack Shelton, the Tank Daddies, captained by seniors Spain Short and Rad Spencer, and the Toucans, whose captains are seniors Merritt Huber and Chip Capper.
The junior teams are the Bogart City Chiefs, led by junior captains Sam Schmal and Ross Johnston, Air Jortin’, captained by juniors Luke and Jake Johnson, and The Harpooners, led by junior captains Sam Barkin and Jack Bondurant.
The teams from the sophomore class are Boarder Patrol, captained by sophomore Sam Pastor, the Rockets, led by sophomores Trey Blasingame and Brian Nam, and Lob City, formed by sophomores Alex Balser and Warren Hedgepeth.
On December 4th, Air Jortin’ defeated the Harpooners in their first game of the season by a score of 60-33. Junior Jack Bondurant played well and led the Harpooners in scoring with 19 points, while Juniors Cameron Seward and Chris Ottley led Air Jortin’ in blocks and scoring respectively. The game was characterized by outbreaks of cheering from the Harpooners’ fans, despite their defeat.
“Being a fan is a lot of fun,” said Junior Emma Reifenberger. “It’s really cool and exciting to see and cheer for your friends playing out on the court.”
That same night, the all-senior Tank Daddies devastated the sophomores of Lob City 52-11, while the Boo-Basses defeated the rival Toucans 38-36 in a thriller.
“PRUMC is just fun,” said senior Chip Capper. “Win or lose, it’s going to be a good time. It’s always fun to compete against your classmates in a friendly game of ball.”
This early in the season, it is which teams will be dominant, but camaraderie and good sportsmanship are expected from all participants. With the rest of the season ahead of them, the players will have more time to become better acquainted with each other on and off the court.
“Being on a PRUMC team has brought me closer to my friends,” said junior Matt Noone. “It’s another event for me to spend more time with my friends in a different setting, and it’s really fun to see them play basketball”.
While some teams bond on the court, the Toucans took their talents off the court to make a hype video. Featuring the entire team, the video is on YouTube and provides a look at what makes the Toucans mesh as a group.
Throughout the remainder of the season, many boys will continue to bond and play basketball with their teammates at PRUMC, and they encourage everyone to come out and support them as they begin the race for the playoffs later in the year.