Westminster teams trash-talk for PRUMC championship

Basketball season is off and running for Westminster’s five official high school basketball teams, as well as the 12 other PRUMC basketball teams. For players who do not play varsity basketball and just want to have fun with their friends, PRUMC basketball is the first place they look to get that competitive fix.

Peachtree Road United Methodist Church’s basketball league is for high school students, and teams are made up of students from local schools such as Lovett, North Atlanta, Holy Innocents, and many others. Westminster students comprise over 25 percent of the teams in the league, which makes for a very competitive environment every day at school. The trash talking between classmates and friends does not stop until the long awaited matchups. The 2016 champions, the Miami Yeet, have made it clear they want to defend their title in the 2017 season but have to deal with the big talkers.

“There have been a lot of people telling me that they are going to beat us and that we won’t win the championship,” said Yeet member Ethan Price. “We’ll see when they play us, but I definitely think we can repeat as champions.”

One of the teams that looks to dethrone Price and company is Michael McGovern’s team, led by David Choi and former Westminster student, Ramel Williams. They believe that they will be the team to break through and take the championship.

“I think [our] only competition this year will be ourselves,” said team member Sam Woodhouse. “There is not a team that is standing in the way of us winning a championship.”

There are many reasons for playing PRUMC, and it is evident that some teams will take the season a lot more seriously than others. While many are looking to become champions, some just want to enjoy their time playing basketball.

“One of the best parts about PRUMC is that you get to play with and against your friends,” said Woodhouse.

It is easy to identify the teams that take a more relaxed approach to their competition. This is especially evident regarding the Westminster freshmen team led by Will Hallmark, who recently lost to sophmore Banks Platford’s team by a score of 99-10.

“We got destroyed, but it was still fun,” said Hallmark. “We actually celebrated when the clock ran out and we had not let them score 100.”

PRUMC might not always be about winning but getting to have fun playing basketball and not have the stress that would come with playing a varsity sport.

Hallmark and the rest of his teammates think this season can be turned around after an 0-2 start.

“We have already lost two games, but we think we can start a winning streak,” said Hallmark.

Westminster teams have dominated PRUMC by winning the last four championships. This year, there are a few squads that have emerged as favorites to continue the streak for Westminster. Of course the Miami Yeet are looking to go back to back with their strong guard duo of Jack Schlafly and Watson Jackson. Also, the aforementioned team consisting of Cortez Alston, Choi, and many other players has gotten off to a very strong start.

It’s hard to ignore the sophomore team responsible for the 89-point win. They are led by Charlie Ham, Luke Jannetta, Grant Pinkston, and Niki Manocha.

It is not just the players that get involved. You will see many  classmates supporting their friends and those playing varsity basketball serving as coaches, trying to scheme their teams to victory.

“When there are people at the game, it makes me want to play better and put on a show,” said junior David Edmiston. “It makes it feel like it is another one of the school sports teams.”

As the season progresses, there will be people who invest more and more time into their teams trying to be a champion. No matter what your approach is, PRUMC is all about having fun. The passion and the excitement is something that you would never expect to see in church league basketball, but PRUMC changes that narrative. As winter turns to spring, we will see if a fifth-straight Westminster team will win the ultimate and highly coveted title of  2017 PRUMC champion.