Rec ball heroes

Christian Evans, Sports Writer

There are many talented athletes at Homewood-Flossmoor, but some people have to take the L when it comes to making their respective varsity sport.

Senior Jeremy Correll was one of those students.

“I played for a couple of AAU teams in the past and I played here at H-F my freshman and sophomore year,” Correll said. “Overall I’ve been very successful playing basketball.”

There are many athletes like Correll who didn’t make varsity. They are cut for a variety of reasons; whether it’s their grades or not knowing the coaches personally.

Basketball is the main sport where this becomes an issue.

In football, there is a huge roster. Soccer has varsity and junior varsity.

With basketball, there is normally a 12 man roster, leaving quality players with nothing to do for a whole season.

HFPD’s basketball league solves that problem.

“It was started for high schoolers because there was a demand from the students that graduated from seventh and eighth grade who didn’t make the high school team,” HFPD Director John Reavers said. “They were looking for another alternative. They wanted to play ball in the same type of setting that they were brought up in.”

With this, students in the community have the opportunity to keep playing basketball with their friends.
Those who played for H-F during their freshman and/or sophomore year notice the difference between the two.

“HFPD is an organized basketball league where players can have fun and not take it too seriously, which makes it different than playing for the high school basketball team,” senior Tim Dorsey said. “The amount of hard work, running plays and drills is a lot more involved in high school. This is minimal in HFPD, which is the main difference.”

At HFPD, players accept more of a pickup game style of play.

No plays are ran, there are no practices, and there is no conditioning. These games are only for bragging rights.

In high school, there is the pressure of trying to win a state championship for your school, which is why all that work is necessary. This is not evident in HFPD.

Unlike high school, where the rotations are very limited, at HFPD everyone gets the chance to play.

“I prefer HFPD because everyone plays, unlike high school, where they only have like a seven to eight man rotation,” senior Jesse Graham said. “It’s also all laughter and smiles, where nobody is yelling at you. It’s a lot more relaxed.”

While Graham claims that the games played are relaxed, the atmosphere is the exact opposite.

“The atmosphere is unlike anything and it’s surprising,” Correll said. “You would think a park district league would be dry, but HFPD is the move on Saturday evenings. Making a great play and embarrassing your friends just makes it 100 times funnier and an overall good experience. The crowd gets hype off everything and it’s amazing.”

The best thing about this league however, is the purpose it is serving.

“The league is for the community, for the kids and for recreation,” Reavers said.

The league started last week with Josh Izenbart, Stephen Allen, Ernst Coupet and Jesse Graham leading their respective teams to a 1-0 record.

Games will continue this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at James Hart Middle School.