If anyone has been keeping a list of my greatest accomplishments, one category would be very bare — sports. I was always picked last in gym and actively avoided physical activity for most of my life. With full knowledge of my deficiencies, I volunteered to represent the Knights of Columbus in our annual basketball game against the seminarians.
I trained vigorously, and by vigorously I mean not at all. At least the past few months of my regular weight lifting helped me look good in my jersey. The seminarians, I am told, were more diligent in their practice schedule. Perhaps they have stronger cores because they spend much of their days kneeling in pious prayer.
Arriving at the field-house Sunday evening, one thought filled my consciousness, giving me the motivation I needed: “Why the hell did I sign up to play?” My fellow knights assured me that they were also not very good, but they at least knew the terminology without having to be reminded what rebound and layup meant. I pulled aside our coach, senior Sean Whitley, and assured him that he could take me out of the game whenever I looked like a lost cow that wondered unto the court.
Being Halloween weekend, many fans dressed up, decorating the stands with spooky outfits. Halftime featured a costume contest of all the fans who came dressed up. Sophomore Lauren Bollweg won the contest dressed up as Jess Day, a quirky teacher played by Zooey Deschanel on FOX’s New Girl.
I did get to see some action in the game. Running back and forth, I did keep pace with the team. While I may not be the next Larry Byrd, some fans noticed a nascent talent in my playing.
“He was on defense the whole time,” said sports commentator and this journalist’s girlfriend, sophomore Katie Tooze, about my performance.
The final score for the game was 35-21, in favor of the seminarians. This unfortunately marks the second year in a row where the seminarians have won. Last year, the Knights lost for the first time in several years, and we hope that this pattern will not continue beyond this year.
“I love coaching, it’s one of my dreams to be a coach, so instead of playing for the team, I volunteered to be the coach instead,” Whitley said. “For not having any practices, we did alright. We definitely had some areas that could have been covered better in pregame by myself.”
“My performance was spotty, but we had a lot of fun,” said junior Matt Sedlacek and Knights all-star. “We hope to come back next year and take it to them.”
The purpose of the game, however, was not for our glory, but God’s. The game and bake sale raised $116 for Wells of Life, a charity that digs wells for impoverished villages.
“It’s a tradition that lives and breathes Loras College, and all the money is being donated to the Wells of Life fund, helping hundreds of people in a village in Uganda,” said Grand Knight Kenzie Elsbernd.
The Knights of Columbus and the Seminarians, though opposed for one night, are ultimately united for the purpose of giving glory to God and serving His people. This game showed that, and these men will continue to show that throughout the rest of this year.