More Than A Game: CYO teams bring rivalries, begin competition


Ana Gajewski

On Dec. 3, the senior team, the Gerbers lost to the Tropics with a score of 56-53. The game was played at North Campus.

Will Baska, Staff Writer


The echoes of a bouncing basketball permeate through the halls of North Campus. Inside the otherwise empty building, a competitive, yet light spirited contest resumes – CYO basketball. 

This is not a congregation of elementary school ballers in an auxiliary high school gym, but instead the childhood dreams of teenagers across the metro manifesting into reality. Here, skill is not the factor, enjoyment is.

The program has been around for years, and the hype seems to be increasing each winter. For many, CYO basketball is more than just an enjoyable workout, but an escape. 

“After playing basketball freshman year, me and my friends decided it would be more fun to do CYO,” said junior Norah Fitzgerald, who plays on the reigning champion Gerballs. “I feel like I’m a high school basketball player, only it’s more fun and less competitive.”

Not only does the program give students the opportunity to live out their fantasies, but according to senior Harrison Roth it serves as a conducive outlet for teen health.

“I feel like it’s a really good thing for teenagers because we have fun staying active,” Roth said. “Kids could be out making bad decisions, but instead we’re here having a blast”.

As the season proceeds under way, the deep-seeded lore of team relations infiltrates the league. Rivalries have historically had an air of comical importance for students participating. Roth, a proud member of the Gerbers, says it’s what truly makes the season.

“Gerbs vs. Heifs is always the big one,” Roth said in reference to the two Miege teams in the senior boys league. “We’ll get a crowd and have a rager of a game.”

Though many rivalries are born from inter-school play, some originate from the same old high school matchups students are accustomed to.

“My team has a really big rivalry with an Aquinas team,” Fitzgerald said. “It started last year and we got to beat them in the championship.”

While the program exists as a channel for easy spirited fun, sophomore Abby Cleveland says her team is enjoying the heat of competition.

“We are taking it pretty seriously,” Cleveland said. “We are definitely in it to win the championship.”

As rivalries develop and friendly banter fills the halls, students are sure to relish in the Saturday afternoons that will place them in big moments with little stakes.

“I’m probably just looking forward to winning it all,” Fitzgerald said. “I know we are here to play.”