Saturday, July 20, 2024

Annual ‘Crusader Cup’ Brings Priests, Seminarians and Students to the Court

St. Teresa of Calcutta School in Adams County hosted its second annual “Crusader Cup” basketball game on March 17, with a team of priests and seminarians tipping off against eighth graders at the school’s Conewago Campus.

The event is at once a showcase of vocations, a celebration of camaraderie and a healthy dose of competition for the annual trophy – the Crusader Cup, created by the school’s 3D printer.

Several Sisters of St. Joseph joined the Crusader cheerleaders in welcoming the teams onto the court and helping spark the crowd, which filled the bleachers to capacity and carried signs for their favorite player.

A team of local priests as well as seminarians from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., swapped collars for gym shorts and sweatbands for the game, and brought the crowd to their feet with several dunks and a few alley-oop attempts.

The eighth-graders had something to prove too, and took to court with a game plan to avenge last year’s loss.

Gaige Hamburg, a coach for the eighth-grade team, said the plan was to “get as much contact in without fouling.”

“These guys, they’re not really scary,” he said, pointing to Father Richard Lyons, associate pastor of the school, and principal Dave Staub during a pre-game interview. “Size is important, but it’s not as important as skill.”

At the end of a closely-fought game, the God Squad defended their title, edging the eighth-graders, 40-31.

But the real winner of the Crusader Cup is vocation awareness, as students interacted with priests, seminarians and Sisters in a tangible and entertaining way.

“It’s a great opportunity for the whole community, the whole school to get together,” Staub said. “Certainly, the priests and seminarians have been a vital part of our school year, they’ve been present throughout the school year working with our students. This is an opportunity to have the students see them in a different light, on the basketball court and in a fun atmosphere.”

Learn more about St. Teresa of Calcutta School at www.stck8school.org.

(Photos by Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness.)

By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness

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