Juniors win championship game

Game honors Mr. O


Abdlrhman Alayah

Juniors celebrate the win in a tournament that honored David Ollivierre, a favorite teacher who died unexpectedly last March.

The juniors topped the sophomores in a heart-pounding game to win the school’s annual basketball championship 51 to 34 on March 30.  This year, the two-day tournament was held in honor of David Ollivierre, a favorite teacher who died unexpectedly a year ago on March 30.

The scoring and time-keeping seemed a little off after the electronic scoreboard had to be swapped out for a paper version in the last few minutes of the game. But once the referee signaled the end of the game, the celebrations began.

The championship game gets under way. (Abdlrhman Alayah)

 “After the game, I pretty much feel great,” exclaimed Isaiah Jenkins, a junior on the winning team.  “My teammates came out with great energy, you know. We had our ups and downs, but we had to do this for Mr. O, you know? We just had to be optimistic and pass the ball. We just had to lock in and everyone had to play their role and so that’s why we won. I love you, Mr. O. I miss you, man.”

Qualik Paniagua, a junior, added, “We worked hard to get to the promised land and we made it, everything for Mr. O.”

This year’s basketball tournament honored, Mr. Ollivierre, a beloved teacher who died unexpectedly last March. (File photo)

Elijah Lopez, the junior coach, praised his team’s effort.  “I feel like we chilled as a unit. I feel like honestly everyone went out there and had fun and we did what we had to do. I’m proud of my boys and I couldn’t ask for anything better. It’s the one year anniversary of Mr. O and everyone came out and played hard and I’m just super proud and super ecstatic of my team, and that they got to win this championship.”

Joseph Shinn, the 10th-grade coach, was also pleased.  “They played their hearts out,” he said .  “I’m very proud of them. I couldn’t ask any better. I’m very happy with the results.”

Sophomore Ruben Santiago agreed, describing the game as “amazing” and “the best experience ever.”

In the first round of the tournament on March 28, the juniors topped the seniors and the sophomores beat the freshmen. Players on the grade teams wore special-made jerseys: Freshmen and sophomores put their names on the backs while juniors and seniors, many of whom had Mr. Ollivierre as a teacher,   put “Mr. O” on their jerseys.