Stars shoot for different hoops

Instead of playing for STA’s basketball team some students are playing with an organization called CYO.


Junior Natalie Kistler shoots a freethrow to warm up for her team’s first CYO basketball practice Nov. 30 in Goppert. The team practiced in preparation for their first game Saturday, Dec. 3. photo by Sophie Sakoulas

by Victoria Cahoon and Sophie Sakoulas

story by Victoria Cahoon

You dribble down the court, pass the ball, get the ball back, dribble some more and soon enough the ball is leaving your hands as it flies into the hoop. There isn’t a loud cheer from the stands but a slight “yes” and a high five or two from your teammates as you run back to your side of the court. This is a reality for those who play on a CYO team, instead of playing on the STA basketball team.

CYO is the abbreviation of the Catholic Youth Organization whose purpose, according to their official website, “is to organize, coordinate, foster, and encourage activities, especially athletic, for all youth of Archdiocesan parishes that participate in accordance with Christian Sportsmanship standards.” Every team is sponsored by a different diocesan parish in the area that works together with CYO to create a schedule of games for the participants.

Junior Maureen Egan played STA basketball freshman year but now plays CYO because CYO provided a way to continue to play a sport without it being too competitive.

“I [played STA basketball] freshman year and was on the freshman team. It was really fun but I didn’t think I was good enough to play on JV or varsity,” Egan said. “I also play softball so I really only wanted one serious sport.”

Along with varying intensity, CYO and STA basketball varies in time commitment. A majority of CYO teams only practice few times during the season while the STA basketball teams practice six times a week. Senior Natalie Hull, who has been on the STA basketball team for three years, believes that there’s also a big difference in seriousness.

“I think people choose to play CYO instead of playing at STA because it is a lot less of a time commitment and CYO isn’t taken as seriously all the time,” Hull said.

Associate Athletic Director and basketball head coach Amanda Hanneman agrees that time commitment affects students decisions to play CYO instead of STA.

“Basketball is a very long season, it’s over the course of six months, unlike other sports that are only three,” said Hanneman. “Also, at STA and how I run my program, we treat it like a high level performance program, and we have preseason workouts and postseason workouts which is very different from CYO.”

Hanneman thinks that the STA team shouldn’t forget to have fun while working during the season and the same goes to those playing for CYO.

“We encourage [the team] to have fun and hang out with your best friends, but there is still that fine line of working hard to achieve the overall goal,” Hanneman said. “With CYO, what I’ve heard and what I’ve seen it’s about having fun, which there is nothing wrong with that.”

photos by Sophie Sakoulas

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