The Sheepshead Bay High School Community Battles on the Basketball Court to Raise Money for Hurricane Sandy Relief

Today’s guest blogger is Charlie Fick, Visitor Program Project Leader at City Year New York. Charlie served as a corps member on the Sheepshead Bay High School team last year.

Last Friday, November 16th, Sheepshead Bay High School hosted a student vs. faculty basketball tournament to help raise money for the relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy. The Sheepshead Bay community was hit particularly hard by the devastating storm, with much of the storm’s worst damage hitting the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the school.

The National Grid City Year New York team serving at Sheepshead Bay High School had the opportunity to participate in the fun. “Sheepshead for Sandy” gave students the opportunity to form basketball teams and face off against each other for the chance to compete against the vaunted Faculty/City Year team.  8 teams entered the competition (each paid a small fee to enter the tournament), with each team donning a different colored “Sheepshead for Sandy” t-shirt, while the black-clad Faculty/ National Grid City Year team waited menacingly to face off against the winner.

With a packed gymnasium of students, parents and faculty, the tournament played out in exciting fashion.  Each team had its own spirited cheering fans, who rose and fell with each breakaway lay-up (or in the case of a few more gifted players, slam-dunk), cross-over dribble and three-point bucket.  Each team was coached by a faculty member, who ensured that everyone got minutes on the court.

The festivities were not limited to the action on the basketball court.  The Bombay Steppers, Sheepshead Bay High School’s step team, gave a crowd-rousing step performance.   Following this, the Sheepshead Bay Cheer leading Team, the Sharkettes, took the floor to get the crowd fired up for the championship match between the students and the faculty.  They were not going to be alone in this effort, as a group of male teachers adorned in Sharkette outfits surprised the crowd by coming on to the court and challenging the Sharkettes to a dance-off.  The crowd was very much into the dance battle between the middle-aged teachers and the Sharkettes.

Finally, after hours of anticipation, the showdown between the student champions and the imposing Faculty/CYNY tipped off.  As a member of last year’s team at Sheepshead Bay High School, I joined in on the action, hoping my high school basketball playing experience would help bring our team to victory.  Alas, this was not the case.  Despite (or perhaps more accurately, because of)  our years of experience, the student team proved to be an overwhelming match-up   My dignity doesn’t allow me to report the final score, but needless to say, it wasn’t pretty for the humbled Faculty/CYNY game.

Despite the jarring defeat, it was an incredible event to be a part of, and really showed the spirit of camaraderie that exists down at Sheepshead Bay High School.  Rare is the event that keeps students and faculty at school until well past 8:00 on a Friday night, but the bleachers were packed up until the very end.  This community was rocked by Hurricane Sandy, with many members of the staff and student community having damaged or destroyed homes, and to see the great turnout and bright smiles on everyone’s faces was a delight to see.