Teachers suit up to raise money for Project Graduation
By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Withstanding a furious comeback effort, the Niles High School team held off the Middle School/Elementary team for a 51-49 victory in Monday night's Faculty Hoops Night in the high school gymnasium.
The final score, however, was not the most important set of numbers from the evening.
The Faculty Hoops Night was a major fundraiser for the Niles High School/Cedar Lane Project Graduation 2004, an alcohol- and drug-free celebration for the Class of 2004 upon its graduation.
Al Hunt and his wife, Mickie, are in charge of this year's Project Graduation for Niles Community Schools and Monday's Faculty Hoops Night was one of many fundraisers needed to finance the end-of-year event.
Faculty Hoops Night was staged similarly to one of the regular varsity basketball games, complete with concessions, referees, coaches, official scorer and scoreboard operator, public address announcer Rick McKeel and Project Graduation's 50-50 raffle.
Monday's game pitted a team of faculty from the high school against a team of faculty from Ring Lardner Middle School and the elementary schools.
The high school team was coached by Art Zache and the middle school/elementary squad was coached by Zech Hoyt.
Zache ended up leading all scorers with 14 points, including four 3-pointers. Mike Vota added 12 points for the high school team, including a breakaway slam-dunk.
Hoyt paced his team with 12 points and Chris Cockerel added nine points.
The high school team consisted of Zache, Vota, Dan Applegate, Jim Arnold, George Brawley, Jami Foster, April Payne, Steve Grayson, Pat Stier, Matt Hunkler, Jennifer Schembri, Jo Shau, Steve Karsten and Matt Hamill.
The middle school/elementary team consisted of Hoyt (Ballard), Cockerel (Ring Lardner), Beverly Daugherty (Ring Lardner), Jennifer Lyle (Ballard), Jim Wilson (East Side), Chris Danapilis (Ballard), Dave Schiele (Oak Manor), Tim Bagby (Ballard), Mike Gallo (Ring Lardner), Bruce Evick (Ballard), Niki Ray (Ring Lardner), Tami Williams (Ring Lardner) and Linda Dyszkiewicz (Ring Lardner).
The middle school/elementary team also had a cheerleading squad, made up of Ann James (Ring Lardner), Susan White (Ballard), Heather Hoedema (Ballard), Cheryl Malinowski (Ring Lardner), Jeannie Gilbert (Ballard), Alicia Ruff (RIng Lardner), Trevonda Goins (Ballard), Jennier Gormley (Ballard), Juli Findeisen (Ballard) and Cheri Schaller (Ballard).
Ted Potts and Robert Smith served as referees.