Jaguars face new foes

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 1, 2002

During the past month, Dion Tynes and Aric Dickens were part of a King’s Fork Middle School (KFMS) eight-grade boys basketball team that swept the local middle school league, defeating teams from John F. Kennedy, Forest Glen, and John Yeates Middle School on their way to a perfect 6-0 record.

But on Thursday afternoon, the pair had a new, slightly larger set of opponents to deal with. They were part of a group of KFMS students that battled the school faculty and a team of firefighters in a benefit event for the United Way.

&uot;We’re playing against grownups and firefighters!&uot; Dickens exclaimed during a break in the action. &uot;Look how big they are!&uot;

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Given a little time, he was confident about his team’s chances. &uot;If we could practice for a little while, we could definitely beat them.&uot;

The KFMS gym was jammed with students, an unfamiliar situation to Tynes. &uot;It’s hard to get used to playing with so many people in the audience,&uot; he said. &uot;There weren’t this many people at the middle school games.&uot;

Over the past few weeks, KFMS teachers raised $3800 for the charity organization. But their work was far from finished, said faculty member Robert Butler. &uot;When we put everything together, we’d like to raise $5000,&uot; he said. &uot;We should raise at least a thousand today (each student had to pay $2 to attend the event), and the homeroom that raises the most money wins an ice cream party.&uot;

John Sudduth, a firefighter/paramedic at Station Three on White Marsh Road, is a veteran of charity basketball events.

&uot;I’ve played (at KFMS) and at John Yeates,&uot; Sudduth said. &uot;This is good for community service, and it helps the kids. It’s for a good cause, and everyone has fun.&uot;

The event gives Sudduth and his fellow firemen a break from a tough time. &uot;This is our busiest time of the year, with kerosene and oil heaters, and wood stoves burning all the time.&uot;

Gym teacher Tanya Reed was a member of the faculty team. &uot;It’s fun to play against the students, because it lets us show them that we still have our skills,&uot; Reed said. &uot;Just because we’re a little older doesn’t mean we’ve lost our skills!&uot;

To cap off the afternoon, a special guest rode through the KFMS gym on a bicycle: longtime NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman! Actually, it was history teacher James Blow in a mask and several stick-on tattooes.

&uot;I was asked to portray the infamous Rodman!&uot; Blow said with a smile. &uot;Events like this help kids see that there’s more things to work and contribute for than themselves.&uot;