Faculty teams take to the court

Published 8:04 pm Saturday, March 21, 2009

Raena Lassiter was not happy Thursday night.

With just a few moments left in the game’s first half, Lassiter’s team was not doing very well.

“I’m mad right now,” the Lakeland sophomore said. “The score is 24 to 9, and we’re losing and we’re at Lakeland!”

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Lassiter was one of the couple of hundred students who came out for the faculty basketball game featuring teachers and staff members from each of the three high schools.

Lakeland, which hosted Thursday night’s event, was playing Nansemond River after Nansemond River beat King’s Fork 50-43 in the tournament’s first game.

The Warriors would go on to rather handily beat Lakeland 54-43 as well, becoming the champion school for 2009.

But the game was for more than just bragging rights.

All the proceeds from the game benefited each school’s Parent Teacher Student Association. Tickets were $3 and pre-sold at each of the high schools. The high school’s PTSA got to keep all the sales from their schools, and the money from ticket sales at the door was split between the three. Lakeland’s PTSA got to keep the money from the concession sales. This money will be used to help fund scholarships for graduating students.

Game organizers say this used to be an annual event for the schools, but the games had fallen out of favor for the past couple of years. However, this year, the PTSA wanted to bring it back for the students.

“Al the high school level, you can’t do a fundraiser,” said Karen Rannings, PTSA Treasurer for Lakeland High School. “You can’t do a dance, because the kids won’t come to it. We’ve tried it. You’ve got to think of something they will get excited about. So we thought this would be a good one.”

Rannings said that Lakeland alone had sold 120 tickets to the game.

She added that the idea of a basketball game was a hit not only with students, but the faculty as well. After she told the schools’ principals about the event, staff members were quick to sign up.

“It’s good for the faculty; they have fun with it,” Rannings said.

Even faculty who weren’t playing had fun with it.

A group of Lakeland staff members, “The Lakeland Cavalettes,” came to the game with their set of pom-poms and signs to cheer on their fellow faculty. After a particularly good play, some would even perform high kicks or lead cheers with the crowd.

And the students were there to cheer on their teachers as well.

“We’re having a good time,” Lassiter said, after getting over the score. “We know everyone playing, and we love Lakeland.”

Destiny Skeeter said she was having a good time just watching her basic drawing teacher, Mr. Moberley.

“He’s not doing too well,” she said. “It’s fun just to laugh at him.”

Shakira Lewis, another sophomore at Lakeland, said she thought the event should make a comeback in future years.

“It’s a good idea,” Lewis said. “We don’t have nothing else to do. It keeps us out of trouble.”