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Trojans hope for good things from Orlando trip

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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Steve Scott and Steve White have wanted to take a basketball trip together for years, but it never worked out.

This year it has, as Scott and the Oak Ridge varsity boys’ basketball team, along with White and the varsity girls’ team leave Thursday for Orlando, Fla. The teams will each play three games in the KSA Holiday Tournament, while also enjoying a day at Disney World.

“Steve brought it up years ago when he was here the first time that he wanted to take a trip together,” White said. “He found a tournament, we approached the parents to make sure they were onboard and then had to start raising money so we could do it.”
Scott added, “We had talked about it years ago and I found this tournament and Steve said if we’re going then they’re going so now we’re doing it. It will be a fun trip and it’s also good to play different teams and see different styles.”

The trip is funded through the basketball programs and several fundraisers that the teams participated in, including money raised through basketball tournaments and camps, selling Christmas trees, car washes, a free throw contest and a basketball program to name a few.

It wasn’t as difficult to put the trip together as one might think. KSA Events sets the itinerary and handles scheduling the airfare, hotel, most of the meals and the basketball schedule. The biggest responsibility of the basketball program, parents and players is the fundraising.

“It would have been a lot harder had we been without a great group of parents and volunteers,” Scott said. “Shannon Sende, Betty Williams and others have done a lot of the work. Fundraising and raising money has been the most challenging part from the standpoint of time. This is something we can’t do every year. Maybe every other year or every three years.”

For the players, they’re certainly looking forward to playing in the tournament and going to Disney World.

“I think it’s really cool to be going on this trip,” said senior Josh Simms. “I want to go down there and win the tournament. I hope we improve and play together and become more of a family. It will be cool to bond with the girls’ team too.”

Junior Jenn Hoffman added, “I’m looking forward to the trip. I think it will be fun for the team, and I hope we will play hard. It’s good experience to play harder teams and see how we do.”

Hoffman’s teammate, senior Haley Anderson, is hoping the team improves from playing in the tournament.

“We’re hoping to get a lot out of it before league play begins,” Anderson said. “Disney World will be fun, but this is a business trip first. We’re definitely looking to refine our offense and get into the intricacies of what we do. We also want to see how our press works against other teams, because that’s one of our go-to things.”

Senior Bryan Bare can’t wait for the trip.

“I’m excited for the team because I think we’ve got a good chance to win it,” Bare said. “We’ve got a good bunch of guys and we all get along so it should be fun. We need wins badly and I think it will be good to play teams that don’t know us or the type of defense we play. We’re going to see how we do and hopefully we can pull off some wins.”

Not surprising, the coaches are hoping for the same thing as the players.

“We want to building team chemistry and see how our leaders evolve,” White said. “We’ll be playing different types of teams and it’s good to see how we respond in the moment. The good competition will help prepare us for league. With the boys going too, we want to create some unity among programs.”

Scott added, “We want to win three games for starters, but it’s also nice for the kids to see another part of the country and enjoy Disney World. I’m hoping the team grows closer together and that will benefit us when we need to play like that.”