Holley, Kendall teachers play for a good cause

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 March 2014 at 12:00 am
Justin Tese of Holley

Photo by Tom Rivers – Justin Tese, a Holley special education teacher, tries to drive by two Kendall defenders during a faculty basketball game.

KENDALL – Two schools with a long-lasting rivalry joined forces for a good cause on March 20 when Holley and Kendall teachers laced up their sneakers for a game of basketball.

The schools sold 500 tickets at $2 each. The fund-raiser netted $500 each for the Kendall Food Cupboard at the United Methodist Church and the Holley Loaf and Ladle at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

“I knew the two towns would come together for something like this,” said Jason Cole, who graduated from Kendall and teaches high school math at Holley.

Justin Laureano of Kendall

Photo by Tom Rivers – Justin Laureano of Kendall drives with the ball.

The Kendall faculty won the game, 55-44. Kendall Principal Carol D’Agostino served as the public address announcer and she mixed in a lot of banter when teachers nailed three-pointers and shot air balls. Colt Tooley, the junior high boys basketball coach, was the top scorer, hitting several three-pointers.

Kendall faculty have played state troopers and teachers from Albion and Byron-Bergen in recent years. Kevin Watson, Kendall’s athletic director, thought a game with the school’s top rival would draw a big crowd, and could net some funds for a good cause.

He approached Dan Courtney, Holley’s AD, about a benefit game between the two schools. Courtney agreed and the game – “Cause for the County” – was talked up in both communities.

“Holley was willing to do it right off the bat,” Watson said after catching his breath from the action on court. “It’s a big rivalry so it makes sense to play each other.”

Kendall Cheerleaders

Photo by Tom Rivers – The Kendall cheerleaders performed at halftime and cheered throughout the game.

The game was such a success that the two schools hope to make it an annual tradition.

“We’ll do it every year, although we may pick different causes in the community,” Watson said.

The game had the added gimmick of a wrestling match between two Kendall teachers. The match between biology teacher Tige Noni and math teacher Dan Boyd was supposed to be a low-profile battle at a wrestling practice.

Kendall wrestling

Photo by Tom Rivers – Dan Boyd gets a take down on Tige Noni.

Kendall Wrestling Winner

Photo by Tom Rivers – Tige Noni is the winner of a wrestling match between two Kendall teachers. Dan Boyd did score a takedown in the battle.

But students and staff heard about it and the match was worked into the benefit game. Boyd is a newcomer to the sport, and he managed a double-leg takedown on Noni, the more experienced wrestler. Noni then reversed the takedown, and was able to pin Boyd with a half nelson. The match drew loud cheering. Noni was presented with a trophy and a championship belt.

“I figured we would wrestle at practice but this really blew up,” Noni said. “It was fun and we were both willing to do it for charity.”

Kendall students videotaped both wrestlers earlier in March and prepared promotional videos that were shown in school. Boyd was shown training with the Rocky theme song.

After the wrestling match, Noni and Boyd both played in the basketball game.

Dan Kelly offers instruction to Kendall faculty team

Photo by Tom Rivers – Dan Kelly, a high school senior, offers instructions to the Kendall faculty team.

The Kendall squad was coached by Dan Kelly, a high school senior. He was animated by the team’s bench, shouting instructions. His coach, Justin Laureano, played for the Kendall faculty team.

“It’s been fun spending time with the teachers,” Kelly said about coaching the team. “I got to yell at my coach the way he yells at me.”