Twas the night before New Year’s Day when all through the town,  

Basketballs were bouncing, bouncing around.

The nets were hung by the rim with care, In hopes that Robert Strzemp would soon be there.

The fans were nestled all snug in the seats at the gym,

Envisioning the Fenwick girls’ basketball team returning to the State Finals once again.

When, what to everyone’s wondering eyes should arrive?

But Peter Flowers’ 3-pointer at the buzzer in the nick of time.

Without dour, without cower,

There strolled the winning coach named Dave Power.

More rapid than eagles his Friars they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Rebound Peters! Take it Kloak! It’s all you Johnson!

“Musselman, Mulhern and DiCanio, way to stop them!

“Get back Woods! Play up Kelly! Box-out Jackson!

“Jodoin, Power, Harper and Harvey, great reaction!

“To the top of the key! To the top of the rankings in the state!

“Now dash away! Dash away, dash away on a fast break!”

So atop the rankings the Friars they remain,

Ready for business before every game.

From the bench it was Al Allen we heard,

Praying that Evan Hilton could soon return.

In the quest for trophies and ribbons,

For now, it’s in the hands of Strzemp, Sims and Simmons.

As we smile at the wins, and the losses we frown,

There goes Howard Boone slamming it down. 

The Fenwick boys’ team is making its own fate,

With Johnson, Marifjeren, and Alexander the Great.

They’re back from the holiday jingle,

Off the bench comes, Burchett, Byrne and Bingle.

Nielsen, he’s a monster on boards, and Delaney runs the court,

But it’s Marifjeren who sticks to his man like salicylic acid on a wart.

Johnson and Johnson and Johnson and Johnson, now
that’s a lot,

There is Brittney, Kelvin, Lykendra and Brittanny, and they all have a wicked jump-shot.   

Trinity, you’re up and down,

It’s hard to know exactly where you stand in town.

You lost to Fenwick, but by just a few,

Then took knocks from Benet, Loyola, and Marian
Catholic too.

But we are encouraged by your moxie and your style;

We just hope to see a coach stick around for awhile.

But that’s here nor there, and to each their own;

You’ve got quite a spark in little Alison Sansone.

Points, rebounds, blocks and assists;

It’s her near perfect free-throw shooting that gives
everyone fits.

Now fatigue may settle in, and some teams may become

But the future looks promising, for Brooks Middle School went undefeated. 

So let the hardwood shine, the backboard glass glisten,

All the teams in Oak Park and River Forest are on a mission.

To win, to have fun, they do strive,

Making us all look forward to 2005.


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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...