LYNN– Being a student-athlete stretches beyond the responsibilities that come with sports and academics. It’s also about being involved in the community and giving back to those who’ve helped guide you along the way. The Classical girls basketball team doesn’t take that lightly.
Thursday night (at 7 p.m.) the Rams will host their second annual Teacher Appreciation Night when they take on Northeastern Conference rival Swampscott at Classical.
Each player invited two members of the Classical community (teachers, administrators, support staff) to Thursday’s game.
“This is our second year doing this,” Classical coach Tom Sawyer said. “The idea was to give the players an opportunity to show their appreciation for a couple members of their choosing from the Classical community, whether it be a teacher, an administrator or a member of the support staff. It’s just a way of saying ‘thank you’ for helping our student-athletes navigate through their years of high school. We had a great turnout last year and we’re hoping for the same this year.”
Each invitation included a few sentences, written by the players, highlighting why that member was chosen as an invited guest.
“I read each one before they were given out and was impressed by what I read from the players,” Sawyer said.
“It’s just a small token to let the Classical community know that we appreciate what they do.”
The Rams make it a priority to stay involved in their community while giving back in whatever ways they can. Saturday morning they hosted a youth girls basketball clinic at Classical after a late bus ride home from Gloucester the night before.
“It’s about being involved in the community,” Sawyer said. “That’s evident by all the girls showing up at 8:15 in the morning Saturday to put on a clinic for Lynn youth. That’s an important part of who we are and what we are. As representatives of the school and the basketball program, that’s very important to us.”
Those invited to Thursday’s game are likely to see a good one. Swampscott’s 10-2 on the season and has already qualified for the state tournament. Classical’s 8-5 after last Friday’s win over the Fishermen, just two wins away from a postseason berth.
The Big Blue defeated the Rams, 44-41, in the first meeting between the two on Dec. 20.
“Swampscott’s ranked No. 20 in Eastern Mass.,” Sawyer said. “They’re having a good year. They got us by three (points) at their place. We’re hoping to have a good showing against them, for sure.”
Friday night, the Rams will host their annual Alumni Reunion Night during their home game against Medford at 7 p.m. The team invites all former players and coaches to watch the current version of the Rams and join them for a social gathering at a local restaurant after the game.