Coronavirus has taken away many opportunities and experiences for everyone in the Saint Robert community, but now the eight graders have lost a once in a lifetime experience of participating in the Padre Serra Tournament. The Padre Serra tournament nicknamed The Padre, has officially been canceled, leaving eight graders very disappointed. For years the eighth grade class has been dreaming of playing in and possibly winning the Padre. It is every child’s dream to win this tournament, but sadly no one will ever know how the class of 2020 would have placed. Saint Robert could have won first, but instead, they won the privilege of staying home and social distancing for the rest of their eighth grade year.
Everyone is disappointed about the cancelation of the Padre, but the eighth graders are really the ones that are affected the most. When the eighth graders were asked how they felt about losing the Padre, Christina, an eighth grader, said, “Losing the Padre is just such a bummer.” Her classmate Max stated, “I really wanted to make some fun memories,” Likewise, Flannery captured everyone’s opinion when she shared, “All I wanted was to have some fun playing basketball.” While some feel the sting of disappointment, others still cannot wrap their heads around the loss. In fact either grader Ava sighed, “I cannot believe that this happened.” Another 8th grader, Jack added, “This all feels like a dream.”
Many eighth graders had high hopes of winning the Padre fulfilling the tedious work they had previously put in through countless hours of practices, games, and physical work. Both the boys and girls teams knew their basketball teams were strong this year, and believed they would make it far in the Padre. Lily says, “Saint Robert just lost a few banners.” The girls and boys basketball teams both had amazing records and tournament placings heading into the Padre tournament. Throughout the eighth grade girls time playing basketball, they had never placed less than 3rd in a tournament, almost always bringing home Saint Robert a trophy. The boys basketball team has also brought home Saint Robert some amazing trophies from challenging tournaments. Flannery says, “We were a really good team, a really good team with a great chance to win the Padre, but now we will never know.” The girls and boys of Saint Robert worked hard to have their hopes and dreams lost with no way to determine just how good they really were. Now, their communities will never see.
Even though there are many people going through rough times there have been some great memories in basketball that have brought the eighth graders closer as a whole, reminding everyone why they are a team no matter the tournament status. Before the cancelation of the Padre was known, the eighth grade girls received nicknames that described inside jokes or good features about their game play. The nicknames included: “The best from the midwest” Mara “weak side rebound”, “The baby-Faced assassin” Lindsey “Louisiana”, Trixie “Bad News”, Audrey “Slingshot”, “Smilin” Lily “ UTEP Two-Step”, “Southpaw” Ava, “Machine Gun” Evie, “The big Easy” “The Enforcer” “D-MAck” Dana, “The Dribbler on the Roof”, “The Energizing Bunny” “The Houdini of the Hardwood” Sammy “The Magician”, and “Splash Gordon Flankenstein The Flanimal” Flannery “The Mailman”.
Other memories that bring a smile to their faces include when the eighth graders supported each other at games, cheering and inspiring eachother even when their team did not win. No matter what, all eighth grade students will not forget these memories, even if they are not playing for white and blue. At the end of the day, is that not what matters most?