The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

Back in Blue

Parker and latin boys and girls basketball teams face off at UIC
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  • Senior and Varsity Boys Basketball starter Connor Elligan faces a Latin player.

    Photo credit: Cam Routenberg
  • Senior and Varsity Girls Basketball Captain Anna Swanson takes a shot.

    Photo credit: Cam Routenberg
  • Senior and Varsity Girls Basketball Captain Quinn Kass greets teammates as she enters the court.

    Photo credit: Cam Routenberg
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On January 26, Parker and Latin students filled the stands of the UIC Credit Union 1 Arena to watch the annual Blue Out games. While the Blue Out and White Out games may feel very similar, there are differences between the two events.

“Blue out is different from white out because it is the game that Latin hosts. For White Out we host, so we invite a team to play against. Blue Out is Latin’s turn to invite someone to play, which is always us,” senior and girl’s basketball captain Anna Swanson said. “The competition at Blue Out is definitely more intense because we are rivals, and the Latin girls basketball team is always really good. It will be a tough match up.” 

This year, the basketball teams were unable to play at the usual venue, the DePaul basketball arena  in Lincoln Park. When asked about this year’s change in venues, Director of Athletics Bobby Starks said, “Traditionally the venue for both home and away games has been DePaul’s Sullivan McGrath Center, but that space is undergoing renovations, so we had to choose an alternate site. We utilized the Illinois Institute of Technology (ITT) arena through an emerging partnership that we have with that university. Aside from the gymnasium’s slightly limited capacity, our department felt that this was a great venue and other than the final scores, we were pleased with the event.” 

Starks explained why the venue was different from the White Out game. “Latin has chosen a different venue for the Blue Out games, Credit Union 1 Arena on the University of Illinois, Chicago campus. This venue will not have attendance restrictions, so we are excited that our entire school community will have the option to attend. We are pleased that given the disruption with our usual setting, our Varsity teams are able to play at two great college locations this season,” Starks said.

At the White Out games this past December, both the girls and boys teams fell short, losing to their opponents. The final score of the girls game was 48-29, and the boys game ended with a score of 65-46. Although these losses may have been a set back for the teams, both have plans to overcome this setback. “Our team is really focusing on our offensive plays, specifically when going against a man to man defense. This is something pretty new to us so we’ve been working on a couple new plays that I think are really going to work. We ourselves have been working on man to man defense which I would say is definitely a challenge but something that if we keep working on it we will succeed,” Swanson said. “The team has been focusing on our mindset. Latin is always a tough competitor, and it’s easy to take yourself out of the game from your emotions. It’s happened to me before. So I am trying really hard to help the girls keep a positive mindset and even if we are losing or down by X amount, keep going all out and trying their best.”

While the Girls Basketball team developed their own methods and paths to success, the Boys team also developed strategies on how they plan to take down their opponent. The team had been practicing in preparation for Blue Out. “More defensive intensity and playing for full quarters is what we’ve really been working on,” varsity Coach Omni Smith said. “I think this is going to be the time that we turn things around, and become the team that we’re supposed to be.”  

Even though the White Out and Blue Out games presented fierce competition, there were other aspects of these events that both players and fans enjoyed. Swanson’s favorite part of the Blue Out game, “would either be my friends coming to the game all dressed up with posters and pom-poms or the court. The fans are always super fun to have at the games. They always totally change the energy of the game, and it’s fun to be celebrated, especially since some of our other games don’t have much attendance. The court is also a super special experience. When we were playing on DePaul’s court it was always really nice because that was a lot of the girls’ first or even last time playing on a college court. This year was a little different but the court was still very nice. Wherever we play for blue out, I’m sure it will be great so it will be exciting.” 

Although the players have an amazing experience at the Blue Out games, fans also have highlights from both games. Freshman Phoebe Zoller was at her first White Out game in December. “As a fan, my favorite part of the White Out game was being with my friends. Since I’m new this year, I had never attended a Parker basketball game as a student, so it was really exciting to go to White Out and be with my friends in the bleachers as well as supporting my friends on the court. I’m super excited to go to the Blue Out games and do the same, but hopefully beat Latin this time,” Zoller said.

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About the Contributor
Sascha Keller, Staff Writer
Sascha is so exited to start her first year on the Weekly! If she isn’t writing, Sascha will most likely be found spending time with her friends and family.