Thursday, March 19, 2009

March Madness

"Back in the day" one of the best local high school rivalries was between the girls' basketball teams of St. Ben's and Villa. The former, the Academy of the Benedictine Sisters, the latter that of the Sisters of St. Joseph. All games were attended by quite a few sisters and there were years when sisters were also the coaches. The first games I followed were held at Cauley Memorial Auditorium on E. 4th St. in the early 1960s, when 400-500 would attend the local recreational league's championship between the two.

Many of today's community members were players on those teams and in the 1970s and 80s I was part of that rivalry myself when the games were played in front of many more than just 400 fans.

The year SBA closed (1988) their team won the District X title in their division and went far into the state playoffs, almost making it to the state championship game. Their best showing ever.

Flash forward to the present. Today many of us still support and attend girls' basketball games during March Madness. We all follow Villa's team. This year's is a great one as they have advanced to the state championship game in the AA playoffs. It will be played tomorrow on the campus of Penn State University. Today's players include daughters and nieces of both SBA and VMA alumnae--who cheer together in the stands for "their" team.

This will be the 5th appearance of the Villa Victors in the state championship game. Four runner-up trophies are on display at the school. Maybe this time they'll come home with the championship trophy.

Photo courtesy of the Erie Times News.

Not only does she organize the March Art Show, run our "Chapter 57" gift shop, but she still finds time to produce her own art. Here is a beautiful piece by Margaret Ann Pilewski, OSB.