by Brennan Erickson
Blood, sweat, tears and trash talk: some of the many components that make Westfield in-town basketball so popular. Dec. 6 marks the start of the 2014-2015 season.
This year, there are 717 participants, according to 11th/12th Grade Commissioner Mr. Scott Kraus. In-town basketball is a competitive league for boys in Westfield in grades 2–12. To participate, players must register online and a draft determines the teams.
Kraus said: “[The atmosphere] is awesome. All of the kids have some sort of athletic ability, making it very competitive.” He said he enjoys his job since no parents are involved, it’s only the kids. He added: “They are very responsible. It’s like dealing with young adults.”
The High School games are played Saturday afternoons in the WHS gym. The Westfield Basketball Association runs the league. Seniors coach the Junior/Senior league whereas parents coach the Freshman/Sophomore league.
Last week, senior Player-Coach James Goldberger said, “I’m looking forward to the draft and putting a great squad together.”
Another player-coach, senior Jack Siegel said, “Being a coach is going to take a lot of responsibility, since Matt Friedman and I have to draft a team and are responsible for how we draft.”
He added, “It’s exciting to be coaching since we’re the two that the team will look up to during the game, and that is humbling.”
Junior J. Mack Rembisz reflected on last season. He said: “I have to keep playing my brick wall defense and cover my man like white on rice up and down the court."
Sophomore Max Budashewitz has been playing in-town for the past two years with his friends. He said, “I like it because it’s competitive but I do not have to worry about playing time.”
The season ends on March 14, but the experience lives on. WHS 2014 alum Joe Alameno said: “I miss it—the environment, the showmanship of it, competing against your friends, there’s nothing like it. You just don’t get that kind of rush anymore.”