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Night League dribbles into playoffs

Night League teams prepare to compete for the coveted Golden Shoe

Robert Pettas

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The NHL has the Stanley Cup, the NFL has Lombardi Trophy, Night League has the Golden Shoe. Three of the most iconic and coveted trophies in the sports world.

With the playoffs beginning next week, the race for the Golden Shoe is heating up.

A front-runner in this race with high expectations is The U. Over the offseason, Senior JP Sheridan was recruited by The U, and after leaving his old team in a very Kevin Durant-like move, his addition cemented The U as a dominant team.

At 8-0, The U is looking to remain undefeated, capture their second golden shoe, and leave high school on top.

“JP was a key offseason acquisition. In our high-low offense, he can either drive with the ball, or hit shots from behind the arch. He is always in the mix and has a high basketball IQ,” said senior Kyle Retondo of The U.

While The U may expected to win it all, The Bronski Boyz have a different outcome in mind, “We have good chemistry and fundamentals,” said senior Cam Klineberg.

With their athleticism, chemistry, fundamentals, and having won the championship last year, the Bronski Boyz are by no means underdogs. Expect the Bronski Boyz to turn it on during the playoffs.

On the losing side of last year’s championship was Loyola Girls Basketball. Michael Mogentale of Loyola Girls Basketball said, “I feel that we have a good shot of winning this year. We were going for our first Golden Shoe last year, and the game was intense and getting chippy, but that’s what makes Night League great.”

The physicality of the Night League games shows that these athletes are ready to lay it all on the line for a shot at the Golden Shoe. Yet, the games can get physical at times.

In last year’s championship game, senior Max Rosenthal went up for a rebound and came down awkwardly, tearing his ACL. “It was terrible, but I injured myself in the championship game, I was giving it my all. When I heard we had won the game, though, it eased the pain a bit,”  he said.

A possible dark horse in the upcoming playoffs is the 5-3 Bruntyardigans. “We’re definitely the dark horse in the playoffs this year. We’re going to upset a team that’s not going to take us seriously,” said team member Charlie Blackwell.

In other news, there will be a secondary night league tournament for the Silver Shoe (not to be confused with the coveted Golden Shoe).

The Weiyiayia will be competing in the secondary Silver Shoe bracket with a 1-7 record. The subpar record could be due to a lack of regular attendance. However, senior Aris Loukis said, “We try to make teams adjust by playing 4 on 5, just give them a look they’re not used to. It hasn’t work out too well to this point. But, we’re going to give it our all in the playoffs.”

That’s the difference with the Golden Shoe. Throw out the records, anything can happen out on the hardwood. The players compete for the love of the game and the teammate next to them, not for the fame or the endorsement deals that come with it.

From the hard early morning workouts in the gym, to hitting the showers with your teammates after the game, it’s all worth it for that final sweet moment of raising the Golden Shoe, as a champion.

With playoffs rapidly approaching, all of New Trier waits with baited breath to see who can capture the Golden Shoe. It’ll be a wild ride, so buckle up folks.

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The student news site of New Trier High School.
Night League dribbles into playoffs