BHS basketball teams schedule alumni scrimmages
Boys’ team using event as fundraiser
Both Baldwin High School basketball teams will be hosting alumni scrimmages next month, but Eric Toot is changing the way he does the boys’ contest this year.
Instead of having his boys’ squad scrimmage a handful of recent graduates, the BHS coach wants alumni to play alumni as a fundraiser for the program. It’s been something he’s tried to plan since he took over reins of the program more than three years ago.
“In the past, we’ve invited a few guys back to scrimmage our kids,” Toot said. “This is actually more of an alumni night, where alumni will play alumni. It’s supposed to be fun and be a fundraiser for our program. I really want to get the alumni back involved, because it was one of my goals when I took the job. Now that things are in place, I have time to take the next step and try something like this.”
Toot is inviting all former BHS boys’ players back for an alumni versus alumni game. The first game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Baldwin Junior High School gymnasium.
He wants to have two full games that night. The first game will be the younger guys — ages 30 and under. The second game will be ages 31 and over, but those ages could change, depending on the number of participants and their ages.
“I’ve talked to a lot of people I went to school with,” Toot said. “I want them to understand that someone old like me isn’t going to be playing some 21 year old. We’re hoping to have enough for two games. We will have prizes and hope for a good time.”
The cost of the game will be $20 per player. Checks should be made out to Baldwin Basketball. Anyone interested in playing can contact Toot by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thus far, Toot’s heard very little from any former players, but he’s hoping to have a high number of participants.
“Right now, I’ve talked to a few people, but I haven’t really had anybody respond,” Toot said. “They might when it gets closer. Hopefully, someone will put it on Facebook and the word will spread there.”
There will also be sandwiches and drinks following the scrimmages, along with prizes and old uniforms for sale. Toot also said the ultimate goal of the night is to raise money for the program and have fun.
“At this point, each program is pretty much on their own as far as raising money,” Toot said. “We have some good things in place with our youth camp and Thomas the Tank has done great things for us. When I took over the program, we were so far behind with uniforms and warm-ups, but I feel really good with what we’ve accomplished and where we’re at right now. I don’t like to sell things, so I want to do something that’s productive where we can make some money, too.”
On the other side, the BHS girls will continue with their normal alumni scrimmage that’s been going on for several years. It is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 22 at the BHS gym.
Coach Bob Martin always enjoys alumni scrimmage for a few reasons.
“The alumni game is always a lot of fun,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll have a lot of girls back this year to play. It’s always good for our girls to compete against them. Of course, it’s not a real game, so you can’t have officials or keep score. We get a little something out of playing them each year, plus it’s nice for them to see all of those girls coming back. It’s one of the best nights of the year.”
When the Bulldogs began scrimmaging the alumni in 2004, the only former players who participated were those who recently graduated. Last year, a couple of players who graduated in the 1990s also participated. Martin expects about the same this year.
“We’ve had a really good turnout nearly every year,” Martin said. “I hope we get a large turnout this year, too. Normally, you get the more recent classes to come back and play, but it’s fun to get some of those older classes to come back, too. It’s just fun to see all of those girls come play.”
In the girls’ version, the current team scrimmages the former players that come back to participate. Although no score is kept and the referees aren’t truly official, Martin believes it’s a good challenge for his squad every year.
“They see different kinds of things, so that makes it a really good practice,” Martin said. “Plus, it’s the last thing we do before break. During those last two days after our last game and before break, it’s always hard to figure out what to do to get the most out of the practices. We always get something good out of the alumni scrimmage. Like I said, it’s usually one of the best days of the season.”