STHS hoop club samples Vegas, D.C. |

STHS hoop club samples Vegas, D.C.

Michael Traum

South Tahoe High’s boys basketball club recently completed its annual summer trip. It was an adventure, aside from an ugly incident during one game, that coach Tom Orlich characterized as a success.

“Overall, we had a good trip. The competition was a lot better this year and we performed a lot better,” said Orlich, whose team played four games in Las Vegas before heading to Washington, D.C., and Maryland for three contests from July 27 through Aug. 7.

The Vikings opened the trip at the American Roundball Tournament in Las Vegas, beating Santa Ana by 30 and a school from San Diego by 30 before losing to a Washington state all-star team by one and a Utah all-star team by two.

The team then headed East, beating its first opponent by 30 points. But trouble emerged in the second contest.

In a contest against Baltimore’s Southern High School, a squad that returned four of five starters from last year’s nationally ranked team, Tahoe had a 10-point lead with under one minute to play. But things got ugly when a Baltimore player apparently got frustrated and decided to take it out on Tahoe’s Josh David. The player reportedly punched David, knocking him to the floor and hitting him a couple more times before he could be restrained. David was unconscious for more than three minutes and taken by ambulance to the hospital where he was held for observation overnight before being released.

David is OK, having suffered a mild concussion and a couple of stitches above his left eye. The team filed a police report on the alleged aggressor, and Orlich said team representatives won’t need to be present should further legal action occur.

“It wasn’t even a fight. The kid just hit Josh. None of the other players got into it. But that ended the game right there. We weren’t going to finish a summer league game after that,” said Orlich, who said his team wouldn’t play any more on the trip unless qualified referees were present. “Some of their players came up afterwards and apologized for their teammate. Fortunately Josh was alright. They found nothing wrong with him. We don’t know what’s going to happen now (to the other player).”

Tahoe, playing with “real referees,” finished the trip without David with an 18-point loss to Santa Maria High School. The team missed one contest while spending time at the hospital.

While in the nation’s capitol, the players visited many historical sights and other areas of interest. Players teamed to write accounts of their trip. Excerpts of those diaries follow:

Aug. 2 – Travis Moore and Derek Pakes

Being in Washington, D.C. is really something special. Today we visited many of the memorials such as the Lincoln, Jefferson and Vietnam Wall. Going through these memorials seemed to bring the same theme – to honor and celebrate our freedom.

At the Vietnam Wall and the Korean Memorial, we learned that our freedom that we take for granted every day is not free. On the wall you read thousands of names of men who died for us, and that is just one war. Americans have been dying to save our great republic since we earned the right to call ourselves Americans by defeating the British.

We also visited the presidents’ memorials. These memorials celebrate our great leaders of our country. Washington lead us through the Revolutionary War. If it were not for his great leadership, we would not be where we are today. Jefferson was a great thinker. He helped to write our Declaration of Independence. Lincoln was our president during the Civil War. He believed that all men were created equal. And last but not least, Roosevelt (FDR), who got our country through one of our worst times – the Great Depression. He brought forth his four freedoms that all Americans should have. Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and the freedom from fear.

Seeing the great presidents who helped build our country and seeing the names of all the soldiers who died for us makes us appreciate what we have 10 times more now that I have been here. I am grateful to the thousands and thousands of soldiers who have died to keep us free and the people who have made our country great.

Aug. 3 – Andy Butcher, James Clemmer and Travis McCollum

What a relieving day for the team! After such a hectic and very emotional day for all of us, coach took us to Kings Dominion, a roller coaster and water park by Richmond, Va. Most of the rides were fun, but the old wooden ones jerked us around like rag dolls. They had games and some of us tried or won big, fluffy animals for our loved ones. A new ride opened at 3 p.m. and it looked really fun, but it was a ridiculously long four-hour wait, so no one went on it. To conclude the exciting day, James Clemmer and Travis McCullum sang Karaoke in front of the whole park. Travis sang “UmmBopp” by Hanson, while James got his swerve-on.

On our way back to D.C. we stopped at Potomac Mills, the largest mall in America. There we ate dinner and watched a movie. Before, though, we went into a sports store and the whole team pitched in $10 and got Josh (David) a new pair of basketball shoes, new shorts, and boxer-briefs, because the ambulance (workers) had cut them.

The movie we had seen was one of the most nonfictional, and very well-done war movies our team has seen. Coach Bartleson, who has had war experience, said that it was very lifelike. In the movie each soldier had a story, and I felt like I got a smack in the face about life. It made me personally realize how much we take for granted, and Casey Kaczmarek and some of the other guys felt the same way. This was one of the 13 exciting days we had.

Aug. 4 – Norman Cabanero and Ryan Griffith

On one of the many days of our trip we visited many memorial places such as the famous Ford’s Theatre. Ford’s Theatre is where one of our most known presidents died, Abraham Lincoln. The assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was supposed to kidnap Abraham, but when things went wrong John was desperate and planned to assassinate Abraham. Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theatre, 10:15 p.m., April 14, 1865.

Another place where we visited was the Holocaust Memorial Museum. The museum is one of the new monuments that honors not one person but millions. The museum showed many things the Nazis did to the Jewish people, such as burning synagogues, putting them in concentration camps and more. One of the exhibits showed how Nazi doctors did experiments on the Jews – for example, stabbed a dwarf to see bone structure, how long will last in ice water, and more.

Later that day we went to see the Bill of Rights, Constitution, and Declaration of Independence. We also saw the Magna Carta, the letter that we sent King George to tell him that we didn’t want to be part of English rule anymore. The vault that the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence were in was really cool. It’s 7-1/2-feet long, 5-feet wide, and 6-feet high. Its walls are made of reinforced concrete and steel. If there is a nuclear bomb threat it goes 22 feet underground. It always does this at 9 every night, so (the documents) will always be here. After that, we went to the Smithsonian of Gems, Rocks and Minerals. I thought that was cool because this is the Smithsonian where you can see dinosaurs, gems, planets and the Hope Diamond. The Hope Diamond was great; it was huge. The dinosaurs were huge, too.

Aug. 5 – Adam Williams and Josh David

Today we woke up at 6:30 a.m. to get ready for our tour of the White House. At 7 a.m. we started walking to the White House. It didn’t take us long to get there but the line for the tour was pretty long. The tour lasted about an hour. We went through the East Wing. The East Wing is the Green Room, Blue Room, Red Room and the China Room. The color rooms are rooms in which different presidents would go to relax in. The China Room was a showcase of some of the types of china different presidents liked and ate off of.

Right after the tour we walked to the FBI building. This was one of the best tours we went on. We got to see the top 10 most wanted people in America. We also got to see pictures of old-time gangsters like the Dillinger Gang and many others.

The two best parts of the tour was being able to see all the different types of guns that were in the world. But by far the best part was the live shooting demonstration of some different types of guns. After the tour was done we went and ate at a mall.

Next we took the Metro to the Pentagon. We were unable to take the tour of the building, but we were able to talk to a one star general. He told us many interesting facts about the Pentagon. Twenty thousand people work there and if you ran around the Pentagon at a jogging pace it would take an hour or more to do one full circle. We were only able to stay for a few minutes, then we went back to the dorms.

Later that night we went to a parade (Twilight Tattoo) that the Old Guard of the 3rd U.S. Infantry puts on. It is a 700-man regiment. The Fire and Drum Corps, the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard, the Continental Color Guard and the United States Drill Team represent the U.S. Army in parades like the one we saw. After the parade was over we played a game of football on the grass, then went back to the dorms and called it a night.

Aug. 6 – Matt Kegich and Beau Barkley

We woke up today knowing it was our last night in Washington. After breakfast we headed toward Baltimore, Md. to play another team. Once we arrived at the school, our JV team had a quick warmup and won their game. Directly after their game, our varsity played. Though being physically tired we put out our best effort, even though we lost. At the end of both games the other team invited us for pizza, soda and ice cream. We gave our thanks and left back for D.C. We had an hour to get dressed in our dress clothes and went out to dinner, celebrating a great trip. The restaurant, called “Gadsby’s Tavern,” was set in elegant colonial dining rooms. The food was great and there was even entertainment. After dinner we walked along the shops until it was time to leave. Our next stop was to the Lincoln Memorial. Even though we already visited the memorial, it was a tradition to see it again at night, before we left. While on this trip we learned how close our team really was.

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