Archdiocese Local Religious life

All rev’d up

Not even a leaky roof can stop the Runnin’ Revs

by Joe Bollig

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Was the outcome ever in doubt? No, but the score is never the bottom line when the Runnin’ Revs face the Serra All Stars. 

The annual games, sponsored by local Serra Clubs and the archdiocesan vocations office, are an opportunity for fun, fellowship and vocations promotion. Organizers hope that teenage hoopsters find the priesthood a little more intriguing when their pastor is burning them from the 3-point line.

The first of the Revs’ three-game season was held March 9 at Bishop Miege High School in Roeland Park. This year, a scratch team of 10 seminarians and priests coached by Msgr. Mike Mullen faced the mighty 30-player lineup of Catholic eighth-grade and high school students, led by John Wissman.

“The Revs were good,” said Father Mitchel Zimmerman, archdiocesan vocations director. “The Revs were fast, good defenders. The game was never in doubt. The Revs got their 15-point lead and held it.”

Tipoff began with a deflated ball, followed shortly by a technical foul called on the Revs for players’ jersey numbers not matching the official roster. (Father Zimmerman still claims it was a setup.)

Next, a cheerleader was called in to shoot a free throw for the Revs, and another young woman was chosen from among the spectators to serve as a ref part of a period.

When, during the middle of the game, it began to rain furiously and the roof started to leak, a large trash can was placed in the middle of the court, and the teams resumed play. Miraculously, no one ran into the can, although Father John Schmeidler, OFM Cap., pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Lawrence, was at one point forced to leap over it.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann even made an appearance in the second half and went to the line for a few quick free throws. According to the official game stats, he made four of five shots. (The unofficial stats report one out of five.)

More than $1,600 was raised during a second-quarter collection to support archdiocesan seminarians. Then, five donated items were auctioned off between the third and fourth quarter by volunteer auctioneers George Nigro and Toby Tyler.

For those who must have it, the final score was Revs 64, All Stars 57.

The Revs take their show on the road later this month, when they’ll play the Knights of Columbus at 7 p.m. on March 23 at Maryville Junior High School. The Revs and the Serra All-Stars will then meet again at 7 p.m. on April 20 at Hayden High School in Topeka.


About the author

Joe Bollig

Joe has been with The Leaven since 1993. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in journalism. Before entering print journalism he worked in commercial radio. He has worked for the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press and Sun Publications in Overland Park. During his journalistic career he has covered beats including police, fire, business, features, general assignment and religion. While at The Leaven he has been a writer, photographer and videographer. He has won or shared several Catholic Press Association awards, as well as Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara awards for mission coverage. He graduated with a certification in catechesis from a two-year distance learning program offered by the Maryvale Institute for Catechesis, Theology, Philosophy and Religious Education at Old Oscott, Great Barr, in Birmingham, England.

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