Priests, Seminarians Face Off on the Court
January 10, 2019
DIOCESE—Last year it was basketball at three high schools. This year it was only two schools, but Rockford Diocese priests and seminarians took their basketball and volleyball skills on the road during  Christmas break.
The second “holiday tourney” featured games at Newman Central Catholic High School in Sterling on Dec. 26 and at Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock on Dec. 27.
Weather was not especially cooperative for the games. While far warmer than average, both days were cloudy and wet with limited visibility. 
In Sterling, the combination delayed some of the players, and at both schools, crowds were sparser than the first year.
Still, the games were enthusiastic, and the spectators responded with cheers for both teams.
For the record, the priests won both basketball games and the seminarians won more volleyball matches than the priests. 
Each night the priests and seminarians introduced themselves to the crowds, chatted with folks between games and prayed with them for vocations in the diocese.
In Sterling, a highlight of the evening was Lucy Oetting, daughter of Newman Central superintendent, Jennifer Oetting. Lucy, 10, sat behind the microphone to announce the basketball game. 
She only showed a little favoritism when she called the seminarians “Max’s Team.” Seminarian Max Oswalt of Dixon, who played that night, is a Newman graduate.