Story by Ben Vessa, photo by Paul Baillargeon
St. Louis High School League
De Smet Jesuit is a charter member of the St. Louis High School League which is sponsored by the Missouri High School Racquetball Association (MOHSRA). The League was formed in 1978 and is in its 41st year. Student-Athletes participate in one of two divisions: Varsity or Junior Varsity. Information about the league can be obtained from the MOHSRA website – www.mohsrball.org.
De Smet Jesuit racquetball is a club sport played each year by between 20 to 30 students during the winter season. As a no-cut sport, Spartan racquetball varies from year to year as to the number of teams that are enrolled in the League. Typically, there are 4 teams - a Varsity and 3 Junior Varsity squads. Beginners to the sport of racquetball will be participants in the MOHSRA JV3 Ladder League which is a developmental, but competitive program. Each varsity team in the League is composed of 8 athletes: 6 singles players and a doubles team, while each Junior Varsity team is composed of 5 singles players. Matches are played on weekday afternoons beginning normally at 3:30 p.m. There are several tournaments that are part of the High School League which are played on weekends.
De Smet practices at the Vetta Concord courts near Mattis Road and Interstate 270. The League begins its matches during the first week of November. Each team plays a 10 game schedule with a State Tournament during the third weekend of February. During the first weekend in March, student-athletes are welcome to play in the High School Nationals. This tournament is held in St. Louis in odd-numbered years and in Portland, Oregon during even numbered years.
Cost of Racquetball
As a club sport, racquetball is paid for by the participating athletes. A membership fee is required to practice at the Vetta Concord courts. A contribution is given to the De Smet Racquetball program each year by the school to help with tournament expenses during the season and to pay a portion of the League fees.
Benefits of De Smet Jesuit Racquetball
Racquetball is a “life-time” sport that can be played at a variety of levels throughout one’s life. Although played competitively at the interscholastic level, racquetball is an excellent way to meet and make friends not only at De Smet but throughout the league. A summer camp sponsored by Vetta Concord is open to any high school student (including freshmen-to-be) to develop skills, play competitively and to make friends. More information can be obtained by contacting Dr. Brendan Giljum at email@example.com.
Story by Steve Overbey, photos by Paul Halfacre