GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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February 28, 2013

RHS teams in benefit for gym floor

ROCKPORT — Rockport High School’s basketball teams have completed their seasons.

But the players on the girls’ and boys’ teams will hit the floor at least one more time Friday, facing off against school staff, police and firefighters in a benefit game at 6:30 p.m. at the high school gym.

The games are part of a benefit event to defray the cost of refinishing the high school gym floor, which is used by all grades for programs such as elementary school concerts, the PTO holiday fair, and the high school graduation. The game is co-sponsored by the Friends of Rockport Athletics, which funded the project, and the Rockport PTO.

The girls’ basketball team will play against staff of the Rockport Public Schools, while the boys’ team will play against a hybrid team made up of police, firefighters and a few others. A similar event years ago is remembered by many who attended as a night that produced a lot of fun — and quite a few laughs.

Mary Ryan, the RHS athletic director, said school officials are glad to support the event, especially given that it’s expected to cover the cost of refinishing the gym floor.

“We just want it to be fun,” she said. “We have a cross-section of talent, fitness levels and athletic prowess,” she added, noting that the faculty team will be coached by “our fearless coach, Superintendent Robert Liebow.”

Liebow came out of retirement for this game. He is a former girls varsity basketball coach in Maine, as well as a freshman and jayvee boys’ basketball coach.

“I’m very experienced at this, and I’m looking forward to it,” he said, adding that it is always better to “bet on the jockey and not the horse.”

The faculty roster is comprised of varied staff, including Ryan herself as well as Julie Ryan and Shannon Ryan (none of them are related), Neil Dineen, Rob O’Hanley, Anthony Covelli, John Parisi, Erin Canniff, Margaret Thompson, Allison Chalmers and Kristen Fauci, a former Rockport High basketball player.

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