Taft’s games in Ohio seen as learning experience that goes beyond the games
by BRIAN NADIG
The upcoming games in Cincinnati for the Taft High School boys and girls’ varsity basketball teams are intended to serve as a learning experience that goes beyond the games.
Taft athletic director Ryan Glowacz said that out-of-town trips by other school teams have had had a positive effect on the players and that the basketball teams should have a similar experience. “It brings about a lot of maturity in these kids that you don’t see everyday,” he said. “It sticks with them after the trip.”
On previous trips, some of the players had never been away from the Chicago area. A visit to Traverse City, MI, marked the first time several students walked down the “main street” of a small town, Glowacz said.
The Taft’s basketball teams are scheduled to play at Taft Information Technology High School, whose boys’ varsity team won an Ohio state championship in 2011, on Saturday evening, Jan. 14.
Principal Mark Grishaber wants the Northwest Side school to compete against other high schools in the country named “Taft” and is looking into scheduling a football game with a Taft High School in Alaska. Traveling around the country for these games sends a message to students that they should “dream big,” Grishaber has said.
The Taft in Ohio is named after former U.S. Senator Robert A. Taft, who was the son of former U.S. President and Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Taft, the namesake of the Chicago campus.
The teams will travel to Cincinnati by bus on the morning of the game and will visit the house where the former president grew up. Players will return to Chicago the next day.
Glowacz said that these out-of-town opportunities for Taft’s teams were not available when he was student at the school in the early and mid-2000s. “I think how great it would have been to just have one of these trips,” Glowacz said.