Former Roughies share hoop bond
Despite not playing on a high school basketball court the past few years, James Snyder and a group of former Roughie players still share a special bond.
Snyder and several ex-players, who played with him and for his father Eric on the high school team, are playing this summer in the Catasauqua and North Catasauqua men's basketball leagues.
The former Roughie standouts are members of the Friel Chiropractic squad in the Catasauqua League and Caramuci Dentistry in the North Catasauqua League. Players on both teams have played together in the leagues for the past three years.
Snyder, who is the unofficial captain of both squads, has helped fill the rosters with some old-school values.
"We have players who are very dedicated to the game and those who really care about the game," said Snyder, who will be a senior at Kutztown University this fall. "I have always played with guys who have all of these qualities and they are also very competitive.
"We all know each other and what we can do on the court. I don't think of myself being the captain, but I do make the substitutions."
Along with Snyder, other former recent Roughie players on the court are Jake Bloszinsky, Andrew Brinkely, Derrick Bond, Brandon Purrone, Alex Parker and Jalen Nichols.
Bloszinksy only plays on the North Catasauqua team.
"It's fun getting to play with these guys again," said Bloszinsky, who will enter his senior year at Bloomsburg University. "We are all good friends and have been playing together since middle school."
Bloszinksy still had a strong court sense with his teammate.
"We still know where everyone is on the court," said Bloszinsky. "It's like we are in high school again. All of the guys work really hard."
Snyder describes his teams as having a certain brand of spunk.
"We'll talk some smack out there," noted Snyder. "We won't start or get into any physical confrontations or do anything intentional to cause problems. But we may get a "T" (technical foul) and we will always play hard out there.
"We are usually playing against guys who are bigger and stronger than we are. But we're young, and we won't back down."
Heading into this week's play, the team is 3-7 in the Catasauqua League and 6-4 in the North Catasauqua League. In the latter league, Snyder's squad has a chance for the sixth playoff spot if they defeated a team laced with 2006 Catty graduates.
"We're struggling in one league and playing better in the other," added Snyder.