By Liz Sullivan
On May 13, for the 12th consecutive year, the Revs vs. Sems Basketball Challenge took place and for the fifth straight time the Sems came away with the victory, 44-41, at Archbishop Mitty High School.
Mitty hosted the first game, where the Sems beat the Revs in double overtime. More recently the game had been played at Santa Clara University’s Leavey Center, but it is currently being renovated. Also, diocesan officials felt this was a great opportunity to connect with local Catholic high school students.
In addition to seminarians from San Jose, the contest featured those from the Dioceses of Rockford, Ill., Wichita and Sacramento.
This time, the near capacity crowd saw a thrilling game. The Sems won the opening time and jumped out to a 12-6 lead with six minutes left in the first quarter, but the Revs came back and cut the lead to 12-11 at the end of the quarter.
There were four lead changes in the second quarter before the Sems claimed the lead for good, 22-21 on a jumper by Ryan Francisco, Sacramento, with six minutes and 41 seconds left in the half.
The Revs cut the lead to one point, 36-35, on a shot by Father Larry Goode, Pastor of Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in East Palo Alto, with 11 minutes left in the game.
“This was a great game,” said Father Joe Kim, DSJ Director of Vocations. “We say it every year that we’ll get them next year. This is more than basketball. This was a wonderful way to promote vocations in the Diocese. We have 8 new candidates whom we are very excited about.”
For Kim it was his final game as Vocations Director. This summer he moves to Rome to finish his graduate degree. Father Ritche Bueza, currently the Pastor at Saint John the Baptist, becomes Vocation Director.
Bishop Patrick J. McGrath presented the Sems with the championship trophy and also awarded the MVP trophies to members of each team. For the Revs, Father Sergio Ovando earned the award and Alec Lyons, seminarian of the Diocese of Rockford received the honor.
In addition, long-time DSJ Vocations Coordinator Cecilia Kohlrust was honored before the game with a signed jersey in thanks for her service to vocations in the Diocese. Kohlrust is moving out of the Diocese this summer.
Next year’s game will take place at Saint Francis High School on May 10.
To learn more about vocations in the Diocese, visit www.dsj.org/vocations.