SALEM, VA -- At 9:30 AM the Ephs assembled in the lobby of the Hotel Roanoke to board the bus to South Salem Elementary School and their community service project.
Upon arriving at South Salem Elementary the Ephs were greeted by Dewayne Harrell the librarian who informed the team they would be splitting into three groups and reading to either a kindergarten class, a first grade class or a fourth grade class.
Martha Deisher’s entire class of kindergarteners got all wide eyed when they saw the tall group of Ephs enter the room. Several started counting out loud 1, 2, and 3 all the way up to 9 as the Ephs filtered in.
Mrs. Deisher told the Ephs to split up and join some students at the tables or under the loft or wherever to read. When the Ephs moved around Mrs. Deisher to get to the students at tables one of the young students said, “Hey, they walk in a line like us.”
For the next 15 minutes the Ephs and kids read books together and chatted about whatever the kids wanted to talk about and then for this group it was on to Jan Barber’s first grade class.
Then because the Ephs were on a short schedule having to get back to the hotel and get ready for the Jostens Trophy lunch to honor Blake Schultz and Wisconsin-Stout’s Julia Hirssig the Ephs were done after another 20 minutes of reading.
At the Salem Civic Center and the Jostens luncheon head coach Mike Maker was asked to introduce Blake Schultz after the audience had viewed videos on each of the award winners. Maker made note of Prof. Alan Hirsch’s comments about Blake and also commented on Hirsch’s devotion to the Ephs, which was only highlighted by the fact that Hirsch eats up his assistants in noontime hoops.
Maker also made a note about having received a check for the general scholarship fund at Williams honoring Blake by saying he would not lose it or have a turnover, because anyone who watches the Ephs knows “we shoot it before we can turn it over.”
Maker also noted that Hirssig being an accomplished chef should get together with the Ephs Ethan Timmins-Schiffman who is a renowned chef, at least on the Eph team.
When Maker got around to talking about Schultz he got a little choked up noting that “I get a little emotional when I talk about my players, sorry. “ Maker continued by saying, “Blake you know I love you and I want to thank you for making me a better coach and a better person.”
Schultz thanked the Salem rotary Club and Jostens and then he
also got a little choked up talking about his teammates. “You
18 guys have been my friends, my mentors and my teammates and I
know that when I look at a clock and it says 4:00 PM for the rest
of my life I will always think of practicing with you guys back in
Gathering himself Schultz went on to inform everyone that he had been inspired by the first recipient of the Jostens Trophy from Williams, Michael Nogelo ’98. “I was really inspired by him and the stories I heard about him and I hope this inspires another player from Williams to win a Jostens trophy.”
At that point Schultz chuckled softly and related how the first time he saw Michael Nogelo was at the alumni game his freshman year. “Here he was a 30-year old, holding a child and he scored 30 points on me.”
Schultz ended his remarks with “Go Ephs!”
At 3:00 PM the Ephs got their first look at the Salem Civic Center as they were allowed on the court for 85 minutes. It was a spirited and productive session.
At the conclusion of the practice time the team got back on the bus and headed back to the hotel to rest, shower, watch some Div. I games and get ready for the Championship Banquet at the Civic Center at 7:00 PM.
Mike Maker headed to the back of the Civic Center and the media room to meet the assembled press along with Blake Schultz, Jams Wang and Troy Whittington.
Each team selects a player to speak at the championship banquet and coach Maker selected senior Mike Moorstein.
Moorstein said, “I looked around when we were on the court today and I knew that there are not 18 other guys I would rather play basketball with – we’re a brotherhood. Our success this year is due to chemistry and camaraderie and that’s due to coach maker who is a great coach and a better person.”