ELS Basketball Game: Behind The Scenes

“The team has strong confidence that they’ll come out victorious, but that win won’t come without work.”


Caroline Lewis

Coach Chuck Spagnoli leads the ELS Basketball team.

Caroline Lewis, Staff Writer

For the undefeated Scouts, the ELS basketball game is a highlight of the year. The team has strong confidence that they’ll come out victorious, but that win won’t come without work.  The Integrated Wellness gym class has been preparing for the big day for weeks, doing their best to put on a good show in the competition gym.

Thursday is the annual ELS basketball game, where Educational Life Skills students host a basketball game against the New Trier ELS students during lunch periods in the competition gym. 

For weeks before, classes consist of practicing shooting and dribbling, with block days dedicated to going into the community to get donations for the raffle. With the intense preparations, “practices for the ELS Basketball game are very much like going to the ice cream shop,” Integrated Wellness teacher, Mr. Spagnoli, said.  “Everyone is focused on what they are craving, and extremely excited to get what they came there for.” 

Described as one of the best LFHS traditions, the game has the opportunity to bring the students together and offers a chance for the ELS students to show off their skills. “The best part of the game is the enthusiasm of the entire school community genuinely on display. This is the one day each year when students participate on all levels. Be it as players, TA’s, cheerleaders, chorus, band, Pom’s, or general students in the crowd with signs or cheering; there is a true sense of community,” Spagnoli said. 

ELS teacher, Mrs. Lovitsch, added that “it is the one event during the school year that truly brings everyone together. It is a time that is filled with fun, laughter and good competition!” And she is not the only one who feels so: teachers and students from all around the school attest to the day’s fun. 

While the ELS students are practicing, there is a buzz in the air. Smiles are on everyone’s faces and the excitement is visible amongst the class. 

“It’s so enjoyable watching all of the students prepare for the basketball game. They all get super excited and determined to practice and win the game,” senior member of the I.W. class and veteran T.A., Abby Burns, added.

In the upcoming week, students of the Integrated Wellness gym class will be selling raffle tickets and t-shirts to raise money for Camp Hope, which is a summer camp for adults with special needs. After their outside fundraising is done, you will find them going around during their 5th-period to different classes or selling during lunch periods.  “It’s a really fun few weeks leading up to the game and there is anticipation building up throughout our class,” Burns said about the preparations. 

T-shirts will be $10 a piece and are a great way to show your support for your undefeated Scouts and are encouraged to be worn in the stands. The raffle winners will be picked during half time and are sure to have some great prizes. Last year, two pairs of AirPods were given away, but this year be on the lookout for an Apple Watch.  Other great things being raffled off are a $200 Deerpath Inn gift card, four $25 Bluffington’s Cafe gift cards, a goodie bag from Blue Mercury, and many other donations from local stores.


Raffle tickets are on sale for: 

$1 for 1, $5 for 10, and $20 for 50

The game will be hosted at 11:10 in the Competition Gym for B and C lunches.