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Winter sports Soup and Hoops Nov. 18

Basketball programs raising funds with soup supper Nov. 18

SOLON– Blizzard conditions put a damper on attendance at last year’s inaugural Soup and Hoops.
Second-year varsity girls basketball coach Lisa Bishop is hoping for better weather Friday, Nov. 18, when the Solon High School winter teams reach out to the community with the kickoff event.
Doors open at 5 p.m., with scrimmages for the freshman and sophomore boys’ and girls’ basketball teams beginning at 5:30 p.m.
The event will also feature the junior varsity and varsity wrestling program, a performance by the Solon Dance Team, and will be capped off by the varsity boys and girls taking to the floor for a 3-point shooting contest and a timed basketball scrimmage.
The event is a fundraiser for the varsity basketball program, but the more important aspect is building bonds with the community, Bishop said.
“The most important priority is just to raise more interest and enthusiasm for the winter sports here in Solon,” she said.
It’s an opportunity for players to serve members of the community, Bishop said.
Players will take shifts serving soup and clearing tables, she said.
“That face-to-face interaction with the community is really something we’re hoping the players and community get a feel for,” she explained.
Soup will be provided by Ruzicka’s Meat and Catering, basketball parents will bring desserts, and the Solon Athletic Booster Club will be sponsoring beverages. Bread and crackers will complement the light meal.
Proceeds from the soup supper and an accompanying silent auction will be used to defray the costs of purchasing a Shoot-A-Way 8000 Series Gun, a basketball practice machine that passes to a player at timed intervals at programmed positions around the court.
“With so many multi-sport athletes in Solon, it’s really important that the players get as many shots as possible into their shooting workouts,” she said.
The machine, which mounts under a basketball hoop, will be available for both the boys’ and girls’ programs and for off-season training as well.
The practice machine has advanced features such as a challenge mode, requiring a certain number of made baskets before moving to another spot on the court, she added.
“It’s just a really great tool to use in order to get the most out of each practice and shooting workout,” she said.
The Shoot-A-Way 8000 has been ordered and delivery is expected any day, she said, but the basketball programs still have to come up with about half of the $6,500 cost.
The Booster Club is kicking in $3,000, and Bishop said the goal for Soup and Hoops is to raise $2,000 for the practice machine.
The idea for Soup and Hoops came from Bishop’s mom, who was deeply involved with the booster club and started a Soup and Hoops event at Saint Ansgar.
“She really wanted to incorporate the community in whatever events were going on at the high school or the schools in general,” Bishop recalled. Instead of having members of the public come in to watch an event, Bishop’s mother wanted there to be more personal interaction between the players and the community.
Last year, organizers were forced to move the start time up an hour with little notice because of a blizzard.
“We didn’t have the attendance we were hoping for,” Bishop said. “We’re really hopeful that more of the community will out and support all the winter programs and hopefully the weather will be nice.”