Cary Grove High School Dominates the Chicago Cup

June 21, 2011

On June 18th , three Chicagoland high schools; Rickover Naval Academy, Cary Grove and Air Force Academy competed in the first annual Chicago Cup. The tournament was held at Phoenix High School and is the first high school tournament in the Chicago area.

Cary Grove started strong in the first game of the day against the Air Force Academy. Cary Grove then played the second game against Rickover Naval Academy, a team with more experienced players, but this was not enough to defeat the adversary from Cary. Cary Grove had already secured first place, but the third game was a tough battle between the Air Force Academy and Rickover Naval Academy for the silver medal. Despite some great play and a lot of hustle, the Air Force Academy could not overthrow the opponent and Rickover Naval Academy came out on top by one goal.

It’s the first time Chicago has had the opportunity to hold a high school handball competition of this nature. The spirit and enthusiasm of the players left little doubt that this type of event could and should continue. The family members, and handball fans in attendance, were amazed at how quickly these young men have learned to play this sport, which is sadly unknown in the US and usually takes years to acquire the necessary skills.

Two of the teams have had practices and an introduction to handball from Chicago Inter members. Incredibly, the Cary Grove guys taught themselves how to play the game, largely from watching videos on YouTube. The guys discovered the sport online and decided to form a team with their friends and organized their own practices without a coach. The night before the game, they were still teaching the rules to new players. It must be said that these young men are incredible athletes from many other sports. Watching them play, you could make a game of identifying which sport the athlete came from. Basketball, baseball, karate, cross-country, volleyball, golf… you name it. They had it covered!

Congratulations to all the teams that did an incredible job on and off the court. The participants showed curiosity and an eagerness to learn more about handball and took advantage of being surrounded by the experienced handball players of the Chicago Inter Handball Club. A big “thank you” to Greg Myers and Mariusz Wartalowicz from USATH for organizing such an outstanding event to open more doors to our sport. Hopefully, some of these talented young men will stick with it and join the handball family for a long time to come.