November 18th, 2011
Elementary Excellence: Trinity Jamboree
Torra and teamwork lead grade school program
The following feature is a part of a weekly series called "Elementary Excellence" - a set of profiles that will spotlight Louisville area Catholic elementary schools and its athletic programs, teams, traditions and excellence in all aspects of sports. Do you want your school to be featured? Send us your recommendation to email@example.com.
As grade school hoops finds its place in courts across the city, the Trinity Jamboree (sponsored by Salsarita’s near Trinity High School) offers competition to young ones once again.
“The Jamboree has been up and running for more than ten years,” said Trinity Assistant Basketball Coach and Activities Director James Torra. “I oversee this program, but it’s a team effort. Everyone in the Trinity community participates to help make this successful. We have 44 games in Shamrock Hall and Steinhauser Gym, and there are more than 70 Catholic grade schools involved.”
The Trinity Jamboree is held this week at Trinity High School from November 14-19. Torra, who started coaching with Trinity during the 2004-2005 season, says he is thrilled to be a part of the Jamboree.
“It’s a great program because the families come to support their kids and grandsons. We have a great environment and it’s loud. The kids are having a great time, and they play so hard. It’s almost like it’s a city championship during this week, and I really enjoy having that environment,” said Torra.
As the grade school student athletes come to play in the competition, Torra said he sees a common trend among the players, no matter which team they come from to play.
“The enthusiasm and sportsmanship found within Catholic grade schools is great. These kids are having a great time playing. They help one another, and you can see them giving each other high fives. It’s that upbringing you see in Catholic grade schools.”
And Torra said he is most impressed with the program’s growth over the past several years.
“We originally started with 30 games and we are now closer to 45 games,” said Torra. “We just want to invite as many grade school teams to get involved as possible. And it’s great for Trinity because the students can come to the school and make use of the facility.”
As far as Trinity’s staff involvement in the grade school jamboree, Torra said the competition provides a way for the current students and coaches at Trinity to get to really meet the young athletes in the community.
“Every night, all of our coaching staff is here. We want to make sure everyone is involved, and our players work the event as well. I think our Trinity players enjoy the interaction with the young students,” said Torra. "A lot of our Trinity guys played in these grade schools, and there are even connections with younger brothers playing in the Jamboree. Some of these young students come to summer camp, and they’ve met our players there. Those interactions run pretty deep, and it’s beneficial for both the older guys and the young ones.”
Just as Trinity High School provides a location for this grade school jamboree, other high schools such as St. Xavier, Holy Cross and DeSales High Schools also offer similar competitions for grade schools in the area.
“We always want to get more parishes involved while we show support to the kids. The high schools in the area are putting on these Jamborees, and it’s a great shadow opportunity for the kids to see each school and find the right fit for them, as they will get a great education at any of them,” said Torra.
As for Torra and Trinity High School, he said he continues to look forward to building more opportunities for the grade school age group to compete and work as teams.
Said Torra: “The Jamboree offers great opportunities for families to meet one another and make connections with coaches. Grade school students may tend to migrate to high schools close to them for these types of competitions to get involved, but really they are all looking for opportunities to get on the floor and play. I just love seeing the kids come in excited to play with smiles on their faces.”