NEW ORLEANS — Athletic competition returned for Charter School in Orleans Parish for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic brought local sports to a screeching halt.
On Saturday, the Crescent City Charter League presented 2021 CCCL Middle School Basketball City Championship at Frederick Douglass High School with the Esperanza Eagles and Lady Gators of Akili Academy taking home the trophies of the boys and girls brackets respectively.
The CCCL is the only sports league in New Orleans that has allowed middle school competition this year. Seventh-graders Maya Peterson (Akili Academy) and Brennen Bruno (Esperanza Charter) both won the league’s MVP Awards for outstanding tournament play.
“I was so happy we had the chance to get out there and compete for a championship for our school. We thought that we would not be able to play any ball this year,” said Bruno. “This was so important to our Eighth Graders who will be going on to high school next year.”
An excited Peterson shared Bruno’s sentiments.
“I can go home to my momma and tell her that we won a basketball championship for our school this year! We weren’t sure if we were going to be able to play,” she exclaimed.
Aside from Akili and Esperanza, Bricolage, Osborne, Success-Thurgood Marshall and Tubman all participated in tourney action.
The CCCL has 17 schools committed to participating in the league’s events for the 2021-22 School Year.
“It was great seeing the children competing against their friends, family and community once again,” said Daryl Williams, Crescent City Charter League Commissioner. “The CCCL is committed to giving scholar-athletes in Orleans Parish an opportunity to compete.
“To see those kids raise their city championship trophies in the air in triumph after all the Charter Schools in our parish have been through throughout the year was breathtaking.
“We are so excited heading into the 2021-22 Schools Year.”