Amish Boys Basketball Team

I frequently open the gymnasium at the Berlin Christian Fellowship for teams that come to play basketball. The teams that play on Monday and Tuesday nights are made up of young Amish boys. Yesterday, Saturday, there was an all day tournament. One of the teams was a group of Amish boys who love to play basketball. I asked several of them if I could take their pic and they said they were fine with that. In this pic are Ray Yoder, Paul Troyer, and Paul Yoder. After I took their pic they asked me if I would take their team picture since they had been wanting a pic of the team with their blue and yellow jerseys. I did so and also printed out a copy for each of them. They told me that during basketball season they play most of their games in an Amish shop. This typically is a utility building or even barn with a large area, that can be cleared of equipment, with a single basketball hoop, or if it’s large enough, two hoops. Sometimes they also play in the gym of Fairlawn Mennonite Church in Fredericksburg, Ohio. Spring Valley, the name on their jerseys is the name of a construction business owned by Michael Yoder’s father. The boys ages range from 16-20. This season of their lives is what the Amish call “rumshpringa”. That’s Pennsylvania Dutch for “running around”. During this time, many of the Amish young people, boys and girls, leave behind some of the Amish traditions and begin, in varying degrees, to experiment with life on the outside. They may buy a car, get a cell phone, have an apartment, and buy other things that are not part of the Amish life. This is also a season when some of them “sow their wild oats”. Typically a large percentage of them will eventually find someone of the opposite sex within the Amish community, get engaged, join the Amish church, get married, and settle down and live the Amish life in an Amish community.

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