Both teams come together at half court to take a picture at halftime. The Bloomingdale SGA raised $745 for the Boys and Girls Club of Clair-Mel.

Separated by less than 5 miles, Bloomingdale and Newsome high schools have developed one of the premier rivalries in all of Hillsborough County. The rivalry was put to good use as Bloomingdale hosted the second annual Bloomingdale versus Newsome faculty basketball game for charity.

The stands were packed full of students and fans for an exhibition game that featured teachers and administrators from both schools competing against one another for charity.

The Bloomingdale High School Student Government Association hosted the event and was able to raise about $750 for the Boys and Girls Club of Clair-Mel.

“The Newsome rivalry definitely brings more attention to the game, which we needed to make it more successful,” said Bloomingdale girls basketball Head Coach Joel Bower.

The Bloomingdale faculty won the game 54-41, anchored by a 25-8 fourth quarter run, led by Bower and Bloomingdale boys basketball Head Coach Sean Vanzant, who played college and pro basketball. The Bulls trailed by four going into the fourth quarter before Vanzant and Bower hit multiple 3-pointers to put their team ahead for good.

“Being a part of this game made me even more proud to be a Bloomingdale Bull,” said Bower. “Faculty and students from both schools showing support for the Clair-Mel/Palm River Boys and Girls Club was the driving force behind the success of the game.”

“It means a lot that we can give back to the community, and we are grateful to the Bloomingdale SGA for finding a great cause,” said Newsome social studies teacher David Kaufman.

Kaufman thought the success of the event was not due to the rivalry, but to something completely different.

“I don’t know if it was the rivalry that made students come out,” he said. “I think they came out to see if one of their teachers would pass out from exhaustion.”

The Bloomingdale faculty will have bragging rights until next year’s game, which will most likely be held at Newsome. Great memories will also be taken away from this contest.

“Aside from all of the threes that coach Vanzant and I made in the fourth quarter, I’ll remember talking to our SGA kids after the game and just being proud to be a part of the event,” said Bower.

Bloomingdale High School is located at 1700 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Visit for details.

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Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.