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Chaldean Final Four Set for Showdown in Royal Oak Michigan
By Sam Yousif :: Friday, April 17, 2009 :: 164587 Views :: Article Rating :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Chaldean Church Sports League, Chaldean Churches

Michigan, USA - The Chaldean Church Sports League (CCSL) has reached the playoff point.  Five divisions of the Chaldean community's top basketball players compete in a final four showdown for a bid at the championship game.  Games begin at 2 o’clock in the afternoon at the Boys and Girls club of Southeast Oakland County in Royal Oak.

The CCSL proves to be one of the Chaldean community’s hottest leagues showcasing top talent from ages 10 – 18 in basketball.  The heat is on in the CCSL in all divisions as last year’s returning coaches hope to repeat.  However, new rookie coaches in the league are proving to be a bit to handle. 

The CCSL final four will be played this Sunday at the Boys and Girls Club of South Oakland County.  CCSL organizers invite the entire community to join their family, friends, and fans as they cheer their players on to the championship games. 

In the boys junior varsity division the final eight look to be cut in half to the final four this Sunday.  Leading the division is St. Thomas Team 3 with a slight advantage over St. George Dragon Slayers who are predicted the favorites for the championship by sports fans. 

CCSL sports fan Kevin Brikho says, “Dragon Slayers should win the championship in the JV division.  They pass the ball much better than the Twin Tigers and hustle after the ball and fight for rebounds.”  Kevin’s brother, Kenny Brikho disagrees.  “St. Thomas Twin Tigers are ready to pounce.  They have been taking the game easy and the coach has been nurturing younger players.  In the final four this will be the team that gets to take home the trophy.”

The varsity boys division has turned out to be surprising season.  Returning champions Mother of God Guardian Angels, coached by the Petrous brothers, Salam and Samer Petrous barely made the final four squeezing in the fourth seed by a fraction.  St. Joseph Protectors dominated the season and remain the favorite going into the final four.  Season records predict the Protectors and St. Thomas Team 2 in the championships. 

St. Thomas aggressively recruited players this year topping the league with a total of fourteen teams in five divisions.  “St. Thomas is guaranteed a championship team since both their team 1 and team 2 made the playoffs and will challenge one another in the lower bracket,” says Nick Abdel.  “Our church was able to secure two teams in the league.  It would be a shame if neither of our teams brings home a trophy in the varsity division.” 

In the middle school boys division, St. Thomas is also the favorite.  “Our middle school boys went undefeated in the season and it looks like we will have to take on St. George for the championship.  We beat the team in the past, but you can’t underestimate them.  St. George is full of surprises.”

The girl’s varsity and middle school divisions in the CCSL are just as competitive.  St. Thomas looks to dominate the ladies division with hopes of a full house in the championships.  “We have all our teams in the middle school division and a potential to have both our teams 1 and 2 in the girl’s varsity division in the championship,” says Angela Challangoe.

To view pictures of the CCSL CLICK HERE

The Sunday, April 19th, 2009 CCSL Playoff game schedule is as follows:

Middle School Boys Playoffs 

2 PM on Court #1
(2) Mother of God vs. (3) St. George

Middle School Girls Playoffs

2 PM on Court #2
(2) St. Thoams 3 vs. (3) St. Thomas 2

JV Boys Playoffs
Round 1:

2:50 PM on Court #1
(2) St. George vs. (7) St. Joseph 2

2:50 PM on Court #2
(4) Mar Addai vs. (5) St. Thomas 4

3:40 PM on Court #1
(1) St. Thomas 3 vs. (8) St. Thomas 1

4:30 PM on Court #1
(3) St. Thomas 2 vs. (6) St. Joseph 1

Round 2 (Final Four):

5:20 PM on Court #1
Highest Seed vs. Lowest Seed

6 PM on Court #1
2nd Highest Seed vs. 2nd Lowest Seed

 

 

Varsity Girls Playoffs

4 PM on Court# 2
(1) St. Thomas 1 vs. (4) Mother of God

5 PM on Court #2
(2) St. George vs. (3) St. Thomas 2

Varsity Boys Playoffs

6 PM on Court #2
(1) St. Joseph 2 vs. (4) Mother of God

7 PM on Court #2
(2) St. Thomas 2 vs. (3) St. Thomas 1

Rating
St. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  


Rev. Frank Kalabat
 

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.

 

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
 
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.