“The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper.” – Aristotle
The heart of our Varsity Boys Basketball team definitely shone through this season. They dealt with adversity at seemingly every turn and the way they responded revealed their depth of character. While their season ended earlier than they had hoped, they should be proud of the manner in which they conducted themselves this season and also be excited as they look ahead to what’s to come.
The team started the season with injuries to two freshmen who were expected to play major minutes off the bench. Samuel Perry and Mason Johnstone both suffered injuries during football season in the fall and it took Sam until January to be 100% while Mason was never fully healthy. Junior Charles Sagedy and eighth grader Jordan Butler both missed games down the stretch with injuries and in the pivotal game for the number one seed in the playoffs, multiple players were battling illness.
In addition to these injuries, one of their leading scorers transferred halfway through the season. A hard spot for any team to be in, this team handled it with composure and determination as they continued to play hard. Their coach, John Butler, notes that “this team never gives up” and these circumstances were “never used as an excuse.” Athletic Director Molly Miller believes the team’s response is really a testament to the coaches. She states: “the coaches never panicked and their sense of calm as they moved forward translated to these young players.”
The team put together a strong second half of the season, starting with a five game winning streak in the beginning of January. They went 12-2 to close the season and down the stretch, they had a number of comeback wins. A Cavalier parent notes that no matter what the challenge was, the team found a way to rally. They made the extra pass, they dove for the loose ball, made a defensive stop, and those little things made the difference. Coach Butler states: “The team never gives up, they never quit. They don’t look for excuses and they play as hard as they can despite the score.” Coach Butler also credits the parents and the student body whose support was “overwhelming at times” this season. He, in particular, mentioned the game the boys played at St. Joseph’s in January and the amount of people that came to cheer for them.
While they were defeated in the second round of the playoffs, there is plenty of reasons to be optimistic as this team looks ahead to next season. They had no seniors this year and will return their entire team. The team’s leading scorer, John Butler Jr., is only a sophomore and has two more high schools seasons. Coach Butler notes that next season all of his guys will be “a year smarter and a year stronger” as they spend their off seasons improving their game. The team will attend camps this summer as well as spend a lot of time practicing and at open gyms. Coach Butler believes that tryouts next year will be very competitive as they have a lot of young players in the program, in addition to all of the varsity team’s returners.
In the words of Malcolm X: “There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.” While this season ended in defeat, this team faced adversity, responded to it, learned from it and will allow it to make them even better in the years to come.
If you want to come be a part of a school that instills character in students, visit our website at cces.org. Click here for information about admissions, click here for more information about athletics and as always, go Cavs!!