Stars of the Future
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 2:21 pm
The West Side School boys basketball team made history this season as the Eagles flew to a perfect 25-0 season, which ended with the program's first-ever state title. What made this team special is several things. First off, the previous season ended in heartbreaking fashion with a loss in the state title game. Usually, when this happens in sports at all levels either the losing team falls backwards as a one year wonder, or in this case for the Eagles, they used the offseason to get back to work hoping for a better result this time around.
Eagles head coach Roger Haley said what made this team special was the willingness to put in the extra work in the gym during the offseason usually three to four hours a day as motivation since they came so close to reaching the ultimate goal of becoming champions.
Another unique quality of the Eagles was Haley had no post presence instead he went with a five guard lineup led by five eighth graders, and a point guard, who was a sixth grader that was wise beyond his years thanks in part of being the son of a recent inductee to the Cannon Courier Hall of Fame.
"It was really fun this season, and cannot live off of those individual awards unless you have teammates to help you," Miles said. "I cannot get points without them passing me the ball, and they cannot get points without me passing them the ball. It is all about us working together as one."
Davenport is another player, who is also wise beyond his age. Of course, he has learned from one of the best players to ever play for the Lions, his father Russell. Russell was a member of the last CCHS boys' basketball team to advance to state back 30 years ago. This year he was an assistant coach, and last week he was inducted into the Cannon Courier Hall of Fame. Gus was the one who made it official in a touching moment between father and son.
Coming into this season, the Eagles had six goals they wanted to accomplish, which included winning the five tournaments they were entered in including state and going undefeated against programs whose student count was two or three times bigger than the 230 students which make up Westside School.
Overall, the Eagles showed the right way how to win a championship, and acting like one. It is something that is missing in sports today. I believe some of the athletes, who are much older and compete for a living either in high school, college or ever professionally could learn something from teams like Westside School.
Also, some of these players will hopefully be the ones to continue building the Lions program at CCHS. However, this season, these Eagles proved you can be the best, and act like true champions.