By Joe Murphy and Joe Morgan
The drama surrounding the Jamesville-DeWitt High School Varsity Boys Basketball team has recently overshadowed the accomplishments of other J-DHS sports teams, like the Varsity Girls Basketball team, the Varsity Boys Ice Hockey team, and the Varsity Wrestling Team. As people have come to expect, our teams did well in the post season.
The J-DHS Varsity Girls Basketball team won the NYSPHSAA Section III class A title by beating the Utica area team Whitesboro 55-33. The CBA/JD Varsity Boys Ice Hockey team also won the Section III Division II title, defeating state champions the Skaneateles Lakers. Vasity Wrestling went above .500 with an 11-7 season finishing third in the Section III class AA Sectional Invitational. The Varsity Boys Basketball team fell to CBA in the section III class A final game 69-46.
Both the Varsity Hockey team and the Varsity Girls Basketball team lost on the road to states. The Varsity Girls Basketball team lost to Williamsville South 48-39 in the state final.
Despite not ending the season with a state banner, the team went 21-6 overall and 10-0 in league this season, deeming it a success. The girls credited their success primarily to their team chemistry, according to senior captain Alyssa Robens. “We are like 12 best friends,” said Robens, who along with fellow senior Maddy Frank were two time captians, which meant they had “great leadership.” Robens was more upset that the team will no longer be together, than the fact that they lost in the state finals.
Although the team made it to states, for Frank, the highlight of her season was beating Averill Park for the sectional title. “They beat us when I was a freshman, so we kinda got revenge,” said Frank.
In the early season, the team suffered losses to powerhouse teams like Ossining (71-32 Dec. 28.); CBA (35-33, Dec. 12); Bishop Kearney (56-50, Dec. 16.) and Troy (45-38 Jan. 17.) But the turning point in their season came when they beat the no.1 ranked team in the section, Indian River, by 22 points. “They were the number two team in the state, and ranked first in our section,’’ said Frank, “People just kept overlooking us.”
The Varsity Boys Hockey team skated their way to a 19-3-2 overall record, going 10-3-1 in league play, and earning a Section III division II title. After taking a gap year between sectional title and state championship appearances, the Brothers returned to the Utica Aud to beat the Lakers 4-0 for a sectional title, but fell to them in the state semifinals.
You may be asking how a team can lose in sectionals, but win the state championship.
The NYSPHAA held a lottery, for individual sections, to send its two top teams to the state playoffs. Section III was the lucky winner, so the Brothers and the Lakers both advanced to the state playoffs, even though the Lakers fell to the Brothers in the sectional championship. “I hope we get another shot at them next year,” said J-DHS junior hockey player Sam Mueller, “They're a good team, with great coaching,”
J-DHS’s senior Lucas Relkin believes the team will have a lot of rebuilding to do next year. “The team is losing a lot of key seniors, next year,” said Relkin, but he believes that the younger players will be able to fill their roles.
The JD/CBA wrestling team also found success this year. Despite a tough league record of 7-10, they fought their way to an 11-7 overall record. Behind senior powerhouses Ryan Buck and Cole Murphy, the team made their way to the sectional tournament. Junior Nolan Barth credits their success to hard work and commitment. “The coaches pushed us, and we pushed ourselves,” Barth said. “We never backed down from competition.”
The team had some great victories, despite a trying schedule. After a loss to the no. 1 ranked Mexico squad, the wrestlers had crushing victories against East Syracuse-Minoa, winning 57-24, and the typically dominant Homer Trojans, winning 55-24. The team ended the season strong by placing third in the Section III tournament.
The wrestling squad has high hopes for next year; riding on the backs of a strong group of underclassmen. Juniors Barth and Shane Smith hope to take over the leadership roles, along with the help of freshman Matt Griffin, who recorded a remarkable 29-10 record this season.
Back on to the court.
Although experiencing rough patches with coaching, the Red Rams fought their way through to a 17-6 overall season and a 9-1 league record. In three meetings, the Rams lost three games to the CBA Brothers, the last of which happened in the Section III championship game.
The players’ views of the success of the team varied. Senior Ben Wipper had a negative view on the teams sucess, but sophomore Jai Benson was happy with the teams overall effort, taking in account all of the “stuff” that happened this season.
Jimmy Boeheim said that the teams biggest rival, and toughest competition came from CBA, who, even though beat the Red Rams three times in a row, the Red Rams played well against.
Benson though that the team was playing well throught the regular season, and climaxed in their win against Cortland in the first round of sectionals, but that the team took a turn for the worst in the sectional final game where they “lost focus.”
Despite the struggles with the coaching search, the players have high hopes for next year. “We plan on winning a sectional title,” said junior Jimmy Boeheim. “we have a lot of good players on the team. I think we will be good next year.”