By Sam Rautins and Jake Socia
Besides the Freshman, Junior Varsity or Varsity Boys Basketball teams, boys are taking their talents to the Christian Youth Organization basketball league to, “play for God,” as senior Chris Wood puts it.
The Holy Cross Crusaders are primarily made up of players from Jamesville-DeWitt, although there are a few players from other schools.There are both varsity and junior varsity levels, as in high school, and both play through Holy Cross Church against other Christian school teams from Central New York. The JV team has eight players from J-DHS this year and most of them are starters. “We hold together the team and without us, I don’t even think we would have a team,” said freshman Dhruv Thota about the dominance of players from J-DHS. The teams will face opponents from other local churches like St. Mary’s, Immaculate Conception, and Sacred Heart.
The JV CYO team, which consists of freshman and sophomores, lost their first game to their rivals St. Mary’s by one point. They now have a record of 0 and 2. According to leading JV point scorer, freshman Jack Mulvihill, “we are a scrappy crew, but we will come together soon.” The varsity squad was able to win their first games against St. Mary’s and St. Ann’s. The team was lead by leading point scorer junior Jake Binder. “He was chopping (scoring many points per game),” said junior Anthony Cacchione.
Although the JV team is not on a winning streak, the boys are still fighting to put up a good record and win the rest of their games. The competition this year is very good according to Thota. Thota and his teammates agree that the goal for the JV team is to win the league championship. “I would like to keep a positive record and put up more than 10 points a game,” Mulvihill said. This would be impressive, since the final score for each side in a normal CYO game is usually not higher than 40.
Why choose CYO? Many CYO players are either players who were not able to make the school team or just want to play a couple days a week to keep in touch with the game, like junior Brady Wing, who did not try out for JD’s Varsity Boys Basketball team. However, a majority of the JV players had to fall back on CYO because they were not able to make J-DHS’s JV or Freshman Boys Basketball teams.
Both JV and varsity practice twice a week and have games twice every week. But don’t let the fewer practices and games fool you; CYO is still intense, with a regular season, post-season, final four, and a championship. And players are still competitive; most would like to either make it to the final four or even win the championship. Cacchione would like to make it to the final four and possibly win the championship. Senior Chris Wood, has several goals for this season, “To win out the rest of the season” and also, over all, “Play for God.” “We want to “run train” on all the teams and win the ‘ship,” says Wood.
The Holy Cross teams’ home court is at the Holy Cross School. The Varsity team is coached by Coach Michalenko and Coach Dalomo.