As the winter sports season comes to an end, it is time for each of the sports to recognize their seniors for their dedication and hard work. In many cases, these athletes have played this sport since they were in grade school.
As a fan of Corry Boys Basketball, I thought it was important to point out just how extra special this class of 2020 seniors is. This group of six, Reagan James, Micah Knapp, Lucas Nichols, Lucas Saborsky, Isaac Sproveri and Taylor Willis helped rejuvenate a program.
Their success is not an accident. They have worked hard, studied the game and probably most importantly done it with class. They are the model of what real student-athletes are for all teams to come.
It would be easy to just talk about the impressive winning records that these boys have had over the years. Between seventh and ninth grade they were a combined 63-7, and from 10th -12th they are the winningest class in at least the last 15 years with 37 wins (with hopefully more to come).
But they are also just great kids who love the game and play it the right way. Their success on the court has the gym rocking again. The stands for home games are packed and the student section is full. It reminds me of the late 70s when I watched my childhood heroes Mike Cragg and Chris Christensen play. And the early 80s when Tom Miller, Chip Nuzzo, Chris Zaphris, Kelly Cragg and the Gernovich brothers ruled the court. I had the privilege of playing in the mid 80’s with Mark Coleman, Jon Fogle, Bill Saborsky and Matt Kubich to packed gymnasiums. There is not a better feeling as a player than to run out onto the court before a game and hear the crowd and feed off the atmosphere. Home court advantage is real and it exists again for Corry Boys Basketball.
This of course has been a journey and many people have helped to make this possible. Their parents are as good as they come and have supported these young men by getting them to practice, summer league, being part of a great traveling crowd and creating a great Booster Program.
Then there are the players from the last few years, Jordan Ayala and Reese James (’16), Brady Davis and Bryce Xander (’17), Austin Goodsel and Albert Jiang (’18) and Branden Elchynski and Nathan Gentilman (’19) who all helped to raise the bar. And even their classmates, Skyler Kressler, Trey Redrup and Dillon Riedel, who spent many years sweating beside them. And you can’t forget all the coaches, Steve Redrup, John Hasbrouck, Bill Saborsky, Mike Soprano and Kurtis Fox, who all spent countless hours coaching them from the Rec Program to Travel Ball to Middle School and prepared them mentally and physically for high school basketball.
And their high school coaches Bill Saborsky (yep 10 straight years), Mike Davis, Noah Kephart and Matt Kellogg who all helped fine tune their games.
And, of course, Varsity Coach Tyler Bailey, who has put in countless hours to ensure that these players were given the opportunity to reach their full potential. And that the town of Corry got a chance to see and appreciate how special these boys are on and off the court.
Those of us who came before them thank them for what they have done to restore the glory of Corry Basketball and those young players who will follow them can look up to them and step on the court with pride as they continue what this group started.
If you’re bored Friday night and looking for something to do, I would recommend heading down to the high school to pay tribute to an amazing class of senior Boy Basketball Players.
So, I end this with a simple but appropriate message to these amazing young men.
Good luck the rest of this season and in the playoffs.
Your friend, coach and fan,