Article by Liam Turner, Class of 2015:
After an outstanding and successful Christmas break for the Boys Varsity Basketball Team, the team was able to take a well-deserved break from the tiring practices and games and go on a team retreat at Founder’s Hollow for three days. This is something Coach McCutcheon has been enthusiastically doing with his teams for the past few years. It is a way to forget about all the struggles the team faces throughout the season and just spend more time as a unit in order to build better team chemistry.
The retreat began on the last day of Christmas break. The entire team met at school in the morning to attend a Mass offered by Father Philip Eichner, S.M. Father talked about the success the team has been having, and he included that in order to be completely successful, one must have internal and external success. This message deeply touched our team in a positive way because it gave us an outlook on more than the game of basketball and how we should be internally happy with ourselves while we play. After Mass, we loaded the bus and headed up to Founders. The first night there we watched the classic movie Remember the Titans. This was a great movie to watch because we were able to learn to be a stronger team together and that if we put our all into the team and put the team before ourselves, we can achieve our ultimate goal of a championship, just like in the movie. The first night was capped off with Coach DeFino’s Famous and unforgettable wings!
The second day began with an exercise to learn more about each other as a team. Coaches McCutcheon and Lyons asked us all the ways that we can improve our team to become better. Every single player had an opinion. Some mentioned that we should utilize our two big men, Stefon Bryan (6’8”) and Derrick Okunpolor (6’4”) more often in the post-game. This was a good way for the coaches to feed off the players in order to improve the team. The topic then moved to a more personal discussion where each member of the team said something that no one knew about him before. This was good to get closer with our teammates because the closer we are as friends, the better we can play together on the court.
After an exciting morning with the team, we were able to get some free time to do whatever we want. Most of us went on a hike in the woods. Day two was capped off with watching another inspirational sports movie. This time it was Rudy. This was a great film to watch as a team because it gave us a “never give up” mentality which could be a useful phrase as we embark on our journey to Kellenberg’s first ever league championship.
This retreat truly gave the team more confidence with each other, and it gave us more motivation to work together towards a final goal of a championship. We hope that we can be as successful for the rest of the season like we were at Founders, and we will think about all the lessons we learned, not only for the season, but for life. The team strongly encourages all students and faculty to come out to support the team and join the student section known as the “Bird’s Nest” for the remaining home games of the season.
Follow the team on Twitter for updates throughout the season!