On December 4, the Boys Varsity Basketball Team left school early and began their retreat at Founders Hollow in upstate New York. Accompanying the team was Coach McCutcheon, Coach Lyons, Father Philip Eichner, and Mr. Defino. The retreat is a unique tradition at Kellenberg Memorial each season in which the athletes become closer as a team.
Upon arriving, athletes were assigned a room with two other teammates. Afterwards, the task of preparing for dinner was executed by the athletes as a team. During the meal, athletes and coaches enjoyed spirited conversation and team bonding. “This was a good bonding experience for sophomores, juniors, and seniors to become closer friends despite their age differences,” commented junior player Thomas Cipolla.
On the second day, each player was given a survey to critique their own individual playing skills and where they stood as a team. Coaches called each player into the common-room, one at a time, and discussed what we had put on the sheet. Questions such as, “How do you evaluate yourself as a player?” and “What did you do to get better over the summer?” are examples of some of the personal questions. Questions like, “What can I do to make the team better by the end of the season?” gave each player a chance to evaluate our roles on the team.
While these individual sessions were going on the rest of the team enjoyed the classic movie, Hoosiers. The movie taught conveyed the message that how a team develops as men off the court is just as important as winning games with Coach McCutcheon.
Father Philip Eichner, S.M. led the team prayer throughout the retreat and shared his wisdom with the athletes during several group talks that focused on the fact that a team had to work together as a whole to play as a team.
“I think we all took what Father Philip said to heart and we will come together as a team and work hard to do great things this season,” commented Senior player Brendan Pettinato.
Father Philip reminded the team of a familiar phrase: “no pain, no gain,” which illustrates the process of what it takes for a team to come together. If the team works hard and works as a unit, a very positive season will be in store.