Ms. Jaime Vachon
If one were to look around Champlain Valley Union High school’s gymnasium at the 133 championship banners, one would notice that boy’s basketball is not one of them…yet.
With a record of 22-1 their team has never looked more ready for a championship. It’s no surprise that the boys have had a successful season with many returning players and 8 veteran seniors leading the way. Senior captain, Josh Bliss, addresses the team’s new discipline, “Having the experience that we do has benefited us many times this year in late game situations where in past years we lacked the advantageous experience.”
For the past four years, the team has been coached by Michael Osborne, who was head coach at Johnson State College from 2006-2013. It is easy to see how his coaching has improved the team since his start as head coach at CVU in the winter of 2013. “Not too much has changed. But this year he’s just let us play more. Coach recognizes we’ve played
a lot together and he understands our players and what they need in order to respond positively,” says Bliss.
The different skills shown on the court by individual players are impressive, but when the team is working as a whole, that is when they find success. “We can develop the team when we already have developed individual players. We can skip fundamentals in practice and jump into working together on plays,” says Senior guard, Marc Hoeppner. In past years, the boy’s team has struggled to come together as a group to achieve the win; however, the teamwork expressed by this year’s squad is unmissable.
On a different note, where would the team be without its supportive fans? The hardworking team has certainly sparked the attention of new fans who pack the gym for almost every game. Greta Joos, long time basketball spectator has some thoughts on the boys this year, “They’ve got good players and good coaches. I see trophy potential in this team.” Similarly, with the girl’s varsity, Joos attends almost every boy’s game and is close friends with most members of the team and loves to show her support, “I always say good luck and good job! I’d say we have a good relationship,” says Joos.
Not only have the boys captured student fans, but staff members as well. CVU teacher, Jeff Hindes says, “I’ve seen them play a few times this season and their ability to move the ball around the floor often makes the opposing team’s defense look foolish.”
Along with Joos and Hindes are many other CVU fans cheering the varsity boys to their 19 game winning streak. It appears that the Redhawks can do no wrong if they put their mind to it and have their fans to cheer them on. “I think there’s been more effort this year than past years because the leadership and want to win, shown by the seniors, has affected the whole team,” says Bliss.
After a big win in the Semi Finals, all eyes will be watching the team on Monday the 13th, waiting to see if the CVU boy’s team will make history.
Editor’s note: The boys lost in an epic battle to Rutland, 38-42 in overtime.