Sophomores Rise to the Occasion

Group of talented sophomores boost Varsity basketball team to successful season

Dexter Swims, Staff Reporter

Basketball season is here for the McCluer North Stars, and there are a few new faces joining the team. Four sophomores, Patrick Evans, Mekai Ray, Atavian Butler, and Lamarie Pilgrim, caught the attention of head coach, Trevor Laney at tryouts and made the roster.

“Their skill, execution, and intensity caught my eye,” Laney said. “They’re just great athletes.”

The group of sophomores seek to live up to the expectations of playing varsity basketball against kids that have two to three more years of playing time under their belt.

“Playing at a high level with older kids is great because you never know how good you are until you play against people who have been around the game longer you,” said Evans.

Standards are high for the young group, but they seem to be excelling. Norman Harris, a senior on the team says, “They (sophomores) are crazy athletic and full of energy. They go hard in every drill at practice.”

Lack of experience will be a challenge for the sophomores, as only one of them, Atavian Butler, played varsity basketball for the stars last season.

“The experience will come over time,” Laney said, “With this group, the good things will outweigh the bad.”

The first test for the Stars was the Borgia Pepsi-Thanksgiving Tournament where they went 2-1, falling short to Cardinal Ritter in the championship game. The group of sophomores played top-notch defense and scored at will in their first few games as varsity players.

“The guys are still learning and getting used to the system,” said Laney.

The Stars are setting the bar high in planning goals for the season.

“The plan is to win districts and go as far in the playoffs as we can. If we want this to happen, we need to practice and play 110%,” said Ray.