By: John Nee '93
It’s not unusual for sophomore teams to compete a bit short-handed. All lower-level coaches know that the varsity is the most important thing when it comes to the program, so they accept the fact that they may be missing a key player or two.
Sophomore Head Coach Roshawn Russell ‘08 knew the varsity team would need some young reinforcements to fill out their roster and rotation, but when six freshman and sophomores made the varsity team out of pre-season camp, it left him a little more than short-handed.
Instead of using it as an excuse to be average, the sophomore team did just the opposite as several players stepped up and took advantage of the opportunity and because of that they came together and captured a championship.
Coach Russell’s 2016-2017 sophomore team was crowned Catholic League South champions by going (8-1) in the league to go along with their (19-4) overall record. In addition, they won the Marian Catholic Christmas Tournament and were consolation champions of the Bremen Thanksgiving Tournament. They had an impressive 8-game winning streak in the middle of the season, and they notched huge non-conference wins over an undefeated Benet Academy squad 41-37, and they defeated a tough Marist squad, handing them their only loss at home, 47-38.
The Mustangs were led in scoring by Daylen Wilson (13 ppg), Myles Montague (12 ppg), and Cinque Simmons (12 ppg). The other members of the team include: Jourdan Jackson, Richard Martin, Vincent Brown, Frankie Zoller, Marc Zavala, Julian Esparaza, Joseph Pater, Anthony McGuire, Javon Cooley, Miles Adams, and Lemone Lampley.
Coach Russell was assisted by his former St. Rita teammate Anthony Rappold ‘08