The key tasks for any junior varsity or freshman high school sports squad are to develop young talent for future varsity competition, give developing athletes game experience, have fun and attempt to deepen the athletes’ love for the sport they play, and do some winning if that’s in the cards for the team.
Taking a look at the 2014-15 season the Pinkerton Academy boys’ junior varsity basketball squad had under the direction of coach Steve Miller, that Astro bunch can go down the checklist and make a slew of marks with confidence.
Miller’s mob didn’t manage to win as many games as it dropped (9-11 record), but the Astros got as far as the quarterfinal round of the state junior varsity tournament and propelled a crew of young hoopsters forward toward helping the PA varsity have another superb campaign like it did this past winter.
“Our record was not an accurate reflection of the progress we made as a team throughout the season,” said Miller. “The goal we set during the year was to continue to develop as a team and work toward improving skill levels so our players could effectively compete for varsity positions next year. Each and every one of our players worked very hard to improve as the year went on.”
Among the squad’s standouts were guard Matt Anzivino and forward/center Trystan Brown, both of whom could find themselves playing major roles for a 2015-16 Pinkerton varsity contingent that went all the way to the Division I title game – losing by just a single point to undefeated Londonderry – but will be saying goodbye to five significant players on graduation day this spring.
“Matt led the team in assists and shared the lead in points-scored,” said Miller. “He proved to be a field-general on the floor and distributed the ball well.”
Six-foot-four-inch Brown saw some varsity time during the 2014-15 campaign for coach Peter Rosinski’s top-level crew, and that seasoning could serve him well if he steps into a larger role for the 2015-16 season.
“Trystan averaged a double-double in points and rebounds, played solid defense, and provided constant leadership at all times,” said Miller.
The PA junior varsity contingent’s other contributors included swing players (guards/forwards) Nick Bartome, Evan Rogers, and Demick Hobbs, and guards Matt Brown and Jeff Cole. The squad’s forwards included Tyler Gendron, Dom Lander, Riley Hogel, and Kevin Mitchell.
“Not only do I believe that our players improved, both mentally and physically, but I feel that some will play important roles at the varsity level,” said Miller. “I know that the number of positions available for that team will be limited for the 2015-16 team, but this group is ready to compete and it should be very interesting to see the results of their hard work over the summer and early fall. I look forward to watching them as they play at the next level in the future.”