‘Short season, but a memorable and unforgettable one’

Chester. A perfect season for the Chester Varsity Boys Basketball team in an imperfect time.

| 19 Mar 2021 | 01:30

The world of school athletics has been engulfed in uncertainty ever since COVID-19’s prevalence became wide spread, with sports only recently being allowed to resume higher levels of activity. Of the teams who can vouch for the tenacity of the situation are the boys varsity basketball team of Chester Academy, who themselves had a stellar season (even without any audience members being allowed at the games), winning all 11 games they played. Here’s what some of the teams members had to say:

When asked to reflect on the season:

Tristan Brideweser (age 18, grade 12, #15): “There was a different type of energy without the crowd, so a lot of our energy came from our bench unit. They did a very good job to encourage us and give us some excitement in the moments that we really needed it...I tend to play the same whether there’s a thousand people or if it’s completely empty, although it was definitely odd with the lack of noise.”

Ayyoub Taalabi (age 18, grade 12, #24): “It was difficult. The audience brings so much energy which gives us the spirit to move on, to play harder. We had to encourage each other.”

Frank Urbanovitch (age 17, grade 12, #33): “It was kind of depressing because we usually get amped up by our supporters.” “We had to depend on the benches’ energy, and they really came through”...We knew that this season might not be guaranteed so we all just worked really hard...We really strived to be that 11-0.”

When asked if they would’ve played the same season without COVID:

Tristan: “In life, things are subject to change. So whatever life throws at you, you have to be prepared for change, including COVID.”

Ayyoub: ”I think most people would want to change it...I would rather change it to be honest.”

Frank: “I would keep everything the same. It made everybody, including myself, work harder. I never thought I’d live through something like this, so it’ll differently be something to remember.”

When asked how they balanced school and basketball:

Tristan: “I made sure to do all my homework during study halls and to assist my teammates with whatever they needed.”

Ayyoub: “Because of how frequently we had games and practices, it was very difficult. My outside commitments made it extra challenging.”

Frank: “Being out of school two days a week definitely made it easier since the practices were at four or five o’clock.”

When asked to give advice to younger athletes and students:

Tristan: “Even when things look the worse, you have to stay prepared, because things will get better...I encourage them to stay physically active.”

Ayyoub: “Work hard, even through difficult times. You don’t have to stop just because of Coronavirus...you just have to work on your game.”

Frank: “Just keep working hard, because you’ll never know when an opportunity will be taken away from you.”

When asked for last comments:

Tristan: “I want to thank Mr. Marsellio for being able to get us a season this year and for keeping everyone safe...Whatever life makes of you, make the best of every situation.”

Ayyoub: “I would like to thank everybody who gave us a chance to play this year. I’m glad for every second I got to play with my teammates...every loose ball, and jump shot. It was a short season, but a memorable and unforgettable one.”

Frank: “I’d like to thank Coach Marsellio and my teammates for a great season.”