By Rob Tetro
The Phoenix boys’ varsity basketball team recently concluded its season with an 11-8 record and having earned a second place finish in league play.
Four seniors also wrapped up their hoops career at Phoenix. As Nick Tassone, Emilio Tassone, Bryce Plante, Jeff Sawyer and Brandon Wood depart, they do so having made their impact felt on the Phoenix boys’ basketball program.
Coach Jim Rose sais his four seniors worked hard to improve from game to game and season to season. After failing to qualify for Sectional playoffs last season, the seniors and their work ethic were on display this season.
In fact, the work ethic seemed to have trickled down to the team’s younger players.The Firebirds worked hard to improve throughout the season, which put them in position to win more games than a year ago en route to returning to during the Sectional playoffs.
With Nick and Emilio Tassone, Plante and Sawyer set to graduate, Rose hopes they move from their participation in the Phoenix boys’ varsity basketball program having learned the importance of responsibility and hard work in a team setting.
Rose said a successful unit is one that is cohesive, which allows that unit to work together for common goals.
Phoenix accomplished many goals this season.Rose is proud his seniors will be able to move on after being a part of a team that succeeded while working together in a family atmosphere.
Rose also hopes his younger players move on from this season having learned as much from the seniors work ethic and dedication as it seems they have. This season, they were able to see firsthand how hard work and dedication during both the in-season and off-season can benefit a team.
He also hopes his returning players quickly regroup and renew or expand their determination with the expectation of building on the success from this season.
Looking ahead, two starters will be returning for the Firebirds next season. The team will also feature two key bench players from this year’s team.
Strong leadership will be expected from Zach Sisera next year as a senior. Also as a senior, Connor Haney will be looking to improve at the center position next season.
Walker Connoly and Shaun Turner came off the bench last season, but will be looked upon to fill the voids left behind that this year’s group of seniors. Rose hopes to see the trend of hard work, dedication and improvement trickling down to the program’a younger players continuing.
He said having players who work hard and have the success to show for it will be great examples for new players who lack basketball experience at the varsity level.