The St. Kevin girls 5th grade basketball team recently won the Catholic Athletic League Championship and completed the perfect season in the process.
“They were super excited and super invested in the program. The parents were also very invested, the entire St. Kevin’s community was very excited for them,” said St. Kevin’s coach Betsy Smith.
Although hopes were high heading into the winter season, Smith and company were unsure of how things would play out considering many of the girls had never played basketball before. However, they would learn the ropes fast, and come together as one of the best youth basketball teams in the state.
“Only two of the kids had ever played basketball before, but they are all smart athletes that picked it up quickly. Some of them play softball together so they were able to gel quickly and come together as an athletic unit. They did a great job of picking up basketball in such a short period of time,” said Smith, who feels that familiarity with one another helped speed up the learning process. “There’s definitely something unique about these kids. They’re great athletes in other sports and we chose these kids because of that and because they all got along really well together. They are all smart athletes so we knew that they would be able to pick it up quickly. A lot of the parents were surprised with some of the stuff I was throwing at them. I would throw stuff at them just to see what they would understand and I learned to not underestimate them because they have a lot to give.”
The St. Kevin’s boys team also had a successful campaign, making it to the playoffs as well. Smith was excited to see the St. Kevin’s community join together and hopes to see the success of this past season start a tradition moving forward.
“The boys had a great season too, they had a great regular season and lost a heartbreaker in the playoffs. Both the boys and girls have expressed the interest (to play next year) and they will have a chance to build on this year. It really brought the school together so it was really nice to see. A lot of the kids from their classes came to watch, a bunch of the boys made posters which was great,” said Smith.
Members of the St. Kevin’s team were: Sarah Berube, Kylie Pires, Lia Wasilewski, Lily Sheehan, Reagan Motta, Julia Louth, Gretchen Dombeck, Ady DeRobbio, Kelsea Flaherty, Gianna Giampietro, Abigail O’Connor, Julia Smith, and coaches Betsy Smith and Emily Kennedy.