The Trottier Boys’ Basketball Season

Lee Jessup, Staff Writer

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The 2015-2016 Trottier boys’ basketball team took off last year, ending the season with fifteen wins and one loss.   Losing a lot of very talented players from that team, the current 2016-2017 boys basketball team is hoping to do the same or have a better record.  Approximately twenty-five seventh and eighth grade boys tried out for the basketball team, but the coaches could only keep fifteen.  The starting five are Patrick Freeman, Jacob Carulli, Nick Alcock, Gavin Weinberg, and Alex Karaban.  The team plays sixteen games with no playoffs.

They have worked hard to get to where they are now.  For example, they practice everyday after school or have early morning practices before school at 6:30 a.m.

The boys started off the season with three wins.  First, they played Mountview Middle School from Holden at home on December 9, 2016.  The overall performance was fantastic because the ball movement made the team share the ball and gave them wide open shots. They won 52-35.  The highlight of the game was Alex Karaban’s dunk because the team gained momentum, which helped them pull in front of Mountview.  They played their next game at home on December 13th against Whitcomb Middle School from Marlborough.   Yet again, the team pulled off another win with a score of 52-35.  The team’s strength during that game was their passing, defense, and consistent shooting.  The highlight of the game was, again, by Alex Karaban, and it was an and-one dunk.  Their third game was their first away game of the season.  Trottier went to Oak Middle School in Shrewsbury on December 15th.  Trottier ended up winning by 13 points with a score of 48-35, but it was a close game.  The highlight of the game was Gavin Weinberg’s and-one layup, which silenced the crowd and gave Trottier the lead.  The team’s performance was amazing.  They made almost every free throw they took.  The team has had continued success.  They are undefeated with one game left.  Go Trottier Rams!

2016-2017 Roster

Alex Karaban

Nick Alcock

Patrick Freeman

Jacob Carulli

Gavin Weinberg

Kian Haghighi

Kam Haghighi

Lee Jessup

Yash Tripathi

Josh Delaney

Luke Osetek

Zack Fier

James Clark

Joe Spinelli

Aiden Goss

I had the opportunity to interview the coaches, Mr. St. Pierre and Mr. Silva, and a player, Patrick Freeman.

Coach St. Pierre

Q:  How do you think the season will go?

A:  I’m always optimistic about having a great season, and I expect each season to be as good or better than the last.

Q:  What’s your plan for the season?

A:  My plan is to work as hard as possible and prepare for games.

Q:  Why was it hard picking the team?

A:  It is always difficult to pick a team because of the number of boys that tryout and the emotions involved with cutting kids.  It is one of the most difficult things I have to do as a coach.

Q:  What are you planning to change, skills, offense, and defense related, from last year?

A:  It is one of the most difficult things I have to do as a coach.  I keep the plays that work and will read about new and interesting plays/drills to try.

Q:  What are your expectations for the season (record)?

A:  I’m always happy to be as competitive as possible, regardless of the record.

Coach Silva

Q:  How do you think the season will go?

A:  I had high expectations for the season going in, and so far, the boys and girls have met those expectations with enthusiasm and lots of hard work.  The coaches and players work very hard to make Trottier a successful basketball team, and through that dedication and unity, I think we have tapped into something special.  I am hoping to win every game from now until the end of the season (until the faculty game, of course).  That one I’m hoping the teachers will be able to pull out a victory.  No hard feelings.

Q:  What’s your plan for the season?

A:  The plan for the season is to play lockdown defense and to hold teams to low scores.  We also need to have a high basketball IQ and take smart shots.  We should be hustling from the second we step onto the floor to the second the buzzer sounds and we step off it.  Hard work pays off, and the hardest working team usually wins.  That’s the plan.

Q:  Why was it hard picking the team?

A:  The boys and girls always have a lot of talent that comes out every year, which ends up making tryouts very competitive, especially with potential returning players.  The goal is to get a well-rounded team with good depth.  There is usually an overabundance of guards (or smaller players who handle the ball well), so it is difficult to sort out who would work best in a team dynamic.  That is the hardest part, finding enough diversity to cover all of the areas needed to make a strong basketball team.  You need good ball handlers, good shooters, good passers, good rebounders…the list goes on and on, and you need to try to balance the team well in that respect.  I try to remove personal feelings from the equation when watching players because it is unfair to group skill with how much I enjoy that particular student.  It circles back to hard work, though.  You don’t have to be tremendously naturally gifted.  If you work hard, that can do wonders for your game, which in turn improves your skill level.  We always end up cutting people I think would be great, but sometimes players need time to develop.

Q:  What are you planning to change, skills, offense, and defense related, from last year?

A:  You know what they say, “If it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it.”  We have had a successful approach to basketball, in my opinion, since I first came to Trottier.  Success is not always measured by a scoreboard or by a season record.  I measure it by personal growth and attitude.  You can be a successful basketball player with a bright future as long as you keep your head up and love the game.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  It’s all just numbers compared to how the game makes you feel.  That’s what you focus on.

Q:  What are your expectations for the season (record)?

A:  Expectations?  The boys are 11-0, and I hope to go undefeated.  The girls are 5-6, and I hope to carry that momentum into wins for the rest of the season.

Patrick Freeman

Q:  What strengths and weaknesses do we have in our current team?

A:  Strength:  We have a very tall player, Alex Karaban, and our team is very athletic.  Weaness:  We are not always consistent or very consistent with our shooting.

Q:  What is one thing you’re looking forward to this season?

A:  Having fun with my boys.

Q:  What are your expectations for the team this year?

A:  We should be a very solid team and hopefully go undefeated.

Q:  What team is going to be the hardest opponent for the year?  Why?

A:  Westborough.  They are a very big team, and we’re a smaller team.  They can out rebound us and get second chance points.  Also, their gym is very small, which we’re not used to.

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