The St. Peter’s CYO program senior basketball team was victorious in the Nassau/Suffolk championship game for the third straight year. The boys have won this championship the last two years and won the Tyro (ninth and 10th grades) the previous year. The Port Washington News had a Q & A with team member Jack Mansfield.
Q: How did you get started with basketball? How many years have you played with St. Peter’s?
A: I got started with basketball in the third grade through PYA, but I didn’t really start loving basketball until I played under Coach Kenyon and Coach Frank for CYO in the sixth grade. They really taught me to love the game, and I’ve been playing ever since. So, this past season was my seventh and final season playing basketball for St. Peter’s.
Q: What was it like to work with Coach Frank this year?
A: It has been special playing under Coach Frank. He’s an excellent coach, who not only taught us how to play basketball, but also the essential skills of sportsmanship and leadership. I, as well as all my teammates, are grateful that Coach Frank has taken the time to coach us for the last two years.
Q: Do any of you have pre-game routines? Post-game?
A: Pre-game we don’t do much besides listen to music and get locked in for the next game. Post-game we go out to dinner as a team and just hang out.
Q: How much did you push yourselves to make sure you’d make it to the championships?
A: We worked really hard this year to get to that championship game. We had a great group of guys who stayed dedicated and put in the work that we needed to get to where we ended up. After practice every week, me and a couple other teammates would stay after and shoot to make sure we were ready for the next game at hand.
Q: What was the road to the championships like?
A: Getting to that championship game was hard. We had a couple injuries along the road, and it was tough at first losing George to his knee injury, but we stayed strong and got through it. Although it wasn’t all easy, we all had fun doing it. I know that me and my teammates shaped bonds and friendships that we will remember for a lifetime.
Q: Walk me through that championship game.
A: We came into that game thinking we were going to dominate, but it didn’t work out as planned. We didn’t score for the first five minutes of the first quarter, but we played good defense to stay in it. After that, Aidan and Elliot started hitting a lot of shots to get us back into the game. From there on, it was back and forth between us and Pius, until we pulled out the win in the end. I really think the key for us that game was our defense. We played strong, hard defense, and they weren’t getting a shot up unless it was contested by one of our guys. I also believe that if it wasn’t for Steven Stehl’s rebounding effort, we couldn’t have kept the game so close.
Q: How did it feel to win the championship?
A: Winning the championship was a great feeling. This was our third one in a row as a team, but this one was special. I think that since it was our last season, it felt good to end our careers on a high note.