2008-03-27 / Letters to the Editor

Great team of young men

Unique in today's extraordinarily selfish 'what's in it for me' world are 14 local teenage boys I recently had the honor of coaching alongside Frank Rosa, the St. Mark's High School Boys team, which competed in the Catholic Athletic League. If it were not for the most biased, one-sided game of refereeing we (and the head of the league admitted) have ever been involved in, we would certainly be state champions and maybe even New England champions.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well Jamestown, todate with this group, you've done a great job.

Beyond the lines of the court, where collectively this is as talented a group of basketball players as has ever played from the island, these kids genuinely respect each other. They fight for each other, stick up for each other, and unmercifully kid each other, affectionately. Their smiles are contagious, their laughter infectious. Collectively they do not give up. You'd sleep well serving in combat with this group of kids watching your back, provided you could keep from laughing out loud, and along the way you'd come to appreciate their potential as leaders as much as I have. This is a special group of kids who will most assuredly challenge all of us as all teenagers do, but as a group is a fun group to be around.

Regardless of their teammate's individual talent level, they celebrate each other's achievements with the same passion, on and off the court. The guy who averages 20 points showed the same incredulousness and genuine joy all year long for his teammate who scored his second or third basket of the year. They leave no one behind on or off the court. Everyone is included.

Some of these kids have faced challenges that I think their friends have helped them come to grips with, albeit perhaps not with intention, but through relentless example and action over many years. With this group it's never just yack, its real. They share everything with zero pecking order. There is, under the hood, some real character in this group of young men. Hard to put your finger on. It's just something over time watching them interact - you come to appreciate and admire. At their core, several of these young men have the real potential to be accomplished leaders, and special ones at that.

Nice job parents, nice job Jamestown.

Chris Crawford


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