St. Pascal’s Knights boys basketball team captures league title


Front row, from left to right: Coach Joe Hommes, Max Weber, Sam Malec, Peter Hommes, Patrick Wanschura, Assistant Coach Rob Malec. Back row, from left to right: Matt Ray, Aiden Wolfard, Greg Goedker, Joe Tschida, Dillon Schweitzer, Assistant Coach Mark Weber. (submitted photo)

Despite only one win during the regular season, St. Pascal Baylon Catholic School’s boys basketball team found its shooting touch during the CAA (Catholic Athletic Association) Class D City tournament and won the championship trophy on March 6. 

Head coach Joe Hommes said the seventh- and eighth-graders worked hard, stayed positive and continued to encourage each other throughout the whole season. 

He said there were quite a few new players this year and older team members were very supportive and encouraging to the rookies.

Hommes, whose son is a member of the team, said he tried to teach the boys that winning wasn’t the most important thing; it was about making goals and meeting them, as well as fulfilling their roles as team members.

For each game, the teammates would make goals about how many points they would try to get and how many they would let the opposing team score. Each time they reached their goals, they gained more confidence, realizing that a win was within their reach.

Of the last eight games of the season, the team won seven.

The team played in the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School (SEAS) tournament during the weekend of Feb. 5-6. Hommes said it was close throughout the game, with St. Pascal ending the game on an 11 to 2 run after trailing 27 to 25 with about four minutes remaining.

During the SEAS tournament, player Matt Ray was named to the All-Tournament team. 

The Knights then played in the St. Peter basketball tournament the second weekend in February, losing to the eventual champions but winning consolation trophy. 

Besides being basketball teammates, the boys also acted as study buddies, helping each other with their homework.

“Grades became a problem for some players during the early part of the year, so I started a new 30-minute study period where the older players and younger players would work together on homework before practice,” Hommes said.

He said the study periods helped build relationships and trust within the team, which the players would bring out onto the court.

The boys will continue on to play baseball this spring. Hommes said it will be a bit of a challenge this year due to the construction along White Bear Avenue. He said that starting in May, they won’t have access to their ballfield across the street from the school and will have to partner up with another school to use its field.

As for basketball, Hommes said the boys had an “unselfish attitude about understanding their roles.” 

Hommes hopes the kids take away skills about communicating, trust, maintaining their roles in a team, and how they each have a special function in the success of the team. 

Hommes added, “They worked hard at perfecting their craft.”

 

Marjorie Otto can be reached at 651-748-7816 or at eastside@lillienews.com. Follow her on Twitter at @EastSideM_Otto.

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