Adversity is part of Stevenson’s healing process – Monterey Herald
CASTROVILLE — Foresight came into play this week for a group of reality-stricken players.
The frustration of not having played a basketball game for 22 days for Stevenson pales in comparison to seeing a teammate suffer a medical emergency last Tuesday.
“There was a lot of emotion tonight,” Stevenson guard Trent Toole said. “This team has been through a lot lately. We came together as a family tonight.
Thursday’s return to the basketball court was good medicine for the Pirates, who opened their Mission Division season – albeit 11 days late – with a 63-39 win at North County.
While their hearts were with their teammate, their focus for 32 minutes was back on the pitch as Stevenson looked like the side that went 10-3 uninterrupted in pre-season.
“I always joke about Stevenson’s vacation hangover,” coach Justin Clymo said. “We didn’t have that tonight. We had rust in decision-making. But our energy was great. For the majority of the game we were locked in like any game we played.
Stevenson was due to return to the field last Tuesday when a teammate suffered a medical condition as the players boarded the van, leaving them in shock.
Playing a game has become secondary. Emotions hung in the air for 24 hours before the players agreed to play on Thursday.
“Our team is a family,” said Evan Johnson, who scored 15 points in Thursday’s win. “We got together and put everything on the pitch for our teammates. You never know when things may change.
The return to the hardwood was some semblance of normalcy for a program that didn’t play last year due to the pandemic and went 19 months between games.
“I actually think it fuels our energy more and generates motivation,” Clymo said. “Based on what I’ve seen, we show up and compete no matter what.”
One of the reasons Clymo chose to cancel last season when sports resumed in the spring is that all of its players play spring sports. Clymo, who is also a sporting director, did not want to force them to make a choice.
While few have picked up a basketball for more than a year, all have kept themselves in shape.
“It’s great to be back here,” said Johnson, a CCS 100 and 200 meter track champion. ” Nothing is acquired. The statement is that we are here to compete. But at the end of the day, we are a family. It’s bigger than basketball.
The last time Stevenson was on the court in 2020, he shared the Mission Division title with Christopher. Despite the long layoff, there were expectations ahead this season.
“Honestly, I wasn’t surprised,” said Johnson, who was part of the 2020 squad. “Guys were working in other sports. Not having a season added to the motivation to always fight. We realize the season could be scrapped again in the blink of an eye.
And it was for nearly a month that COVID protocols suspended the Mission Division season for nearly two weeks.
Stevenson hadn’t had a full team practice where everyone was available since Dec. 17. His last match was on December 30.
“At first I was worried about tonight,” Clymo said. “But the events of the past two days put things into perspective. I caught myself watching a video and saying “who cares”? So many things interrupted the season. It was a blessing to be able to play basketball again. »
Clymo does not know what the message is. The goals that were created before the start of the season are still there. The turn of events earlier this week created a different mood.
“What happened this week puts things first,” Clymo said. “We all have goals. I’m not ready to predict anything. We just take one game at a time.
What was made clear in Thursday’s league opener victory is that the Pirates are playing for each other in what has been unpredictable for the past few weeks.
“The goals are always the same,” said Toole, who had 18 points. “We have been through a lot. Right now we’re happy to have the guys there who are able to compete every day.
If there was any rust, it didn’t show up defensively as the 39 points allowed was the fewest points the Pirates had given up this year.
Contributions have come from various players throughout the season for Stevenson, who host Monte Vista on Monday.
“We’re playing fast and hard,” Toole said. “Last year we didn’t have a season. So we’re enjoying what comes. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season has in store for us.