Vernon basketball not lacking in senior leadership

| 27 Jan 2014 | 03:07

    When a head basketball coach puts a big emphasis on having seniors on the roster demonstrate to the rest of the team what it takes to be responsible not only on the court, but off the court as well, it can be a bit of a risk.

    Sometimes members of the senior class aren’t mature enough to handle such a role, but that’s not so for the Vernon High School boy’s basketball program this winter.

    Four seniors for the Vikings — Nick Kinsella, Kevin Moran, Kahlil Stewart and Phillip Thompson — know what it takes to be leaders on the court as well as in the classroom.

    “Thompson wasn’t able to play the first six weeks of the season due to injury, but demonstrated tremendous leadership by attending all practices and games providing positive encouragement to all of our student athletes," Vernon head coach Matt Ferguson said. “He made a strong contribution in his first game back from injury, scoring 20 points and adding seven rebounds and five steals in a close loss to Morris Hills. Moran, like Thompson has been in the program all four years and values the concept of hard work. Kevin relishes his leadership role both on the court and off.

    Ferguson said Kinsella and Stewart are "more than willing" to accept their roles on the team. He said they also enjoy working hard and leading the group.

    Ferguson respects the effort that the four seniors put into their school work.

    “Most importantly all four of these student athletes plan on attending college in the fall," Ferguson said. “They have an impressive resume to bring along with them: National Honor Society, National Honor Society History, Advanced Placement courses, community service and leadership in DECA Marketing Club."

    Ferguson said the team values seniors as its leaders because they understand the program's philosophy.

    "They are able to share their experiences with the younger student athletes," he said. "Most importantly it gives them experience as they pursue their goals after high school. This group of seniors truly understands our program philosophy. The younger student-athletes marvel at how well they get along together, their no quit mentality and obviously their impressive academic performance."