MOSAIC Spring 2015 - Page 16

YOUR SEMINARIANS A Roaring Success Coach Fr. Charles Fox stresses teamwork to the Sacred Heart Lions during a game timeout. Playoff run and unlikely buzzer-beating win make a season to remember for Lions and first-year coach. T he season ended with a semifinal loss in a hard-fought tournament, but Coach Fr. Charles Fox and the Sacred Heart Lions should consider the 201415 basketball season a success nonetheless. 14 The Lions entered the Josephinum Tournament the weekend of February 20-22 with a 4-3 record and hopes of a deep championship run. The Pontifical College Josephinum sponsors the ten-team matchup of Catholic seminaries at its campus in Columbus, Ohio. The tournament traditionally ends the winter basketball season. The Lions had reason for confidence. The team had brought back first-place tournament trophies for four consecutive years, 2011 through 2014, and had won the championship in 2009, too. The Lions began tournament play with a sturdy win over the Diocese of Buffalo’s Christ the King Seminary. “Our seminarians shot the ball particularly well, which was gratifying because shooting has been a struggle for us most of this season,” Sacred Heart Major Seminary | Mosaic | Spring 2015 says Father Fox, the first-year coach who had taken over the coaching duties this season from long-time coach Fr. John McDermott, SJ. “Every player had a chance to play and competed well.” Game two ended with a victory over the Pontifical College Josephinum’s Bteam. The Lions picked up championship steam with a third win, over St. Paul Seminary of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. “This was also the game in which the remaining players who had not yet scored a basket in the tournament did score,” Father Fox says, “which is always a boost for those players and the team.” With a fifth consecutive championship trophy in sight, the Lions entered the semifinal round against their arch-competitor: the Josephinum A-team. The Lions led late in the first half, but the “Papal Bulls” of the Josephinum clamped down on defense and won comfortably, 35-18. The tournament topped an enthusiastic season for the Lions despite the semifinal loss. The highlight of the year had to be the improbable win over “The Guards,” a rough-and-ready team made up of Sacred Heart security officers and their friends (ringers). Center Colin Fricke hit a buzzer-beater to send the game into overtime. With the Lions down by a point, 72-71, with two seconds left in overtime, Colin heaved another desperation shot, this time from mid-court, that banked straight into the net and sent the team, the crowd, and team mascot Leo the Lion into a “Can you believe it?” frenzy. The eighteen members of the Sacred Heart Lions should be pleased with their 7-4 season record. The hard practices and hardy competition certainly encouraged in the men an increase in virtues—teamwork, self-discipline, and resilience in the face of adversity, to name a few. These will serve them well in the more severe competition against “the world, the flesh, and the devil” when they become, one day, God willing, Catholic priests.