Outsized. Outnumbered. Outmuscled. Out experienced. Never out-hustled. Coach O’Neal says, “This is a special group of guys.”
Starting guard Cody Moran. Junior. 5’10” One season experience.
Starting guard Francis Langley. Sophomore. 5’10.5” One year experience.
Starting forward Daniel Copetillo. Sophomore. 6’1” One year experience.
Starting guard Christopher Langley. 8th grade. 5’8” One year experience.
Forward Glenn Frick. Sophomore. No experience.
Guard Adam Copetillo. 8th grade. One year experience.
Sam Welch & Joseph Daniel 6th grade
Jack & Wils Childress, Matthew Dudley 5th grade
First Home Game
With no scoreboard wins yet to their credit, tonight is to be different. Winning at the first quarter mark and losing at the half, a back-and-forth third quarter sets the scene for 1:11 remaining in Habersham’s first home game of the season:
Trailing 27-29. Tension builds as Patriot fans realize, in tonight’s game, every point counts. A bleeding Daniel pounds in a short shot under the basket and draws the foul. Missing the free throw, it’s 29-29. Hustling down on defense, Cody the Gnat forces a bad shot and Harry grabs the rebound. Francis races the ball down, drives, scores, and draws the foul. He swishes the free throw. 32-29 Patriots. Momentum shifts. Fans begin to savor the foreign idea of victory. With the ball and 45 seconds remaining, Coach calls a timeout to slow the pace. Another missed shot by the Knights of Royal Live Oaks Academy, and Christopher Langley seals the score with a lay-up. Daniel ends the game with another drawn foul. Habersham wins 36-29 with a 9-0 run to end the 4th quarter! And the crowd goes wild.
For the unknowing fan, the win may seem mundane. Not so for any and all who have witnessed these remarkable young men lay everything on the line, game after game. With the same seven athletes playing every minute of two full games a night, sometimes three nights a week, while facing programs decades older and guys twice their size, they simply never quit.
Opposing teams’ fans go out of their way at the end of every game, to remark on how hard these guys play. They marvel at their good attitudes, extraordinary teamwork, exceptional conditioning, and relentless defense. They stand amazed, as do our fans, at how these guys keep on giving, when there should be nothing left to give. Exhausted, often beat up, they play with the heart of a David.
It’s More than Basketball.
It’s an inspiring glimpse into the heart of pioneers. It’s a first-hand glance at the grit and determination it takes to work for something beyond one’s self and well beyond a win. What we are privileged to witness is a peak at the first fruits of the Habersham vision – graduating free citizens who skillfully engage society with Christian wisdom and charity.
The Patriots made history tonight – winning at home, winning on the court, and always winning our hearts.