The Spirit of St. Patrick's Boys' Basketball Program

posted Sep 1, 2016, 12:42 PM by School Websites   [ updated Sep 6, 2016, 8:28 AM ]
An Investment in Individual Success On and Off the Court

This past February St. Patrick’s High School won its 10th NCSSAA City Championship. It did so in record fashion by not only tying the city record for the school with the most city championships, but doing so in 17 years (1999-2016) as opposed to 23 for Sir Robert Borden (1987-2010). It also set a championship game record by defeating Longfields-Davidson by a margin of 40 points, eclipsing the previous mark of 38 set in 1989.

It is fair to say with so much success in such a short period of time that St. Patrick’s is a unique school and it is the uniqueness of the school that fosters the degree of success seen in the boys basketball program. Players and coaches have come and gone in the time that St. Pat’s has realized all of its success but it is the sense of pride, tradition and family that continue regardless of personnel. 

With former players often coming back to help assist current teacher-coaches, Matt Koeslag and Tina St. Amour, (who is a St. Patrick’s High School graduate herself) over the last 10 years past success is always close by to remind the next generation of what is expected of them.  For the coaches however, the program is a means to much more than repeated athletic success. The vehicle of a sport that these students are passionate about is a way of helping them achieve more than they set out for when they try out for the boys’ basketball program. The coaches use the team as motivation for the players to achieve off the court both in the classroom and in life by instilling rigid expectations related to attendance, academic achievement, volunteering and accountability. Over the past 10 years the coaches have established a culture of total student, athlete and personal success that now is an assumed part of the program. 

Beyond high school the coaches seek out opportunities for the players that wish to go on and play at the college or university level by personally reaching out to coaches throughout the country on the students behalves. This has led to 26 students playing at a post-secondary institution in the last 10 years and 42 overall since 1997. The students trying out for the boys’ basketball team know the commitment the coaches and program make for their overall success and this has always been key to achieving the team’s mission.  These students know that much will be demanded of them but that they will reap so much more in return for themselves and their school.