Future perfect?

The future of the Brownstown Central High School boys basketball program appears to be bright.

The Braves’ junior varsity squad recently wrapped up its season by posting a 19-0 record. In fact, the most recent time the team lost was Feb. 12, 2015, against Columbus East.

Marty Young has coached the team for the past six seasons and played for varsity coach Dave Benter when he was in high school. Young said it is a neat experience to coach where he went to school.

Young said the junior varsity’s success came from the members of the team.

“I have a great group of kids on this team,” he said. “I’ve had these boys for two years now, and we knew coming into this season we would have a good one. It’s just nice to be able to finish 19-0.”

He said since the junior varsity teams don’t participate in postseason play, they considered this their version of postseason victory.

“This was our sectional win in our minds,” Young said. “We have previously been undefeated with this team when the juniors on this team were freshmen, so we had this in mind with this group that we wanted an undefeated season.”

Cameron Eggersman, a junior on the junior varsity team, said he was glad he was part of an undefeated team.

“Not many teams are capable of doing that,” he said. “I’d say it’s an honor.”

Eggersman said he was able to improve his leadership skills through the course of the season.

“Being a junior on the floor, I was really helping with coaching and positioning everyone else to make sure they’re doing what we plan on,” he said.

Eggersman said many of the underclassmen have less game experience and need help learning the pace of the game, and he was able to help his teammates with learning the pace and what to do in a given situation.

Derek Rieckers, another junior, said it was rewarding to have the undefeated season because of all the work the team put in preparing for the season long before its start.

“We put in a lot of work in the summer,” he said.

Rieckers also plays on the Braves’ football team, so that means days in the summer are spent practicing and conditioning in both sports simultaneously.

“We come in at 7 for football and have football from 7 to 9, and then go to basketball from like 9 to 10, and then we go back to football at 11 or 12 again,” he said.

Putting in that work made Young’s job of coaching the team a little easier because of the team’s commitment to putting in the work to earn success. The team’s work ethic also has set some expectations.

“We know they’re going to play hard and know how to play, so when they come in here, we do set high expectations because I’m getting them ready for coach Benter next year,” Young said.

That work seems to build a lot of character and skills necessary to compete, Rieckers said.

“When we’re in here in the summer, we’re working on our fundamentals, and it helps,” he said.

Rieckers said he has learned a lot from the season and is thankful for a lot of game experience to carry into next season.

Andrew Murphy, another junior on the team, said he enjoyed being part of this team because everyone shared the same drive to win.

“We set out a goal before the season to go undefeated, and we were able to do that,” he said. “We accomplished it, and I’m proud of it. We thought it was possible, and we’re an older group, so we thought we should do it.”

Young agreed with Murphy about the team sharing the goal to win.

“Each and every practice, they wanted to get better, and it showed,” he said. “They wanted to get better each day and make the varsity better because we play them through the summer.”

As a point guard, Murphy said he improved handling the ball and his leadership skills. He said a lot of the success came from the chemistry of the team.

“We joke around and have a lot of fun but take the practices and games serious,” he said. “Everyone is fun to be around.”

Young said he thinks many on the junior varsity are ready for the challenge of playing varsity.

“Obviously, the competition on the varsity level is harder, but these guys played some quality teams and beat them,” he said. “They got some valuable minutes and can build for next year.”

Young said one thing is certain for the future of the program at Brownstown Central.

“I think the future for this program is really bright,” he said.

The undefeated squad

The 2015-16 undefeated Brownstown Central junior varsity boys basketball team included Andrew Murphy, Hunter Browning, Mike Boshears, Reece Covert, Ty Maxie, Derek Rieckers, Carter Tape, Cameron Luedeman, Ethan Carroll, Kyle Kramer, Cody Schrader, Cam Eggersman and Jordan Peters.