It’s that time of the year again, time for CYO basketball. The season opener is right around the corner. The first games are scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 8. The trash talk has been going on for weeks now, and this Sunday students will finally have a chance to back it up. The new season is bringing new faces to the league. Four of the six teams have had coaching changes, and new players are entering the league. This league, some say, may be more competitive than the Prep basketball team’s schedule.
Preseason Power Rankings
1. St. George
St. George returns not only ranked number one in the league power rankings but also ranked number one for the most hated team in the league…again. Returning to their preschool gym, the Lancers are led by seniors Trey Deitrick and Ryan “Money” Misko. The Lancers also have two newcomers to the league, Nick “Air Head” Wisinski and the most hated of the Lupo triplets, John, who opted not to try out for Prep’s varsity team. Students around Prep are tired of hearing Wisinski’s trash talk. Hopefully when game time comes around he can back it up. The Lancers are also introducing a Mercyhurst Laker to the CYO league, but no one cares. The Lancers could be backed up by the silent but deadly Mike Bevan, who is pure from the three point line. Starting the season ranked as number one the Lancers have a serious chance at the title this year.
2. Blessed Sacrament
Blessed Sacrament is making a bold statement this year. With approximately 30 kids on the team, they could have one of the deepest benches in the league. The splash triplet, Nick Frisina, is the only returning player that will actually make an impact on their season with his leaky faucet ways. Derek “The Gazelle” Jones is ready to finesse his way into this league in a majestic way. This kid will pounce on that basketball like he is pouncing on his prey in the wild. The Bulldogs also gained some key players, such as Ryan “The Silent Killer” Sargent, and Trousie “Rain Drop” Thrower. The Blessed Sacrament Bulldogs also lost key player Thomas Rosenthal but gain back Tyler “Tom Reisenweber” Smith as a coach. It will be interesting to see how far T. Smith will bring his team and get the subs in. It will also be exciting to see what former Ramblers Tanner Bayhurst and Kyle Carman will bring to the table. The Bulldogs are definitely in contention for the best team in the league, but will they back that statement up?
3. St. Peter’s
St. Pete’s swears to be good this year, but seriously, are they ever good at anything? I mean their school is closed right now. They might have a point this year with the addition of Tony Squeglia and Kenny Harden to the team. That is if Kenny shows up to the games and Tony’s water skills can transfer onto the court. Lets not forget about “Radar” Daniel Scutella. This kid is like DeRozan. When he shoots it, it goes in. This team chemistry should be pretty grand though as Prep Rally Crew stars Peter Bloomstine, David Tullio, and Kyle Wagner are all on the team. Yes, I said Kyle Wagner; this team has already forfeited their season. With kids like Tony and Kyle, this team can’t make the playoffs, due to not being a part of the parish. This team is basically another Harborcreek Youth Services team. While this team is bound to be fun, and not to shabby, they aren’t going to make the playoffs so there is no need to worry about them.
4. St. James
St. James enters the year ranked in fourth place. The Panthers had a rough offseason, losing a couple starters and the senior class president himself, Will Lewis. St. James is returning Kevin Bello, “The Creatine Monster” Nick Hess, and a couple of kids from Harborcreek. The Panthers also acquired the kid who buys Instagram followers, Joe Campbell. Kyle “Meatball” Mitchell is playing for the Panthers too, if anyone cares. Other than that St. James doesn’t have that much. They will need some extra help if they want to make a run at the championship.
5. Our Lady’s Christian
OLC usually is able to bring out a pretty good squad. This year, though, it is going to be hard for them to compete. With the loss off Matt Fessler, this team doesn’t have much left. But OLC always finds a way to win some games, so I would not be surprised if senior Brian Stark is able to lead this team far into the playoffs. Brian says, “Once I get this cast off, this league has a problem.” This kid is able to hustle and is an average shooter. Also they have Dillon Elliot and Colin Williams, if their girlfriends let them play. But Colin Williams is a very good shooter and Dillon Elliot can pass the ball pretty well. Evan Presta is going to be a major threat down low, and isn’t a bad shooter for a big guy. The seniors, Colin, Brian, Evan, and Dillon could lead this team to victory, but many people have their doubts this year.
6. OLP enters this year ranked last. Losing their starting five and then some, the Crusaders will have an embarrassing year to say the least. The players on the team say they are in a rebuilding process, but let’s be honest, they’re just bad this year. The Crusaders are debuting their secret weapon this year in the long, pale and handsome Jake Labonte. The Crusaders will be led by senior Adam Lawson and former Prep benchwarmer Nate Serafin. Drew Bleggi, wannabe rapper, will also be making his CYO debut. OLP has also been recruiting a couple of kids from McDowell. Recently OLP acquired “The Cucumber” Dave Nies. The Crusaders should have an interesting team this year Maybe they’ll even make a run at the championship.
Preseason All-CYO First Team
Preseason All-CYO Second Team
Preseason All-CYO Third Team