In a season known for happy tidings and kindness to strangers, the Sealy Junior High seventh grade basketball team has shown none to their opponents on the scoreboard. The Tigers have remained unbeaten after defeating El Campo on the road on Dec. 18 before going into winter break.
What makes this season special so far isn’t the fact they are undefeated, it’s the way they’re going about it. Twice this season the team has beaten a team by more than 30 points while holding their opponent five points or under at the same time. The first blowout occurred against Needville on Nov. 30 when the Tigers won 42-2. The team repeated the feat again on Dec. 11 defeating Sweeny 40-5.
Head coach Jason Luckett said having a team of players who have previous playing experience at such a young age is one of the many advantages that makes the team so good.
“Every single one of these kids has had experience playing in the past and some of them have played for two or three years now and just knowing how to play organized basketball, I think it helps them go a long way,” Luckett said.
He said what helps the team even more than their experience is their work ethic and the rare extent to which it goes.
“They’re just naturally competitive because I just cannot throw enough at them,” Luckett said. “If I throw more, they just ask for it to keep coming and they are just a special group when it comes to their drive and compassion and it’s just such a special thing for them.”
Luckett said one such an example was one of his players attending the high school basketball team’s summer workout then waiting for the junior high workout and participate in that as well. He said it is effort like that that led the team to victories over 5A schools like Brenham and Frisco in tournament play. I remember when we were playing football this past fall and they almost went the whole season without letting up a touchdown and in their last game they did and I had to pull them back together because they were so upset,” Luckett said. “We had won district and went undefeated but it goes to show the passion and competitive nature that these kids have.”
Luckett also said the fact the players are performing well academically shows their work ethic translates to their lives off the court as well. It is their seemingly Herculean effort that Luckett says makes coaching worth it for him.
“Coaching is my joy and I love it, Sealy and the kids and this team is the reason I love it,” Luckett said. “Honestly, they have more impact on me because it makes me feel so good watching them put so much heart into it and then see on game day they can beat just about anyone.”
The team will resume play on Jan. 11 on the road against El Campo and have three more games in the season after that.