Current Scotia stars can be spotted in ’09 team photo

If you want to know why this year's Scotia-Glenville High School basketball team was so good, all yo

If you want to know why this year’s Scotia-Glenville High School basketball team was so good, all you have to do is look at the team photo taken just after the Tartans won the sectional title.

Not this year’s Tartans: We’re talking the 2009 team.

Now ignore the players in the photo. Instead, look at the three little kids in the lower right corner. They were student managers, sixth graders, kids who handed out water and towels and slipped warmups on empty bench chairs, They were part of the team, part of the program. They belonged in the photo.

Look at the smiles of those kids, seniors themselves now, Scotty Stopera, Joe Cremo and Joe Almond, from right to left. They didn’t know that someday they would be the backbone of back-to-back Class A state champions and four-time sectional title winners. But they could dream. And they could watch and learn what it took to be winners.

“They established what their goal was,” athletic director Jamien Rockhill said. “To fast forward to four straight Section II titles, two straight state titles … This whole thing has been a pleasure to watch. It has been a storybook kind of deal.”

You can do that when your high school team is more than a team, but a program.

A program extends beyond the varsity, beyond the high school ranks, reaching down to the lowest rungs of grade school. You will see Scotia-Glenville players at Saturday morning youth rec league games helping out. Tartans coach Jim Giammattei appreciates more than anyone how little kids in photos grow up: He has not only been the head varsity coach of Scotia-Glenville for 24 years now, but also helps out in the junior ranks.

“I’m most aware of the history,” he said. “It’s mind-boggling, going from one group to the next.

“I’m the sixth grade travel coach right now,” he said. That team runs the same offense, uses the same terminology, uses the same chant coming out of breaks: “1-2-3-Pride … 4-5-6-Family.”

“It’s something to cultivate,” the coach said.

Now Giammattei is saying goodbye to five seniors from a pair of legendary teams.

“Next guy up,” the coach says, repeating the mantra of every high school and college coach. “Next team up.”

Where will the next great players come from? In Scotia, all Giammattei has to do is look at some aging team photo.

Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply