For the Sacred Heart Saints senior boys basketball team there is one sure thing.
There will be a basketball season next year, regardless as to how they do in the conference tournament in Balgonie this upcoming weekend.
For four veteran members of the Saints roster, however, the only thing that is certain is that they will not be on next years’ team.
That’s because those four players, Jaedon Pellatt, Carter Ruff, Garrett Betker and Jared Buzinski, will all be calling it a high school career once the season is over.
“We (the seniors) have been playing together since grade nine on the junior team,” offered the diminutive but feisty Betker. “It’d be nice to go as far as we can in the playoffs. It’s our team and we need to do well.”
Betker’s fellow senior Saint teammate and starter Carter Ruff echoed that statement. “It’s our last season playing basketball together,” said the sharpshooting Ruff, who, at any given time can take over a game with his three-point prowess. “We just have to go out and do what we can do in conferences.”
While Ruff will no doubt do what he can do, especially from beyond the arc, another senior Saint, Jared Buzinski, feels that the Saints have to rebound after a less-than-stellar tournament in Lumsden. “We had a weaker tournament in our last one but I think our team will step it up and play good in playoffs,” said Buzinski, adding, “We have to. It’s our last chance.”
It is their last chance. Sure, they may win conferences and qualify for the next playoff tournament. The SHHS Saints might even defy the odds and make it to Hoopla.
However, their head coach Garrett Karcha is fully aware of the eventual loss his team will suffer once the season is finished. “Losing these guys after this season is going to be a big loss experience, skill and leadership wise,” stated Karcha.
Then Karcha, instead of focusing on the negative, decided to put a positive spin on things, saying, “I think the experience and knowledge they brought to our practices rubbed off on the younger guys and that’s something we can thank them for. Their work ethic and drive is definitely something the younger guys can look up to.
“These guys are four very intelligent young men. I really expect good things for them down the road in not only sports, but life.”
So while the season is nearly over and four great high school athletes are in the twilights of their careers, there is still one thing that is certain. There is still a lot of basketball left to be played before it’s over.
Or, in the words of Carter Ruff, “it’s all or nothing.”