by Alex Berkman
Great basketball has a long tradition at Byram Hills and it’s expected that this year’s season will not disappoint. The team is expected to make it quite far this year, just like in past years. Lohud – a local online news outlet – ranked Byram Hills as the number three team in the section for Class A. Coach Ted Repa stated that “the golden ball was the ultimate goal” for this season. Coach Repa has developed boys basketball into a program that has competed at the top level in the section and in the state for quite some time now. Remember, it was only two years ago in which the team fell just short of winning a state championship in the final four.
This year, however, the team must overcome a troublesome task: finding a way to replace Skylar Sinon – a member of the team for five years and one of the greatest Bobcats of all time. Coach Repa praised Sinon, and explained, “You don’t replace a Skylar Sinon. He was truly a unique talent, and someone that we depended on in so many ways…”
Now, let’s get back to the current team! Coach Repa, despite the loss of Sinon and others, has faith that his veterans, including 6’8” Ben Leff, swingman Mike Parotta, and wings Sam Goldman and Willy Samsen, can lead a balanced approach to get the job done this season. In addition, this year, the team gained some more height with 6’6” Mike Caporale – Byram’s newest senior – who played two seasons at Iona Prep. It is truly going to be interesting to see who emerges as a leader for this Byram Hills team!
This team, based on talent alone, is capable of making a deep run into the playoffs as they have a great combination of size, athleticism and skill. However, in order for the team to be successful, talent alone will not be enough to bring the team back to another sectional championship. Hard work, dedication and team unity will all be needed. Repa emphasized this aspect as well: “[The team] cannot have any individual egos… [we need] a strong collective one.” Everyone knows that this team has all the pieces to be good, but will they put the pieces together to be great?
The team is off to a great start, having played their first two games of the season against Tuckahoe and Brewster. The team played to their strengths and were able to come out victorious in both of their outings. For all you Byram fans, it seems like we are in for another exciting and entertaining season of basketball. As Spencer Weinhoff, a student athlete and admirer of the team said, “It certainly helps having an average height of 6’4 in your starting lineup and a bunch of guys who love to play!”