Circle Christian Boys Basketball Essay

Circle Christian Boys Basketball

Nominated by: Doug Beattie

Circle Christian Boys Basketball

Players are True Champions

The late Coach John Wooden defined a Champion as being a true competitor who is not deterred by challenges and who loves tough situations and playing against the best opponents.  They focus better and function better.  They give their best effort and get the most out of the abilities they possess.

Circle Christian’s boys varsity basketball team and players face pressures and challenges far beyond those dealt with by other Florida High School Athletic Association member teams and players.  Not allowing the unique challenges for our student-athletes to be an excuse, Circle’s boys basketball program has established high standards for their success in the classroom, the community, and on the court.

Athletically, it is truly a David and Goliath scenario.  1)  Circle Christian School does not own a gym.  Since the inception of the basketball program, we have rented facilities for practices and games and as the result, have less available gym time than any other competitive varsity basketball program in Central Florida.  2)  Circle always has had the smallest enrollment of any school in any of the FHSAA Districts to which we have been assigned.  3)  As a non-traditional, but fully accredited school, Circle does not have a traditional campus where the student-athletes attend school together and then go on to practice in their school’s gym after classes have ended.  Our players are primarily home schooled, with many duel enrolled in local colleges, and live throughout Central Florida.  Every one of our varsity basketball players travels more than 30 minutes each way to attend evening practices and home games (with some traveling more than an hour each way).  4)  With no school supported transportation, Circle basketball players and coaches have to make their own arrangements to travel to away games.  5)  Circle does not have a weight room to condition our players (like every District school that we compete against) – our strength program is running drills with a weighted basketball during practices. 6)  With budget constraints and the challenges of finding gym time, we always play twice as many away games in our schedule as home games. 7)  Since the players do not actually attend school together, we face the challenge of having the needed time together to build both the proper chemistry with the players and the ‘team’ concepts needed for a competitive basketball program.

The commitment and work ethic necessary to play Circle varsity basketball is real and requires far more sacrifice, hard work, time management, diligence, and expense than athletes are required to invest at other schools.  Yet … the players in Circle’s boys basketball program have displayed their true Championship character by overcoming these challenges, pressures, and difficult situations to be successful on the court, in the classroom, and in life.

Circle Christian School has been a fully accredited member of the FHSAA for ten years.  For boys basketball, Circle currently is assigned to Class 2A, District 7, and we finished third in the very competitive District this season.  Our overall record was 15 wins and 10 losses.  Circle’s boys basketball program has never had a losing season.  The team has been State ranked by the Florida Sportswriters in three seasons.  It has won one District Championship and in numerous trips to Regional play in the State Tournament, Circle has advanced as far as the Elite 8.  In past years, Circle has beaten such established Central Florida basketball programs as Boone, Orlando Christian Prep, Lyman, Lake Mary, Lake Mary Prep, Lake Highland Prep, and Pine Castle Christian – just to mention a few.  In the past eight years, six Circle players have been recruited, as scholarship athletes, to play college basketball.  Three players (two seniors and one junior) from our current varsity roster are being actively recruited to play at the next level.  However, the success of our program goes far beyond our achievements on the court.

It is said that adversity and facing challenges reveals character.  I respectfully submit that the character of our players and Circle’s basketball program has been exemplary.  In addition to our achievements on the court, our players, as a team, earned FHSAA Academic State Championships for having the highest average g.p.a. during both the 2008 -2009 and 2009 – 2010 basketball seasons.  In addition, virtually every player on the varsity team has been active in his church and taken on leadership roles in church sponsored youth programs.   Also, a very high percentage of our players have participated in mission trips and been active in serving their community through volunteer aid programs.

I believe Circle Christian’s boys basketball is a most deserving team and program for your ‘Dress the Champions’ sponsorship.  We will proudly represent Allen Sportswear.  Thank you for your consideration.

Doug Beattie

Boys Basketball Head Coach

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