The Bodden Town Reapers (a nickname given to the team that has seem to stuck) are having a perfect season. Undefeated for most of the year and showing no signs of slowing down atop the PWC Under-16 Basketball League, Bodden Town are a great team.
There’s no denying that or faulting it, but how have they come so far? How have they gotten to this point? Coach Victor ‘Voot’ O’Garro points to one thing, “Practice. They have their own court and these guys are always working and always practicing.”
It seems that practice really does make perfect, allowing the self-named Reapers to sport a perfect record past the mid-way point of the U16 season.
“Bodden Town have some serious size, “ Coach Voot explained, “they kill everybody on the boards. They’ve played together for the last two years so they’ve been able to grow together and improve as a team.”
Bodden Town’s biggest advantage on their competition, asides from their chemistry and hard work, is their size. Christopher Collins (the starting centre) averages 15.5 rebounds a game, second in the league. His starting counterpart David Wood (power forward) is not far off the pace, fifth in the league at 10.7 rebounds a game. They are easily the league’s most efficient rebounding duo.
“Their chemistry is a huge factor, most of the boys have played together for at least two years, so in a sense you could call them ‘Young Vets,” Coach Voot continued, “I fully expect these boys to go all the way this year, Tim [Howard] and Jason Collins have done a fantastic job coaching them.”
Timothy Howard, Bodden Town’s excellent head coach, has been with the team for the last three years. Coaching not only the U16 teams, but also their U19 team (who lost in the final minutes of the semi-finals last season). His greatest success, however, is the unbeaten run his U16 team has managed to put together over the last year and a half.
“I’m very pleased with the boys,” Howard said. “They all work hard and it’s all coming together very well.”
Howard states his biggest focus relies solely on developing the players, “It’s development, win or lose, I’m looking for all these guys to improve. They’ve improved steadily from week-to-week and that’s the main goal.”
However, improvement doesn’t happen at the rate Bodden Town does on just playing one basketball game a week, it takes work and repetition. “I put all my team in the basketball academy and preach to all of them to practice on their own time.” The Reapers are a dedicated team, playing as much and as often as they can to improve as much as they can.
With Bodden Town performing as well as they have over the last couple of years, new recruits are easy to come by, but Tim states that the new players have fit in well, “When the new guys come along they understand our goals system: everyone has a goal, everyone has a part to play in the team and they usually just fall in line and fill their role well. Everyone plays a part and the new guys understand that.”
Next year, however, will be a rebuilding year for Tim Howard. Star players Christopher Collins and Maynor Brooks (point guard/shooting guard) are going to a California high school to play basketball come September, however Bodden Town will still have star shooting guard Reuben Barnes.
Nonetheless, losing two of their heavy-hitters will be a blow.
“We’re going to rebuild next year, we’ll have 75 per cent new players, but we’ll keep the same system and instil the same values, have the same regime, we’ll still be a great team.”
The Bodden Town Reapers are a great team with great coaches, they’ve managed to put together an amazing undefeated streak and develop talent into “young veterans.” There’s no doubting their success, but only time will tell if their effective system will be able to rebuild for the future.