(San Marcos Academy Bears local basketball players Sabas Castillo, Currie Pipkins, Aubrey Oswalt, Dion'drick McCoy and John Nealon are all smiles after hearing of their latest rise in state polls. Photo by J. Ronald Oswalt-Special Assistant for Athletic Development-San Marcos Academy)
SAN MARCOS, TEXAS (December 18, 2010) The San Marcos Academy Bears got an early holiday present as they moved up this week to number four in the latest poll of the Texas Basketball Coaches Association of private schools. The Bears are off to a fast start, and currently stand at 14-2 for the season. The team, 2-0 early in district play, is riding a 4-game winning streak.
The Bears have swept both the San Antonio Lutheran Tourney and the Sunnybrook Christian Lions Hoops Tourney with a 6-0 record in both tournaments, taking home two championship trophies and two MVP awards.
The latest ranking is the highest since the early 1980’s then the Bears joined the Texas Association for Private and Parochial Schools. The Bears are rolling under the leadership of SMA Head Coach Kelia Price, the perimeter play of junior guard John Nealon from Wimberley and the inside play of Currie Pipkins, Sabas Castillo and Dion’drick McCoy, all of San Marcos.
“From the first practice we had, Coach Price has pushed us to work hard to come together as a team,” Pipkins said. “We have to work together to get better on the court. This team has a chance of reaching some high goals, but there is still work to be done. We are where we are now by giving it all we got in practice and in the games.”
The holidays may be a welcome break for the Bears, but may be a challenge for continuing the steady improvement they have shown as they now go for more than four weeks with no games. When they return for the spring semester, they will immediately have to face the always-tough Austin Regents, a team fresh off a state championship season in football.
“We never know from night to night who will step up for us,” Coach Price said of his players. “However, the down low-presence of Castillo has expanded our game, while Pipkins has been our leading scorer and one of the best rebounders in the state.”
The SMA Bears will return to action after the holiday break with a district contest on January 11th on Chick-fil-A Court as the Knights from Austin Regents pay a visit.