Vikings Basketball Dominates in First Season Game
Sophomore Tremaine Fraiser raises for the layup against Monroe. (Photo: Amanda M. Gordon)
A basketball court once vacant due to a scandal has been revived by the Vikings. With the return of the men’s basketball team, glory has been restored to Valhalla with the victory of the first home game.
The final score closed at 101-74. While this may have been just a game for some, it meant a great deal to the college as a whole, given the history of the WCC Basketball team.
In October of 2014, the former basketball coach was fired when it was revealed that former players were enrolled at Universities with false transcripts. This ultimately forced the college to fire those responsible and shut down the program altogether, until now.
“This was a special night for Westchester basketball,” said the men’s Basketball Coach Sean Kelly, who led the men’s team to victory. “We were excited to turn the lights back on and compete at a high level opening night.”
Getting the men’s basketball team back on the court has been a main objective for the Athletic Department. WCC’s Athletic Director, Michael Belfiore, noted that with a major college sport in session, support for other teams could grow along with school spirit.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Belfiore said on the first win of the season. Seeing the bleachers filled with excited fans showed the fruits from the labor of his work with the rest of the athletic department. “It was really something special and a great way to start off.”
Needless to say, tensions were high on campus concerning the new team, but so was the enthusiasm.
One might be hard pressed to find anyone more excited than those who reside in Hartford Hall. President of WCC, Dr. Belinda Miles sat on the front row of the stadium stands with pom poms in hand.
“Dr. Miles was so moved,” reported Director of College-Communications, Patrick Hennessey. The victory of the team that night was held in high standards for many. A comeback story for the college overall, giving hope to the future of WCC’s sport teams.
The Vikings remained miles ahead of Monroe Express throughout the entire match. Starting from the tip-off the defense was strong and the home team made score after score, going into halftime with a lead of 56-39.
With the Vikings leading the game doubts and fears dwindled in the crowd, but on the other side of the court, the coaches had little to no fear.
“We felt prepared for our first contest after completing a tough preseason,” Kelly said, noting that games prior to the opening match were against some of the top rated teams including NCAA Division 2 Mercy and Brookdale, a top 10 team. “We have a veteran, experienced group, and were excited to get on the court.”
Throughout the game WCC’s mascot, Chester the Viking stayed courtside to keep the entertainment going while the ball was out of play. Dancing to pop songs when a timeout was called, both by himself and enticing basketball fans to join him in the festivities.
At halftime, Chester delivered T-Shirts to eager fans on the stands. The women’s volleyball team hosted a bake sale, selling drinks, brownies, and other goods to satisfy the needs of the crowd. Truly all hands were on deck for ensuring this game could be a success in every possible way, and hopefully this will be the first of many victories.