Written by Michael Florek
FW All Saints boys basketball a favorite in SPC Winter Championships despite having a team full of football players
Fort Worth All Saints basketball coach Kenny Yates has reminded his players all season of what their team supposedly is: one basketball player surrounded by a bunch of football guys.
“That kind of gets them going a little bit,” Yates said.
All but one player on the All Saints basketball team played football this season, with the latter being their main sport. The team had to start practice a week later than other schools because the football team played in the Southwest Preparatory Conference’s small-school championship game. Three days after they the title, the basketball season began.
“We didn’t really have any high standards as far as basketball,” junior Kendall Adams said.
Adams, the team’s leading scorer, went from wide receiver/defensive back to guard. Brandon Johnson made a similar transition.
Offensive lineman Charlie Flores has turned into a post presence, as has quarterback Foster Sawyer, who hadn’t played basketball since eighth grade.
A top quarterback recruit, Sawyer was talked into playing basketball by All Saints athletic director and football coach Aaron Beck, with a little coaxing from Yates.
The collection, along with the team’s “one basketball player,” sophomore Max Vrana, has led All Saints to a 24-4 record and earned it the North Zone’s No. 1 seed in this weekend’s SPC Winter Championships.
“We’re basketball players right now,” Sawyer said. “It’s just funny to beat those straight basketball teams.”
The group of football players has perhaps the school’s best chance to capture its first SPC Division I boys basketball title. Some of that can be attributed to their other sport.
Yates and Vrana said the chemistry of this team is stronger. For Adams, that’s a result of most of the team spending 11 weeks playing together.
“We were already close,” Adams said. “We just brought that over to the basketball court.”
The football banner hanging in the All Saints gym includes a handful of championships. The basketball banner has one SPC Division II championship — from 2003.
Vrana knew exactly where the banner was, pointing to it as he talked about adding to it.
“They want to get another ring,” Vrana said. “I want to get my first.”
TAPPS state swim meet: The TAPPS swimming and diving state meet will be Friday and Saturday at the Blossom Athletic Center’s Josh Davis Natatorium in San Antonio.
The Division II and III swimming and the diving will be Friday. Division I swimming will be Saturday.
Follow Michael Florek on Twitter at @michaelflorek.
SPC Winter Championships
Boys basketball Division I: Final is 3 p.m. Saturday at Greenhill
Boys basketball Division II: Final is 3 p.m. Saturday at Cistercian
Girls basketball Division I: Final is 2 p.m. Saturday at Hockaday
Girls basketball Division II: Final is 3 p.m. Saturday at Episcopal School of Dallas
Boys soccer Division I: Final is 3:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Mark’s
Boys soccer Division II: Final is 4 p.m. Saturday at Cistercian
Girls soccer Division I: Final is 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Episcopal School of Dallas
Girls soccer Division II: Final is 3 p.m. Saturday at Hockaday
Swimming: 9 a.m. Saturday at Loos Natatorium in Addison
Wrestling: 8 a.m. Saturday at St. Mark’s