Injury is largest opponent for Loomis Chaffee
By Kathryn Elliott - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Fri., Feb. 4, 2011
WINDSOR - High school basketball teams traditionally have at least one true rival – the team that causes coach and player to strategize just a little bit harder. The Pelicans, of Loomis Chaffee, find their biggest competition not on the court this year, but on the injury list.
With talented players from nine states, head coach Jimmy Dargati leads the Pelicans through seemingly unending physical obstacles with optimism. “We have been besieged by injuries this season,” the coach said. “We lost four players since the beginning of the school year; three players, including two starters, went down with season-ending knee injuries. In my 21 years coaching at Loomis, I have never seen anything like it.”
Although the team has been greatly impacted, morale continues to be strong. “I really feel for the injured kids because all they want to do is play,” he said. “In a strange way, it has brought us closer together as a team. I really admire the way our kids have played despite the bizarre road we have traveled this season. They are a special group.”
Casting aside the negative, Dargati pulls his team’s focus into areas where the Pelicans continue to excel. “Our strength is our defense. We feel that the match-up zone and the 2-2-1 press that we use are effective means of controlling tempo and limiting our opponent’s ability to score,” he said. “Our attitude on defense is that we are going to make our opponent work to score on every single trip down the court.”
Loomis Chaffee Boys’ Basketball Head Coach Jimmy Dargati
Number of season with this team: 10 years as head coach.
Thoughts on the season: “Our goal this year, as it is every year, is to compete for a Class A New England Tournament Championship,” the coach said.
Captains: Jared Roberts and Drew Pelletier
Complete schedule on www.loomischaffee.org
John Hawkins, Center #50.
The 6’10 Hawkins leads the team in rebounding, blocked shots and field goal percentage. An outstanding player and leader according to Dargati, Hawkins brings skills and sportsman-like composure to the team. A graduate of Troy High School in Michigan, Hawkins has a career high score of 20 points in this season’s game against Kent. He also plays football and baseball and is planning on attending college to study business.
Jared Roberts, Point Guard/Shooting Guard #22.
As team co-captain, Roberts currently leads the team in scoring, steals and assists. A resident of Pennsauken, N.J., Roberts first began playing basketball at the age of 5, and has a true appreciation for all aspects of the game. In a recent match-up with Avon, Roberts achieved a season high of 23 points. Selected by Lafayette University’s football and basketball programs, Roberts plans to study economics.