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Jays Open Season with Loss at Branson.

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November 29, 2008

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They young Jays opened the season against one of the favorites in the COC this year in Branson.  The Pirates jumped out early on the Jays and won the game 75 – 46.  The good news for the Blue Jays is that this year’s freshman class has proved that they are ready to step up and compete right now in the always tough COC.

The following article and photos submitted by Robert Williams.

I believe most will say that while we always hold out hope for the possible upset this was truly a David vs. Goliath match up. Unfortunately for our Jays, experience owned the floor in the first half against Branson.

In the spirit of this holiday season Coach Tom Stokes treated the opposing Pirates to a Marshfield delicacy we’ll call "Freshman Delight" during the first half of last night’s game. The hungry Pirates were more than willing to devour and at the same time educate our young men in the finer arts of varsity level basketball, and as it turned out, they were great teachers, because in the second half the Jays appeared to have learned the lesson.

The second half revealed a Blue Jay team resolved to stay in the battle, adjust their strategy, find their strength, and compete against the most experienced, battle harden, talented team we will face the entire season.

This truly was not a game to be measured by the final score, or by individual statistics. This game was all about giving our boys the toughest challenge of the season in their very first outing to see how they respond, and reveal their strengths and weaknesses. I don’t know who is responsible for getting this game on the schedule, but for this team, this season, it was a brilliant move.

Last night went a long way toward showing the boys the level of play they have to achieve in order to be competitive. It showed we have strength coming from the bench that Coach Stokes relies on. It showed we have talented young players and strong senior leadership on the floor.

There is no question that the boys are talented and have a desire to win. The question we are left with from last night is do they have a willingness to come together as a team? That’s the question that will decide the outcome of this season. That’s the question that only the boys can answer.

It’s going to be a great ride watching them try.

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