The Grapevine Faith boys basketball team was not supposed to win 23 games this season. They were not supposed to go 11-1-1 in district and make it to the area finals. With a new head coach and a key player knocked out early with an injury, their success was improbable, if not impossible. The Lions not only succeeded, but also received multiple honors in the process.
“This was our first 20-win season in a long time and it was great for the seniors who have gone through so much,” said head coach Matt Sayman. “For them to have a lot of fun and have success was great. I was happy for them.”
Zach Postema and Kyle Carter both made First Team All-State, with Postema named the District Offensive Player of the Year and Carter named District MVP.
“This is the first time Faith has ever had two guys make it to First Team All-State,” Sayman said. “They both worked really hard and bought into the system. For them to have individual success after the year we have had is great.”
Sophomore Dalton Standish was named Honorable Mention All-State and First Team All-District. Tyler Dixon earned Second Team All-District honors. Carter Bras only played 18 minutes this year before knee surgery cut his season short, but his skills were still noticed.
“Carter (Bras) kept leading all through the season from the bench, even when he didn’t play,” Sayman said. “It is impressive for a high school kid to do that. He played well enough last season and before his injury that he still earned Second Team All-District. He is very humbled and honored by that.”
Warren Womack and Mike Modisett were both named Honorable Mention All-District.
“Warren really stepped up and was unbelievable in district. He was basically a double-double guy,” Sayman said. “Mike is a freshman and had a really good first half. He also had eight points in our last playoff game. The future is bright with him.”
Six Lions will be graduating soon, and Sayman is bittersweet about losing them.
“I am grateful to the senior class,” he said. “I am grateful for what they have done for our school and the program because they didn’t give up.”
The Lions may be losing some seniors, but they have the benefit of years of talented players coming up from the lower school.
“We have a cool vibe going through our program right now and a lot of good opportunities coming forward,” Sayman said. “From seventh grade up it is my coaches and style of play, but even the fifth and sixth grade teams and down are playing in local leagues and getting to wear Faith on their jerseys. They love it.”
Many programs are helping keep the basketball culture strong.
“We just started a ‘Road to 10,000 Challenge’ with the kids from fifth through twelfth grades,” Sayman said. “We have about 20 guys that are trying to get 10,000 three-pointers made by the end of July. We have a few that are already over 1,000 made in just a few weeks.”
Three-pointers are already something of a Lion specialty. Grapevine Faith was tied for first place nationwide, in all school classifications, for most made three-pointers in a season at 378, according to the website MaxPreps.
“I never dreamed we would do something like that,” Sayman said. “For a school with 125 boys, its pretty neat. It is a really exciting time for our program.”
With seasons of good players still to come, this year’s Lions will be leaving a lasting legacy.
“Our guys here are great people to emulate and the younger kids all look up to them as role models,” Sayman said. “They have fun and they have learned lessons that will help them in life outside of basketball. If my sons grow up to be like these guys I will be happy.”