NORTHBOROUGH – The high school boys basketball team at Northborough’s St. Rose of Lima Parish recently notched a welcome milestone with a win in its final game of the season.
The team secured the 2022 Diocese of Worcester Parish Basketball League Championship, beating St.George’s/St. Mary’s by a score of 69-59 earlier this month.
“The team, coaches and parents are very grateful to the diocese for providing such a well-run, competitive playing opportunity for our boys, many of whom are high school seniors and playing together for the last time,” Head Coach David Calabrese told the Community Advocate last week.
Calabrese praised the league, which aims to provide an additional competitive opportunity for students who opt out of varsity high school sports.
“The youth program offered them an opportunity to be with their friends and be able to compete,” Calabrese said.
Calabrese noted that the league, indeed, remains competitive.
“It’s a well-structured league,” he said. “It’s also a Catholic league, so you try to manage it in a way that aspires to Catholic values.”
“We hold a prayer before the game, so you can try to instill the right values of sportsmanship and teamwork,” he continued.
This season was special to Calabrese, marking his retirement from coaching. It was also the final season his son competed in high school level play.
“This was one last chance for me to coach my son who is a senior,” Calabrese said. “I’ve done it to spend more time with my son. For me, it was a culmination of that same experience and being able to share that.”
Calabrese praised his players for their growth and commitment to teamwork over his last four years spent coaching for the parish.
“As they’ve matured as individuals, they definitely have meshed together over that four-year period of time,” he said.
Calabrese hopes that the values he worked to instill within his players will remain as they move on to postsecondary endeavors.
“The most powerful lessons are sportsmanship, teamwork, which will carry itself forward into their careers,” he said.
In the meantime, though he is stepping away for now, Calabrese is leaving the door open to future coaching opportunities for the parish should the need arise.
“If the parish was struggling to find coaches down the road, I may throw my hat in the ring,” he said.