Baltimore City College is well-known throughout Maryland for its IB curriculum and notable alumni. However, City’s sports also add to its positive reputation. As winter sports come to a close and spring tryouts are happening, City’s Varsity and Junior Varsity basketball teams are ending their successful seasons. Last week the boys Varsity and JV Basketball teams capped their regular seasons with games against Edmondson High School (resulting in another victory for the varsity team).
The Boys Varsity team is 14-1 and ranked 31st out of 275 different Maryland schools. City’s JV players are excited to try out next year and preserve this year’s team’s strong reputation. “Everyone wants to continue playing in the program,” said Ben London (‘24). Although the team has been successful on the court, they have had their challenges. One of the team’s biggest problems was a shortened season. The season was shortened due to Covid, and unfortunately, many of City’s players couldn’t come back to play for their senior year.
Although a smaller team can be seen as a downside, it has allowed the group to grow closer to each other. When asked about the locker room atmosphere, both Ben London (‘24), and Kyree Smith (‘23) explained that members of the team are very supportive of each other. Smith went further into detail saying, “We all encourage each other and give a lot of praise. It’s fun, we have a special group and we all get along.” Currently, the Varsity boys are progressing through the playoffs with hopes of winning the state championships.
In addition to the threat Covid has posed to all sports teams at City, academic probation is a common problem and has hit JV basketball especially hard. Many players were forced to quit the team due to a recent change in City’s academic requirements for sports. The rule used to require that students who were failing two or more classes to step back from the team in order to allow more time to work on assignments. However, this year City raised the threshold from two classes to one, putting more players in a tough position. Many were forced to quit, stripping teams of valuable players.
Although the JV team may not have the best win-loss record (2-14), the entire team has greatly improved since the beginning of the season. Ben London (‘24) mentioned that “with everyday practice, there’s a rhythm and being surrounded by really good basketball players makes you want to play better and to their standards.”
One of the team’s most memorable moments was their recent game against Coppin Academy. After a streak of losses, the JV team fought back, focusing and playing with a higher level intensity. They won by 40 points with a final score of (76-36), giving the team a more positive outlook on their season. Overall, the Varsity and JV teams work well together on and off the court, and City is excited to see how both teams will continue to improve over time.