Tuesday, March 2017
The Chicago Waldorf High School Boys Basketball team, led by five seniors, made history in the 2016-2017 season. For the first time, the high school boys went undefeated in Lakeshore Athletic League conference play, capturing the conference title and the tournament championship under the leadership of Coach Cole Hunton.
Despite being Coach Hunton’s first season with the team, he immediately brought some big changes to the table. He knew he would have to ask a lot of the team if they were going to have a strong season. “From that very first practice at 6:00 a.m. in November, all 10 players bought in and found a way to understand what it was going to take each day for us to be successful,” Coach Hunton emphasized.
The team’s hard work paid off when, on February 21, the Waldorf boys won the Regional quarter-final game of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) State Tournament. They then moved on to the semi-finals, winning in a thrilling battle against rival Ida Crown, 51-47, to advance to the Tournament Regional Championship Game against #1 seed Luther North. Although the team ultimately fell to Luther North, senior Henry Rogers expressed how proud he was of his teammates, many of whom have been playing together since they were in 6th grade. “It was a great season. We practiced hard with two-a-day practices. It was a great way to go out and we’re proud of what we did,” stated Rogers.
Prior to this season, the Chicago Waldorf School's basketball team had never won a game in the Regional tournament, and never competed in an IHSA Regional Championship game. Senior Elijah Marder believes this is the new blueprint for the program, stating “We went into the season with an underdog mentality, trying to prove ourselves, and we did. I think this sets a new standard for the team in the future.”
Coach Hunton echoed Marder’s sentiment on the hard work and dedication that was put into this season, claiming “while every day was not easy and we went through our fair share of highs and lows, they stuck together and grinded all the way to the end. To have the most successful season in Chicago Waldorf basketball history is special, and something they should be extremely proud of every day. They successfully laid the foundation for what will be our goals and expectations next season and beyond.”
The CWS community is proud to celebrate this historical season, while looking excitedly ahead to the future of the High School Boys Basketball program.