It was great to see DeMatha win a wrestling tournament over the weekend. We heard from a few parents who were very excited about this success. Congrats to Coach Dylan Devine '12 and everyone else associated with the program. Keep it up!
It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years since we played our last game in the old Morgan Wootten Gym. At the time, we made a big hoopla (that's right, hoopla) over what we perceived as the "last game," a regular season victory over Good Counsel. (For the record, the true "last game" came two nights later in a playoff win over PVI, but for many reasons we could not hold a "special" night for a playoff game).
At the last regular season game in 2010, Morgan Wootten, Mike Jones '91, and Dereck Whittenburg '79 addressed the crowd. Aubrey Nash '68 then took the ball and passed it to Joe Kennedy '64 on the far end who made a layup. The ball was then passed up the floor to Kenny Tate '08 who threw a lob pass to Victor Oladipo '10, who then dunked the ball. The ball was taken out of the net by Quinn Cook, who dribbled the ball over to the unfinished Convocation Center. Also that evening, Dan McMahon '76 suggested that all of the former players form a chain from the Convocation Center to the old gym and a ball was passed from former player to former player as they stood between the two buildings.
The next day, The Washington Post had a small story about the event and showed a picture of Morgan Wootten peering into the old gym. It is a nice, bittersweet photo. And talk about history! DeMatha did not lose a game in that gym between 1961 and 1976. Last time we checked, DeMatha was ranked third or fourth in the record books with all-time consecutive victories played at home.
As we write this, we couldn't help but notice that Markelle Fultz '16 and Quinn Cook both led their teams in scoring last night as the Magic narrowly beat the Lakers; Jermai Grant '12 had another sold game in Denver's NBA win; Terrell Allen '15 helped lead Georgetown to an upset victory over #25 Creighton; Coaches Mike Brey '77 and Rod Balanis '88 saw their Notre Dame team get a tough road victory at Georgia Tech. (We're sure there are other Stags who performed well last night. Keeping track of them all is a full-time job).
The hoops teams this year is on pace to win at least 20 games. Should the squad do that, it would mark the 60th time in the past 64 years that the DM hoops team has won 20 or more games in a season. The squad is heading up to Springfield, Mass. (home of the Basketball Hall of Fame) to play two tough games this weekend. On Monday, the Stags will go up against arguably the top player in the country. Yes, that game will be on TV (we know, don't get us started about DM games on national TV!!).
Regardless, we thought we would revisit the amazing history of DeMatha basketball, which Morgan Wootten literally championed for so long and has continued under the watch of his former player, Mike Jones. So, even though Morgan retired in 2002, his legacy will continue for many years to come.