A sports team is like strings on a guitar, while its coach is the guitarist. He picks the right strings and works hard to create a great “tune” with the strings that he has. Sometimes the strings get rusty if they have not been used for a while and the music suffers for a period of time, but once the strings are played for a consistent period of time the “tune” eventually gets harmonic again and the strings become smoother than ever before. The “tune” in sports is a combination of team spirit and tactical efficiency as well as physical and mental strengths. The Suffolk Rams were searching for their tune in this busy month of January and it seems like they now found it. Three wins in a row to add to their record, and the Ram’s music is playing louder than ever this season.
When coach Nelson was asked about Suffolk’s game against River College last Thursday he said: “The game vs. River was a very physical game. They are very good defensively - we knew that it would be a battle, especially in front of a pretty rowdy crowd up there. Our guys definitely came to play - we made some big shots down the stretch to pull away at the end. The biggest was Colin Halpin’s three with 1:22 left – we were up one at the time.” Games like these prove that the team is where it needs to be both mentally and physically. It shows that the team can keep a cool head even when the game is tied and there are only minutes left of the game.
A player that really stood out in the River game and has made a tremendous progress in the season is Matt Powers: “Matt was great off the bench. He went 5-5 from the three and made big shots at key times. He followed that performance with five more threes and 17 points in our win on Saturday vs.Mt. Ida. He is definitely finding his groove at the right time. He is very difficult to guard – he is a 6’8″ shooter,” Coach Nelson said.
No team can be successful without a great coach. Thankfully Suffolk does not have to worry about that. In Coach Nelson, Suffolk has a very talented coach with many years of experience in the sport (having also been a part of Boston College basketball in the early 90’s.) At the age of 26 he became one of the youngest head coaches in the country when he achieved the position of head coach of Becker College.
Everyone has a favorite team, no matter if you are a player, a coach or a fan. Coach Nelson’s favorite professional basketball team is the 1988 Detroit Pistons, a team the Rams have many similarities with: “The 1988 Detroit Pistons were known as the ‘Bad Boys;’ they won the NBA Championship, and tended to get a bit chippy. They were very balanced like we are, and had a lot of weapons. Colin Halpin plays like Bill Laimbeer - he’s a big tough kid who plays inside and out (and can get under the skin of the opposing crowds – just ask the fans as Rivier!). Matt Pepdjonovic is like Dennis Rodman – he rebounds everything! Caleb Unni is our Isaiah Thomas – a floor general who can score. Chris Torres is similar to Mark Aguirre – a savvy vet at the end of his career who can flat out score! Off the bench, Matt Powers is our Vinnie “the Microwave” Johnson – he gets hot fast! Jhonneris Mendez plays like John “Spider” Salley – a tough competitor who can really rebound and defend. Adam Chick is like Joe Dumars – a no-nonsense guard who does all of the little things.” The Rams have many great characters on the team and judging by the last couple of games, the season is only getting better and better.