Bellbrook Boys’ Basketball Playing4Payne 

by Maria Gerbic

Bellbrook Boys’ Basketball ended their season in the first tournament round to Ponitz, a tough way to end a great season. The team  finished 2nd in the league, with a record of 14-6 and 9-3 in the SWBL division. The notable victories were to Xenia’s D1 team and Oakwood, league rivals who were twice defeated by Bellbrook. Many didn’t have great expectations for the team except for the players and coaches, but the dedicated team came together to prove themselves. The standout game was against Franklin, where a packed student section cheered as Bellbrook took on the top team of the division.

The team had a strong group of leaders and great team chemistry that helped them overcome adversity. Senior captains Tommy Krohn, Austin Hall, and Josh Schumacher led the team along with junior varsity player Josh Rogers. Varisty junior player Payne Sigman was seriously injured in a car accident during the season, which launched the #Play4Payne and #Pray4Payne movements. Word traveled fast, and soon all of Bellbrook and their opponents were wearing Play4Payne t-shirts, bracelets, and even his name on their shoes to give support for the injured player. Coach Perry Cadwell commented on the way the team handled the situation, saying, “I was really impressed by how the boys were able to come together as a team and handle that adversity. It really taught us what was important, which was not basketball but supporting our injured teammate.”  The team won the majority of their games after the accident, which demonstrated the hope they had for Payne and their resiliency to finish up the season strong. Next season is something to look forward to, since the team will lose 7 senior players this year, leaving the opportunity for many JV players to step up to varsity next season.

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