New beginnings

Eagles rebuilding after losing four seniors


Cleveland Publications Archives

Senior Nicholas Buchanan dribbles around a Rainier Beach defender last season. Buchanan is the only returning starter for the Eagles.

With the departure of several key players, the Cleveland Eagles boys’ basketball team has big shoes to fill. While other Metro League teams have years of chemistry with one another, this is going to be a rebuilding year for the Eagles.

Senior Nicholas Buchanan, the lone returning starter, believes the team can overcome this hurdle. He doesn’t feel the pressure of carrying the team.

“I’m confident in my ability to perform,” he said.

Last year, Cleveland had an up-and-down season, coming close to winning multiple games, only to fall short by a few points. The team still managed to make their way into post-season play. But not having the greatest basketball record, the Eagles haven’t been seen as a threat to the opposing teams.

“Nobody expects us to do anything this year,” said sophomore guard Charles “CJ” Elleby. “We can prove everybody wrong if we just keep working in the gym and the classroom.” Elleby has maintained a routine to get into the best shape possible. The doubt from outsiders doesn’t discourage him. The naysayers get them more fired up for the upcoming season. Along with that fire comes excitement over some new faces.

Davon Bolton, a transfer from Rainer Beach, is hopeful for his new team’s chances this year. Although some newbies feel nervous coming into a new environment, Bolton is confident.

“I know that my team is going to do big things this year.” Bolton thinks the Eagles will shock people by making it to state. Eagles Head Coach Jerry Petty will lead the team again this year.

“He knows exactly what he’s doing,” said Bolton. “He’ll put me in the right position to get me where I need to go.”

The camaraderie between the coach and players are going to be the key for this team. The Eagles will travel to O’Dea for their season opener on Dec. 1, at 8 p.m.