December 9, 2023

By Fred Liggett

St. Michael’s tipped off a new basketball season on Friday, Dec. 1 under the guidance of first year head coach Ronald Newton. Equal excitement in the stands as the team wanted to score its first win of the season and deliver Coach Newton his first coaching victory.

The Guardians came through for everyone thanks to a 59-37 season opening win over St. James. On his first victory Coach Newton felt “very excited.” Before the game he met with the players and saw “a lot of them were nervous.” A new coach, no games, no jamborees for the Guardians as well as St. James Academy. Coach Newton says the team “went in blind, just be the best version of us.” Newton adds “Now I don’t have to think about it.” The coach took time after the game to “say thank you, meant a lot.”

Newton had a group of friends that came to the game. Newton states “was great to have them.” Newton comments on the night before the game while at a team dinner with the three team captains, thought was not much of a crowd for the game. The next night the “gym was packed.” After the game Newton received a number of texts and congratulatory notes on Twitter. Newton believes he has “a good support system, that show support and love.”

Following the season opening win the Guardians quickly gave Coach Newton win number two with an easy 64-24 win over Harrisonville. From there the Guardians play another non-conference game against St. Thomas Aquinas. While there will be many games after another as the season progresses one can be assured many will remember the first tipoff and win on this season.