By Nanik Tagore–
The San Juan Spartans finished their 2021-2022 season strong after a rocky start in the preseason, but came up short in the playoffs.
From last month: San Juan boys varsity wins League Championship for Devin Johnson
Spirits were high heading into the playoff matchup against Calaveras High School. San Juan was slotted as the 15th seed with Calaveras slotted as the 2nd seed.
From the jump Calaveras came out hot shooting the rock at a high clip. San Juan Shooting Guard Narco Gallon kept the Spartans in the game with multiple three point buckets. Calaveras pulled away going into the second quarter and the Spartans were never able to regain ground, losing 74-52.
“Losing and knowing the season was over was tough, but I took all the positives we had this season and really shed a light on that,” Coach Jermaine Galloway said.
Heading into the locker rooms, the Spartans were visibly defeated, knowing this was the end of the year.
“I am just grateful that our team showed up and tried our best, regardless of the loss,” Junior wing player Ryan Martin said.”At the end of the day we will always be league champions.“
As previously reported, San Juan defeated Casa Roble 69-48 to secure a spot in the playoffs on Feb. 16.
The strong finish boosted the team’s morale after a slow preseason, losing eight out of 12 games. With excellent coaching by Head Coach Freddie Bryant paired with leadership from team captains, the Spartans were able to rally together eight straight league wins ultimately winning their first league championship in 10 years.
“The most memorable moment was the overtime win over Golden Sierra and beating Vacaville Christian in an away game,” Junior Wing Sam Silchuk said.
“I have always believed in scheduling a competitive preseason for the boys because it would always prepare us to deal with league,” said Coach Bryant, describing the rocky start to the season. “Watching the growth of these young men this season was the ultimate pay. I am filled with pride!”
Coach Galloway, who came aboard San Juan’s coaching staff September 2021, said he believed the Spartans rebuilt the San Juan name, an important goal for the San Juan alumni.
“The season was an absolute success,” Coach Galloway said. “The young men accomplished amazing things winning the 1st league title in 10 years.”
*This article was published as part of a new collaborative effort launched by The Sentinel to cover local sports, featuring articles written by student journalists from Citrus Heights high schools.