The Stoughton High boys' basketball team gathered at in Stoughton Thursday night, May 10 for a private banquet, to celebrate their historic 2011-2012 season.
The Knights ended the season with a 20-5 mark, and did what no other Stoughton team has ever been able to do, make the state semifinal at the TD Garden, home of the Boston Celtics.
Of the 93 teams in Division 2 high school boys’ basketball in Massachusetts, Stoughton High was one of the final four left standing. The D2 South Champions beat , , and to reach the Garden, before losing to D2 North Champion .
Coach John Gallivan took the podium first, where he praised the hard-work and dedication the team displayed throughout the season.
Gallivan noted, "This was the best group of guys I have ever been able to coach. They listened to everything the coaches told them all year long and they went out and did it with no complaints."
Gallivan earned his , when Stoughton beat North Attleboro on January 13.
After coach Gallivan, Dr. Keith Motley, Chancellor of Umass-Boston took the stage, delivering a very inspirational speech on the importance of realizing the potential you have in you, and reaching out to become the best you can be.
The Division 2 South Sectional Champions then received their jackets, sporting their names on the side, and "Division II South Sectional Champs" on the back as well as the official MIAA certificate.
Junior captain Aaron Calixte also received his 1,000 point ball, beautifully decorated by the Director of Basketball Operations Melanie Ingrao, who took a huge part in planning and organizing the banquet.
Calixte became the first Stoughton High junior to eclipse 1,000 points, on February 14.
Calixte reminisced on the season when stating, "I love all of these guys. We were a team who came into the season with a lot to work on and improve, and it was great to see these guys come together and evolve throughout it. I could not have asked for a better team to play at the Garden with."
When talking about next year, junior captain Marcus Middleton simply stated, "Next year we are going to come home from the Garden with a win, and go to the DCU center (home of the state finals)."
2011-2012 Stoughton High Black Knights Boys' Basketball Team:
- Players: Aaron Calixte (captain); Marcus Middleton (captain); Joe Bunce-Grenon (captain); Raymond Bowdre; Antonio "Nuke" Ferreira; Mike Gallagher; Steffan Jackson; Aaron Mack; Matthew Mack; Mauro Oliveira; Donald Salidan; Stanley Sajous; Andrew Valle; Joey Wilder
- Head Coach: John Gallivan
- Assistant Coches: Steve Goulston; Steve Woodruff; Joe Powers; Joe Powers; Bryan Carew
- Director of Basketball Operations: Melanie Ingrao
- Team Manager: Josh Brown
Review Stoughton High's Road to the Garden:
Stoughton Patch editor Jeffrey Pickette contributed reporting.