The Spirit and Success of JV Boys Basketball


It may finally be time to take the “junior” out of Williston’s Junior Varsity Basketball team. The boys JV basketball team played a terrific season, achieving an undefeated record through fourteen games.

“We’re always ballin’” sophomore guard, Tate Cowperthwait said.

With a team of predominantly seniors, the roster demonstrates intangible leadership and drive towards greatness. Head coach Richard Vachet shared his unique insights on the team’s successful season and compatible lineup of players.

“In addition to having some really good basketball players, I think our team success this year is because of the team leadership, energy, and chemistry,” Vachet said. “We have many seniors on the team who have led by example … They know when to have fun and know when to focus. The team also works very hard in practice. In my experience, teams that practice hard, play hard.”

Vachet added that everyone on the team “gets along really well. They support one another and encourage one another. The resulting team chemistry pays off during games.”

As articulated by Coach Vachet, when these Wildcats are playing selfless basketball, demonstrating strong team chemistry, they are truly unstoppable. The JV Boys strong collaborative efforts shone most brightly in their most recent matchup against the Westminster School.

Coach Vachet described the team’s 58-32 rout in his game recap on the Williston athletics website, crediting the Wildcats’ “stifling” defense and “great shooting” at the hands of Max Kellogg, Jacob Waah, Will Chalfant, Will Vachet, Tate Cowperthwait, and Connor Capshaw. Jack Mettey, Will Chalfant, and Max Kellog each had multiple steals.

As detailed through Coach Vachet’s post-game report, senior point guard Connor Capshaw, displayed a stellar performance from behind the three-point line, contributing to the Wildcats’ runaway victory. Despite his talent and confidence on the basketball court, before this season, Connor had not played competitive basketball since his freshman year.

Following a successful ninth-grade season on junior varsity, Connor decided to hang up the laces, prioritizing his conditioning and strength during the winter. However, seeing this as “the last dance,” Connor could not refuse the opportunity to play one last season.

“I’d have to credit the excitement surrounding this season for bringing me back to the hardwood,” Connor said. “I knew we had a lot talent but more importantly, I knew we had a group that would make it exciting to come to practice every day.”

Unlike Connor, senior power forward Andrew Yu-Hwang has been playing with the junior varsity basketball team since his freshman year. Not only does Andrew truly love the sport, but he credits his continued involvement to the surrounding energy and team spirit.

“The intensity that everyone brings, and the hype just makes overall the experience truly surreal,” Andrew said. “I enjoy every moment of it.”

Relishing all moments is certainly a common theme among this team. The loyalty and close bonds are not only evident on the basketball court but are apparent through the community-oriented actions of the JV boys.

Laura Vachet, Williston’s Director of Academic Support, team parent, and wife of Coach Vachet, views the team’s general enthusiasm and kind-hearted nature to be a great complement to their on-court play.

“It was really special to see how the team showed up for each other outside of practice,” Ms. Vachet said. “Whether it was Chalfant’s shoutouts on IG [Instagram], or the team attending a pediatric cancer fundraiser game to support a teammate’s family member, or going to the [Middle School] Science Fair to support the lone 8th grader on the team, they still showed up for each other. It’s really endearing for JV level, though their commitment has exceeded any JV level expectations.”

Not only have these Wildcats shown dedication to both Williston and surrounding community, but the recent passing of Head Coach Kevin Garrity gave the team new purpose and motivation. Ms. Vachet’s continued dedication to the team shined through her efforts to honor Coach Garrity.

Jake St. Marie, senior day student and two-year player, commented on the team’s cherishing post-game traditions and the devoted endeavors of Ms. Vachet.

“A lot of times after important wins, we will do a closing with something along the lines of ‘KG on three’ as a way to commemorate coach Garrity,” Jake said. “Ms. Vachet also got us wristbands to honor coach Garrity, which was a very kind and appreciated gesture. We all wear ours to show support.”

As demonstrated through their loyal gestures, fun-loving spirit, and dedicated playstyle, the Boys Junior Varsity Basketball team is truly a hidden gem on Williston’s campus. However, given the fast-approaching graduation date of eight key players, one cannot help but ponder the if the team’s success will continue in future seasons?

Will Chalfant, senior guard and three-point specialist, believes the team at will continue its excellence.

“Last year, the Boys Basketball program at Williston was unusually large, resulting in the creation of a second ‘thirds’ team,” Will said. “Outside of recruits, the JV team is the best of this massive pool of prospective players. If this pool remains large throughout years to come, JV success is bound to continue.”