A Season's Journey For Pacifica Christian Boys Basketball Team

Coach Kevin Kelsey sums up Seawolves' season

Wednesday, 5 Mar 2014, 7:05:00 AM

Mirror Staff

Kyle Barnes (10) came back from a near-death experience last fall to lead Pacifica Christian to the CIF-Southern Section Division 5AA semifinals where the Seawolves lost to San Gabriel Academy.
Candice Kelsey
Kyle Barnes (10) came back from a near-death experience last fall to lead Pacifica Christian to the CIF-Southern Section Division 5AA semifinals where the Seawolves lost to San Gabriel Academy.

Kevin Kelsey's Pacifica Christian boys' basketball team struggled throughout the regular season, finishing fifth in the Liberty League. However, the Seawolves made it into the playoffs and came within a game of playing in the CIF Southern Section Division 5AA championship game.

It was a good run after a tough season. The Seawolves pulled off the upset of the year when they defeated Brethern Christian in a quarterfinal game. This season has been quite a journey for Kelsey and the Seawolves, who almost lost one of their own when star Kyle Barnes had to overcome traumatic injuries suffered in the fall from a accident.  

Kelsey talks about the team's season and about the inspiration that Barnes brought to the team

Pacifica Christian boys' basketball coach Kevin Kelsey in his words:

"Early in the season,

we lost to fifth ranked Chadwick; I printed out the polls after that game and

shoved them in the kids' hands. I wanted them to see that they are capable of

being great, but that their youth, inexperience, and lack of consistency could hold

them back. 

Shortly thereafter, we beat three top 16 teams, and my boys began to

believe that they could be good. My coaches and I were diligent in showing and

breaking down game film in order to impress upon them the importance of

defense. Our approach can be crystallized down to "defense is the priority

in every quarter." We ended up being ranked eleventh in our division (only

four other teams played as difficult a schedule as we did).

One highlight this

year was the presence of 10 U.S. veterans from the Seawolf (Vietnam) Navy Unit at

our Homecoming game! These men are the inspiration for Pacifica's mascot, the

Seawolf. They presented a flag, a plaque, and a framed picture of their

helicopters to me at halftime, but most importantly they reminded our boys that

they were playing for something bigger than just themselves. It was a patriotic

and poignant moment.

Losing two of our

final three league games just weeks ago ripped our hearts out, but those losses

gave the players a bit of a chip on their shoulders and reinforced the need to

put each other first at all times. I went into our play off games against No.6 seed Pasadena Poly and No.3 seed Brethren knowing they were stronger teams, but

that we only had to beat them one time, and I knew our defense would be

difficult for them to figure out. 

Senior starter, Kyle,

had to come back from a near death accident on Oct. 31; he was in ICU at UCLA's trauma unit where he

had his spleen removed and major facial/dental reconstruction. Two of his

doctors happened to be the parents of our junior guard Derek Lorenzo. 

Kyle's Christian faith and love for the game and his team mates propelled

his getting back on the court after Christmas. His courage inspired our team.

He had the game of his life against Brethren with 11 points and 10 rebounds --

to clinch the biggest win in our school's history."

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