Roughie senior boys look to put Catty program on the right path
Andrew Martinez, D’Angelo Martinez, Jason Schneck, Devon Troxell, and Cody Velez likely won’t be remembered as one of the productive senior units in the annals of Catasauqua boys’ basketball.
Most of them are logging meaningful varsity minutes for the first time this winter during a season in which the Roughies will be in a transition year with a number of sophomores also seeing significant playing time in a campaign that had a 1-5 record at the holiday break.
But the quintet will be remembered as one that solidified team chemistry and encouraged younger players in their roles as effective team leaders.
“All five seniors are great kids,” said head coach Eric Snyder. “Despite our record, they are there every day practicing hard. They don’t do any finger pointing or offer any excuses, and they lead in all drills and sprints.
“They don’t hang their heads and encourage and lead the younger kids.”
D’Angelo Martinez was in the rotation last year. He relishes his current role.
“I see myself as a person who my teammates ask about basketball or anything,” he said. “I love this sport and I’m always willing to improve on every aspect. I know people don’t see Catty as one of the better teams in the league, but if you watch our work ethic, you’ll think differently.
“We have a lot of potential and talent, and I can see it coming together for a very successful rest of the season.”
Jason Schneck also saw some time last year, and also has cherished his role.
“Being one of the leaders means a lot to be because I have watched others in the past,” said Schneck. “As I watched players like Isaiah Graves, Andrew Brett, and Miguel Hernandez, I learned about the game and how they lead.
“I hope the younger kids look up to me and learn things about being a leader because I was in their shoes at one point. Every day we have competitive practices and push each other to the limit. If our team develops into the team we know we can be, we will be successful.”
Velez has taken a practical approach and remains confident.
“This year has been rough because we lost most of our varsity experience from last year,” he said. “I know we will gain more confidence and continue to execute offensively and defensively. I am just trying to go out on a high note.
“The sophomores are special this year and can be really great.”
Troxell won’t play this season due to a knee injury from football, but his presence has been invaluable.
“Devon is at practice every day despite his injury,” said Snyder. “He helps out is so many ways, like putting the baskets down, running the clock, and counting for drills. He also is very informed and updated about our opponents.” Watching from the sidelines, Troxell can sees the future of the program. Younger brother Derek, a sophomore, is wearing Devon’s number 31 in honor of his older brother, as Devon wore number 31 last year.
“I think it is important to grow these underclassmen now so they will be ready for the varsity level next year,” said Devon. “This year, we aren’t the same caliber team as last year.
“As the season progresses, I believe we will be competing with some of the better teams in the league. I am confident that we will be getting some wins later and possibly playing for a spot in districts.”