Three Teams Won 2018 CYO State Championships
By Kevin Devlin
On Sunday evening, January 6, in the McDonough gym at the James “Stretch” Walsh Community Center, banners were raised to acknowledge the three Gate of Heaven CYO basketball teams that won CYO state championships in 2018. The 5th/6th grade boys’ team, the high school girls’ squad, and the junior boys’ team, all brought home the coveted trophies which are on display at the Walsh Center. Over 300 youngsters participate in the Gate of Heaven CYO hoop program (last season and again this season) which is comprised of instructional leagues, house leagues and travel league teams.
Gate of Heaven CYO Athletic Director, Kevin Lally, was ecstatic that the players had fun and competed at the highest level bringing home three CYO state titles last season.
“It’s the first time in CYO basketball history that one parish won three state titles in the same season,” Lally said. “That’s impressive and without doubt we’re proud of that accomplishment.”
Clerk of Suffolk Superior Court, Mike Donovan, co-commissioner of the boys’ instructional league, was thrilled to speak at this event and proud of the all those who make this a successful endeavor.
“I like to thank the parents and grandparents who make sure their kids get to the gym to compete,” he said. “I also would like to thank their neighbors and friends who support them at the games. These kids worked hard all season. And working hard builds character and self-esteem. We’re proud of them for achieving their goals.”
Sean Monahan, Gate of Heaven’s CYO instructional and midget house league commissioner, in charge of logistics for the event (securing the pizzas and much more) was happy to be part of this banner raising.
“Gatey CYO has a long history of success in the state tournament,” said Monahan. “So much so, that the Walsh Center Director, Ron “Cheech” Maciejewski, had difficulty finding space for three new banners in the rafters with all the others already up there.
“Kevin Lally addressed the players, parents and friends,” Monahan added. “He thanked the Gavin Foundation, sponsors, and elected officials for their support throughout the years. This support has enabled Gatey to offer these programs at a fraction of the costs of other CYO programs. He also thanked the commissioners and coaches who share responsibility for the success of these teams.
“The players from the three championship teams represented themselves and the program very well, both on and off the court, with great sportsmanship and demeanor,” Monahan concluded. “It was a night these players won’t forget. Congratulations to them and all those involved in the program.”