It’s not often you take a group of guys from the junior varsity level and expect them to make noise in their first year on varsity. What is so special about the 2016-2017 St. Ignatius Wildcats of the WCAL? The team is fueled by Coach Rob Marcaletti – and is ranked by NorCalPreps.com as one of the top 15 teams in Northern California. Oh, and the majority will be returning next year…adding more to the already special comradery.
The Wildcats started off the season with three straight wins, took a tough loss to a stacked Fremont squad from Oakland, Ca (19-9) and went on to win twelve straight games after. What’s even more impressive are the players that make up the team. Considering that this is collectively their first year on varsity, these young hoopers have put on a serious show for their fans and our camera(s). CaliHoopBasketball.com has followed St. Ignatius exclusively throughout the 2016-2017 season… What have we seen? This team is dynamic, well coached, and they aren’t even in their prime yet! They play with character – They understand the game – and they do it in style. At the point, 2018 Darrion Trammell, one of the top guards in Nor Cal stands at 5’10 but plays above the rim on both sides of the floor. The crafty point is hard to contain, can shoot the rock from almost anywhere on the floor, and has footwork like you’ve never seen. Aside from his hunger to get steals, and his ability to tear the roof off a sold out USF Gymnasium like he did at the Bruce-Mahoney game in January…
…what makes Trammell an intricate part of this ball club is his ability to find his teammates – DT has some serious options and threats on the wing in Brandon Beckman (one of the purest 3 point shooters and shot creators in the state) and Matt Redmond (the most underrated player in the WCAL) – also a part of a loaded 2018 class.
Brandon Beckman has great court vision, can create his own shot, and has caught fire from beyond the arch numerous times down the stretch. Beckman will be playing with Team Arsenal in the Adidas Gauntlet this summer – Coached by Pro trainer / Director of Arsenal AAU – Kelvin Potts. This will undoubtedly prepare him for the next level and make him that much better for his senior campaign with his boys at SI. What about Mr. 4th Quarter? Matt Redmond’s game has really blossomed over the course of the season. Redmond (6’3) took on the role, stepped up, and contained 4 Star – 2018 6’8 Jaedon LeDee of Kinkaid HS of Houston, TX – ranked #53 in the nation by ESPN in a battle at home which led to a victory for the Wildcats. Matt’s change of speed en route to attacking the basket and ability to knock down big shots have helped this ball club. He also, like many of the other players under Marcaletti, is not afraid to get after it when it comes to loose balls and the nitty gritty of what makes up a winning program.
The wildcats have even more weapons, 2019 Wrenn Robinson has a touch for beating the buzzer. He seems to know when to attack and when to shoot. Impressive for someone finding his way – being one of the few underclassmen on this squad, Coach Marcaletti has thrown him to the wolves and he has been nothing short of holding his own. At 6’3, Robinson’s strengths are the ability to catch and shoot/ shoot off the dribble, and attack the basket – making him an all around wing with unlimited potential. Wrenn is set to play with Team Lillard AAU who will also be on the Adidas Gauntlet this spring/summer.
It’s safe to say that all good things come to an end right? Well…not so much. Despite falling short in an effort to obtain the WCAL Trophy to a Nationally Ranked Bellarmine team (6th in CA) – who send off 7 seniors, the Wildcats are looking for a BIG playoff presence from 2019 Jaedon Roberts. Roberts has shown that football isn’t his only sport by dominating the paint with his size and rebounding. He also takes up a lot of space keeping the defense honest and has the ability to change a shot. After missing the last three games with a foot injury – which coincidentally were three games the Wildcats lost, he returns healthy and ready to battle inside with Teddy Snider (2018) – another animal on the boards and at the rim.
The Wildcats finish the regular season with an overall record of 19-5 and have a loaded playoff schedule:
CCS Playoff Update:
The Wildcats are set to play Palma in the first round of the CCS Open Division on Feb 24th at Santa Clara High School (7:30) – if they beat the 22-2 Chieftains from Salinas, they will face the winner of Mitty/Serra – each 1-1 with the Wildcats in the WCAL 2016-2017 regular season. The winner of that game, will get a chance at Bellarmine at Santa Clara University, assuming the 23-1 Bells defeat menlo Menlo Atherton (22-5) and in the next round (2/28 Semi Finals) defeat the winner of Sequoia (23-4) / St. Francis (17-7).
-Tony Husary // CaliHoopBasketball.com
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