David Duncan

David Duncan, a Meadowbrook Christian School senior and member of the boys basketball team, makes his way through a hall packed with student well wishers on Tuesday afternoon.

MILTON — “Very humble” is a term Rod Baughman used to describe the 17 members of the Meadowbrook Christian School’s boys basketball team as a frenzy of school and community support surrounded the team entering Tuesday’s state championship playoff game in Enola against Math, Civics and Sciences, a charter school from the Philadelphia area.

While the Lions lost, they advanced deeper than any basketball team from the school to date and created memories that will last a lifetime.

“They’ve come to realize this journey they’re on is a gift from God,” Baughman, the school’s administrator and boys basketball coach, said of his team members. “We are praising the Lord for the journey.”

Speaking prior to a send off held Tuesday at the school, in which fellow students lined the halls waiving signs of support for the team, Baughman said he’s thankful for the support the team has received from the school and the community at large.

“As a school administrator, one of the many things you work with is the culture and the unity of the school,” Baughman said. “God has used this to cultivate school culture.”

Beth George, Meadowbrook’s director of Development, said special “MCS Proud” T-shirts have been sold to commemorate the team’s run to the state playoffs. A fan bus was also available to transport friends and family from Milton to the game in Enola.

Meadowbrook’s PEP (praise, encouragement and prayer) squad has been cheering the team all season. The squad is comprised of students in first through third grade.

“They do devotions and prayer for our players before the game,” George said.

The PEP squad also cheers the team on throughout the game.

“This is contagious,” George said of the support surrounding the team. “We want to celebrate their accomplishments. We’re really proud of all their hard work.”

She praised the students for their efforts on many fronts.

“The kids are committed, whether it’s for the musical, in the classroom, or on the court or on the soccer field,” George said. “They are committed to doing their very best.”

Bruce Rehm, a teacher at Meadowbrook and the girls basketball coach, described members of the team as “the most well-rounded student athletes” Meadowbrook has had.

“They’re the beneficiaries of a lot of kids that went before them,” Rehm added.

“This particular group of students, they have everything together,” he continued. “Many of them excel in the classroom. Many are involved in extra-curricular activities.”

David Duncan, a senior member of the team who also had the lead role in the school’s recent production of “The Music Man,” is one of those students.

He lauded the school for switching one of “The Music Man’s” performances from a Friday to a Sunday to accommodate one of the team’s playoff games.

“The fact that they were willing to sacrifice that for our team, that meant a lot,” Duncan said.

He has been encouraged to see basketball players from other Christian schools in the stands, supporting Meadowbrook’s team as they’ve moved through state competition.

Duncan also noted that the members of his team had a lot of support to reach state playoff competition.

“It wasn’t just us,” he said. “It was our parents driving us to games… It’s the Christ in us. It wouldn’t be anything if not for Christ and God… Right now, we’re trying to enjoy this moment.”

Baughman said many members of the team have been playing together on travel basketball teams since as early as third grade.

“It’s a very tight group that we have,” he said. “Not only is the group of seniors really tight, they have done a great job making every player on our roster a part of this.”

Baughman said the team unity has helped its on-court performance.

“A team that enjoys each other’s company on and off the court will reach a higher level of potential,” he said. “The overall demeanor of our team is very humble, which is so neat to see.”

Staff writer Kevin Mertz can be reached at 570-742-9671 or email kevin@standard-journal.com.

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