Dolphins Are Conference Champions

Sundae Horn
Nice trophy, boys!
Nice trophy, boys!
Photo by Wendy Fuller

The Varsity Boys were undefeated in conference play; will host a state playoff game this week.

In Friday night's Atlantic Six conference championship game against the Columbia Wildcats at Columbia, the Dolphins were victorious with a final score of 67–52. Their conference record is 11–0 this season; overall record is 20–3, which makes this year's boys the winningest team in Ocracoke School basketball history. Senior Liam Caswell was chosen as conference Player of the Year; head coach Dave Allewalt is conference coach of the year. 

Ocracoke will host a state championship playoff game on Tuesday, February 20th in the Dolphin Tank (Ocracoke School gym) against Union High School.

I was lucky enough to be on a long ferry ride with the team yesterday, so while the players kept their reflexes sharp in pencil wars, I interviewed some key non-players about why this basketball season has been so remarkable. 

"It all starts with great athletic direction," said Charles Temple, Ocracoke School's athletic director.

Coach Dave agreed. "The athletic director told me exactly how to coach the kids and I finally listened and it worked," he said.

Charles noted that it's also "really helpful for Dave to get questions and suggestions yelled at him from the crowd."

"Coach B put up a suggestion box in the gym this year for anyone to make comments," Dave said. "We've gotten good advice like 'Keep your hands up' and 'Pass the ball more.'"

Charles believes that Mason bringing his mustache to the games contributed to the winning streak.

I'll spare you the rest of their attempts at humor. They both turned sincere when talking about the kids and what a good year it's been.

"We have a really well-balanced team, with at least three players scoring in double-digits in every game," Dave said. 

Charles praised the level of maturity and poise provided by the two seniors on the team, Liam Caswell and Darvin Contreras. Dave added that the seniors "demonstrated great leadership in teaching the young'uns." 

"It's not about one player; they all have a good sense of what's best for the team," Dave said. He is joined in his coaching efforts by Scott McNally and Blackburn Warner. The players are Darvin and Liam; juniors Sam Evan, Kalai Samick, and Colby Austin; sophomores Reese Gaskins and Perry Austin; and freshmen Cole Gilbert and Mason Fuller. 

I had the good fortune of riding the ferry home with assistant coach Blackburn Warner. About last night's big win he says, "Both teams played hard."

Ocracoke High School also has a Junior Varsity team, which allows Coach Dave to hold tryouts for varsity positions. JV was coached by Denny Widener, and the team (Parker Gaskill, Ethan O'Neal, Dylan Esham, Davis Styron, Alan Doshier, Christian Trejo, and Paul Jordan) placed 3rd in the conference with a 6–5 season. 

The high school Lady Dolphins, coached by Kate Plyler and Mary McKnight, also place 3rd in the conference, with a 9–14 (conference 5–5) record. They play Riverside High School in a state playoff game next week in Williamston. 

"Last year they graduated 95% of their scorers, so this was a re-building season for the girls," Dave said. "Kate does a really great job coaching them."

Seniors Lupita Martinez and Iris Trejo headed up a team of eight girls: juniors Ingrid Contreras and Taylor Fuller; sophomores Karen Jordan, Mila Ortiz, and Vanessa Lora; and freshman Hannah Belch. 

Go Dolphins! Fear the Pod! 



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