by Ken Brown
MARSHFIELD – The Twinfield-Cabot boys’ basketball team had every obstacle imaginable thrown at them last season in what was a forgettable winter for head coach Chris Hudson, but a talented freshman class has given him optimism for his perennial Division IV power program in 2023.
Injuries and COVID ravaged Hudson’s basketball team last season, forcing him to start five eighth graders at one time or another throughout the year. The Trojans fell to Proctor in the first round of the playoffs, finishing with an 8-12 record. He lost three seniors to graduation and leading scorer Kerrick Medose has moved on to St. Johnsbury Academy. Some might ask why the optimism?.. but not Hudson.
“Last year was just not fun,” said Hudson. “It was one injury after another and then COVID and we had to try to make up so many games in such a short period of time down the stretch that it was exhausting for everyone. Internally the program just wasn’t quite right and it felt like we just needed a reset. Our team did a great job battling through adversity, but it was just too much to ask. Our young kids who were forced to play varsity ball before they were really ready were a bright spot in the season. We had a really good summer developing skills and rapport and I’m excited to see what this group can grow into this season,” added Hudson.
Out of the 20 student athletes who came out for the program this winter, 13 are freshman. Eight of whom will help make up a much welcomed JV team coached by Kris Bador and five will be on the varsity roster. T.J. Bernatchy will be Hudson’s lone senior on the team, along with five juniors to provide leadership. Bernatchy and Cabot’s Dominick Hale will be the muscle underneath and junior Sam Russell should open up space with his long range shooting in what is his third season in the program. Meles Gouge is almost always the best athlete on any court or field he steps on and will once again be asked to be the defensive stopper. Tej Stewart, Eli Russell, and Sam McLane are a trio of freshman that took the pitch by storm this past fall for a dominant boys’ soccer team and will be asked to do the same this winter on the Hardwood.
“Tej is the real deal and he has a high level game at almost all five positions already. Our offense is going to run through him and he is only going to get better. Eli has a lot of moxy and strength for his size at the point and Sam can really shoot and defend. We have some good leadership on this team and our young guys are only going to get stronger and better. These guys are tight and they developed some really good chemistry and had a lot of success together this past fall. We’re still getting into basketball shape, but I like what I’ve seen so far. We play in a very tough league and we have a lot of road games this season, but I think that could be good for this group and I think we could surprise some people. It feels like the program has turned the page on last season and I’m really excited for this year,” said Hudson.
The Trojans will tip-off the season on Friday and Saturday in the Bob Abrahamson Classic at Proctor High School.