St Joseph's By The Sea 2019-20 Season Preview

By Robert Pena

St Joseph By The Sea which is a part of the CHSAA Boys Varsity basketball league and located in Staten Island, NY. They will have a familiar, guard-oriented team. Their strength in being able to control the ball will an asset this upcoming season. They are returning five key players, all seniors and are looking to make a deep run this season.

Coming off of a 11-14 record in the 2018-2019 season, the team will have a bounce-back mindset. Per head coach Mike Cortes, “I’m returning a lot in the senior class. This group lost a lot of close games last year,  and learning from that experience will have big impact this season. We will be looking to play fast-paced and to keep the momentum.” Even though it won’t be easy getting each and every win he added “I think we going to be in the mix in a very competitive and balanced league this season as there are no easy games on the schedule this year”

St Joseph’s key players: Gerard Nicholson and Matt Koutros are guards. Jayden Casanova is a 6’0 wing player who plays at the rim and is one of the key reserves for this team. He averaged 6.0 points and 5.0 rebounds last season as a junior. Big men Joe Rodgers and Jack Sicari will also be key.  Rodgers a 6’3 forward who averaged 4 points per game and 2 rebounds last year, will be playing a big role. Sicari is a 6’3 junior who averaged 4.0 points per game and 4.0 rebounds last year can both play the forward or the center position. “We are not a big team and they (Rodgers and Sicari) will have to anchor us, but we look forward to them being up to the task,” said head coach Mike Cortes.

Nicholson will be depended on to carry much of the load this season. A 5’10 point guard who can also play shooting guard, averaged 16.0 points per game and 3.0 rebounds last season. As a three year varsity player, he is able to do little bit of everything. He was All League as a junior.  Kurtios is a 6’2 shooting guard who averaged 7.0 points per game and 3.0 rebounds last year. Both players are a threat from the outside and will be depended on for “taking care of the ball, taking quality shots, driving to the basket,” said Cortes. A rising junior, Lue Aldorassi who is a 5’8 shooting guard, will be a key new player. After averaging 8.0 points and 2.0 rebounds per game as a JV sophomore last year, Aldorassi will make his debut on the Varsity team this year.

“It is tough to say that this is the most balanced team that I’ve had in my eight years of coaching here, but we will be a tough battle every night. We are going to be a gritty team and relying on experience that they got last year and hoping that we can build on that. Being able to play at a fast pace, and continuing to play better throughout the season in order to be at our best by the end of January and February are the goals.”

As of now none of the players are getting recruited by colleges, but a couple do have the potential.  “Gerard Nicholson is definitely a Division 2 or Division 3 college player, and they have called for him. Jayden Casanova and Matt Kurtios can be Division 3 college players and that have love for the game. They have to find the right program. As for Jack Sicari and Joe Rogers, we will see how they progress and if they are willing to give it a shot.” said Coach Cortes.