CV Basketball – Our Saving Grace

Boy’s teams favorites for district after football season disappointment


In terms of school sports, our main area of expertise is basketball. Of all the many plaques up on our gym wall, basketball is the one best represented, even above football and track.

All successful teams have one thing in common: a good coach. And our Mustangs don’t have a good coach. They have a great coach, and his name is John Stevenson. He has been the head basketball coach here since 2010 and has coached a lot of teams in his tenure here. But, according to him, not many teams that he’s been at the helm of compare to this group.

“I’ve been very lucky to have the opportunity to coach this group of kids for the past two years,” Coach Stevenson said, who also coaches the seventh-grade basketball team and assists with the girl’s offseason training program. “It’s been a lot of fun getting to get to know these guys over the past couple of years. Hopefully, we get to end their basketball careers on a high note with a title of some sort. They have the full package: talent, dedication, unselfishness.”

However, while we may accelerate on the court, there is a lack of the same results on the football field. This season, our two eighth grade teams combined for one win. B team didn’t win a single game, and A team was only able to beat CD Fulkes in what can only be described as a disappointment of a final season as middle school football players. There was no talent downgrade, no key players left the school and moved away during the summer. The teams were mostly the exact same as the teams that won nine combined games the previous year. But still, the results on the field were completely different.

When I interviewed “B” team basketball and football coach David Rice about this, he laughed.

“Yes, our results on the field were not stellar. But it was a good lesson for the student-athletes about how to get back to your best after a setback. And I believe that we needed to see some losses to make us work harder to win games later,” Coach Rice said.

Coach Rice has been at Canyon Vista for twenty-one years, and he knows a thing or two about our sports history here. Before he moved to Austin and became a coach here in 1996, he was a swim and football coach in Houston, and before that, a science and athletics coach in the Houston area.

“I’ve been coaching for a long time, and believe me, so I’ve had my share of good seasons. I’ve also definitely had my share of bad seasons. But I don’t ever worry too much about the record. What I think is key is the work the student-athletes put in at practice and on the field, no matter the result. If the effort is there, then I’m happy because I know the results will come at some point,”Rice said.

The “A” team basketball is centered around its big men. Most of the points scored in games are by the fours (power forwards) and fives (centers). One of the best fives on the team is Eric Cadar, six foot two inch center on the “A” team. Cadar helped the Mustangs to a seven and one record during league play in the regular season, good for the second-best record in the district, and earning the team a spot in the district tournament. In the tournament, the Mustangs bowed out at the semifinals. The only loss came in a title-deciding game against Hopewell, who finished undefeated.

“This year, we were so close to winning the league title. It was really disappointing for us that we didn’t win the tournament again because we felt that we had a good chance. It was a little sad that we couldn’t deliver in our final year,” Cadar (8) said.

The year for the “B” team was maybe a little bit of an underachievement. Rice’s group went five and three and were eliminated in the second round of the district tournament. This group won the tournament last year, but they could not get past a dominant Hopewell team in the semis. “B” team point guard Tal Bach has been one of the top performers this year in the backcourt, providing assists, consistent shooting, and good defense throughout the season.

“I’ve had a lot of fun playing basketball here at Canyon Vista. It was a lot of fun playing with the guys, practicing with them every day during basketball season. Even though we didn’t win anything this year, I’ll always believe that my time playing here was a success,” Bach (8) said.