Submitted by: Craig Brewer and Sean McManis
The Sterne High School Team Handball has made history yet again. They are the back-to-back winners of the California Cup Tournament (2016-17 and 2017-18), and ended this season with an undefeated record.
Coaches Brewer and McManis share…
We knew early on that this group of individuals, as a united front, had the potential to be extraordinary. In spite of a season peppered with less than typical circumstances -- the pressures of starting a season as champions (California Cup Champions from 2016/17), a fledgling league with minimal competition, a team without a home court/gymnasium to practice -- our players rose to challenges both mentally and physically. They found ways to push themselves athletically, they carried the Championship title with grace and maturity, and they pushed each other to be better and sought new opportunities for growth at every turn.
There are so many positive takeaways from this season. We had returning handball players help coach and mentor “newbies”. Players showed up to practice on their days off and demonstrated their commitment throughout the entire season. And something truly special and rare is the bonds these students formed. A culture of team, unity, ‘we before I’ is not always embodied by athletes. But this team forged and embraced a culture of acceptance, camaraderie, respect, and unity -- it was palpable on and off the court.
“When I look at where our seniors were 4 years ago -- athletically, mental/emotional maturity, it is just astounding to see how much they’ve grown. They leave very big shoes to fill. They should be really proud of the example they set.” - Coach Craig Brewer
“A huge thanks to our parents for their support and commitment to the team. They cheered us on, took pictures, and helped transport players all the way to Fremont. Some of them are sending their student to Canada for experiential week to play a sport they have likely never heard of prior to August!” - Coach Sean McManis
“Instead of just going to practice, we all hung out as a team in our free time. One day we went to a movie and one of the players couldn’t get in (age restriction), so we all bailed on the movie and walked all through the city instead. We always stuck together as a team. It’s a brotherhood that I’m really going to miss.” - Liam Rohan, Senior/Class of 2018