Tag Archives: UVI athletics

New and Improved Buccaneers Fall Short to Sacred Heart

Gerald Bellot |

ST. THOMAS –The University of the Virgin Islands men’s basketball team traveled to San Juan, Puerto on Jan. 31 to play their second conference game against the University of Puerto Rico’s team, Sacred Heart.

The UVI Bucs look to better their record (1-0) on the road against a team that outmatched them by 31 points last year.

This year has already proved to be a better season for the Bucs, as last season they did not taste a win.

The Bucs, previously coached by Ryan Skinner, have made a plethora of changes going into this season. One of the changes was the acquisition of Coach Myron Brown.

Coach Brown spent two seasons at the University of St. Thomas in Miami, Florida. He joined the St. Thomas Bobcats after a season as the Head Coach for DeVry University where he built the DeVry University Men’s Basketball program from scratch without any athletic scholarships.

The Detroit native brings along four years of coaching experience in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics  to the Liga Atlética Interuniversitaria de Puerto Rico for the Bucs this year. In addition to adding a new coach for the program there are also several new athletes that will not be eligible to play in conference this season but are practicing with the team. It seems as though the program may have a better future.

Tip off for the game was scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

At the tip, the Bucs gained the first possession. The Bucs brought the ball down the right side of the court and dumped it in to Dornel Weaver who finished at the basket.

The Bucs opened up the game in a full court man press, a different look from what we have seen in the past.

Sacred Heart responded on the other side of the floor. Chris Rodriguez, Heart’s biggest scoring threat this year, made a 15-footer in the middle of the paint.

Both teams seemed to be a little slow at the beginning of the game, each team with three turnovers. Neither seemed to be completely dominant. At the end of the first quarter the Bucs led by three, the score was 14-11.

After the first quarter the Bucs were led by Weaver with six and Rodriguez with seven.

The second quarter started at a much higher pace. The bench for the Bucs began to respond to the home crowd with chants. It nearly felt like playoff atmosphere.

Sacred Heart came out of the quarter making several adjustments, including a full court press that momentarily baffled the Bucs. They forced two quick turnovers. Joaquin Martinez scored his first bucket on the night.

After a quick timeout, it seemed Coach Brown said all the right things that his team needed to hear. They responded by scoring a quick 8 points, ending Sacred Hearts 5-0 run. Sacred Heart didn’t let that rattle them; Rodriguez fired two corner threes with 2:44 remaining to put them up 29-28.

The Bucs entered the half leading 32-31.

In previous seasons, the Bucs have come out rather sluggish in the second half which lead to their 0-10 season last year. Coach Brown has put a large emphasis on a few things this year. When asked about his team’s ability to play hard in the second half, he responded,  “Games are won in the second half not the first. If we are going to win this game we have to come out ready for a fight.”

This philosophy must have been engraved in the Bucs because they came out swinging. Chris Lockhart and Salim Ross lead an early surge in the beginning of the half. Ross scored an easy four points transition.

Lockhart was just starting to warm up, he scored a quick 8 points from the mid-range. Lockhart found Weaver under the basket with a no look pass. Chase Tomas may have been the game changer in this contest; he scored two and-one baskets early in the quarter that turned the momentum away from Sacred Heart.

Freshman Jabari Alexander and Paul Watson also had great debuts. With 5:20 remaining in the 3rd quarter, Alexander drove along the baseline and dished the ball to Weaver for a basket. The next possession Watson scored an easy bucket on his defender.

There was 3:13 left on the clock in the 3rd quarter. Sacred Heart took the ball out on their sideline after a time out. Steven Quiroz lobbed the ball on the inbound to Alejandro Grant and nearly connected for a game changing alley-oop.

Both teams continued to score back and forth until the end of the quarter. Grant, got his first bucket with 1:00 remaining. Going into the 4th   quarter the Bucs trailed 49-45.

Lockhart led a frenzy from the bucks in the beginning of the quarter, scoring 8 points to give the bucks the lead. Early in the quarter, Grant picked up his 4th foul and went to the bench leaving Sacred Heart at a size disadvantage; However his substitute William Schaening was eager for an opportunity. Schaening hit two big shots to bring Sacred Heart back within single digits.

With 6 minutes left in the 4th quarter, the bucks were up seven points. It seemed as if they had the game in their hands, but that was not the case. Turnovers continued to plague the Bucs and Sacred Heart began to regain life.

It was nearly a comedy of errors, fumbled passes stepping out of bound and shot clock violations. Nothing was going the Bucs way, yet somehow they remained in the game. In fact, they led by 2 until Schaning hit another big three to put Sacred Heart up 1 with :57 seconds remaining.

Lockhart brought the ball down the court and ran through their play looking for a shot. He had an open look in the middle of the floor and took the shot; he came up short. Watson got the rebound and attempted to score when he was fouled.

Watson went to the line to attempt his 3rd and 4th free throws of the game. His first free throw was short and he had one more attempt. His second free throw was also short; Ross followed the ball and attempted a put-back dunk and he also missed.

Sacred Heart now had possession of the ball with: 5.6 seconds remaining. The ball was in-bounded and Grant was fouled by Watson. Grant went to the line to shoot 2 and cashed in on both attempts.

The Bucs down 3 called their final timeout and advanced the ball to half court. Coach Brown drew up a play for Lockhart but it was defended perfectly. A quick adjustment was made, Watson found Lockhart in the corner for a 3.

Lockhart’s left foot was out of bounds and the ball was called dead before he got to attempt the shot. Sacred Heart took possession and won the game 71-68.

Sacred Heart was led by Rodriguez with 21 and UVI was lead by Lockhart with 26.

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On The Road with Coach

Maxwell Peerman Daniels

On the Road with Coach

We’re driving to a three o’ clock game in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, a town of decrepit wooden and metal homes in the rolling hills, three and a half hours from the steel bar hugging doorways of apartments in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Coach David Santesteban  is leading the University of the Virgin Islands soccer team to a historic season, but the traveling situation for the team has eight, athletic, determined university men squeezed inside one rental van.

“This is unreal!” Coach Santesteban yells, directing a hand and his voice towards traffic in Puerto Rico.

Speeding down the road, assertive with controlling traffic towards his favor , coach commands traffic. Coach speeds up the van, taking what little space he has in traffic and running with it.   Suddenly he switches lanes in order to follow the lead van of soccer players from St. Thomas, and instantly becomes agitated.

“Unreal!” Coach Santesteban yells out into the air again.

It’s because after only three games traversing this island in a soccer convoy, he believes he knows this island like the back of his sun tanned hand.   With experience playing the forward position in soccer professionally for the San Jose Oaks and San Francisco Diablos, scoring is second nature and winning is the ultimate goal. Now,  although Coach Santesteban is a man of faith and pride, leading a young team filled with heart and ability, among the multiple things that annoy coach within a given day, following another car going in a circle is a big one.

The University of the Virgin Islands needed someone with vision to spearhead the development of the soccer program after the completion of their new home field, but the result of what they’ve gotten in seven games has been historic. For the first time ever,  the University of the Virgin Islands has made it into the post season.  He’s a man with a last name that almost nobody on island can pronounce correctly at first try, but normally everyone just calls him coach. Only weeks from leaving his family temporarily in Houston, Texas, driving around island he’s already greeting folks on St. Croix with a honk.

Coach is a religious man, which fits in with the Caribbean culture. He dresses sharp in his Sunday best clothes, and has dreams of new uniforms and boat shoes for his players. On countless occasions he’s chastised his players about how to properly behave in public.

“We’re all in a fishbowl!” Coach preaches to his players after a win on the road in Puerto Rico.

With a resume that displays a culture of success, coach understands how champions should present themselves, constantly comparing his team to Real Madrid, explaining how professionals behave themselves. With a team filled with upper-classmen, and lower-classmen at various skill levels, it has been coach’s job to get everyone on the same level, playing at the same speed. This is not an easy task for a coach, a month in to coaching at any university.

At the inaugural home game on Oct. 4, coach led the UVI Buccaneers to their first win on their new home field. With a team comprised of 15 men, the UVI soccer team is relatively small with aspirations towards a championship. Most of the other teams have a bench filled with six or more players at a time for substitutions, while the Bucs on average have only two. That means more playing time for tired players on the road. Despite all the hurdles on the way through the 2014 season, the Bucs have played through it all because of the passion for the game.

The passion that Coach  Santesteban (santa-stay-ban) brings to the field can be seen on the side line and in practice. For a coach who tries to abstain from yelling too much on the side line, sometimes he can’t help himself. On Nov. 1,  the Bucs played their first home game of the playoffs, but the refs didn’t give us home field advantage. By the 88th minute of the game, coach had enough with the refs and their bad time-keeping. Our players were kept on the field during a scorcher of a day almost 10 minutes longer than appropriate. In Spanish coach yells  that the ref was extending the game in the other team  favor.

“Que está extendiendo el juego para el otro equipo.”

Immediately the ref raises his hand and dismisses coach from the last supposed two minutes of the game. Although coach might not always get what he wants on this team, he gets what he needs. Coach in frustration , takes his leave from the field, not before stalling at least 45 seconds from the game clock.

At the end of that game,  which resulted in a 1-1 tie, coach didn’t have much agitation in his voice towards the players. He knew that this team played with the pride of an island on their back, and with that he knew he was at the right place. All that waits now is the future of Bucs soccer in the playoffs and next season. Already the team has been accepted to new tournaments, and new players have taken interest. Bringing coach Santesteban to St. Croix has brought needed to change the culture and image of soccer at UVI, but even the coach won’t let you forget about the talented players on the team who sacrifice their bodies and time on the field for the Buccaneers.

UVI Wins Inaugural Soccer Match

Shari Chryss Alfred |

ST. CROIX — Chants, cheers and screams filled the air on Saturday,  as The University of the Virgin Islands Albert A. Sheen campus made history within the Athletics Department on the territory’s new and only soccer field. With a crowd of over 100 people the Buccaneers won their Inaugural Home Game, 2-0, against Polytecnica University of Puerto Rico bringing them to a 2-2 standing in the league. Continue reading UVI Wins Inaugural Soccer Match

Buccaneers Male Basketball Team

UVI’s male basketball team let down fans and coaches with a 10-game losing streak in the 2014 basketball season

SHARI CHRYSS ALFRED|

ST. THOMAS- School spirit remains low as the University of the Virgin Islands’ male basketball team ended the season losing all of the 10 games played.

With a team of only eight players, the Bucs faced many struggles this season that may have contributed to the 10-game losing streak, disappointing fans, coaches and the university community.

Due to many last years’ team being no longer qualified to take part in the Inter-university  Athletic League, coaches recruited as many  as 25 potential athletes during the summer and fall semesters. Continue reading Buccaneers Male Basketball Team