Journey To Success: ESHS Rams Varsity Boys

By BVI Platinum

The ESHS Rams.  Photo: Provided

The ESHS Rams.
Photo: Provided

The ESHS varsity boys’ basketball team started out preparing for the USVI high school league early January 2015 and from the beginning of training camp, the boys were determined and excited to be competing in the league.

It was the first time that the high school had been invited to play on the sister islands where they have a solid high school basketball league.

“We knew we did not have much time as we got the nod to play in the league that was starting in a few weeks, but I knew we needed to get to work and so we practiced every day after school and on Saturdays to get where we needed to be, our PE head Mr. Derwin Scatliffe have been trying hard to get us in the league and he got it accomplished,” said coach Steve Parillon.

The First Game

The team’s first games were at the Martin Luther King Tournament which was held from January 16th – 18th in St Thomas USVI. The ESHS Rams boys did not do too well only winning one game in the tournament. This tournament was the first for most of the players who had never competed overseas, and the performances showed.

“I felt this tournament was great for us. I felt we got the exposure and the guys got a chance to experience the competition level in the USVI, I often reminded them during time outs that if they wanted to compete with these schools we would have to practice harder because I felt we had the potential to beat them,” Parillon Stated.


After the Martin Luther King Tournament, the ESHS Rams headed back to work although they had a few players who did not make the first tournament because of academic reasons.

The athletic program at ESHS has put in place an academic criterion for representing the school which states that no athlete with a GPA under 2.3 can represent the school unless they improve their grades.

The team got back to work in the class and on the basketball court ensuring the players got the proper tutoring and training so they could be a complete team. They played their first weekend of the league and won one of three games again but they were competing at a higher level and people in the USVI noticed their improvement.

The Big Tournament

With the reinstatement of two players who had gotten their grades up; the ESHS had been at full strength for the first time in preparation for the big IEKHS tournament in St. Thomas.

The tournament held between February 20th -22nd also featured Central High and Complex High from St Croix and Charlotte Amarlie High, Antilles, St Peter and Paul, and the home team Ivanna Eudora Kean High from St Thomas.

The first game of the tournament saw the Rams defeat Antilles High School by a score of 49 – 34 led by Fifth form guard Jacoy Walwyn and 10th grade center, Eral Penn with 10 points.

The following day, the Rams would have a tough task ahead of them having to win 3 games in one day to make the finals. The second game of the tournament, the Rams played one of their best games of the day by defeating the home team IEKHS by a score of 53-44 leaving the home stands in shock.

The Rams were led by Jacoy Walwyn, 17points and Eral Penn and Akeem Nibbs added 10 points. The victory brought great confidence to the team and it opened the eyes of several on lookers who never thought the Rams could trump the home team.

“This game was the best I ever seen the team played. When we woke very early that morning I told the team I felt good it’s going to be a good day. I then bought them breakfast which I felt made them even happier considering our somewhat lack of money, but on a whole we executed the game plan well and the guys started to realize their full potential and that they can play with the power house schools of the USVI” Coach Parillon stated.

After the big win, the ESHS Rams destroyed St Peter and Paul High School with the score of 62-31 led by Jacoy Walwyn 12 points and Eral Penn 10 points setting up an undefeated match with St Thomas power house, Charlotte Amarlie High school Hawks with both teams holding identical 3-0 record.

Power House Upset

The Rams defeated the Hawks by 1 point as the buzzer sounded to pull off the biggest upset of the weekend. A game where the Rams lost a double digit lead to almost losing the game in regulation saw the ESHS varsity boys took the victory with a score of 47-46 led by Jacoy Walwyn 13points and Devante Brewley 12 points.

“You had to be in the gym to really feel this win. For us, this was like the championship. Beating CAHS was not an easy task, but again the way our team was playing on this day we were going to beat anyone who came up against us. I told my guys I was so proud of them for going 4-0 and defeating the two power house of St Thomas in one day, I will always cherish that moment with the team as we all celebrated that victory away from home” Coach Parillon elaborated.

The Rematch

The following morning the CAHS and Rams found their self in a rematch where the Hawks crushed the Rams to take the weekend title. ESHS did not look like the team who had been playing all weekend; they were basically out played from the beginning losing by a score of 63-31. Jacoy Walwyn scored a mere 5 points.

“I really don’t have much to say about this game, we did not come to play basketball, I tried every rotation, every defense, I even broke my clip board, and the way the Hawks were playing we would have had to bring our A game to defeat them” Coach stated.

The Rams finish the tournament in second place with a record of 4-1 similar to the champions CAHS, with ESHS players Akeem Nibbs winning the most assist award and Eral Penn winning the most blocks award.

“My overall view on this tournament was very positive, except for the last game. People of the BVI should be very proud of these guys. All over the media in the USVI the ESHS was well represented not just in our play but in the way we carried ourselves. It was a great weekend for the school program as the Varsity Rams girls also won their first game of the season and represented the girls program well,” Parillon stated.

He stated that the school is trying to build a structured program built on academic and discipline.

“We want to involve all our programs in whatever sports competition that is available to us, we want to build an atmosphere that students can look forward to be proud of attending the ESHS. We are going to continue to strive for success with all our programs and with the help of our community however your help is needed; we can make the BVI a proud country to represent,” Coach Parillon’s final words.

The ESHS Rams Varsity and Junior Varsity boys will be travelling to St Thomas to play this weekend.

The Elmore Stoutt High School ESHS Rams Varsity and Junior Varsity will also be hosting their first ESHS basketball invitational with Varsity boys and girls between March 20th and 22nd at the Save the Seed center and Junior Varsity Boys and Girls between March 27th and 29th also at the Save The Seed Center.