BUENA VISTA, Va. – After a stretch of years resulting in losing seasons that left them feeling blue, the Parry McCluer Figthing Blues are back on the scene in 2020.
“Expectations were very low coming in, no one thought much of us. But we’ve proven a lot of people wrong,” said small forward Talen Roberts.
In his fourth season as head coach, Mike Cartolaro has guided the boys program to more than 20 wins, coupled with a district runner-up and its first region title bid since 1995.
“The foundation of our program has always been defense and these guys have done a good job with it. Offensively it’s fundamentals and tempo of the game,” Cartolaro said.
The Blues were a senior heavy squad that returned just one starter this season. But they’ve found success by making defense a priority, while gaining contributions from guys like Talen Roberts, Will Dunlap and the 6-foot-9 tower of power, Spencer Hamilton.
“We’ve been playing with these guys for a long time, we’ve been playing together for quite a while. We just have confidence in each other, believe in each other,” said Fighting Blues guard Will Dunlap.
The success on the hardwoods at Parry McCluer has typically been associated with the girls program, which has brought home 3 consecutive VHSL state titles. That has given motivation to the boys as they make a run for their programs first.
“It feels good for us to be in it. All the attention is now on us and I love it,” Roberts said.
“I think our guys have watched that. I think they’ve seized the moment right now. We’re hanging in there still playing and hopefully it’ll continue,” said Cartolaro.
Continue to the grandest stage of them all. The Fighting Blues hopefull to make their own historic run as they prep their first State Tournament appearance since 2013.