BUENA VISTA, Va. – The last time Parry McCluer boys basketball was in a state title game, Talen Roberts wasn’t even born yet.
“It’s a really crazy feeling because you always dream it, and it happened so quick, but here we are, trying to grasp it all,” the senior said. “But it means a lot knowing we’re the first team in 25 years, 26 years to be here, and the community is very supportive about it.”
This time around, the Blues have a sure shot at claiming the Class 1 championship, and the man in charge has some experience with winning on the big stage.
“Well as soon as he got here, he gave us a feeling that we’re playing to win, not just playing, he put it in us we want to be champions, and instilled that in us,” Robertson said.
Head coach Mike Cartolaro helped lead Saturday’s opponent Altavista to four state championships before returning to his alma mater in 2016.
“You go a day at a time, a game at a time, you set your goals and try to accomplish those,” Cartolaro said. “All teams want to play that last day, the way you get there is to be consistent with your effort. This has been a great group, a resilient group.”
Robertson said his coach has been treating the matchup like any other game.
“It is kind of strange, it’s a game between us and them and I have to keep it that way,” Cartolaro said.
But regardless of the opponent, the opportunity to fill in the empty spot on their championship banner would be priceless.
“We’ve been playing with each other since 5th grade, so all of have dreamed this together, experienced this together, to have it done, the first in school history, it would be unreal,” Robertson finished.
Tip is at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Parry McCluer.