(ABC 6 News) — The Schaeffer Academy boys basketball team sits at 8-6, looking to be well on their way to a much better season than the previous one thanks to one Ethan Van Schepen.
“Ethan’s been kind of our captain, our leader,” Lions boys basketball head coach Tom Bance stated. “This is his third year of being a varsity starter only being a sophomore. And the team’s kind of finding their roles and we’re playing good basketball right now.”
The numbers speak for Van Schepen: 20 points versus Southland, 23 versus Mabel-Canton, 25 versus Grand Meadow and 27 versus Wabasha-Kellogg. He’s proven himself to be at the claw of the Lions’ attack.
But if you ask Van Schepen, he doesn’t even attribute putting the ball in the bucket to his team’s success.
“We’ve been playing really good D,” Van Schepen said. “It starts on our defense, we were struggling a little bit at the end of the year. Towards — later, we picked it up after winter break and I think that’s why we’re down on a streak here.”
When the Rochester prep sports scene comes to mind, it’s mostly the three public schools of Century, John Marshall and Mayo. When it comes to private schools, most will talk about Lourdes. The conversation mainly revolves around those schools, but Schaeffer Academy is also rooted in Rochester. It’s also fair to say the Lions have been making some noise this basketball season as well.
“It’s great,” Coach Bance added. “This school, we don’t have football here, so basketball is our number one sport. The kids, we have Homecoming during basketball season. Kids come to the games, they cheer on our team, this is the number one sport here.”
Even though Van Schepen does not get a chance to face the Rochester schools at all in the regular season; he still finds opportunities to test himself against some of the best in the Med City and he’ll hold up his performances against them too.
“We have AAU in the offseason,” the sophomore mentioned. “I practice a lot with those Rochester kids, we scrimmage against some with the [Minnesota Lightning] and stuff. We get to face off a lot in the offseason.”
For a sophomore, Van Schepen seems to have a lot on his shoulders in leading a team from the “fifth” school in a well-populated city. Nevertheless, Van Schepen is cool as the other side of the pillow; and it’s that calm demeanor that gives optimism for the Lions to have continued success.
“Well, he’s a great kid to coach,” Bance concluded. “He does what you ask, he works hard on every practice and every game. Every drill on the weekends by himself, he works hard. When he was an eighth-grader, I started out maybe thinking [junior varsity] and by the first two days I was like, ‘He’s a varsity player.’ And he started the first game as an eighth-grader, he’s well above his age.”
“[I] just give it my all for God’s glory,” Van Schepen affirmed. “He’s given me the ability, so [I] might as well take use of that ability and work hard.”