The two previous seasons for the boys’ basketball team at Riverview have been an uphill battle. Both seasons, the Rams were struggling to maintain even just a winning record, but this year was entirely different. The Rams ended their season with a statement.
The team ended the 2019-20 season with an overall record of 24-6, with a win streak of 16 games before losing their final game to Oak Ridge High School.
One of the major keys to the team’s success was the prevalent leadership in seniors Alain Kalisa and Matteo Catena. The coaching staff and the players relied heavily on the two senior captains to lead the team as far as possible. The two captains made it clear that they were on a business trip.
“I told myself that I was going to ensure that this season was going to be different than last year,” Kalisa said.
Sure enough, Kalisa did just that, starting all season for the Rams and also winning “player of the game” in the Wally Keller Classic game.
Catena also added that “creating a new culture of winning for this team was a priority.”
This new culture started when the hosting Rams won the Suncoast Holiday Classic Tournament, with Catena emerging as tournament MVP. These few milestones weren’t enough for the Rams, as they went on to win the first district championship in three years. Along with that championship, the team won the first state playoff game in five years.
The Rams had a point to prove this year and finished with a season that will forever be a part of the new and improved winning culture at Riverview.