You see I told Mary Beth Chambers, Head Coach at St. Rose. You are in for a long season. I told her her team was physical not mature enough. I told her she was too inexperienced as a group. I told her the leadership was not their. But above all I told Mary Beth Chambers she couldn’t sneak up on teams because she is St. Rose and that people assume your good even if your not. Now that all may sound perfectly logical. Except I left out one very important thing when making my evaluation of St ROSE chances this year. I didn’t factor in the most important element of all … MARY BETH CHAMBERS.
St. Rose was suppose to be in rebuilding mode this year. Rebuilding St. Rose is nothing new to Mary Beth Chambers. Fours years ago she had to rebuild the program. But 4 years ago she had to rebuild the teams mental and emotional state of mind. That St. Rose group was a broken crew but a talented crew. But somehow Mary Beth Chambers did the impossible and her team won a state title. Then last year it was expected St. Rose would have a decent.. a respectable year. Then they knocked off of one of the best teams in the state in Manasquan and then went on to what can only be called a dream season. They watched as seniors went on to D1 and D2 colleges unexpectedly. These players seen to develop and evolve right in front of our eyes. Basketball IQ’s grew, players learned the art of being a true teammates and kids were off to college prepared. Things at St. Rose went the way everyone had hoped they would.
This year St. Rose was looking at a nightmare Scenario on paper if you were a fan or a coach. No experienced seniors and a roster full of babies. Eight to be exact. But Mary Beth Chambers knew exactly what to do in order to get her team prepared for the challenge that was coming. She knew this rebuilding job was a combination of the last one. She had to make her team mentally and physically stronger. Then she had to get her babies to grow up quickly and then develop the leadership needed to lead them.
This summer and fall ST. ROSE played in every league a team could play in as a group during the off season.. Coach Chambers knew her incoming freshman class needed to play. They needed competition, older, stronger competition. The type they’d see this season. She also knew she needed to have her two D1 juniors Rosie SCOGNAMIGLIO and Maggie Cavanaugh lead them on the floor. So she gave them real leadership responsibilities. She held them accountable for anything and everything. She forced them to worry about their teammates as well as themselves or as she said “if they don’t make the young players part of this we can’t win” but even coaches have to get a little unexpected help along the way.
Julia Whespher has been shockingly good to this point for St.Rose . Her hustle and toughness can’t be measured in a box score. Her effort plays and willingness to sacrifice for her teammates have made her indispensable. There is no way Coach Chambers could have predicted such Fortunes would come Saint Rose’s way. Captain Darby Sherman has played like a senior on a mission from god. She could have mailed her senior year in this year. After all this was supposed to be a rebuilding year. Playing time was up in the air. Nothing was promised or Guaranteed. But clearly Darby Sherman had other plans. Her coolness and reliability has been shockingly wonderful to date. It has given Coach Chambers another leader. The senior leadership that nobody saw coming. These two in a word have been “MAREVLOUS”
There are few coaches who can match Mary Beth Chambers track record for developing talent and teams. There simply is not a coach whose word is more respected in college coaching circles. That’s because she has developed too many great players who have gone on to the next level to count. Her track record and basketball knowledge is off the charts. She takes average players and makes them great. She takes average teams and makes them great. You see when it comes to this coaching thing few have her background or Expertise. It’s why this year she has been able to work her magic. When nobody expected very much. Her team is buying in and respecting her words as gospel… HOW WISE, clearly the St. Rose kids are smart too!
When some saw St. ROSE was ranked in the Top 20 they laughed. They and myself Chalked it up to those making the ranking not being Familiar with the shore and them just going on past reputations. Maybe we all should have taken that Strategy. That’s because Coach Chambers team looks every bit like a Top 20 team these days
In St. Rose’s opening game vs. Penn Charter we discovered what we already knew. Mary Beth Chambers is one of the best coaches in the state. To say her team looked prepared vs the Pennsylvania powerhouse is a understatement. Her two D1 juniors Maggie Cavanaugh and Rosie SCOGNAMIGLIO showed why they are going to UNH and Bucknell. Not by there points and buckets. But rather by that leadership Coach Chambers harped on them about all fall. Those long painful discussions about making those around them better and confidence. The result of those conversations can be seen clear as day in the St. Rose babies. Emily Cavanaugh looks like the Freshman of The Year.. Lizzy Mitchell looks like a All Freshman team member. Caroline Conforti looks like the future of the St. Rosie frontline. Cassidy Kruesi looks like a 4 year starter and Christa Ramos and Riley Fitzpatrick look like serious problems in the making. All this has added up to a terrific story and unexpected start to the season at 3-0. Then again Mary Beth Chambers entire career has been about teaching , developing and challenging kids to be the best versions of themselves. Her team has just accepted the challenge that’s all
There is no surprise it looks like St. Rose has the best Freshman class, that the team and players have developed so quickly. There is no surprise Rosie SCOGNAMIGLIO looks like 1st Team ALL SHORE or that EMILY CAVANAUGH Has thrived and matured under the tutelage of Coach Chambers. She looks like the early front runner for freshman of the year and St.Rose looks every bit like a Top 20 team. That’s because it all started months ago. When Coach Chambers started preaching about her favorite topic “DEFENSE”. It all started when coach Chambers started using the word “inclusive” that’s because she believes everyone on her roster must feel this way. They must feel part of the total team success, individually and as a group... and that’s exactly what has happened
It’s still early and Coach Chambers and her team knows there is a long way to go. But they also know it’s okay to stop along the way and smell the Roses… and right now those ROSES smell pretty darn good… especially the Purple ones!