Congratulations to the Tooele High School basketball team and coaching staff on winning the State 3A Basketball Crown in impressive fashion. The excitement at the State 3A Basketball Playoff games was beyond description. The nevergive- up attitude of the “team” enabled this group of young men to pull off upset after upset as they pushed toward their goal. These young men worked very well together and have become good friends. No one cared who shot the ball or who had the most minutes or points. They were happy for each other as a “team.” You would never know from game to game who would step it up and make a big difference. It was a different player most of the time. We sensed a “we” not “I” attitude and believe this is what made the difference.
Impressive as the state championship was, what impressed us the most was the way the coaching staff and players conducted themselves not only in the playoffs, but throughout the season on and off the court. Coach Gary Alverson was truly a great example, mentor and friend to the young men on his team. Working with teenagers with different backgrounds, personalities and challenges is never easy. To us, Mr. Alverson went above and beyond his responsibilities as a coach. Not only did Mr. Alverson coach basketball, but he coached life. He has worked with these young men on an individual basis and has made them all feel important whether they played a great deal of minutes or not. Simply, these young men wanted to win not only for their school, but for their coach.
The players have been aware of Coach Alverson’s unfortunate illness since it was diagnosed. I would have been easy for Coach Alverson to step aside and pass on the coaching responsibilities. Parents and players would have understood under these difficult circumstances. But, he has stuck through the difficult times (chemotherapy) and never missed a practice or game. What a great lesson you have taught your team to never give up! The lessons you have taught will go way beyond a basketball championship.
We appreciate and thank you for what you have done for our two sons and the other young men you have coached. You not only have prepared your players to win a basketball championship, but you have also helped them prepare for life. Our prayers are with you as you continue your challenges recovering from cancer. We look forward to next year.
Chuck and Crystal Lawrence