84th Engineer Battalion dominates Captain's Cup basketball
The 84th Engineer Battalion hit the ground running since their arrival at Camp Covington on U.S. Naval Base Guam this month. Soldiers of the “Never Daunted” battalion immediately started participating in the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Guam sports program to create a competitive environment with the Navy to enhance the overall joint-mission experience.
In early February, the 84th Engineer Battalion assembled a team to play basketball for the installation’s Captain’s Cup. Only one team was created from the battalion, which was a mistake from the beginning. Many Soldiers have come out to watch the games and are eager to get involved in the competition.
Soldiers from across the battalion were chosen, and because of their diverse basketball experiences, the team faced immediate challenges.
“The new season will definitely bring new challenges for a team that has never played together before,” said team coach U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Cardan Smith, assigned to the Forward Support Company (FSC).
The team consists of personnel assigned to the FSC and the 523rd Engineer Company. The beginning of the season was rough as the team suffered their first loss, said Smith.
“The team got off to a shaky start losing their first outing by a score of 39-27,” Smith said.
The team won their two following games, their last with a margin of 76-26.
“We play our best basketball when we’re constantly running and pushing the ball up and down the court,” said U.S. Army Spc. Ryan Cooper, assigned to the FSC Maintenance Platoon.
Continuing practice will help prepare the basketball team for upcoming competitions, but will also teach the true meaning of sportsmanship and teamwork while creating a competitive atmosphere.
“We’ve had great practices, learning how to actually play the game of basketball and by learning new systems on both the defense and offense,” Smith said.
The team focuses practice into different areas. They focus on the two-to-three zone defense, how to fill lanes on fast breaks and defensive blocking out an opponent after a rebounded shot.
The days end with the team working on free throws mimicking those last, tired moments of a game and finally, a team chant. Overall, Soldiers participating in and watching the games can look forward to a competitive season.
“This is one of the better teams I’ve been a part of in my career,” said U.S. Army Spc. Brandon Brown, assigned to the 523rd Engineer Company. “As long as we control the tempo of the game and play solid defense, it’ll be hard for anyone to beat this team.”