Double Teamed: Jarvis basketball teams make history

Schools out for spring break but not all Jarvis Bulldogs are taking time off.

The basketball teams have work to do.

Last weekend, the men made school history by winning Jarvis first Red River Athletic Conference Tournament championship.

"To win for the first time ever that just says so much about this group," head coach Will Sperow said.

 "That was one of the trends that we've set and we are trying to start a trend of going to the tournament," Mitchell Johnson said.

The 18th ranked bulldogs earned a spot in the NAIA Tournament.

"It takes a big burden off your shoulders," Devon Jenkins said "But at the same time, it's a lot of nervous energy going around because a lot of players on the team haven't been there before."

The Bulldogs went to the tournament for the first time in 2007. Roderick Braden is one of two seniors that was on that team.

"It was a first year experience for everyone on the team that year," Roderick said. "So when we went down there, everyone was uptight we were making mistakes that we normally don't make. We weren't playing as a team. I'm trying to avoid those mistakes this year by telling them what to expect."

The men are not alone.

The Lady Bulldogs are also in the NAIA tournament. Another first for Jarvis.

"By us making it to nationals and being from this little small rural area, it will put us on the map," former John Tyler standout Ashley Brooks said. 

It is a second trip to nationals for the ladies. They first went in 2001.

" It feels great," Dominique Matis said of going to the national tournament. "I've never been to a national championship so this will be my first time."

"I really want this ring," Karina Uresti said. "We weren't able to get it in the conference tournament but hopefully we can pull it out and try to get it in the national tournament."

Both teams want to make history again, by both winning the national title. In the process they hope to let everyone know they can play some ball out in Hawkins.

"It's a great little college that people don't know about," Coach Sperow said. "Success through athletics can let people know the opportunity they have here."

"To get down there and win the tournament and put Hawkins on the map?" Roderick Braden said, "That would be a great turnaround for us, and Hawkins."

"Hopefully," Shamiah Bryson said, "when we get down there and they see that we have something that everybody will probably give us a little more respect."

The Jarvis men will play Cumberlands (26-6) next Thursday, March 19 at 9:00 a.m. at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Lady Bulldogs will play Union (32-1) next Wednesday, March 18 at 8:00 p.m. at  Oman Arena in Jackson, Tennessee.