Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tony Bergeron- A Championship is Within Reach

Tony Bergeron is the head coach of one of the premiere prep school teams in the nation. Bergeron is the man in charge of the American Christian (PA) Eagles. The coach has built a powerhouse up in Pennsylvania, as the team boasts numerous top-notch players, including Tyreke Evans, Lamont Jones, Jeremiah Kelly, and Martez Walker. Soon after his team knocked off Rancocas Valley in the Prime Time Shootout, I caught up with Coach Bergeron for a few minutes.

NB: [The] first half was a really hard-fought battle, Rancocas Valley was really sticking with you guys. How did you manage to come back in the second half and really take control of the game?
TB: Well, we had as much as a 12-point lead in the first half, and it was interesting, they did a great job of slowing the game down, they spread us out, we didn’t make some shots. When Jeremiah Kelly got in early foul trouble it took us out of the flow, and they were just a great, well-coached team. I expected a battle from them.

NB: Tyreke [Evans] didn’t score a lot of points today. Lamont played a great game. How were you guys able to continue to score without Tyreke dropping so many points?
TB: Well, ‘Reke, I probably shouldn’t have played him. His ankle was really tender today. He wanted to give it a chance, so we did. When he figured out his shot wasn’t going to work and they were going to put three, four guys on him if he drove, we put him at the point [in the] second half and let him distribute a little bit and get “MoMo”, [Lamont Jones], started. We really have a lot of scoring options.

NB: How does that help the team, having so many options with scoring? Does it help team chemistry with guys not getting jealous, . . . especially with a guy like Tyreke on the team?
TB: There’s no jealousy. People want ‘Reke to score, they get frustrated when he doesn’t shoot. He’s such a great team player. . . Our kids all root for each other, it’s a real good family.

NB: You guys are having a good season thus far, you had a good season last year. What [are] your goals the rest of the season this year?
TB: The boys want to win the national championship at Fordham, in the Bronx, in March, so I’ll roll with them.

NB: What’s your outlook for that?
TB: I want to get there, get us there, and everyone’s got a chance.

Coach Bergeron wants to get his guys to the championship games, and as he said, everyone has a chance once there. American Christian will have a wonderful chance, as the team is stocked with talent, and it will be the final high school games of Tyreke Evans' career, so he should be quite motivated. Whether or not the team makes it to Fordham, and regardless of if they come away with a title or not, this ACA team is primed for success. The Eagles re-load every year and are competitive each and every season, as they should be next year, led by Lamont Jones and Oscar Griffin. Coach Tony Bergeron has this ACA program in a great spot right now.

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