Tonawanda News —
Miranto, a North Tonawanda alum, called Coppola and senior Kadeem Johnson two of the best team leaders he's ever been around. They don't accept mediocrity out of anybody and they are always driven to succeed, which drives the engine of the entire team, Miranto said.
"Mark is like a little gnat out there," Silveri said. "He is such a competitor and he makes us all better. He holds everybody accountable, coaches included — he's like a coach out on the floor. He's constant motion."
As for Coppola's backcourt partner, Sheehan scored his 1,000th career point last season as a junior, but doesn't look the part of offensive genius — until the game starts, that is. Every team and player he goes up against usually has something to say about how talented he is, including Billy Baron, who gave Sheehan his stamp of approval after watching him up close.
"Casey is so physically talented. He doesn't look the part. Billy Baron made a comment to me after the game that Casey, when you look at him you think it's going to be easy, then after you watch him play for a few minutes it's like, 'man, this kid can play,'" Silveri said. "He's a good competitor too, so those two guys (Coppola and Sheehan) — they've learned to play so well together and it makes us all better."
Beverly averaged 14.3 points and eight rebounds per game last season, and his coaches and teammates think he's poised to be even better this year. Silveri called the 6-foot-7 center a man child who is just starting to realize his true potential.
"Gerald just keeps getting better," Silveri said. "You think back to when he was a freshman and he was growing into his body and he was so unsure of himself, but now he thinks he can play with anybody. It shows by the way he plays."