The Castleton State College men’s basketball team had a disappointing end to an otherwise very successful season.
After falling to Maine Farmington in the semifinals and then putting up a fight at the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Quarterfinals against Endicott, the Spartans season came to a close, ending 19-9 overall and 16-2 in the North Atlantic Conference.
Head Coach Paul Culpo said it was a positive season.
“Our season was very successful; 19-9 was the best winning percentage that the college has had in men’s basketball in a long, long time,” he said.
Senior Brandon Bergeron agreed, but knows there is always room for improvement.
“I think our season went really well. We were pretty successful but we did not accomplish all that we set out for,” Bergeron said.
Culpo has been men’s head coach for five years and each year his men have advanced to NAC semifinals. They played in the championship three times and won it in the 2011-2012 season.
Looking ahead, Castleton will be losing some key players including Logan White, Tyler Ackley, Bergeron and Alex Homkey. Although the men will be missed, Culpo sounded pretty confident about his retuning players.
“We do return some very talented underclassmen and I think that we should be in for another successful season,” he said.
Culpo will keep in contact with his players in the offseason and will be setting individual meetings to discuss goals for next year. He also said the men will be focusing on getting stronger as they will be training hard with coach Al Jean.
As for those who are soon to graduate, they will miss the experience of being on a team and Bergeron offers a unique perspective on the experience having played football for four years and deciding to join the basketball team just this year.
“It was different coming from football to basketball. The team environment is a complete 180. I mean going from 100-plus kids in the locker-room to 16 is a major change and I was rookie all over again. I had to earn my teammates trust and prove myself and once that was established the team made the transition easy,” Bergeron said.
Though he only had a chance to get one year of collegiate basketball under his belt, there are still moments that standout in his mind.
“I would say just being able to be a part of the close knit group of guys everyday was a highlight. Along with senior night being able to make four 3’s was a personal highlight,” Bergeron said.
He also said he wouldn’t change a single thing about his time.
“I don’t have any regrets whatsoever. I am blessed that I was given the opportunity to be a two-sport athlete and get to know and be a part of two great teams with good people and life long friends,” Bergeron said.
Culpo added that he is very appreciative of the support his team has received this season.
“We had a great year. I thank the students and the college community. The fans at the games were outstanding,” Culpo said.