BY GENE NARDI
There is no doubt that Wellington High School boys basketball is now on the map, especially after the program’s recent successes.
In the past four years, the Wolverines have won consecutive district titles, two regional titles and a state championship in 2015.
This year, Wellington made it through some grueling games en route to Florida’s own “Final Four.” Along the way, they earned the 2017 district crown and their second regional title in three years.
The Wolverines compiled a spectacular 27-4 record (an 87 percent win average), while playing some of the best teams in Florida throughout the season. During the run, Wellington maintained a consistent position in Palm Beach County’s top 10. What the Wolverines lacked in height, they made up for in their ability to counterattack quickly, utilizing their speed and accuracy at the rim.
Wellington tallied 2,183 total points on the season, while giving up only 1,665 points and suffering one solitary home loss. A big contributor to these numbers was senior standout and Illinois commit Trent Frazier, who not only put up 855 points this year but also had 80 steals, 162 deflections and 195 rebounds. Frazier was recently awarded the 2017 All-Palm Beach County 9A-7A Player of the Year. The recognition coins him as one of the area’s best prospects.
Wellington head coach Matt Colin, in his ninth year with the Wolverines, praised Frazier. “He’s the most decorated player to ever put on a Wolverine jersey, and he brought to our team a competitive spirit with a strong will to win,” Colin said.
Senior Sage Chen-Young was the other half of the duo. The dual-sport athlete excelled in football and has recently committed to Keiser University’s football program. Chen-Young delivered 324 total points and 194 assists for the Wolverines but was equally devastating to opposing teams with 109 deflections and 146 rebounds.
“Playing for coach Colin, you don’t only get a good coach, you get a guy who cares for his players,” Chen-Young said.
Senior guard Anfernee Rosario was another driving force on the team, making way for Frazier and Chen-Young to get to the rim.
“My most memorable moment was getting revenge against Coral Springs in the regional finals game this year,” Rosario said.
Wellington won 82-62, avenging last year’s regional finals loss to the Colts. The rematch victory earned them this year’s regional championship crown and propelled them into the state final four, where they fell shy in the final second 52-50 to Kissimmee-Osceola.
“I will miss the great bonding and team practices and how we worked as one to get to where we got this year,” Rosario said.
Rosario was another dual-sport athlete and soon will decide where he wants to continue playing football.
It was unanimous that the team’s most memorable moment was defeating Coral Springs to win the regional title, and advance with a berth at the state final four. Also clear is that there now exists an expectation of success within the Wellington gymnasium, and that the accolades earned this season will continue to echo in the hallways at WHS. The team’s recent success probably will induce a thirst for the next year’s squad to continue the winning tradition.
The 2017 Wellington High School basketball team members are Trent Frazier, Sage Chen-Young, Anfernee Rosario, Miguel Peart, Eterniti Mundell, Bryan Williams, Niko Toledo, Jay Medor, Johnathon Philistin, Cole Martin, Brendan Boudreau, Eli Balcarcel, Kevin Brown and Josh Green. Head coach Matt Colin was joined by assistant coaches Mike Newkirk, Mike Colin, Chris Morris, Greg Medor, Rudy Toledo, Gus Pouce, El Meeks, John St. Juste and Vic Navarro.
ABOVE: The 2016-17 Wellington High School basketball team went 27-4 and won district and regional titles.