By Josh Verlin
There are a few teams in District 1 AAAA for whom the state playoffs are a common occurrence.
Sure, making it all the way into Pennsylvania’s final 32 teams in the state’s largest bracket is a goal for every program every year, but there are some–Chester, Lower Merion, Plymouth Whitemarsh and others come to mind–where it can be surprising to not see that team qualify for the state tournament.
Central Bucks East is not one of those programs.
Prior to this year, when C.B. East upset Pennsbury and then Coatesville to qualify for the state bracket, the Patriots’ last trip to the state tournament came in 1983–at which point Ronald Reagan was still president and Jim Valvano’s NC State Wolfpack were about to take the NCAA by storm.
None of the current Patriots, this year’s No. 17 seed in District 1, would be born for another 15 years.
“My kids weren’t born,” said Patriots head coach Erik Henrysen, in his sixth year with the program. “It is special but it’s just the guys embracing one game to the next, and simplifying things. We’re not looking to win a game on one shot, we’re looking to just the next play and if you can build on each play, good things can happen.”
The team C.B. East took out in order to clinch a spot in this year’s state tournament is one of those teams who commonly finds itself playing into March, the district’s top-seed, Coatesville, who they took down 59-53 Tuesday night.