“We did really well this year. If I knew at the beginning of the year that we would make the playoffs, considering our competition, I would be very happy. We had a very good year,” Dancher said.
The Academic League is a 5-on-5 countywide competition among 60 public, private and charter schools at three levels: varsity (juniors and seniors), junior varsity (sophomores and juniors) and novices (freshman and sophomores). The county is broken up into three divisions: central, southeast and northern, with MBHS in the central division.
MBHS finished the 2013 regular season with a 7-1 record and qualified as a wild-card team, despite tying Madison for the division title. The Bucs lost the division on a tie-breaker because of a last-second, one-point loss to the Warhawks.
Despite the success the past few years, Dancher will be looking toward the 2014 season as a rebuilding year, with five of the seven varsity level players graduating. The graduating MBHS academic players will be team captain Brett Linley and fellow seniors Brett Ambrose, Daniel Fennell, Yewande Maraiyesa and Thomas Schoettle. The other varsity players who participated in the semifinals are juniors Jerrilyn Goldberg and Tierra Gonzales.
In preparation for next year, Dancher said he decided to get his younger players some experience in the regular season.
“Several of our juniors and underclassmen got some playing time with the varsity while the ninth- and tenth-graders were able to participate with the junior varsity. We’ll have some new kids next year and you never know who will turn up,” Dancher said.
In five years under Dancher, the MBHS Academic League team has grown from seven players to around 25 today, and has been able to draw students from all over the city thanks in part to the schools’ international baccalaureate satatus.